Before you leave buy some "supplies" at Target, Wal-mart or the Dollar Store. Disney themed notepad for character autographs (don't get one too small though - those poor characters have a hard enough time writing with those gigantic hands of theirs). Disney t-shirts. Bring an extra to the park. When your 4 year old unexpectantly pukes on one you have a back-up - without spending 17.95. Obviously a lesson learned this trip!
Do not hesitate to bring a little cooler with snack/lite lunch items. Disney does not care. You don't need to sneak it in. They get it. Kids (and hungry, tired Mommys) need snacks! I made my kids eat PB&J's, dried fruit, nuts, protein bars and crackers and then when we did have to order a meal, the damage was much less than it would have been.
Bring your resuable water bottles and fill them up at the park. Besides the Baby Center on Main Street, there are a few locations around the park where you can get filtered water. Here the are:
1. ★The Plaza Pavillion restaurant on the west side of Main Street
2. ★The French Market in New Orleans Square
3. ★Rancho del Zocalo in the dining courtyard in Frontierland
4. ★Tomorrowland Terrace to the left of the order windows"
Indulge in one treat a day! Hey, you're in Disneyland! Where else can you get a Chocolate and Caramel covered Marshmallow "Tigger Tail" or a Cheesy Jalepeno filled Pretzel?
When your feet are killing you from standing in line or you just need a little down time...and your don't happen to be staying at the Grand Californian ;-), here's a few little relaxing things to do:
Go see the Aladdin Show at the Hyperion Theatre in California Adventure (hint: get there early enough to sit in the Orchestra section and sit either on the far right or left - you get special attention at one point in the show).
Ride the Monorail around the Park once...or twice if you REALLY need a break and you beg the attendant to let you. It's nice and quiet in there and my mom and I managed to sneak our coffees in.
As you enter Disneyland, just past the right tunnel is the Disney Gallery. Take a stroll through the gallery to view original concept drawings and other amazing artwork and then on to the Main Street Opera House next door which houses the Disneyland Story featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the cool scale models of Disneyland and rides.
Okay, there's my two-cents worth. What do you have? Add your Disneyland thrifty or chill tips in comments please!