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Disneyland

Posted by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM
  • 16 Replies

(PIOG)

We've booked a trip to Disneyland in May with our 2 boys, ages 16 and 10. The last time we were there, our oldest son was 3 and we didn't have the youngest yet. We're coming from British Columbia. I'm sure things have changed a lot in 13 years! I know it can be really expensive to eat in Disneyland itself, does anyone have tips on where to buy food and/or souveneirs that won't cost a fortune?

Also, I would like to spend a day in Hollywood, not including Universal Studios. Any ideas on where to go, eat, shop (soveneirs again), interesting things besides the walk of fame?

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM
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Barabell
by Barbara on Feb. 14, 2013 at 7:15 PM

I haven't been to CA in many, many years and to Disneyland even longer than that.

When we went to Disney World a few years ago, I bought the dining package, and it saved us a TON of money. If I was go to back to WDW, I would definitely get a dining package again. Hopefully they offer it for Disneyland too.

boys2men2soon
by Kimberly on Feb. 14, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Downtown Disney has lots of great restaurants....The ESPN Zone, Rainforest Cafe, etc.   The last time we went, out Hotel offered a cooked to order hot breakfast buffet.    We took advantage of it before heading to the parks, which saved some money.    There are many off site stores in the vicinity that offer Disney themed souveniers at lower prices.      We were at Disney World in Orlando over the Holidays.  We purchased souveniers at the parks and I found the prices to be reasonable.   I paid $60 for a zip up Disney sweatshirt. 

Universal Studios is cool...and lots of shops!   Hollywood... If you've never been, you may be surprised.  It is not Beverly Hills.     There is the Walk of Fame, Graumans Chinese Theatre.....  West Hollywood is where the Roxy & Troubadour are.       Beverly Hills has Rodeo Drive...lots of shopping, but not for the budget minded.    Sorry, I'm not much help with Hollywood.

Have Fun!    I love Disney!




justamomma2
by Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Budget wise:  In the park you can get free cups of ice water at any food vendor or snack shop.  We are water drinkers and don't drink soda, so this works for us.  It will save you lots of money.  There are tons of souvenior shops all up and down the strip and even the quick marts at the gas stations sell lots of gift items for less money than the park.  My girl friend always brings her own glow sticks and glow necklaces for her kids.  Your kids are probably to old for this, but fun none the less.  Have a wonderful and magical trip.

sahlady
by Gold Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 7:53 PM

we always stay at one of the disneyland hotels because you get into the park an hour before it opens to the public.  so I would highly recommend that.

we also always bump up to the concierge level.  with that you get free continental breakfast, water bottles, snacks through out the day, and appetizers and wine at night.  we are not big breakfast eaters so it is nice to have soemthing to grab before we go.  plus we can grab water and fruit to take with us.

other than that, if you are looking to go REALLY budget wise..... ask them to empty your mini bar and go to the market.  buy cereal and milk, keep the milk in the mini bar.  There are all sorts of cheap restaurants around, not much on taste, but easy on the wallet.  There are two Denny's restaurants with in walking distance... if you are ok with that kind of place. There is also a Cocos (similar to Denny's), Tiffany's (dont know anything about it), IHop, Subway, Mimis, etc.... all budget friendly, not great as far as taste but young boys dont always care about that. 

mumsy2three
by Shauna on Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I have not been to California/Disneyland since I was 14, lol. I have no idea what is there. I hope you all have a great time :)

bizzeemom2717
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:41 PM

 

Quoting sahlady:

we always stay at one of the disneyland hotels because you get into the park an hour before it opens to the public.  so I would highly recommend that.

we also always bump up to the concierge level.  with that you get free continental breakfast, water bottles, snacks through out the day, and appetizers and wine at night.  we are not big breakfast eaters so it is nice to have soemthing to grab before we go.  plus we can grab water and fruit to take with us.

other than that, if you are looking to go REALLY budget wise..... ask them to empty your mini bar and go to the market.  buy cereal and milk, keep the milk in the mini bar.  There are all sorts of cheap restaurants around, not much on taste, but easy on the wallet.  There are two Denny's restaurants with in walking distance... if you are ok with that kind of place. There is also a Cocos (similar to Denny's), Tiffany's (dont know anything about it), IHop, Subway, Mimis, etc.... all budget friendly, not great as far as taste but young boys dont always care about that. 

 All great ideas! Also, try and buy tickets to Disneyland in "Hopper" passes  or at least in 2-3 days passes, cheaper that way and you won't feel like you have to cram 2 parks into one day, that makes things SO stressful! Have fun, I grew up in SoCal and lived there until age 28, my parents are still there so we go about once a year. It should be a blast and really special for you all!

LuvingMy3Girls
by Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:48 PM
If you plan to eat at a restaurant in downtown Disney like rain forest cafe ( I highly rec it). You really really should call for reservations or you could have a pretty long wait
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concernedmom97
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 11:29 PM
1 mom liked this

Upon arrival, we immediately run to Target and Von's (a driving trip from Disney, but well worth it) and purchase milk/juice, snacks, drinks, bottled water, cold cuts, microwaveable food for dinner, and (especially) Ziploc bags.  If I didn't bring a foldable cooler/backpack with us, one of those, too - freeze bottle water in hotel fridge.  Since most hotels around Disneyland have free breakfast (we're not breakfast eaters), we take our share of bread from the buffet and pack it in a Ziploc bag.  We also grab some fruit from the buffet as well.  Put the frozen bottle waters, cold cuts, and other snacks in cooler and we're off!  (They do check bags upon entry to the parks, but they have no problem letting you bring in your own food.)  We make cold-cut sandwiches at the park; and, if you want condiments, the McDonalds in California Adventure  Park has lots!  LOL!  If you're in walking distance to return to your room for dinner, simply microwave stuff from Target/Von's; OR, buy turkey legs at the park - they're huge and delicious!  Three of us can share one leg with microwaveable side dishes.  We always splurge one morning on the character breakfast at the Disneyland Hotel (call for reservations).  It may be too silly/childish for your two sons, but the food and service are excellent and the characters come to your table. 

I would definitely buy a "Park Hopper"! If you know an AAA member (not sure if you can be members in BC), definitely buy the Hoppers through AAA.  It's a little cheaper and also comes with "extras" for the park, as well as a free parking pass at Disney (if you're driving a rental car).  We learned that by staying at a nicer, newer hotel a short driving distance away and parking for free at Disney's parking structure, it was cheaper, faster, AND the tram takes you a lot closer to the entrance than walking from a hotel "just across the street."  Also, it gave us the opportunity to jump in our car and eat away from the park (cheaper) rather than be restricted to the area.  (BTW - add Red Robin to the list of places to eat near the park.)  As for souveniers - yes, they are everywhere -- you can't miss it.  :) 

We last visited Universal Studios back in February 2011 and were sadly disappointed (except for the tram ride when we got to the King Kong portion!!!), but it was pouring rain and freezing (high 30's low 40's) so that was a major factor.  We stayed in Calabasas which is a small town for the rich and/or famous, so the most economical thing we could do was grocery shop at Ralph's for meals - but that worked out just great!  We ate at a very nice "fishhouse" - food/service great, but somewhat crowded.

Hope this helps - HAVE FUN!!!!!!! 

suesues
by Silver Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 8:03 AM

I have not been in yrs know it very price maybe get a room with a kitchen so you can eat breakfast or lunch in or rent a car and drive out of area for dinner

Kerrigan357
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Lots of places are expensive to eat at Disney.  Even if you're in downtown Disney it's not cheap.  However, as someone else said, ESPN Zone is great, and for a real awesome experience you can try Rainforest Cafe.  Inside the main park, there's Pizza Planet which has a wide array of choices from pizza to salads to pastas.  There's also the Mexican place called Rancho del Zocalo which is in Frontierland.  The great thing about them is that they have free refills on drinks when you eat in their restaurant.  Over on the California Adventure side there's a place to get really great bread bowls which is called Pacific Wharf Cafe.  On some days, you may want to pack some sanwhiches bought outside the park and put them in a locker.  That's pretty affordable especially if the kids are fine with pb&j. We've even stopped at Subway and picked up a footlong veggie delite with no cheese or mayo.  It was great at lunch time!  Anyway I hope this helps.  

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