Yes, Orlando is expensive
So you’ve got a week off and some friends ask if you want to join them for a few days in Orlando to check out Disney, Universal and maybe Sea World. You log on to Disney’s web site to price tickets – after the color comes back to your face and you wipe the sweat off your brow, you scratch down some numbers to tally.
Not only are one-day tickets nearly $70 without sales tax, but you’ve got to spring for a hotel room. Quick addition panics your brain and wallet – over $700 for a three night hotel stay and four days admission.
That’s a little too rich for your blood and you figure you can find a cheaper route; you Google free Disney tickets and lo-and-behold, there they are! Not only are the tickets free, the hotel room is down right cheap. So you opt for the deal and give yourself a pat-on-the-back.
When you check into the hotel, that sweet deal turns sour once you’re told you’ve signed-up for a two hour timeshare sales presentation. And the credit card you presented as payment will be charged for the full room price plus the admission tickets if you don’t attend. At the mercy of the swindle, you begrudgingly surrender those precious hours, wondering all-the-while how you got yourself tricked into this.
After you withstand the hard sales pitch, you claim your free tickets and drive gleefully to the park only to be greeted by a hefty parking charge. You spend the day inside the park visiting the attractions and stuffing your face, you even splurge for a couple of souvenirs figuring you owe-it-to-yourself.
Back at the hotel room, you surf the channels and find yourself wanting a little snack. Down to the concession room you walk and there you realize just how much you spent in one day at the park…nearly one hundred dollars for a couple of meals, some snacks and souvenirs. How could an average family of four afford this?
Truth is Orlando is expensive but there are deals out there to save you money. First, if you’re a Florida resident, most theme parks offer a discount; if you’re not a resident, there are still discounts available through the park’s web site. Second, there are “value” resorts to be found, some as cheap as $69 a night.
Here are some other money-saving tips:
* Phone the park before purchasing your tickets on-line from the park’s web site, often there are unpublished discounts or deals.
* Visit the parks off-season to take advantage of discount deals.
* Stay at a value resort and take the courtesy shuttle to avoid the parking charge.
* Share meals when you can and try not to snack.
* Don’t buy souvenirs in the park – chances are you can find them at your local store or online maybe for cheaper.
* Book your hotel room in advance and phone the hotel before you take advantage of the internet rates.
* Bring a cooler for snacks and breakfast.
* Remember to factor in sales and hotel taxes.
You’ll find the reality is that Orlando is an expensive place to visit, but there are money saving tricks you’ll come to realize and tailor-fit on your first and subsequent visits.
By Owen Edward