The Ultimate Orlando FAQ

 

Orlando

When is the best time to visit Orlando?

Orlando has great weather all year round, but if you want the best times weather-wise (i.e. not too hot!) it’s a good idea to travel April –June or September – November. For lots of extra free events, travel around the holidays (Easter, Halloween, and Christmas), although it’s important to remember it may be busier during these times. It’s a good idea to avoid UK school holidays if possible, but a great idea to travel during UK school holidays which don’t exist in the US as the parks will be quieter!

What is the weather like in Orlando?

Orlando has a tropical climate which means during the summer months heavy showers are likely. These showers are very short-lived however, and normal service of hot sunshine will quickly resume. In August, it can become extremely hot and muggy so it’s important to pack appropriately. Orlando enjoys moderate temperatures all year round so you can expect it to be much warmer than the UK in the winter months.

Which Orlando airport is nearest to the theme parks?

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the closest airport to the Orlando parks at around a half hour’s drive from The Magic Kingdom. By contrast, Orlando Sanford International Airport is 1 hour 45 minutes’ drive from MK.

Should I fly to Orlando International Airport or Orlando Sanford International Airport?

Although Orlando International Airport is closer to the theme parks, neither airport is too far from the parks if you are hiring a car. Driving from Orlando Sanford International Airport might add 45 minutes to your journey, but if you find a great flight deal you may consider it worth it. If you want to use Disney’s Magical Express to take you to your Disney resort hotel from the airport, you will need to fly to Orlando International Airport.

What should I wear to the Orlando theme parks?

The parks in Orlando are huge, so there’s usually a lot of walking involved. It’s important to wear comfortable shoes to avoid sore feet. We would also recommend comfortable clothing that will dry easily if you get soaked on the water rides.

Can I buy Orlando tickets at 2016 prices to use in 2017?

No, any 2016 tickets will expire on the 31st December 2016 and won’t work at the turnstiles. If you’re travelling to Orlando after January 1st 2017, you will need 2017 tickets.

When will 2017 tickets for Walt Disney World be released?

Usually tickets for the following year are released around April. If you'd like to be alerted as soon as they're available, email our sales team on sales@attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk and ask them to notify you.

Do I need to carry ID on me to get into the Orlando parks?

It is not essential but it is advisable, and you may wish to leave a copy in your room in case of emergency. There is a policy in the US to request ID from anyone who appears under the age of 35 when purchasing alcoholic drinks, so you may get caught out! You will need your Disney magic band to enter the parks for Extra Magic Hours as well.

Getting Around Orlando

Do I need to hire a car in Orlando?

Although hiring a car can make your holiday in Orlando a little easier, it is not a necessity. There are great transport links from the major hotels to the airport and free or public transport between the parks. Where there are no public transport links, cabs are a reasonably affordable option.

What is the I-Ride Trolley?

The I-Ride Trolley is a bus service that covers the International Drive Resort area. There are two lines, the red and the green line, which cover north and south International Drive. The red line also takes guests to SeaWorld Orlando. For more information on maps and routes, click here.

What time does the I-Ride Trolley operate?

The I-Ride Trolley runs from 8am until 10:30pm at night, so you may need to take cabs if leaving the parks late at night or attending a dinner show.

How much does it cost to take the I-Ride Trolley?

An individual adult ticket is $2 per ride, but it can work out more economical to purchase a 14-day pass for $18 instead. You can purchase these passes online before you go.

How do I get from a Disney hotel to Universal Studios?

There is no transport service from the Disney hotels to Universal Studios. The best way to reach the parks is to go via public transport to Disney Springs and then take a cab from there.

Walt Disney World Resort

How many parks are there at Disney World?

There are 6 parks at Walt Disney World: The Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

How big is Disney World?

The Walt Disney World Resort covers a whopping 47 square miles (roughly the same size as San Francisco!).

How do I get from the Disney hotels to the parks?

The most convenient way to get from the hotels to the parks is either by using the onsite complimentary monorail or by driving. You can learn more about the monorail routes here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/monorail-transportatio…

What is Disney’s My Magic Plus?

Disney’s My Magic Plus allows you to keep all elements of your Disney holiday organised in one handy place. It’s one place where you can manage your Disney FastPass+, dining reservations MagicBands and My Disney Experience account from the time of booking your Disney holiday. You can even share the details of your holiday with friends and family from your Friends and Family List.

What is My Memory Maker?

My Memory Maker is Disney’s professional photo package, which allows you to have your photo taken at photo pass locations all over the parks. You can later download and share these photos for your friends and family, or to keep as a precious memory. In 2016, all adult Disney tickets for Orlando will include My Memory Maker.

How does My Memory Maker work?

Before you go away, you need to create an account on My Disney Experience, which will allow you to sync your photos to an account when you go away. When you arrive, if you’re staying at a Disney resort hotel you’ll be given a wristband or, if you’re staying outside the resort, you will receive a swipe card. Every time you go to a Photo Pass location, you can swipe your card or wrist band at the station to download your professional photo onto your My Disney Experience account.

What is My Disney Experience?

My Disney Experience is a planning page and mobile app that helps you to plan your Disney holiday. Through the page you can book your FastPass+, dining reservations and download and customise your My Memory maker photos. While you’re in the parks, the app is a handy tool for finding out show times, wait times, character meet and greet locations and just to see where you are in the park.

Do we need to book Disney Fast Passes?

You do not need to book Fast Passes, but it is strongly advisable. Especially if you'd like to reserve a time for the most popular attractions and if you’d like to do a character meet. The most popular rides can get very busy, particularly during peak periods, so you can avoid waiting in long lines by booking a fast pass in advance. This means you can save time and do more at the parks.

What are Extra Magic Hours?

Extra Magic Hours are for customers staying at Disney Resort hotels. If you are staying at one of the Disney hotels you can enter 1 of the 4 parks each day an hour earlier than other visitors and stay an hour later as well, absolutely free!

What are the quietest days to visit the Disney parks?

September is historically the quietest month at the parks, with children in the US and the UK back at school after the summer holidays. Weekdays in early January, February, October, November and December are usually quieter as well.

When are the Disney parks busiest?

Weekends in May, every day in June, July and through to mid-August are extremely busy. Crowds are also expected during popular seasonal events and in the holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What is the Magical Express?

Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary coach and luggage service which collects you from Orlando International Airport and drops you off at your Disney resort hotel. You don’t even need to go to baggage claim to pick up your luggage, which will follow you to the hotel and be delivered to your room within 3 hours.

How do I book the Magical Express?

You book your Magical Express transfers at the same time as you book your Disney resort hotel, so please consult your booking agent.

Where can I meet the Disney characters?

Disney characters do not walk around the parks, instead they host meet and greets so they can be sure they can meet all their fans! Meet and greets take place in lots of different areas of the parks, so you can often see your favourite characters in a variety of different themed costumes. You can book a meet and greet time in advance through the Disney Fast pass system or, if you haven’t made reservations, check with a cast member about character meet and greet times and be prepared to queue for a little while.

How many days would you need to visit Disney to make a 14-day pass worthwhile?

A 1-day hopper pass to Walt Disney World costs $155 (£104.10) at the gate (2016 prices). A 14-day ticket is £309 (2016 prices), therefore if you spent at least 3 days in the parks, you would make your money’s worth on the ticket. Most customers spend at least 1 day in each of the parks, totalling 6 full days (plus revisits!). You also benefit from be able to book fast passes in advance and not having to queue at the turnstiles.

The Magic Kingdom

How long do you need in the Magic Kingdom?

Most customers spend at least 1 day in the Magic Kingdom but many prefer to take another half or even a full day to make sure they get to ride all the attractions and meet all their favourite characters. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Disney parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at The Magic Kingdom?

It is $20 (2016 prices) a day to park at any Walt Disney World park. This means that if you hop from one park to another in the same day, your parking ticket will still be valid and you won’t need to pay twice.

How much does a 1-day ticket for the Magic Kingdom cost at the gate?

An adult 1-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom is $105 (2016 prices).

What are the Magic Kingdom opening hours?

Hours vary over the year, so it’s worth checking the Disney calendar before you travel: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/. Extra Magic Hours take place on different days of the week for each park, so it’s important to check this in advance as well.

How can I book tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

Tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are sold separately to the usual admission tickets and can only be purchased on-site in the US.

Are Christmas events at The Magic Kingdom included in the ticket price?

Some Christmas events such as the Christmas fireworks and parades are included. However if you wish to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you will need to purchase a separate ticket, which can only be purchased on-site in the US.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

How long do you need at The Animal Kingdom?

Most customers spend at least 1 day in the Animal Kingdom but many prefer to take another half day to make sure they get to ride all the attractions and meet all their favourite characters. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Disney parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at The Animal Kingdom?

It’s $20 (2016 prices) a day to park at any Walt Disney World park. This means that if you hop from one park to another in the same day, your parking ticket will still be valid and you won’t need to pay twice.

How much does a 1-day ticket for the Animal Kingdom cost at the gate?

An adult 1-day ticket to The Animal Kingdom is $97 (2016 prices).

What are the Animal Kingdom opening hours?

Hours vary over the year, so it’s worth checking the Disney calendar before you travel: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/. Extra Magic Hours take place on different days of the week for each park, so it’s important to check this in advance as well.

Can I bring food into the Animal Kingdom?

Yes, you can. The only items which are restricted are glass bottles, alcoholic beverages and plastic straws.

 

Epcot

How long do you need at Epcot?

Most customers spend a day at Epcot to make sure they get to ride all the attractions and meet all their favourite characters. If you miss any though, you can always go back with a flexible ticket. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Disney parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at Epcot?

It is $20 (2016 prices) a day to park at any Walt Disney World park. This means that if you hop from one park to another in the same day, your parking ticket will still be valid and you won’t need to pay twice.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Epcot cost at the gate?

An adult 1-day ticket to The Animal Kingdom is $97 (2016 prices).

What are the Epcot opening hours?

Hours vary over the year, so it’s worth checking the Disney calendar before you travel: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/. Extra Magic Hours take place on different days of the week for each park, so it’s important to check this in advance as well.

When is the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival?

In 2016, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival takes place from March 2nd to the 30th May.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

How long do you need at Hollywood Studios?

Most customers spend a day at Hollywood Studios to make sure they get to ride all the attractions and meet all their favourite characters. If you miss any though, you can always go back with a flexible ticket. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Disney parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

It is $20 (2016 prices) a day to park at any Walt Disney World park. This means that if you hop from one park to another in the same day, your parking ticket will still be valid and you won’t need to pay twice.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Disney’s Hollywood Studios cost at the gate?

An adult 1-day ticket to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is $97 (2016 prices).

What are the Disney’s Hollywood Studios opening hours?

Hours vary over the year, so it’s worth checking the Disney calendar before you travel: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/. Extra Magic Hours take place on different days of the week for each park, so it’s important to check this in advance as well.

Blizzard Beach

How long do you need at Blizzard Beach?

Most customers spend a day at Blizzard Beach to make sure they get to ride all the waterslides. If you miss any though, you can always go back with a flexible ticket. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Disney parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at Blizzard Beach?

It is $20 (2016 prices) a day to park at any Walt Disney World park. This means that if you hop from one park to another in the same day, your parking ticket will still be valid and you won’t need to pay twice.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Blizzard Beach cost at the gate?

An adult 1-day ticket to Blizzard Beach is $58 (2016 prices).

What are the Blizzard Beach opening hours?

Hours vary over the year, so it’s worth checking the Disney calendar before you travel: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/. Extra Magic Hours take place on different days of the week for each park, so it’s important to check this in advance as well.

What should I wear to Blizzard Beach?

The most important thing to wear is plenty of water resistant sun cream! Aside from this, comfortable, sturdy swimming costumes are essential and it would be best to avoid any swim suits with loose toggles or straps that could get caught on the slides. Flip flops or water proof sandals will protect your feet when you’re not swimming.

Typhoon Lagoon

How long do you need at Typhoon Lagoon?

Most customers spend a day at Typhoon Lagoon to make sure they get to ride all the waterslides. If you miss any though, you can always go back with a flexible ticket. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Disney parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at Typhoon Lagoon?

It is $20 (2016 prices) a day to park at any Walt Disney World park. This means that if you hop from one park to another in the same day, your parking ticket will still be valid and you won’t need to pay twice.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Typhoon Lagoon cost at the gate?

An adult 1-day ticket to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is $58 (2016 prices).

What are the Typhoon Lagoon opening hours?

Hours vary over the year, so it’s worth checking the Disney calendar before you travel: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/. Extra Magic Hours take place on different days of the week for each park, so it’s important to check this in advance as well.

What should I wear to Typhoon Lagoon?

The most important thing to wear is plenty of water resistant sun cream! Aside from this, comfortable, sturdy swimming costumes are essential and it would be best to avoid any swim suits with loose toggles or straps that could get caught on the slides. Flip flops or water proof sandals will protect your feet when you’re not swimming.

Universal Orlando Resort

How many parks are there at Universal Orlando?

There are 3 parks in the Universal Orlando group – Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Wet n Wild waterpark. Wet n Wild waterpark will close at the end of 2016 and be replaced by Volcano Bay waterpark in 2017.

How close are the parks to the Universal hotels?

The official Universal hotels are adjacent to the parks and offer complimentary transport to the parks and Universal CityWalk.

 

Universal Studios Florida

How long do you need at Universal Studios?

Most customers spend at least 1 day at Universal Studios Florida but many prefer to take another half or even a full day to make sure they get to ride all the attractions and meet all their favourite characters. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Universal parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at Universal Studios?

It is $20 (2016 prices) a day to park at any Universal Orlando park. This means that if you hop from one park to another in the same day, your parking ticket will still be valid and you won’t need to pay twice.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Universal Studios cost at the gate?

A 1-day, 1-park ticket for Universal Studios Florida costs $107.

What are the Universal Studios opening hours?

Universal Studios Florida opens at 9 am but closing times are seasonal. It’s important to check out the Universal Orlando calendar to confirm the closing times for the duration of your stay: https://www.universalorlando.com/Resort-Information/Theme-Park-Hours.as…. If you’re staying at Universal Orlando Resort hotel, you can take advantage of 1 hour earlier access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Is Halloween Horror Nights included in the Universal Studios ticket price?

No, Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event that you will need to buy tickets for. You can purchase tickets for this event through us closer to the event, when they come on sale.

How can I buy a Halloween Horror Nights ticket for Universal Studios?

Tickets for this event are available through us, however they are not on sale until closer to the event. Please sign up to the mailing list or check out our social media pages to be sure you’re the first in line to get tickets when they’re released!

Can I buy a skip the line pass for Universal Studios?

Unlimited Express Pass or Express Pass (1 EP per ride) tickets for Universal Studios Florida can be purchased on-site in the US. Unlimited Express Passes cos $49.99 per park or $59.99 for both parks. Express Passes cos $34.99 per park or $39.99 for both parks.

Universal's Islands of Adventure

How long do you need at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

Most customers spend at least 1 day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure but many prefer to take another half or even a full day to make sure they get to ride all the attractions and meet all their favourite characters. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Universal parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

It is $20 (2016 prices) a day to park at any Universal Orlando park. This means that if you hop from one park to another in the same day, your parking ticket will still be valid and you won’t need to pay twice.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Universal’s Islands of Adventure cost at the gate?

A 1-day, 1-park ticket for Universal Islands of Adventure costs $107.

What are the Universal’s Islands of Adventure opening hours?

Universal’s Islands of Adventure opens at 9 am but closing times are seasonal. It’s important to check out the Universal Orlando calendar to confirm the closing times for the duration of your stay: https://www.universalorlando.com/Resort-Information/Theme-Park-Hours.as…. If you’re staying at Universal Orlando Resort hotel, you can take advantage of 1 hour earlier access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Can I buy a skip the line pass for Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

Unlimited Express Pass or Express Pass (1 EP per ride) tickets for Universal’s Islands of Adventure can be purchased on-site in the US. Unlimited Express Passes cos $49.99 per park or $59.99 for both parks. Express Passes cos $34.99 per park or $39.99 for both parks.

Wet n' Wild

How long do you need at Universal’s Wet n Wild?

Most customers spend a day at Wet n Wild to make sure they get to ride all the waterslides. If you miss any though, you can always go back with a flexible ticket. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Universal parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at Universal’s Wet n Wild?

It is $20 (2016 prices) a day to park at any Universal Orlando park. This means that if you hop from one park to another in the same day, your parking ticket will still be valid and you won’t need to pay twice.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Universal’s Wet n Wild cost at the gate?

A 1-day, 1-park ticket for Wet n Wild on the gate costs $57.

What are Universal’s Wet n Wild opening hours?

Opening hours are seasonal. It’s important to check the Wet n Wild schedule in advance before travelling: http://www.wetnwildorlando.com/hours.php

When is Wet n Wild closing down?

Wet n Wild Orlando is closing on December 31, 2016.

Will my Wet n Wild tickets be valid in 2016?

All Wet n Wild tickets will be valid until December 31, 2015.

 

SeaWorld Parks

How many parks are part of SeaWorld Parks?

There are four SeaWorld Parks in Florida: SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Discovery Cove and Aquatica waterpark.

How do I get free parking at SeaWorld?

Selected 2016 SeaWorld tickets will automatically gain the user free parking. These tickets include the 3-park ticket and the Discovery Cove Ultimate ticket.

 

SeaWorld Orlando

How long do you need at SeaWorld Orlando?

Most customers spend a day at SeaWorld Orlando to make sure they get to ride all the attractions and see all their favourite shows. If you miss any though, you can always go back with a flexible ticket. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Orlando parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at SeaWorld Orlando?

It is free to park at any SeaWorld park from 2016 if you have a 3-day flexible ticket or the Discovery Cove Ultimate ticket. For all other tickets it is $20 per car.

How much does a 1-day ticket for SeaWorld Orlando cost on the gate?

A 1-day, 1-park ticket for SeaWorld on the gate costs $87.

What are the SeaWorld Orlando opening hours?

Opening hours for SeaWorld are seasonal so it’s important to check the official park calendar before you set off for the park: https://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando/park-info/park-hours/

Can I take food into SeaWorld?

Only baby food and food for guests with special dietary requirements is allowed to be brought into SeaWorld. There are plenty of dining options for all budgets inside the park however.

Can I book skip the line tickets for SeaWorld?

You can purchase a SeaWorld Orlando Quick Queue ticket through Attraction Tickets Direct which gives you one-time front-of-the-line entry to all your favourite attractions for £25 (2016 prices).

Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay

How long do you need at Busch Gardens?

Most customers spend a day at Busch Gardens to make sure they get to ride all the attractions and see all their favourite shows. If you miss any though, you can always go back with a flexible ticket. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Orlando parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks. Bear in mind though that Busch Gardens is situated in Tampa Bay, around an hour’s drive from Orlando.

How much does it cost to park at Busch Gardens?

It is free to park at any SeaWorld park from 2016 if you have a 3-day flexible ticket or the Discovery Cove Ultimate ticket. For all other tickets it is $20 per car.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Busch Gardens cost on the gate?

A 1-day, 1-park ticket for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on the gate costs $89.

What are the Busch Gardens opening hours?

Opening hours for Busch Gardens are seasonal so it’s important to check the official park calendar before you set off for the park: https://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa/park-info/park-hours?fr…

How do I get to Busch gardens from Orlando?

All Busch Gardens tickets sold on Attraction Tickets Direct include free shuttle transportation from Orlando to the park. If you would prefer to self-drive, it’s a 70 minute trip each way to the park via the I-4W.

How far is it between Orlando and Busch Gardens?

It's roughly a 70-minute drive.

Discovery Cove

How much does it cost to park at Discovery Cove?

It is free to park at any SeaWorld park from 2016 if you have a 3-day flexible ticket or the Discovery Cove Ultimate ticket. For all other tickets it is $20 per car.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Discovery Cove cost on the gate?

Last minute tickets for Discovery Cove range from $259-$319

What are the Discovery Cove opening hours?

Opening hours for Discovery Cove are 9:00 - 5:30pm, with breakfast and check in starting at 7:15.

Does Discovery Cove sell out?

Yes, Discovery Cove tickets often sell out and are almost never available on the day. With a limited capacity of 1,300 visitors per day, the park is usually fully pre-booked over the peak seasons. To avoid disappointment, make sure to book your Discovery Cove tickets early.

Can I take food into Discovery Cove?

No, you can’t take food into Discovery Cove – but you won’t need to either! The good news is that all Discovery Cove tickets are all-inclusive. That means breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks are all included, so you can just sit back, relax and soak up the incredible tropical atmosphere.

 

Aquatica

How long do you need at Aquatica?

Most customers spend a day at Aquatica to make sure they get to ride all the waterslides. If you miss any though, you can always go back with a flexible ticket. That’s why a flexible ticket is ideal for the Universal parks; you can hop between them and revisit your favourite parks.

How much does it cost to park at Aquatica?

It is free to park at any SeaWorld park from 2016 if you have a 3-day flexible ticket or the Discovery Cove Ultimate ticket. For all other tickets it is $20 per car.

How much does a 1-day ticket for Aquatica cost on the gate?

A 1-day, 1-park ticket for Aquatica on the gate costs $89.

What are the Aquatica opening hours?

Opening hours for Busch Gardens are seasonal so it’s important to check the official park calendar before you set off for the park: https://aquaticabyseaworld.com/en/orlando/park-info/park-hours?from=Top…

 

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