Thursday, March 21, 2013

Disneyland, part two.

as promised, heres the second part of the disneyland post, where i talk about how to make disneyland even cheaper by hardly spending any money on food. since we got our passes, weve gone somewhere around eight times, and only bought actual food twice. heres how we do it.

firstly, and most importantly, the disneyland resort allows guests to bring in outside food and drink. i repeat DISNEYLAND ALLOWS OUTSIDE FOOD. and im not talking about a sandwich cleverly hidden in the bottom of your backpack, we regularly bring a large separate bag obviously filled with food and our big gulps of soda. no questions asked. so if you plan ahead and make a pit stop for sodas, you can get away with not spending ANY money in the park at all.

but since we rarely plan our disney days very far in advance, i dont usually have all the supplies on hand to pack us a full day of rations. so most days ill pack us a bag of whatever snacks/fruit we happen to have in the house, a couple water bottles, and some type of sandwich filling (turkey and cheese, tuna or egg salad), then on the way over we stop at 711 for sodas (we re-fill our cups so that only runs $2. maybe $5 if we also get a large bag of chips).

once we get to the park, we head over to pacific wharf cafe in california adventure for a loaf of bread. this is delicious, fresh baked sourdough, and a sliced loaf is only $5 (passholders get 10% off most foods so it comes out to $4.50), and we make our own sandwiches, using the restaurants condiment bar. so for $4.50, all three of us get awesome freshly made sandwiches, exactly how we like them (and half a loaf of leftover bread for later).

some days thats all we buy, but when we feel that we deserve a treat (which, to be honest, is most of the time), we usually get ice cream either at the gibson girl ice cream parlor on main street, or the ghirardelli soda fountain in california adventure. both are pretty inexpensive, two (large) scoops at gibson girl is $4.85, and, the waffle cone in the picture was from ghirardelli, and was only $5 ($4.50 with passholder discount, i prefer ghirardelli because they give you a free square of chocolate when you walk in the door). yeah its not exactly the cheapest ice cream you can get, but its really not much more than youd spend at baskin robbins or coldstone.

since we have a toddler, and its still pretty cold at night, we dont usually stay for dinner, so most days we only spend $10-15 dollars out of pocket.

thats what we normally do, but even if that doesnt work for you, heres a few miscellaneous tricks ive picked up:
1. most "inside" restaurants will give you a free small ice water, even if you dont buy food
2. if you want a soda, the large soda at a restaurant only cose a little more than the bottles sold at stands outside, is much bigger, AND theyll give you a passholder discount, so its a better deal.
3. in case you missed it earlier FREE CHOCOLATE at the ghirardelli soda fountain! even if you dont buy anything.
4. the boudin bakery tour at california adventure gives you free slices of bread
5. most of the portion sizes are surprisingly large, and in most cases, an entree and side can be comfortable split between two adults.

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