I just got home from a long four day weekend, where, among many other things, we spent two whole days at Disneyland and I am exhausted.

It is really tiring sticking it to The Man. ("The Man" being Disneyland in this situation.)

My preparations to stick it to The Man began on Disneyland Eve. I stayed up way too late meticulously packing a bag of goodies to sustain us during the day. At Disneyland food prices, I estimated that I avoided paying $140.00 to The Man by bringing my own food into the park!

The bag I packed included* -

3 Peanut Butter Sandwiches - $30
2 Oranges - $5.00
3 Large Water Bottles - $30.00
10 Granola Bars - $20.00
1 Quart Bag of Trail mix - $25.00
5 Nutri-grain Bars - $15.00
1 Quart Bag of Cheerios - $15.00

*All prices are
conservative estimates of what these same items would cost if I bought them at Disneyland.

You that have never been to Disneyland may think I am exaggerating. No. It really is
that expensive to buy food at the park.

Only an idiot would spend $3.50 on a little bottle of smartwater. Puh-lease.

I would love to be in on those planning meetings when the Disney executives determine how much they are going to charge for things in the park. Unfortunately, the Disney Resort is set up in a way that once you enter the park, you are fully committed, for better or for worse. If you fail to plan, you plan to spend lots of money. The Man thanks you, I'm sure.

Even though it was my birthday weekend and we were "livin' it up" by getting a hotel room in Anaheim, I still couldn't justify buying food at the park. Erik went against everything I believe in and bought a Mickey Mouse ice cream on Thursday. (In his defense, it was really hot outside.) My mother and I figured that each bite of that little ice cream cost him $1.00. I hope it was worth it.


  1. I agree, Cristin...buying food in the park is how they make their real money!
    When we went in early January though, we took a soft ice chest that we didn't want to carry around with us....I think that cost John over $15.00 to rent the small locker! Plus, we didn't want to have to go all the way out to the front of the park just to eat our lunch, so we waited until we left to go get our lunch and eat it in the car! It's hard to find the right way to "stick it to the man". If you have a stroller, then it works better to haul your food around, though.
    Now you know why we hardly ever took all 8 of our kids at the time to Disneyland...besides costing a fortune to get it, we could have spent a ton of money on the churros, frozen lemonades, popcorn, etc. that the kids would beg and beg for!
    It's worth it though, to bring your own from home if you can carry it easily.

  2. I agree too.. but why do they have to make their normal costco food SO appealing? I mean, I will bring my own sandwhich, but I'm just going to be wishing I could eat Disney's food the whole time!

  3. I can remember going to Disneyland in the 5th grade or so and being shocked at how much money we paid for a kid sized hot dog. Ridiculous. Good job carting all that food in. But in a few years the kids are going to start complaining that they want ice cream shaped like Mickey Mouse, etc. Although, Disney is taking over the world and sell all sorts of food products in the grocery store now.
    I make my kids save up their money to ride the train at the zoo. The St. Louis zoo is free, but riding the trains is $5 a person or something.

  4. Packing food for Disneyland is really the only way to go. Not only do you feel better about eating healthier, but you also feel better about the fact that you actually might have money in your pocket to buy other food the rest of the month. Way to be prepared!

  5. We went to Sesame Place in PA and brought our own food. My husband whined a bit at first because he was the one that would have to get the cooler out of the van and bring it to the picnic area and then have to haul it back again. Once we were eating our lunch, though, he apologized for being a grump and thanked me for my forethought! It was a nice break from the chaos of the park and the kids were eating healthy lunches that we knew they would enjoy and would not upset their stomachs on the crazy rides later (I can't imagine a giant water slide after a greasy hotdog). I have a cooler that plugs into my car outlet or a wall outlet. We packed enough coldcuts, fruit & snacks for 2 days! We ate the hotels complimentary breakfast buffet (and I made the kids eat until they were STUFFED) which was muffins, fruit, yogurt, toast, oatmeal, cereal, etc. I figured we saved enough $$ doing that for 2 meals so for dinner we'd go out to a family friendly restraunt!

  6. That's a nice picture of Erik and all, but now you need to post pictures of Luke and Charlie at Disneyland!

  7. So, I'm really wishing right now that we were down there with you! Disneyland was is so fun, and we're ALL about carting in our own food.

  8. Bringing your own food is always the way to go! Not only does it save time, but it allows you more time for the attractions and shows.

  9. Christin I wish I was that dedicated. I have to admit when I go to Disneyland with the kids I give each of them a twenty and say ten for lunch and ten for dinner we eat breakfast before we hit the park. I spend 120.00 in food everytime we go between the six of us. But have you ever tried the turkey legs they are really good. You eat them like a cave man.

  10. Im glad to know Cody and I arent the only ones who do that, sometimes it makes me feel cheap! But then again we also do it at the movie theater, bowling alley, etc... It really is a great feeling to stick it to the man!

  11. I have no problem forking out a lot of money for (what I consider) "specialty" food or tradition-food (i.e. something I've indulged in since I started going there as a kid). For me, it's all part of the Disneyland experience. That means I totally go for the Gumbo in bread boules, the AMAZING corn dogs, a dinner at the blue bayou, etc. (For PK, it's churros and frozen lemonade.)

    BUT I would NEVER fork out what they ask for simple produce or water bottles or soda. I've been known to bring entire backpacks full of granola bars, oranges, sandwiches, even chips and salsa, so that I don't go hungry. (Snacks and backup snacks.)

    So in that sense, I am with you.

  12. Who would pay $1.75 for an apple. You can get a couple of pounds of apples with that price...

  13. We always packed a loaf of peanut butter sandwiches and ate by the water. And we always took a stroller, even when they were too old to use it to carry the water and food.

  14. We went to Disneyland about 4 weeks ago, as you know. I went to Walmart the day before we left to get all the snacks we'd take in to the park. I spent $208 dollars at Walmart. When I told John, his eyes about bugged out. What did you BUY?? Well...this same guy was pretty happy when for 3 days, he could just grab something from the food bad I brought in. And, although we don't have babies anymore, we still rent the $10 stroller, to carry our food around in. $208 for 3 days for 8 people. (except for our dinner at Blue Bayou...our splurge, and a few miscellanious food purchases...) I know we still came out on top!



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