Hipmunk City Love Opinions: Can You Enjoy the Full Orlando Experience Without Breaking the Bank?

Orlando vacations are not the cheapest you can think of, especially when travelling with your whole family. Entertaining and certainly thrilling, the theme parks all come with admission prices, to which you have to add transportation, a hotel room (or several), food and drinks, and other activities to keep things fresh. There are amusement parks that offer all-inclusive services, such as Discovery Cove, but that comes at the hefty price of almost $300 per day. No, that’s not for the whole family!

Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Marialejandra Lopez via Trover.com

So, can you enjoy the full Orlando experience and not see your savings account shrink to the point where it becomes invisible? There are quite a few things you can do to keep your travel spending in check without missing out on what makes this Florida destination so popular.

Travel Smart: Transportation, Hotel Choices, and Timing

Spring and summer are the best times to head to Orlando. You’ll be happy to enjoy lower prices and smaller crowds. It might not be as noisy, but you’ll also skip being forced to queue for hours to get on your favorite ride. The weather is still great, and most hotels and venues have special deals. If it rains, a poncho would probably help, and the truth is you might need one regardless of when you go.

When it comes to transportation, you either book your flight very early to bank on some special deal, or you drive. This, of course, does not apply to international travelers. But if you are already in the United States and travelling with family, driving is almost always cheaper than getting plane tickets for everyone. The other benefit is that you can stop on the road and turn your trip into a multi-tiered adventure.

Whatever you do, resist the temptation of hotels located on park premises. They might sound convenient and the free transportation might lure you, but Orlando hotels outside amusement parks are often cheaper. Besides, quite a few of them have added free transportation to major attractions to compete with the big resorts.

Where to Get Your Park Tickets?

The theme park sites are a great start in your price research, but don’t stop there. Price comparison sites might be helpful and you could find a better deal. Either way, getting your tickets online before you arrive in Orlando will mean you pay less than on location. Before you buy the tickets online though, check with your local auto club, your human resources office at work, or your student union at school, or your military base. Sounds unusual, but they often have better deals than anyone else.

Shopping Tips to Keep Costs Down

First of all, don’t buy snacks and drinks in the park. Go to a larger store and then bring everything you need with you. If you go to Walmart, you can also do your gift shopping there as they carry a lot of official Disney products at a fraction of the on-resort price. Last but not least, remember the I4 factory outlet park. There’s no better place to buy things you love at a discounted price.