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Where and how to eat cheap at Disneyland - Part 2

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This story is sponsored by Get Away Today Vacations. Learn more about Get Away Today Vacations.


Last week we published "Where and How to Eat Cheap at the Disneyland Resort." We shared our favorite places to grab a bite without ever stepping foot outside of the Disneyland Resort for those times when you just don't want to leave the parks.

We got so much feedback that now we're following it up with our best ways and places to save on your food near the Disneyland Resort. Check out Where and How to Eat Cheap at Disneyland… Part 2.

Eat breakfast at the hotel

First, look for a hotel that offers a free breakfast. Keep in mind that not all breakfasts are created equally. Free breakfasts range from traditional continental breakfasts featuring basic pastries and juice, to deluxe continental breakfasts with a few hot items thrown in, to full breakfast buffets with cook-to-order stations. Hotels like the Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and Springhill Suites all offer generous breakfast spreads. You can find dozens of hotels that offer all types of breakfasts and can help steer you to the right hotel for your family.

In fact, we believe that a good breakfast is the best way to start the day so we've negotiated exclusive free breakfast just for Get Away Today guests at some of the most popular hotels like the Clarion, Marriott Suites, Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort and Red Lion Maingate Hotels.

Even better, stay at a hotel that offers free dinner! Some hotels like the Homewood Suites, Residence Inn and Staybridge Suites offer a manager's reception on select nights (normally Monday - Thursday) where they offer light meals like pasta, salad bars and barbecue. You can definitely make a meal of it. The Embassy Suites Hotels offer a very light manager's reception, but offer Happy Hour prices on things like pizza and tacos that make for an affordable dinner for the whole family.

Stay in a room with a kitchen

There are quite a few hotels around Disneyland that are equipped with full kitchens. The Homewood Suites, Residence Inn and Staybridge Suites are just a few popular hotels that allow you to have home cooked meals. And, the best part is you don't have to do the dishes! Many hotels with full kitchens even offer free grocery service. You choose your list, and they will shop and deliver it to your room while you're playing at the park. You just pay for your groceries—now that's a vacation!

Cooking in your room on the fly

No kitchen, no problem. Most Anaheim area hotels offer at least in-room refrigerators and many also include an in-room microwave. Get creative with your own in-room dining options.

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You may be surprised at what you can cook using only the standard features found in a hotel room - like using the coffee pot to heat au jus for French dip sandwiches. We've even seen families pack a crock pot and have sweet pork tacos, soups, and other home cooked meals ready when they return from the parks.

Use coupons

You're on vacation and part of the fun is eating out! That doesn't mean you have to spend a bundle. Just like when we're inside the parks, we like to split meals at restaurants and avoid kid's meals - unless they're free. Check sites like Restaurant.com, Groupon, and Living Social for discount gift certificates for Orange County. Get Away Today gives our guests close to $300 worth of added value to their package with downloadable coupons. Some of our favorites are $10 off $20 at Buca di Beppo and a free 6" Subway sandwich. Also, watch for coupons in market and your hotel lobby. In-room magazines will typically offer some local dining discounts as well.

Get a Happenings Book

Many people will buy a local Anaheim/Orange County Happenings Book (Entertainment Book) full of Buy one, Get one offers and other coupons exclusively for their Disneyland vacation. If you do it right, the book more than pays for itself. Right now on entertainment.com, Anaheim Happenings Books are only $10, plus when you purchase online, you'll get a $25 restaurant.com gift card FREE, which you can use for Anaheim restaurants.

Many featured restaurants are located inside hotels that Get Away Today offers and Downtown Disney. House of Blues regularly offers discount certificates and has delicious food!

Sign-up for restaurant discounts before you go

If you'll be celebrating a birthday or anniversary during your Disneyland vacation, visit local Anaheim restaurant websites (especially those in Downtown Disney) and sign up to join their e-mail clubs. You'll get coupons for FREE food and gifts you can redeem on your special day.

Earl of Sandwich emails a coupon for a free sandwich and brownies on your birthday. If you're not celebrating, many restaurants will still send you weekly promos to use during your vacation. Sign up at least a month prior to your vacation to make sure you get all of the coupon offers for the month. One of our employees recently signed up for email deals on Jamba Juice's website and got 32 oz. smoothies for just $1 each in Downtown Disney.

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Fast food is an option

Popular fast food chains are plentiful in Anaheim. There's a McDonald's, Carl's Jr., Del Taco, Jack-in-the-Box, and countless other chain restaurants all within a mile of Disneyland. You may not choose fast food for your entire trip, but it's convenient and cost effective for a quick meal.

Pack snacks

The Disneyland Resort allows families to bring small soft-shell coolers with food and non-alcoholic drinks into the parks. They don't allow glass containers, so make sure your beverages are in plastic. If you're taking a road trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, you can stock up on snacks before you go. Some families will make their favorite snacks (muffins, muddy buddies, etc.) at home and bring them for the trip. If you'd rather wait until you're in the area, there's a Target about a mile from Disneyland and a Costco about three miles away.

I prefer buying individual snack sizes or buying in bulk and separating it into Ziploc bags for convenience. We put together some of our favorite vacation snack foods that you can grab at Target. If you do your snacks right, you can easily make a lunch out of it.

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Remember, you can also get free chocolate samples at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and a taste of sourdough at the Boudin Bakery Tour at Disney California Adventure Park. Also, you can get free water cups at any of the restaurants inside the parks - just ask!

In addition to saving on food, you can also save on your hotel and tickets by buying in advance. Start planning your Spring or Summer Disneyland Resort Vacation. We will help you plan the most affordable Disneyland vacation.

You can even consider a flexible layaway plan for your next family vacation. We'd also love to hear what Anaheim area restaurants you think are best - leave a comment with your family's favorites.

I hope these tips make your trip and savings a little sweeter! Remember, book your next Disneyland vacation online and get the most out of your upcoming visit. As seen on Studio 5, plan your Disneyland Resort Vacation with these Expert Travel Tips.

Jennifer Dunyon is the Vice President of Communications for Get Away Today. Get Away Today is the leading travel provider to Southern California. They specialize in Disneyland Resort vacations and are true Disney Experts! Their staff visits the Disneyland Resort each year numerous times to give you the best travel tips. They also guarantee the best price on your next family vacation.