The cost of souvenirs can make a Disney trip too expensive. Disneyland gives away free food and mementos but not everyone knows that.
Don't worry about bottled water. If you ask for a water cup at any quick service restaurant, they will give you one.
Cast Members like my son often will give free stickers for your children. Janitorial will carry them. You can ask any customer service Cast Member in a plaid uniform who will usually have them too. Disney vacation Club kiosks give away stickers. Sometimes the bussers at the quick service restaurants carry them.
Disneyland has free buttons for special occasions. These buttons help Cast Members notice a guest on their special day. Sometime these buttons can get you a perk for example a free cupcake on your birthday. Tell a Cast Member when you get to the park at any shop or at City Hall.
If you eat at a Character Dining location, you can get a free button for that too. If you're at Disneyland during the release of a DVD or movie sometimes Disney will hand out a complimentary button.
Take your children on the Jungle Cruise and ask for a map the souvenir maps make a great memento.
Autopia has a free drivers license.
Visit The Enchanted Tiki room the Dole Whip stand has free seasonal recipes.
You could try your luck at the Mark Twain riverboat and see if you get selected to pilot the boat. If you do you get a certificate but they select people at random.
During live performances in New Orleans Square performers give out Mardi gras Beads.
Ride Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and claim your free ride photo when you exit the ride. It may be the perfect way to remember getting your high score.
A lot of guides will say you can get a free Lilly Belle Ticket which is not accurate. Occasionally people ride in the Lilly Belle at random. I spoke with conductors, and they do not let people into the Lilly Belle car at random anymore. If you want to ride in the Lilly Belle, you can ask but don't feel disappointed if you can't.
Autographs from the characters are free. Go to your local dollar store to buy notebooks take those with you for characters autographs.
Take the Redwood Creek Trail has a challenge. A completion sticker given out when done.
Ghirardelli will give you free chocolate and boudain Bread Factory hands out free bread samples.
You can go to the Animation Academy and learn to draw a character and get another freebie.
On your birthday if you dine at any of the table service locations, tell them for a free birthday dessert. It is a cupcake at most restaurants.
You can go to the Downtown Disney Sephora and ask for free Samples. That may not be a Disney freebie per se but you will get a sample. The sales associate will make one for you of your choosing if you ask.
If you want to save money here are tips, I tell my family and friends.
I recommend bringing plenty of change and getting pressed pennies as souvenirs. It is not free, but it is cheap.
You can also order a child's meal which is healthier, and you get a fruit and a vegetable. Pizza Port nine out of ten times will give you a banana and carrots with your children's meal. That can fill you up, or you can take the banana with you and eat it later.
Boudain Bread has a Mickey Mouse loaf and snacking on that all day is cheap. At five to seven dollars per loaf that can save you a lot of money on snacks and can last a day or two even with a family of four.
Read my line tips here if you do not want to pay for MaxPass. Many do not know its $15 per person per day.
There are plenty of frugal Disney tips on the internet. I find food is the most significant expense so filling up at McDonald's or Dennys with a large meal is cheap if you do not want to pack a lunch or leave the parks.
Between the free souvenirs and eating a meal or two out of the park, you can save a lot of money.
Would you like to add any tips if so comment below?
Here are some helpful posts to help prepare for your visit to Disneyland.