We just barely got our February trip to Disneyland in before February turns into March! I'm trying to go once a month and it seems like we were just there for our January trip. The February outing was our 7th trip to Disneyland. My pass expires in mid-March, so I'm hoping to get our March trip in before my pass fizzles out.
My pass was $134 last March and I wasn't sure how often we'd get to go, I was hoping for 3 trips in a year. Because I wasn't sure, I didn't buy into the parking pass too. I figured I would come out ahead or even if I just paid for parking at the gate each time. Parking was $12 and now it's $14. If I can squeeze in one more trip to the park, my pass will average out to $16.75 per admission. Plus, I've "hopped" over to California Adventure twice. I'm not sure how much that would have cost to hit two parks in one day, but it's more expensive than just paying the one park entrance. A one-day admission to Disneyland or California Adventure is $72. I'm glad I've been getting in for less than $17. What a bargain!
I had to buy a pass for Gracie in November, and I paid for parking each time, a few souvenirs, one churro, a couple of lollipops, and a few meals. It was never a $20 day, but it was never a $100 day either (ok, yes it was, but only twice). I think we did pretty good as bargain tourists!
When I renew my pass, you know I have to, I can't just spoil these girls rotten and then say "that's all folks", that would just be so... so.. Warner Bros! Anyway, when I renew my pass for another year, I'll have to pay $169 for the pass. Prices skyrocketed at Disneyland. I have the cheapest annual pass option that they sell which allows you in the parks on 170 days of the year. I am ok with that, the days that I'm blocked out are the busier days. Since I'll be paying more, I should squeeze in one or two extra trips to get more bang for my buck, right?
It's funny how Disneyland admissions and merchandise all went up in price, but all of the other Southern California theme parks reduced prices for annual passes. You can buy two years of Seaworld admission (365 x 2) for $109 and that includes parking. You can get a year (365) at the zoo and Wild Animal Park, bring a guest every time for free, receive 4 coupons for guests to come along free for $99 which includes parking. Universal Studios is giving a one day pass to all teachers. And Universal Studios is offering a deal on annual passes too: Buy a pass and your kid gets a pass too. They have three options for annual passes and the most expensive one is $99 which includes a free guest and free parking. Knotts Berry Farm has always been the least expensive park and I haven't heard that they've raised any prices.
For what I'm paying at Disneyland, I could be going to the Zoo, SeaWorld, Universal Studios and Knotts. Ugh. Knowing that makes me wish I hadn't done the math. Then again, none of those places have the Disney Princesses or the Small World boat ride.
I'm trying to make our Disneyland outings as much of a bargain as I can and take some of the guilt out of the big splurge. But, really, when I see these little faces light up and these little eyes get as big as saucers trying to soak it all in at once, I know the trips to Disney are worth every penny and every bit of exhaustion too. This is the face that makes makes me forget how much admission and parking cost: