You can save real money on a Disneyland Resort and Southern California vacation by taking advantage of these money-saving programs. Some require a membership fee, but they often pay for themselves quite quickly.
Disney Rewards Visa Card—This credit card from Chase gives cardholders special discounts on Disney resorts, packages, and tours, plus onboard credits on the Disney cruise. The card itself has a $9 annual fee and earns “Disney Dream Reward Dollars” equal to 1% or more of your purchases. You can redeem your dollars relatively quickly for Disney travel, entertainment, and merchandise. Exclusive cardholder benefits are also typically offered, such as special character meet and greets. Disneyland perks for Disney Visa cardholders include a toll-free phone line for making Disney travel arrangements (866- 844-9382), free stroller rentals, an exclusive character meet & greet event at Disney California Adventure, 10% off merchandise purchases of $50 or more, 10% off at select dining locations, 20% off select tours, and exclusive vacation packages with good prices. Another perk is the “pay no interest for 6 months” offer on Disney packages and cruises, but keep in mind initial deposits and all payments must be made with the card or you can lose the deal. Be sure to read the fine print carefully, too—if you carry a separate balance while floating a 0% vacation deal, your payments may apply to a different balance first and you could end up paying some steep interest. Also, double check exactly when you need to pay off the balance and be careful about confusing terminology. We have a Disney Visa ourselves and we think the “rewards” are just average, interest rates are high, and the available discounts are sparse (but attractive when offered). Disney Rewards Visa is available to U.S. residents only. If you have a Disney Rewards Visa, be sure to mention this when making reservations so they can offer any available incentives or deals. For details, visit http://chase.com/disney or call 877-252-6576. Also see our in-depth article at http://www.passporter.com/credit.asp.
Annual Passports (AP)—An Annual Passport (signature, signature plus, deluxe, and SoCal residents) saves money on admission if you plan to visit for more than six to 10 days in a one-year period (depending on the pass), at which point it becomes less expensive than conventional admission. It can also deliver great discounts at Disneyland resorts, restaurants, and shops. The discounts alone may be worth it! For example, you can get 10–20% off at many eateries and stores at Downtown Disney and 10% off at select Disneyland eateries. We note these discounts in our Feasting & Snacking chapter when they are available. An annual passport also offers savings on guided tours and parking. See page 86 for details and call 714-956-6425 for prices.
Disney “Postcard” Specials and Advertisements—Disney frequently offers lodging discounts in direct mail and mass media advertisements. These offers may be sent to previous Disney guests or may appear in newspaper or TV ads. These offers usually have eligibility requirements, such as residence in Southern California.
Southern California CityPass—This special pass allows you to visit Disneyland Resort (3-Day Park Hopper with one Magic Morning), SeaWorld (1 day), and LEGOLAND (1 day). At press time, prices are $329/adult and $294/child ages 3–9—a savings of 27%. (Note that Universal Studios is no longer included, nor is it available on a separate CityPass.) Discounted CityPass tickets may be available through outlets like Costco (http://www.costco.com). For more details on CityPass, call 888-330-5008 or visit http://www.citypass.com.