It’s one of our favorite things to do. You get the idea to take a Disneyland trip last minute which gets you really excited. Then you start to think about what it entails and maybe things get a little less excited. Nobody wants to feel that way about Disneyland so we’ve created this guide to help you plan without losing that excitement. We’ll take you step by step into what you need to plan and how you can still save a ton of money to make it as cheap as possible. We’re constantly adding new material to this post to make it up-to-date and offering the best savings (last updated July 5th, 2019).
Book your discounted hotel
Saving on a hotel for your last minute Disneyland trip is easy. You can still find hotels around $100 per night on the cheap end and around $150-$200 for moderate hotels. There are also the Disney property hotels that you can book as well including the Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier Hotel and Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. To book use our partner Get Away Today who offers exclusive savings and perks at most of the hotels at and around Disneyland. Plus they have a best price guarantee on their packages. Use code PARKSAVERS at check-out to save an extra $10.
Some of our recommended Good Neighbor Hotels include:
- Residence Inn Marriott Convention Center
- Desert Palms Hotel and Suites
- Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel
- Marriott Convention Center
- Fairfield Inn Anaheim Resort
There are always hotels that offer free nights when you stay a minimum of 3 nights. Be sure to check out which hotels are offering free nights during your trip.
Book your discounted tickets
Just because you’re planning a last minute trip doesn’t mean you can’t save some money! Park Savers has and always will be about saving you money on your theme park vacations. We’ve been researching these things for over 10 years. So when we say that Get Away Today offers the best discounted price on tickets, we mean it! Get a Best Price Guarantee, over $400 in coupons, e-Ticket delivery, MaxPass and more. Nobody offers better service or pricing than them.
- Best Price Guarantee
- Straight to the Gate
- $400 in digital coupons
You can purchase anything from 2-5 day tickets with Park Hopper or just One Park Per Day. New for 2019 you can purchase your tickets with or without MaxPass service. One day tickets are currently only available from Disney.
One thing we will suggest is not buying them online via eBay or Craigslist. These are rip-offs and you can lose a lot of your trip money this way. Don’t risk anything and only buy from an authorized reseller.
Book your discounted flights
Your next step is to book your flights. Depending on where you’re coming from there could be several great options out there to help you get to LA for less. Some of our suggested airlines to check are:
- Southwest Airlines – They offer fares starting at $49 during sales and are known for saving guests money with there no change fees and free checked bags.
- JetBlue Airlines – This is our favorite airline to fly! You get great service, no skimping on snacks, great legroom and cheaper fares. They are always having sales so keep your eye out on your flights and look for fares starting at $49 and up.
- Spirit Airlines – A lot of people get scared to fly saver airlines. We’ve flown Spirit several times and like them. They have the youngest fleet of planes in the world, the oldest just being 5 years old. Our suggestion would be to pack light and skip choosing seats if you can. This is how you get the most out of those very cheap airfares. Having to pay for overhead bin space or a checked bag adds a cost. So does choosing your seat in advance. If you can skip these two things, you’ll get a killer deal.
- Frontier Airlines – This is another saver airline that can get you a great last-minute deal on your flights. Same rules apply to them as Spirit Airlines though. Pack light, something that can fit under your seat and avoiding picking your seats in advance.
- Major Airlines – Check Delta, United, and American for deals. Sometimes flying from one big city to another is cheaper than you think, even last minute. Plus most of these airlines now offer restricted economy that acts just like saver airlines but you’re flying with a major one.
One of our favorite places to check for flights is at Google.com/flights. They do a great comparison and will even track flights for you and notify you when they go up or down.
Of course choosing the right airport to fly into can make a big difference too. You should check flights from your city to all three major airports in LA:
- LAX – The biggest airport but also the furthest away from Disneyland. Getting to and from here to your hotel can be pricey. See more below on how to save.
- Orange County – SNA – This is the best kept secret airport. It’s the closest airport to Disneyland and one of the least busiest airport ever.
- Long Beach – LGB – The smallest of the three and second closest to Disneyland with a 25 minute drive time. JetBlue, Southwest, Delta and United frequent this airport. It’s small and there are no lines.
Should you book a rental car?
It all depends on what you’re going to do. If you’re planning on going right to the hotel from the airport and not go anywhere else we would highly recommend you book an Uber or LYFT. We have discount codes available for them to help you save.
If you’re planning on going around LA a bit to explore or see other parks, then a rental car is probably best. Just remember that some hotels charge for parking and it’s not cheap. Disney also charges for parking at the parks. These fees can add up quickly so if you can get away with no vehicle, the better off you are.
Buying food from the parks vs. bringing your own
This is completely up to you. The saver would bring their own food after making a trip to Wal-Mart on arrival. We personally use Prime Delivery to get our groceries so that we don’t have to leave the hotel. You can order them ahead of time, the day you arrive and they will be delivered that same day. It’s cheap and pricing is actually really good. Either way you’ll need a fridge to store cold things and the rest can go on a counter, table or closet. Check out our What to pack for Disney for more tips and tricks on what to bring.
If you plan on buying your meals in the parks, good on ya. There’s basically no planning for this and tons of options. Kids to Adults will find something they like everyday. Some of our favorite quick service places to eat are:
- Bengal BBQ in Adventureland
- French Market in New Orleans Square
- Little Red Wagon Corn Dogs on Main Street U.S.A.
- Boudin Bakery at Pacific Wharf
- Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land
That’s just naming a few because there are tons to choose from. What are you favorite places to eat?
No matter what you choose to do, when booking a last minute Disneyland trip you’ll want to save money on at least one thing: water. You can get cups of water for free from any quick service restaurant in the parks. Just ask and you will be served! It will save you over $3 each time. You’re welcome.
Check the crowd calendar
We offer a free crowd calendar for guests visiting Disneyland Resort last minute. It will give you a good idea for what the parks will look like on your arrival. Some days are slower than others, specifically weekdays over weekends. Either way it’s a great way to get a feel for what you can expect. With Star Wars: Galaxy’s edge having just opened at Disneyland park it was thought that summer 2019 would be crazy; but it hasn’t been. In fact it’s been slower than ever with lines to major rides sitting at just 15 minutes. It’s a great time to visit!
Have tons of fun at Disneyland!
You’re going to the Happiest Place on Earth and now know how to book the perfect last minute Disneyland trip. As you can see there are still tons of ways to save on your vacation. Head over to Get Away Today and see how much you can save on your package or tickets; and be sure to use our coupon code at checkout: PARKSAVERS.
Say hi to Mickey, Minnie and the gang for us!
As to images © Tours Departing Daily
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.