Our family is so fortunate to get to attend so many activities because of my career. My kids love going to shows, parks, plays, games — wherever there’s activity, they want to be there. When we found out Disney on Ice was coming to town, I knew I wanted to surprise them with tickets. Tickets for big shows with huge productions can be very expensive and we’re just not in a position to pay a lot of money — no, we don’t get to go everywhere for free.
Here are some tips for saving money at Disney on Ice and other productions for children:
1. Buy your tickets early – Often, the less expensive tickets go quickly so don’t miss out on a great deal because of procrastination. Promo codes are available for a limited time, usually right after a show you’ll get an offer for the next time it returns to town. Also, check with a Children’s Museum member.
2. Join a group of moms and get a group deal. I am a member a couple of moms groups in my city. Their special group rate allowed nearly 100 of us to get discount tickets for less than we spend on lunch. Be prepared to attend shows on specific dates and times for that discount — but it’s worth it. Call the venue ticket office for information.
3. Organize a field trip with your child’s school. The field trip rate for many attractions and shows can save you a lot of money.
4. Check the production company website or social media for promotions they might be running in your area or nationally. If you don’t find something, it never hurts to ask.
5. Look into the rules on ages for lap children. One of my kids is still young enough to not have to pay admission to MOST events, this is nice on the pocketbook! If there are empty seats elsewhere in the arena, you might be able to move to them partway into the program. Then you can spread out and allow your lap child to have a seat!
6. When it comes to many children’s programs (ESPECIALLY Princesses), many children will likely be dressed up. They might also be wearing shirts that are specific for that tour. Check out Goodwill or a consignment store for those princess dresses, check discount stores for a special shirt you can present your child with at the show.
7. Glowy, sparkly, flashy stuff is expensive. And it’s all for sale at a premium price at the venue. Other kids will have it and most of the time, my kid wants it. Instead, we stock up on fun flashy stuff at the dollar store and on amazon throughout the year.
8. Snacks are tasty and fun and they keep young kids quiet longer. They are also costly and there are lines to stand in to buy them…I don’t want to miss the show! Feed the kids before you leave. Check with your local venue for rules about what you can bring into the venue. We pack empty water bottles to fill at the drinking fountain and snacks. Be sure to confirm what is and isn’t allowed or just be prepared to forfeit it. Bankers Life does not allow outside food and drinks.
9. Find street parking if it’s available. Locally we pay $1 per hour on the street (right across the street from the venue). Sometimes, our parking garage (at Bankers Life Fieldhouse) offers uncovered parking on the roof of the parking garage for ½ price but you have to get there early.
10. Carpool with another family and split the cost of parking. Bonus points if you can find another mom who is trying to save money and has used some of the tips above. Your kids will love that they have the same party favors and snacks as the other kids in your party… it gets difficult when the families next to you are holding Mickey shaped lollipops and cotton candy with princess cups full of stadium lemonade.
Discounted tickets for 3 to Disney on Ice (2 seats and 1 lap child) + snacks from home + parking on the street + glowy, sparkly things purchased off site + 2 hand me down princess dresses = $25