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7 Money Savings Tips to make your Disneyland vacation more MAGICAL!

I went to Disneyland 1 time as a child.  However, I don’t remember it at all because I was only 2 years old.  I mean, we went other places and yes, I had a great and wonderful childhood filled with great memories and other vacation destinations (my mom reads this… I have to cover my bases, ha!) but there’s just something amazing about Disneyland and Disneyworld.  It’s like slice after slice of magical childhood goodness.  Yum!

So, when we lived in Georgia and were only 5 hours from Orlando (and only had Elli and Connor at the time), we decided to take a trip to Disneyworld.  All I have to say is that I enjoyed that trip just as much as any child in that entire park.  When we were standing outside the gates before they opened for the day, I still remember watching the little pre-show with some of the characters welcoming everyone to the park…..and crying.  Yep, I was totally overwhelmed and completely excited to be there but even more, it was an overload to my senses to see the magic in my little kiddos’ eyes.  Magic, I’m telling you.

So, we’ve been thinking lately that it’s time to go back…..but this to time to DisneyLAND.  We have four kids now and yes, little Oliver (who is almost 1) won’t remember a thing.  But Elli (8), Connor (7), and Chloe (4) will be in absolute heaven!  And you know, going when Oliver is still little will only give me an excuse to plan a 3rd trip in the future so that Oliver WILL remember a trip to Disney. :)

But, in order to make a 2nd trip a success, I’ve been gathering ideas and information……but have also come across some excellent deals and savings codes that some of you might be interested in as well.  Because I can’t be the only one planning a trip to Disney with the kids, am I? :)   (This post refers to DisneyLAND, but many of the ideas are applicable to both parks!)

So, here are 7 TIPS to creating a MAGICAL DISNEY VACATION!!!

(Be sure to read to the end for an EXCLUSIVE “Make It and Love It” Disney money saving CODE!)

1. Plan a special unveil. The magic can begin the moment you tell your family about your upcoming vacation plans. Let your kids open a gift, put together a puzzle, or take a treasure hunt to find out the good news. No matter how you announce it, a Disneyland vacation is always a welcome and magical surprise.

2. Lead up to the magic with Disney themed activities. Make a countdown chain and plan fun activities to create some magic at home. Make Mickey Mouse pancakes (I love THIS Mickey waffle maker!), plan a Disney movie night, put together a vacation playlist for your road trip or the plane ride, or do anything else that gets your family excited about your vacation destination.

3. Buy Disney souvenirs before you go and pack them without letting the kids know. Then, each night when they get back to the hotel, they’ll have a new gift from the Disney fairies (or their favorite character) waiting for them. HERE are a ton!

4. Dress like the characters. Wearing a character t-shirt, princess dress or even a pair of Mickey Ears is sure to get your kids extra attention from the characters. Plus, it will make for adorable and memorable photos.

5. Make a reservation for Character Dining. I wish we would have known the value in doing this when we visited Disney, but take it from me…….don’t waste precious park time waiting in line to meet characters. Let them come to your table in a relaxed environment. There are five restaurants that offer character dining, each with different characters, themes and menus. If you have girls, Ariel’s Princess Celebration is a must. Also, Goofy’s Kitchen, Surf’s Up Breakfast with Mickey and Friends, Breakfast in the Park with Minnie and Friends, and Chip ‘N Dale’s Critter breakfast are all fun for the whole family.

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6. Stay at one of the Disneyland Hotels. We did this for our last trip and let me tell you……this saved us so much agony.  You don’t have to worry about shuttles, the pools are all themed, and you get early entry every morning. It’s a tiny splurge, but will definitely be a vacation you’ll remember forever. Out of the three Disney hotels, the Disneyland Hotel itself has the most magical feel, complete with musical headboards featuring “real” fireworks over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Monorail water slides at the swimming pool, and other magical touches.

7. Preserve the magic when you get home. Sometimes the magic of a Disneyland vacation becomes even more magical after the fact. Have everyone write down their favorite moments from each day of your vacation and preserve it in a journal, smash book, photo album, or of course everything is a little more magical when you don’t have to pay full price.

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Let’s be honest though. Disney isn’t cheap! We really searched for great deals to make the trip a little less expensive and we are super excited we found Get Away Today. They send thousands of families on magical Disneyland vacations each year at hugely discounted prices.

They offer exclusive extras like free breakfast, free parking, free night specials, and reduced rates at certain hotels.  They also have the lowest park ticket prices, award-winning customer service and their packages come with all sorts of fun gifts.  Yes, please!

 You’ll save an average of $200 – $400 per package.

PLUS, “Make It and Love It” readers can save an extra $10 off when you use promo code: “LOVEIT” on any 2-night or longer package.

You can book online or call 855-GET-AWAY.

Do YOU have any tips to make others’ Disney experience more magical? I’d love to hear your ideas.

But, so far, with deals like THESE, we’re excited to set a date for our next Disney vacation.


Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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