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Disneyland and How We Didn’t Save Money

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I visited Disneyland all day yesterday. It was my second visit to the park and my girlfriend’s first. We spent the entire day between the two parks.

Every night, there is a fantastic fireworks display. It’s easy to see how Disney can afford to put on this show every night. I don’t want to think about how much money we spent on food, drinks, presents for our families, on top of the tickets. We’re only two people — most families had four or five including young children.

There are some ways we could have saved money, but Disney makes that difficult. For example, we could have brought our own food, but we would have had to eat outside the parks in a special picnic area. We also could have been more prepared; I ended up buying a hat to protect my head from getting sunburned as well as sun block to protect our skin.

The heat also gave me a headache halfway through the day and I purchased two caplets of Advil for $1.08. While that struck us as expensive at the time, later on that evening while shopping for milk, we saw the same packet for $1.50 in a convenience store. I could have guessed I might get a headache some time during the day, and we could have brought already-purchased medicine to take care of that.

On the positive side, my girlfriend did meet her chilhood hero, Donald Duck. She met him about twenty years ago, and (with some coaching) Donald remembered her.

Published or updated April 20, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Vernon

You can’t go to Disneyland and complain about the high prices; that’s like going to the beach and whining about the sand.

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avatar Sharon

You’re lucky! I was a Disneyland, for the first time, three weeks ago, and it was raining and cold the whole time! We had to buy ponchos….so I know what you mean about being prepared. I guess the whole point of trying not to live paycheck to paycheck is being able to have these wonderful (and sometimes expensive!) memories. My only regret is that I didn’t get to meet any Disney characters. Not even Mickey….I guess the weather kept them home!

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avatar Hazzard

Hey Flexo,
Sounds like you’re having a good time! I’d love to be in your shoes. We are going to go next year with our 3 year old.

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avatar Amanda

We went to Orlando a couple years ago and I gasped when I saw how expensive the park tickets were! Oh well, you can’t put a price on childhood nostalgia I suppose…

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avatar lpkitten

you can bring your own food in the park and eat it anywhere you like. i know they say you can’t do that but they will never tell you to move and go outside with your food. also, there is always downtown disney. they have lots of restaurants that might not necessarily be cheaper than disneyland’s food, but at least it will be edible.

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avatar carolina_pirate

Disneyland is a horrible waste of money and time. If you want to have fun go to:


Awesome rollercoasters and rides.

Disneyland and Disneyworld is nothing but a giant shopping mall with baby rides.

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avatar Luke Landes

I’m sure Carowinds is great, but we were in California, not North Carolina.

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avatar Mandy

If you’re ever at Disneyland again, you can save yourself the $1.08 and get ibuprofen for free from the First Aid station.

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avatar Frugal Momma

We are planning a trip to Disney world next year. I am hoping to make it magical and frugal but that doesn’t seem all that possible.

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