Click here to read an earlier story in Woodall’s Campground Management about the Anaheim Resort RV Park.

The recent downturn in the economy took its toll on Anaheim’s tourism business, including Anaheim Resort RV Park in 2008 and 2009, which depends on Disneyland-bound families for most of its overnight business.

But a turnaround is taking place, and is being fueled not only by a stronger economy, but by resourceful families who are finding that taking an RV trip to Disneyland can help reduce food and lodging costs while also providing a fun and memorable experience for the kids, according to a news release.

Anaheim Resort RV Park CEO R. Vernon Mangels said growing numbers of families are pairing up in private and rented RVs as a way to cut costs while they visit Disneyland.

“Three years ago, we had three or four guests per vehicle. Now, it’s six or seven per vehicle,” Mangels said, adding that families have figured out they can cut their RV rental costs in half by sharing an RV.

“People are coming with two full families in one RV — two sets of parents and two sets of kids,” he said.

Disneyland-bound guests have also figured out that they can cut their food costs by having more meals in their RV rather than purchasing all of their food at Disneyland.

Many of Mangels’ guests come back to their RVs for lunch and then head back to Disneyland later in the afternoon, often after the kids have had a chance to swim in the RV park swimming pool or their parents have had a chance to take a nap. “They’re saving huge amounts of money by doing this,” Mangels said, adding that his park also serves its guests free coffee, tea and Otis Spunkmeyer muffins as a light breakfast.

Mangels is also seeing a change in the demographics of his visitors. Instead of seeing mostly older RVers with Class A motorhomes, the largest RVs on the road, Mangels is now seeing younger families who travel with smaller Class C motorhomes and trailers.

“We’re seeing a whole new generation of campers,” he said, adding that many of his guests are in their mid 40s and early 50s with kids between the ages of 6 and 16.

Anaheim Resort RV Park is a two-time, “A” grade winner in the annual GuestRated.com satisfaction survey of independent parks and rated the #1 specialty lodging in Anaheim by Trip Advisor. The park was also named the “Family-Owned Business of the Year” this year by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. For more information about Anaheim Resort RV Park, please visit www.anaheimresortrvpark.com.