Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Miser’s Guide to Disneyland

Robert getting some virtual gas in Toontown.
—Photo by Patricia McLaughlin
  1. Go to and bid $55 for a 3-star hotel in the D’land vicinity. You WILL win the bid.
  2. Show up at the Doubletree (or whatever) hotel with your broken leg so they won’t charge extra for parking. If your leg isn’t broken you could hire my uncle Guido, he’s real good with a baseball bat.
  3. Take the hotel’s free shuttle to D’land. Tip the driver a few bucks.
  4. Use a Disneyland annual pass to get in. (More expensive in the short run, but if you use it 3-4 times a year, it’s a real savings.)
  5. Do NOT eat at Disneyland—carry in bottled water and protein bars. The folks that strip search you at the gate will let protein bars through but will confiscate smuggled PB&J sandwiches on the spot. Tipping the strip searchers is NOT recommended!
  6. Resist the temptation to buy $25 Mickey Mouse T-shirts and $15 refrigerator magnets. You’ll just lose interest in them when you get home.
  7. When you call the hotel for a pick up casually mention that you are in a wheelchair. When they come and pick you up in a regular shuttle with no disabled access keep smiling but really struggle as you crawl backwards on your butt up the stairs. Smile meekly as they apologize profusely for their blunder. Make sure you tip the driver at least $5. Graciously thank them as they hand you a voucher for a free breakfast buffet and a free beverage at the lounge.
That’s it. A little tipping and smiling goes a long way.

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