We know holidays can be expensive, so here are a few of our top tips and tricks on how you can save money on your Florida holiday. After all, the more you can save before you go and once you’re in the parks, the more you can spend on shopping…or towards your next dream holiday.
Before you go:
1. Reserve your tickets with a £20pp deposit. Securing your Orlando attraction tickets in advance means you protect yourself against any price changes by locking in your price now, and you don’t have to pay your full balance until 4 weeks prior to departure, so you can spread the cost out over a comfortable period of time.
2. Invest in a Kids Eat Free Card, which can be used in over 130 restaurants and can save you hundreds of dollars on dining – you can even get the card for FREE for every child when you spend over £450 with Attraction Tickets Direct.
3. Check out the Discovery Cove Ultimate Ticket if you are thinking of visiting SeaWorld, Aquatica, and/or Busch Gardens. Instead of purchasing a 3-Park Ticket, it’s worth looking into upgrading to a Discovery Cove ticket for a little extra as you’ll receive unlimited access to all 3 parks. Your Discovery Cove day includes breakfast, lunch, unlimited drinks and snacks, plus free parking. Upgrading to include a day at Discovery Cove can virtually pay for itself.
4. VIP Dine 4 Less Card represents unlimited savings at select restaurants. Valid at nearly 50 top Orlando Restaurants, you can save an average of 20-25% off the entire food portion of your bill with Dine 4 Less. The card is valid for 30 days from first use for up to 4 people and you only need to use it a couple of times to recoup the cost.
5. Save 50% over Box Office pricing on the fabulous Blue Man Group show (one of our favourites!) by purchasing your tickets before you travel.
When you’re there…
6. Stay hydrated for less. When visiting the parks – especially in the summer heat– it is absolutely vital to drink plenty of water at regular intervals. But you don’t want to be paying $3 a bottle at the parks. Buy drinks at a supermarket like Wal-Mart, Publix or Target or bring your own water bottles to the parks. You’ll save time and money by refilling bottles at the drinking fountains. Better yet, purchase reusable water bottles in a Disney-themed insulated pouch with a strap, fill them with water, freeze, and have icy-cold drinks the next day.
7. Lunch prices for your evening meal. If you’re planning on dining at a buffet-style restaurant, try to go around 3.30pm. Not only is it quieter, but servers often begin stocking the buffet with dinner selections before 4pm. You’ll pay the lunch price, but get most of the evening menu.
8. Food portions in Orlando. Whether for starters (called appetisers in the U.S.), main courses (called entrees) or desserts, portions are almost always large, and it is perfectly acceptable to split a meal between two people. Simply tell your server in advance that you wish to share and it will often be split in the kitchen and served on two plates. Just be sure to tip as though you purchased two meals.
9. Experiencing Facebook withdrawal symptoms? Don’t splash out on roaming charges; WiFi is free at all of the Walt Disney Worldparks, so save your social media communications for your Disney days.
10. Shop outside the theme parks. Florida Mall and Wal-Mart are much cheaper for buying souvenirs and theme park merchandise than tourist areas such as International Drive, while Orlando Premium Outlets and Lake Buena Vista Factory Outlets both have Disney character outlets with significant savings.
11. Take advantage of money-off coupons. Collect the free magazines, leaflets and brochures found in stores, hotels, and restaurants as they are filled with money-off coupons to use for shopping, dining and entertainment.