Disneyland / California Adventure, Anaheim
by not giving in easily at Downtown Disney. Price markup is smart for the vendors- bad for the tourists of course. Unless you are getting a gift or buying an item that's very unique, try to resist buying Disney items in DD. The Wonderland Gallery may be the one store where it may be OK to spurge a little, especially for the adult super Disney fan.
For families with small children, try to not be tempted into a place like Build A Bear workshop (pictured). Caving into your little munchken's desire can end up costing you $40 for a stuffed teddy bear.
Also, you may want to avoid Ridemakerz, unless you consider creating a custom-built radio controlled car a major highlight of your entertainment just like riding coasters and seeing shows at Disneyland.
As far as eaterie options, there are a few places for and inexpensive bite- like Wetzel's Pretzels and Jamba Juice and some modest restaurants that won't upset the wallet too much.
Try to avoid convenience stand for little items like breath mints that end up with a 50-100% markup from grocery stores.
Unique Suggestions: Shop the occasional sales ranks and areas of DD stores. Stand up to your child who's begging you for a $5 Mickey Mouse lollicup, go to the ABC market and other shops along Harbor Blvd for discounted Disney items and basic souvenirs. Try to get coupons for Disney gifts from free coupon guides found in hotels, sidewalk newspaper stands in the resort area or online.
The entrance price to Disneyland and now, California Adventures are so high these days. Even with coupons and discounts to be found at most grocery stores and hotel lobbies the cost just to enter the park is over a hundred dollars for a family of four.
Now (2013) the price for a family of four entering Disneyland is well-over $300.00. Most everyone still say it's worth it.
Unique Suggestions: Save up for it.
Fun Alternatives: There is no alternative to Disneyland.
Parking a car at Disneyland is about $15 in designated Disneyland parking structures. However, parking can be cheaper or free. Head to Downtown Disney, off Katella Ave and Disneyland Dr INSTEAD of entering through the main Disneyland entrance (off Harbor Blvd/Disney Way).
If you park at Downtown Disney parking area and get validation at a participating Downtown Disney store (most all should), you get 5 hours of free parking . If you leave within 3 hours, parking is free!
Each additional hour after 5 hours costs $6, charged in 20-minute increments. The maximum parking fee is a whomping $30.00. Oh Mickey!!
Downtown Disney parking is located by Paradise Pier Hotel, off Katella Ave and Disneyland Dr. Follow signs saying "Downtown Disney ".
Refer to map:
This is a very gimmick-driven, commercial theme restaurant/family attraction. Kids will be amused by the jungle facade with plastic monkeys and alligators. For adults, this is not the first place to consider for a meal The food is not horrible, just not quality!
Unique Suggestions: If you must go here because of the kids, make some reservations because this is a popular place to go for families.
Fun Alternatives: In Downtown Disney Anaheim, I would recommend taking the kids to eat at more unique restaurants, such as Naples or Jazz Kitchen.
Having met and sat down with 3 of Disneyland's cashier, it is part of their jobs to fast talk when ringing the customers merchandise while cashier is to be instantly be friend customers to be able to add or in short words to pad the bill, cashiers are train/which is part of their duties to say that the item/items customers are buying are very nice, cute, or anything to make the customers feel good regardless it be a hair clip, a mickey mouse hat and etc., in the meantime, cashiers are to make a quick fast offer to sell you anything, it could be a disposable camera which can cost $19.75 when in Target you can pick these up for only $9.00 and some change. Be observant that when their leads or their managers are next to their cashiers, they, the cashiers are to even overdo their sales talk to customers which prolongs the time you need when ringing all your merchandise. According to one of the Disneyland employee, because it is the easiest corporation for anyone to be employeed, as they hired at least between 300 and 450 employees every Friday, as the turn over is nearly twice as much. According to good resources, because they over hire people (just as long as you are able to smile to customers and show a bit of your customer service, the human resources at Disneyland would hire you nearly instantly, to conclude these practice they, Disneyland had created for their HR protection agaist being in trouble with the labour laws, that Disneyland would give you only 8 hours a day only if you have seniority of employement, meaning many have worked there for the last 30 years or more and these are the oldies we are refering to that are entitled for 30 hours and more, in the meantime, the new comers like the people we met, they are given four misserable working hours three or four times in a week. So, how can anyone ever be honest that they love working for these entertainment place that makes millions of dollars every day, specially during summer.
Unique Suggestions: To avoid these hanky-panky way of shopping, stick to your lists and be sure if you wish to take photos, bring your instant camera or purchase your disposable cameras from a department store at Target or any of those discounted stores. Also, I have not mentioned that food in Disneyland are almighty unreasonable expensive, so we would advise you to pack your snacks, your sandwhiches, and bring enough drinking water, juice or your pops (pop soda). What you need to remember is Diseyland will not allow anything soft drink that is bottled in glass bottle, so be sure to buy only those plastic bottles. Have lots of fun and yes, do bring your sun block lotion as that too Disneyland sells them and it's nearly twice normal the price.
Fun Alternatives: To avoid these hanky-panky way of shopping, stick to your lists and be sure if you wish to take photos, bring your instant camera or purchase your disposable cameras from a department store at Target or any of those discounted stores. Also, I have not mentioned that food in Disneyland are almighty unreasonable expensive, so we would advise you to pack your snacks, your sandwhiches, and bring enough drinking water, juice or your pops (pop soda). What you need to remember is Diseyland will not allow anything soft drink that is bottled in glass bottle, so be sure to buy only those plastic bottles. Have lots of fun and yes, do bring your sun block lotion as that too Disneyland sells them and it's nearly twice normal the price.
Having spend and met insiders/workers at both parks and at World of Disney stores, here are few tips for all you shoppers. We meet if not 9 cashiers, customer service, part time nurse as well as kitchen cooks and other Disneyland employees...(insidentally, these employees of Disney are called all called "cast members"...quite elegant isn't it? Well, the cashiers are trained and are expected to give all customers, regardless of age, as small as a year old, the attention, just so cashiers are able to do a fast talk sales. For instance, You are to bring to the cashier a pirate t-shirt, then the cashier is to give you a big smile of hello! how are you doing! did you find everything all right in the store (what ever he or she meant by that), then here comes the fast talk expected from the cashier (can I add some suckers "lolipops" ...a bundle of 5 small lolipops in shape of micky..which costs $4.65 plus tax, then if that does not work, cashiers are to offer you a disposable camera of one exposure of 27 exposure which costs $19.95 plus tax, at Target you can get the same disposable camerca for $7.00. Then when entering Disneyland or the other park, which is called California Adventures, there you are to line up as the employees are to check if you carry some kind of harmful bumb, HAVE NO FEAR IF you bring your pops "cokes or soft drinks, just as long as they are not in glass containers, you are allowed to bring your soda pops if it's canned or plastic containers. Do bring your snacks or make good sandwhiches from home as everything in Disneyland are ripe-off, it's unreasonably expensive and many of which are at least 5 days old kept inside their coolers...so, don't allow them to ripe-you- off!
Unique Suggestions: BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS, SODA POPS (DO NOT BRING GLASS OR ANY BREAKABLE CONTAINERS AS THEY WILL NOT ALLOW THAT), BUT BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS! have fun!
Disneyland states on their website that no outside food or drink is allowed in the park. How I desperately wish I had known in advance that they don't enforce this rule! The food is a huge rip-off, seconded only by the price of bottled water!
Unique Suggestions: We brought frozen bottles of water with us every day. When they were empty we refilled them from the drinking fountains. It beat paying $3.00 for a bottle of water! Soft drinks were $2.50.
If I went again, I would bring canned soft drinks & juice boxes, snacks and water in a back pack. I saw lots of people eating bagged lunches. We were only there for 2 days, so we didn't mind spending the money for lunch each day. We made sure everyone had breakfast before we headed out each morning, and we left the park late in the afternoon each day for a dip in the pool and dinner outside the park.
Fun Alternatives: We had dinner at Downtown Disney one night. We found the prices here to be more reasonable. The portions were large enough to feed two average appetites at the restaurant we were at. (Naples Pizzeria)
Just north of the main entrance on Harbor Blvd (about 3 blocks) is a restaurant called Carrows. It is a typical family restaurant. One big plus here is that for every adult entree you order, you get one kid's meal free, every weeknight. This worked out well for us. My son is a fairly big eater and so he and I swapped meals. (For a free meal I was perfectly happy to be eating chicken nuggets. lol) Naturally, he also claimed the dessert that came with the kid's meal! =:,-(
But I got the starter salad from his adult meal, so we're even, right?
How can you come to California if you haven't been to Disneyland? I used to think like that...and then changed my mind. I had imagined it enormous but it wasn't that big. And the rollercoaster didn't scary me at all, so I was disappointed. The food variety was also a bit limited. Oh, I think the ticket fare isn't worthwhile. I only recommend this place if you are taking small kids with you.
Unique Suggestions: Buy those Disney merchandise. There are things you won't find elsewhere and then you will after regret if you don't buy them.
Fun Alternatives: Go to Six Flags Magic Mountain
Disneys California Adventure
aka Disney's Craptacular Misadventure
For $47-odd dollars per person you have access to a whole bunch of disney souvenir bumph, access to 8 or so rides (3 were dead when I went, with another dying while we were in line for it), and really long lines on the two OK rides there (roller coaster, and Soarin Over California. The reverse bungee air rocket thingie :) was the one that dies while we were in line. The Muppet thing was also, surprisingly, quite good! Otherwise, go to Universal Studios and avoid Disney like the plague!
Disneyland, The Uber Tourist Trap. HOWEVER! It traps tourists for good reason. There is no other place like it on Earth. Many feel that Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) still remains the best of all the Disney parks. It is not to be missed. And, no. They didn't pay me to say this.
The "It's a Small World" attraction is so corny you can butter it up and eat it on the cob. You'll have that annoying tune running through your mind all day long.
Unique Suggestions: Try and plug your ears.
Everything at Disneyland is a tourist trap - the difference is, nobody cares and you go there knowing all that.
This is what its all about, just go with the flow and enjoy.