Estimating What Your Trip Will Cost
You'll need to budget for the following things as you plan a trip to Disneyland:
Travel to Anaheim: Don't forget to include money in your
budget for the trip to Southern California and back home again. Airfare
and/or gas and lodging costs can be estimated, or you can call a travel
agent to get an idea of the costs for the time of year you are planning on
going. If you're a AAA member, get a trip-tic and plan your trip with stops
and daily driving distances well in advance. You don't have to make
reservations a year in advance, unless you're going at peak times, but
several months is a good idea.
Rental Car: Another issue when traveling to Southern
California is the need for a vehicle for transportation. If you're not
driving to Anaheim, you'll almost certainly want a rental car so another
$210 per week or so should be added to your budget for rental and gasoline.
On my last trip car rental for a week cost about $170, but each additional
individual day ran $35.
Accommodations: You should also plan on spending $200 - $235 for accommodations at the Disneyland
Hotel or Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and $250 - $290 per night at the Grand
Californian. Prices may be even higher in premium season, and
concierge rooms and suites, of course, will be even more pricey. Rooms
can be had at non-Disney hotels in the area for a fraction of the amount quoted above.
There's a page discussing this "on-site versus off-site" issue
that you can read by clicking
Food: For rough figures plan on a maximum average of $50 per
day per person for food if you're planning to enjoy sit-down, full-service
meals. Of course, you can reduce cost by eating at least some fast
food, and children and light eaters will cost less.
Admission Media: Disneyland admissions will set you back
about $40 for one day. Other area attractions are similarly priced,
although Disney is obviously the premium ticket in Southern California.
Souvenirs: I would also suggest that you include in your
budget a certain amount of money for souvenirs for each member of your
party. Southern California excels at separating you from your money. The
Walt Disney Company is probably worst (or best, depending on your point of
view) offender, but Universal and Knott's give Disney a run for your money,
too. As a result, almost everyone in your group is likely to find
something that they want to buy during the course of your trip. It's alot
easier on the pocketbook if you determine up front what you're willing to
spend. A typical person can probably find at least $50-$100 worth of
souvenirs that they would love to cart back home. Plan accordingly -- or
take the necessary precautions (i.e. pre-trip education) to avoid problems
when little Susie or Johnny find that $375 Disney University Leather Jacket
that they "just have to have."
If you use these numbers to estimate your trip costs, you will be on the
conservative side. These are good budget planning numbers, but you should
get hard numbers from your hotel (don't forget local taxes and charges) and
Disney (for admission media for the duration of your trip) as soon as you can.
For one thing, it locks the prices when you make your reservations...for
another, you'll know exactly what your costs will be.