Traveling to Florida can be very expensive – especially if you’re traveling with a family, a group, or an extended family. Between the transportation to Florida, parking, traveling within Florida, food, beverages, attraction tickets and souvenirs, it all adds up quickly. So, of course we are always wondering – where is the best place to buy cheap or discounted theme park tickets to places like Walt Disney World or Universal Studios?
We love saving money, finding good travel deals, and getting the best bang for our buck on Florida’s unique, cool, and different dining, attractions, shopping experiences here at Enjoy Florida Magazine. The coupons available through the magazine and many of the brochures on Florida’s turnpike or local area hotels are a great place to start finding discounts and coupons.
Before we get into the best places to buy your theme park tickets, let’s go over some helpful tips to keep in mind when buying your tickets.
- Set a budget for your theme park tickets and try to stick to it. Really consider how much time you have and how much you want to try and do during your trip. Tickets can become very complicated with all the different options, number of days, and add-ons available, so be sure to know exactly what you want to do so you don’t overspend on experiences you won’t use.
- Be careful of ticket scammers online on sites like craigslist, e-bay, Facebook, and locally from booths or individuals in Florida and Orlando. There are some really great looking deals out there on the big attractions like SeaWorld Orlando, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Legoland Orlando, or Busch Gardens Tampa Bay but it will cost you far more in the long run.
- Why you shouldn’t buy tickets online or from unofficial ticket sellers: oftentimes, scammers will purchase pre-used tickets with a couple days left on them and try to sell you the non-transferrable ticket. This is illegal and violates the terms of the ticket. Since the ticket is non-transferrable, when you go to the gate, you’ll be turned away and your ticket will show up invalid. While you’re saving a lot of money at the beginning of the trip, you’ll end up spending far much more in the cost to get a proper ticket (on top of already spending the initial investment on tickets that don’t work), as well as the headaches you’ll get and time you’ll waste on the phone and in person at guest services.
- Always go through a reputable and official ticket seller. By going through reputable sellers, you will be assured that your tickets will work, the payment transaction will be secure, and you will able to speak with a customer service representative if any unforeseeable issues arise. While they might not be the absolute cheapest option around, you’ll often still save some money, time, and headaches – which are all priceless.
- Always check the reputation of the company prior to purchase if you’re unsure if it’s a trustworthy service or not. Check the Better Business Bureau rating and reviews online from google, TripAdvisor, and other trusted sources.
- Keep in mind the timeframe for when you are going to be receiving your ticket. Will you be receiving them instantly as an immediate download for digital scanning, printing or the physical ticket? Will it take 24-72 hours to receive an email, or will they be mailed to your home in 2-3 weeks? Will you be purchasing the actual ticket itself or a voucher? If you’re receiving a voucher, do you know exactly what you need in order to receive your ticket? Often times, this means you will wait in line at guest services to exchange your vouchers for actual tickets.
- Purchase your tickets as far in advance as possible. This is especially true for Walt Disney World Tickets, because the Disney FastPass+ service works by reserving a spot to get in an expedited ride queue. You’re only able to book these FastPass+ times in advance by adding your valid theme park entrance ticket number to the My Disney Experience app or profile. Often the FastPass+ times get booked up quickly for the dates and times you’re planning to go, so it’s best to plan as much of your trip as possible ahead of time if you want to take advantage of the FastPass+ service. Also, ticket prices and if applicable, exchange rates, are subject to change at any time and may go up by the time you’re ready to book.
Other great ways to save money on your Florida Attractions Tickets are:
- Purchasing directly through the attraction itself using a Florida Resident, Military, Hospitality Industry Professional, Senior Citizen, or AAA membership ID.
- Proof of eligibility is required to receive these discounts.
- Florida residents cannot purchase tickets for out of state guests. Guest services personnel verify a Florida resident ID with all Florida resident tickets.
- Through a wholesale club such as Sam’s Club, Costco, or BJ’s. You do have to be a member of the club in order to receive those deals.
- Through an approved, reputable ticket seller like VisitOrlando.com or VisitFlorida.com.
- Use the coupons from Enjoy Florida Magazine or on the brochures in the racks along Florida’s turnpike, or in Orlando and Kissimmee hotels.
- Check for discounted ticket prices using your rewards points through your bank, credit card company or airline miles.
- Use a travel agent. Did you know – travel agency services are usually FREE? They often are able to get lower prices as well as help you to buy the RIGHT ticket for your needs, so you don’t waste money on unnecessary upgrades.
- Sit through a timeshare presentation. However, this is time consuming and you may find yourself signing up for a timeshare if you’re not able to say no to the offer they’re selling.
- Make sure you’re comparing prices based on the total amount including sellers’ fees, taxes, exchange rates, debit or credit card usage fees. You may save money simply on fees by double checking these minor fees that add up over time and price.
- Book many smaller attractions through a tour company or a multi-experience pass company like The SightSeeing Pass. By bundling many of the attractions, each attraction is sold at a lower rate than gate prices. Or even try bundling your hotel and theme park tickets or total vacation package for cheaper ticket prices.
- Check Groupon not only for theme park and attractions tickets, but also for special events, things to do in Florida, spa packages, and more!
- Look to see if an annual pass is right for your usage habits. Sometimes, depending on how often you’re able to go, it is cheaper per visit over time.
- Check to see if your company has an employee discount program such as Tickets At Work. Sometimes the discounts offered to employees of these organizations are deeper than some you’re able to find online.
Have you had any experiences finding great deals on Florida theme parks and attractions? Let us know your thoughts below!
Remember – If it looks too good to be true …. It probably is…
Note – we are not affiliated with any of the major theme parks. All information is provided by Kenney Communications and do not represent the major parks. Always check with the business directly for any offers or discounts as terms and conditions or offers may change without notice