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How Do YOU Save on Orlando Attractions?

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Check out this question from reader Lisa…

My family and I are traveling to Orlando for vacation this summer. We would like to visit Sea World, Busch Gardens and maybe another attraction or two (not Disney as we did that last summer). I was looking online at purchasing tickets ahead of time and am trying to figure out what sites and deals are legit and if any readers have some good tips on where to get the best prices on tickets for these places. And, are passes a good deal…or not?

A few ways you can save…

SeaWorld Aquatica

If you’re headed to Florida, you can save BIG whenever you purchase online tickets to multiple theme parks! To get the most bang for your buck, consider snagging unlimited admission AND general parking for 14-consecutive days at any or all of the following parks: SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and Adventure Island Tampa for just $139 (discount not available at the parks).

You can also head on over here where you can score 50% off one weekday admission pass to SeaWorld Aquatica Orlando whenever you visit by June 3rd, 2016 – that means you’ll pay just $29! Please note that this offer is only valid online and not available at the front gate.

Now it’s YOUR turn! Please share your tips below!
Join The Discussion

Comments 91

  1. Si

    My grandmother lives in Merritt Island Fl, which is only about 40 min away from Orlando. So it’s nice not to have to pay for a place to stay when we visit. Helps us out a lot. Plus she has always purchased our tickets for us so she gets a resident discount and then we pay her back. She does this for all her grandkids. Saves us a ton! Grandparents are the best! ❤️

  2. Johnpaul Soto

    Costco sells Legoland tickets at great prices. Sometimes as low as 46.99. I recently purchased five for my family and saved over $ 200 compared to buying the tickets at the park.

    • Just Me

      If you subscribe for the free Lego kids magazine club, there’s a buy 1 adult ticket get a kids ticket free. It’s not in the Jr Lego magazine ( under age 6?). I’m saving mine for my sister and her kids.

      • Selena

        Ditto to this… when we went years ago we had an extra one…decided to give it as a surprise to the family behind us line

  3. Crystal

    We got a Go Orlando card. Now the website is there are several cities you can choose from, but you pay a certain price for so many days and can do whatever you want from the list of included activities. We more than got our monies worth when you add up each individual activity. The pirate dinner show, mini golf, gator world.. just a few things from 8 years ago.

    • Dean

      There is a deal currently on Groupon for an even better price for this. Just look under Orlando things to do on Groupon.

  4. Jennifer

    Sign up for the Lego magazine (it’s free) there’s an admission coupon in it!

  5. Katie

    Watch Blackfish and you won’t want to visit SeaWorld…. 🙁 Besides that, I’ve heard it’s not worth the price so in all honestly you might want to reconsider that stop. Universal was fantastic and I remember having a ball at GatorLand as a kid!

    • mary

      It depends on what you like. Quite honestly most of the stuff on the movie is from parks other than orlando, and way older than recent times. Sea world is reacting and by 2019 won’t have killer whales anymore. The movie was bs, if you believe that then believe all animals in captivity are treated that way, I’m sure zoos are sooo much friendlier…
      I grew up in Orlando, sea world is great, nice on got days because you will be cooled off by the water. Great for kids that can’t ride rides yet

      • Mia

        I agree with Katie. I avoid Seaworld and find other parks less exploitative.

      • Tia

        Sea World is only worth it to me if you can get in really cheap. FL teachers go free but they also have a preschool pass (not sure how old your kids are) that is good for free admission to Busch Gardens and Sea World for an entire year. If your kids are 4 or 5, look it up! Unless your kids really want to see the whales, I would skip it. The food is pretty crappy too. LegoLand food is a tad better.

        • Tia

          And like others said, don’t forget Groupon or Living Social. We paid $7 for 3 of us to play mini-golf this past weekend in Tampa when it’s originally $12.99/person. And if you stay at a Busch Gardens partner hotel, you’ll get entrance for length of stay and most have free breakfast and shuttle service. It takes us 2 days to do Busch Gardens and we go twice a year!

        • Lisa

          Is there a preschool pass if we are out of state?

    • Rita

      UGGH!! Seriously stop. If people want to go Sea World they shouldn’t have to continuously hear this. That’s fine if you don’t want to go but please don’t ruin other people’s happy.

      • TBrown

        Agree with Rita!!

  6. Carmen

    We always go to Legoland while in Orlando. It’s about 40 to 45 minutes away but my kids love it! (Not sure how old your kids are though). I purchased 2 small Lego bags (originally $3.99) during the Easter clearance sale at Target and they have a coupon code for Legoland–Buy Adult ticket and kids ticket is free. I got codes last year from McDonald’s, I believe, for the same deal.

  7. Susie

    I just got back from Orlando. Theme park tickets are a bit cheaper buying them online, however, they’re still going to eat up a big chunk of your vacation budget. The biggest savings for a large family by far is renting a house so you can cook. Make a meal plan in advance & a grocery list from the meal plan and you won’t have waste when it’s time to go home. Have Fun! 😀

    • Just Me

      Agree! I can only do so much restaurant and fast food.

  8. Sarah

    We flew to Orlando last year so we were limited to the amount of supplies we could pack. I called our hotel for info on how to send an amazon pantry box directly to the hotel. The hotel charged me $10 but it was well worth it. We were able to do oatmeal & easy Mac, for quick meals. Plus we shipped waters and kid drinks.

    • Kristen

      this is so smart!!!!

  9. connie

    Wasnt bushgardens part of what you could use with your my coke points. I could have swore it was. Its definitley something to look into

  10. DeeDee

    We use vrbo to stay at a condo near Disney or Universal. This is the place we regularly stay at. It’s also
    VRBO has many different rental homes in many different places. We are able to cook which saves us money. We also use groupon for places to eat and things to do. There was a spa day getaway at a disney hotel for a great deal. We also bought a hibachi style dinner which was pretty good (but we do like kobe better.) There was a senor frogs one on International Drive but we didn’t buy it. Oh, we also like eating at Friendlys on International dr. Sign up for their coupons.

    • Sara

      I second renting a house/condo & eating the majority of your meals in. Squeezing into a hotel room with 4 kids is no fun & we save sooooo much $ by only eating one meal out/at the theme park!

  11. Kkilmer

    If you do a day at Discovery Cove your ticket is good for Sea World.

    • cris908

      We did this. We had the best time at discovery cove and included in our ticket was a 14 day pass to sea world, Aquatica, and Busch Gardens.

    • Mika

      What?? I’ve been checking out the Discovery Cove website for weeks now and I did not see anything about this. Thanks for the tip!

    • Laurie

      Yes!! We did Discovery Cove, and although it’s expensive, the fact that you get unlimited admission for 10 days (or 14?) at SeaWorld and Aquatica included in your DC ticket (besides all you can eat and drink for the day), it was SO worth it!! SeaWorld alone is $80/person- crazy. We also packed coolers since we drove, saving on food costs and eating healthier.

  12. Laura

    I have been planning our trip to Orlando with 3 adults, 2 adult kids and 3 kids for about 10 months. I have bought discounted Target Cards and combined that with my REDcard savings and gotten about 10% off of Disney Gift Cards that I am using to buy tickets. I booked our condo/hotel through Sams and saved about $700 over current pricing (well worth the membership). I also subscribe to Gift Card Granny alerts and have gotten discounted gift cards for all of our dining out. I just bought our MagicBands for 50% off (character ones), they came to under $10 each after sale, discounted gift card and ebates. I have a blog and have been posting Going to Disney on a Dime posts. (I have a blog page and FB)

  13. dalymom08

    Do discovery cove. Well worth it. All inclusive. Alcoholic drinks, breakfast, dinner, snacks, drinks all unlimited. You get to swim with tropical fish and stingray. If you skip dolphin package you save about $100 a ticket. We buy ours through a ticket place to save. One year was Orlando fun tickets and this year we used under cover tourist. You also get a ticket to SeaWorld and Aquatica to go as many times as you want for 14 consecutive days. You can also add Busch Gardens ticket for extra $50. We love discovery cove. We have been 3 times. All you need to bring is a swimsuit and change of clothes. They provide everything from Sunscreen to shampoo. You usually have to buy tickets about a month or more in advance because they only allow so many in park. We rented a cabana this year and it was really nice. You have an attendant that gets drinks and snacks for you.

    • Just Me

      How much are tickets? Thanks

      • dalymom08

        Prices vary by day and month. Summer months are peak time so tickets would be more expensive. I would check under cover tourist for prices. They were the ones we used this year and it worked out great.

    • Yvonne

      I agree with going to discovery cove. We’ve been there several times and my family loves it. It’s a nice time to relax after days At the theme parks. It’s well worth it. And the kids will love it.

  14. Ceci

    Does anyone know if the website is legit? I saw it on facebook and I am scared to buy my tickets because I dont know them. They are offering 2 adults 1 day pass to Universal for $95 (orig price $105 each) I know what they say… if it’s too good to be true…

    • Ivan

      I’ve read to only buy park tickets from Disney, AAA or Read anything else could be and probably is bogus.

      • dalymom08

        Orlando fun tickets is good too. I’ve bought tickets from them many times in past. We always get our tickets to dinner shows and theme parks through them or under cover tourist.

      • Crystal

        Yes! I have purchased from undercover tourist as well. It is legit!

  15. Ceci

    Does anyone knows if the website is legit? They are offering 2 adult 1 day passes to Universal for $95 (orig price $105 each) I saw their add on facebook and I dont know if I should buy them… it seems too good to be true.

    • Just Me

      It might be one of those “gifts” / discounts if you’re willing to listen to a timeshare. Both places I stayed had timeshare pitches.

  16. Emily

    The biggest money saver for my trips to Orlando has been being able to pack smart and avoid airline baggage fees. When traveling with a group of people, you can coordinate who brings what – i.e. you probably only need one tube of tooth paste and can share a bottle of shampoo.

    Second biggest money saver is to hit up a supermarket and buy food and beverages that you can take into theme parks. When faced with paying $3 per water bottle or having each person in your group bring a water bottle from a 24 pack that cost $3, it’s easy to see how savings can add up that way!

    • Emily

      Also, it’s worth noting – if you’re doing Disney, it’s easy to skip a car rental/parking fees by staying at one of the disney-owned resorts.

  17. Amelia

    Discover Cove is the way to go! If you buy a one day ticket, you can add on 14 days at Sea World, Acquatica, and Busch Gardens for a very low price.

  18. Just Me

    I was surprised but Disneyworld let me bring in a bag with snacks and drinks.

    • Adrianna

      I actually travelled to Disney earlier this year. To save money we rented a room off the property and it was $50 a night and that included 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen, washer and dryer, main family area and was HUGE!

      Also, we packed every lunch and snack into a backpack we carried around all day. You can plan as much as you like, but you are going to end up in some lines… And when we did, those were our snack/ lunch times! The wait seemed so much quicker that way as well!!

      • Angela

        Hi Adrianna! Could you please share where you rented? Thanks so much!

  19. Tina

    I like to use for discounted tickets.

    • Lisa

      Thanks! I saw, but wasn’t sure if it was legit.Sounds like we may have to include Aquatica!

  20. Morna

    I live in Orlando. Look into your school alumni or job benefits. The EAP company my job has discounts on lots of things, including tickets for Orlando attractions. Also Sea World has the Fun Pass (think that’s what they call it) which you pay for a ne day admission and get the rest of the year free. On Groupon they occasionally have tickets for Fun Spot or the Orlando Eye.

  21. Selena

    If you don’t have tickets for somewhere in advance be mindful of the so-called deals that are offered at the hotels in the area. ours tried to sell us tickets for more than what the gate price was. Just be well-informed and know when you are getting a deal

  22. Morna

    Also, there is a deal with the Orlando Eye attractions and Legoland. There is a shuttle from they’d to the park. Also, never pay for bottled water at Disney. You can go to any quick service restaurant that sells sodas in cups and request a large cup of ice water.

  23. nydia

    Renting a nearby house/condo is sometimes cheaper than staying at a hotel. Although a lot of hotels have a free shuttle to the parks that can save you up to $20/ day in parking fees at the parks.
    You can bring your own food and drinks into Disney parks (not sure about the other parks). We always bring our own healthy snacks (fresh fruit, granola bars, and water bottles which can be refilled in the water fountains). It saves money, time spent standing in food lines, and keeps us from eating unhealthy junk.

  24. Ceci

    do parks allow you to go in with snacks and bottled water?

    • judyjeston

      Yes if you have a cooler that folds like a lunch bag, the park website tells you the details.

    • Ivan

      Yes. You can bring in anything except alcohol. We packed lunches everyday and it was so much better than the unhealthy, overpriced food at the parks.

    • Just Me

      Disneyworld does! However I packed a bunch of snacks that nobody ate.

  25. casey

    I’m actually going to Orlando next week…was planning to go universal studios…so which is better the 4 parks for $139 or one day at universal island at Universal for almost the same price…I’m now thinking about the 4 parks one but the downside is I have to drive almost 2 hours to Tampa

    • judyjeston

      Depends on the age group of your group, we went to Disney and the kids loved it but everyone went to island of adventure a group of about 10 of us ages 3 to 64

    • Jenzjemz

      There is a free shuttle included for the 3 day passes to take you to Tampa and it said it will take 1 hour and 15 mins! We just went last week!! Buy the tickets online as they are about 40$ cheaper than the gate!!!!

    • dalymom08

      Both universal parks are great. Each has a Playland for kids and Rollercoasters for older. Universal has lots of older nostalgic rides and stuff and some newer rides like transformer. E.t. ride is there. Park is lots of fun. My family prefers islands of adventure. We are age 13 up and love roller coasters. This side has the better Rollercoasters in our opinion. Both sides has something for everyone though. We usually alternate discovery cove package one year and universal parks the next.

    • Kate

      Tampa is only 45 minutes from Orlando. It’s a fairly quick drive. We enjoy visiting Bok Towers near Legoland. If you have an existing botanical garden pass you may get a free pass based on the reciprocal list. Same for zoo memberships and the Florida Aquarium, a must for our family while in Tampa. Has a splash pad so bring swim suits if you do go.

      We also look for deals on paying less than $70 @ night for villas/timeshares with no strings attached for 8 people. Best Western Saratoga villas, Poinciana Villas, Mystic Dunes, and Westgate are great options.
      We stayed at a great budget hotel within 5 minutes of Disney parks, Main gate Resort and Spa (do not do Lakeside), have paid less than $40, and it was clean and comfy.

  26. Ivan

    Stay off property if visiting Disney. We just returned from a weeks vacation and stayed 5 miles from the park in a 6-bedroom house with a pool and hot tub in the back yard for $1200 total for the week. The drive to the parks was easy and parking was only $20 a day. We used VRBO. I will never overpay and stay at a Disney property again.

  27. Whitney

    GROUPON in Orlando (where I live) has attraction booklet deals and lots of touristy things offered, just FYI.

  28. judyjeston

    I brought discounted giftcards on eBay for target and purchased Disney giftcards I saved about 10 percent, I took water bottles and kool-aid packs into the park, Walker mobility in orlando was by far the cheapest place to rent a stroller and they delivered and picked it up from my hotel and the service was amazing!

  29. spedtch95

    I highly reccommend Legoland if your kids are 10/11 and under . Even older kids and adults love the Lego creations. You can spend 2 hrs just looking at that area. Plus the old Cypress Gardens botanical gardens are still there.

    The park food there is FAR more affordable there than other parks. We love the Lakeside Sandwich Co near the waterski show and an attached gift shop. Real, normal sized bread sandwiches for about $5. All locally grown greens, salads, etc as well as small bags of chips. If you go, don’t miss the apple fries (Granny Smith apples in cinnamon sugar- to die for!)

    Bring your video camera to record your kids at Driving School. None of them stop at red lights, use the correct lane, etc. it’s hillarious to watch the parents freak out that their kid can’t drive. Your video recording of it is great proof for when your kid wants to start driving at 16, lol.

    There are far better deals to be had for tickets to Legoland and it is a million times better than SeaWorld.

  30. kristie

    Legoland Homeschool Days, join a science center in your home area for reciprocal admission to Orlando Science Center or MOSI in Tampa. We also visit a beach for a day of cheap entertainment. We are a fan of State Parks too 10 bucks or so for the whole family to explore. We like Blue Springs.

    • Just Me

      I really wanted to go to both of those museums! but we just couldn’t pass up more days at the beach.

  31. Molly

    Last time my family went to Orlando we stayed at Westgate Resort Villas. Got 3/2 nights with 2 Disney Tickets for $199 and got a beautiful one bedroom one bathroom suite with a sleeper sofa in the living room.You can add extra nights for $60/night ( I believe it was $60) if u have the package.
    Westgate is only a couple of minutes away from Disney and rest of the parks, plus free shuttle every hour. And they have beautiful water park for kids.
    This is timeshare promotion they offer. All you have to do is attend their 90 minute presentation. Totally don’t have to buy anything and you get free breakfast during the presentation.
    Check it out. Totally legit, we did it last year and had a blast. The only way we could afford it!

    • Brittany

      That’s great to know! Thank you!

    • Bobbi

      We are owners at Westgate, and we love it there. Be ready for a high pressure sales pitch though. If you’re not going to buy, be ready with a firm no, because they will probably try everything they can think of to get you to say yes. We started out as a no, but obviously changed our minds. Lol. But we’ve been owners for almost nineteen years, and just recently upgraded to a bigger unit, so we are happy with Westgate. 🙂

  32. Juliette

    The book- The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (published annually) has been a great help to us in trip planning and saving time/money during our last two Disney trips. Also has great info on ways to save.

  33. Jenzjemz

    We usually always take time share tours!!! It eats up a day of your vacation but well worth it!! Last year we stayed at a resort that gave you 7 days/6nights plus (4) 3 day passes to Disney World with an additional day at a Disney water park all for 995$ plus they gave you a 150$ Visa gift card after the tour. 4 hours of my day to get awesome tickets plus stay at a highly rated resort with multiple pools, full in room kitchens, Domino’s on resort, two bedroom, jacuzzi tubs, etc!!! Well worth it!! We did just go to SeaWorld last weekend and purchased the online tickets while we were pulling in and it was 109$ each for a 3 day pass to any of their 4 parks. At the window, that same pass was 149$ each so we just showed them the confirmation email on my phone and we were all set. The dining pass was the best deal- there were three kids under 8 and me and my husband so we purchased 3 kids dining passes which lets you eat and drink- are you ready for this- every SINGLE hour!!! We rotated the meals out every hour and we were so stuffed the last hour!!! Also, they don’t tell you this but with the kids meals, you can sub the fresh fruit or desert as your side!! Saved us soooo much money!!! Def the way to go!!!!

    • Jenna

      Which timeshare was it?

  34. Lisa

    I know with Disney hotels you can begin to ship items to your hotel, so when Amazon or somewhere has a deal on packs of water, etc you can ship it to the hotel.

  35. Rob H

    If you can tolerate it, Hotwire your hotel a week or so before you leave. The I-drive south/ sea world area has some really nice hotels and you can regularly get rooms for around $50-$70 a night. Keep a cancel-able room in your back pocket and be ready to Hotwire. Also join the Lendrys club. They run rainforest cafe and t-Rex cafe at downtown Disney. It costs $25 to join but you get a $25 instant credit. Plus you get $25 instant credit during your birth month. There are other benefits too.

  36. Rita

    See if your employer offers a membership through By far some of the best deals ever on Legoland, Orlando Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe it or Not

  37. Andrea

    Don’t forget that Disney world allows food and drink to be brought into the park. That’s a big money saver!

  38. Andrea

    We go to Busch gardens every year. We buy our tickets online and when you do u can either save on the ticket or get the all day dining pass for free. We get the admission ticket with the all day dining for around $100 each. Even though this seems like a lot it allows you to eat all day at almost all of the restaurants as often as you want. We eat breakfast lunch dinner and all the snacks u can dream of in between. Non alcoholic beverages are included too. Even Dasani bottled water. It’s an awesome deal.

  39. Candy

    Any tips to save on Disneyland tickets in California? Will be going next month.

    • Just Me

      Costco sells Disneyland tickets.

      • Just Me

        Nvm. Looks like they sell vacation packages not tickets. Maybe you could still get Disney giftcards

        • Candy

          I will check it out! Thanks 🙂

  40. april

    I just did the bogo free tickets to seaworld tickets and the preschool pass so it was cheap for my family to go. I wouldn’t spend the normal amount to seaworld. Busch Gardens I feel is def worth it. U can see if they still have the pay for a day and get the rest of the year free deal and go a few times while in fl. Legoland has deals if u look up promo codes for buy one adult get kid free. Universal studios is cool for older kids and adults. I can’t wait til my kids are older so they can enjoy it. Hope u have fun in fl and drink lots of water. It’s so hot. I just passed out in the seaworld ticket line after 30 mins from the heat.

  41. Gail

    If your headed to Disney Springs….. Sign up for a Sprinkles Cupcakes account on their website, you will get a free cupcake immediately in your account to use within a month. Also, there’s a groupon right now for the hot air ballon ride at Disney Springs. Sign up for Earl is Sandwich on their website, they have coupons often. And sign up for Landry’s rewards program, it cost $25 but they put $25 reward dollars immediately in your account to use and you get $25 on your bday every year.

  42. Renee

    Disney Springs (used to be called Dowtown Disney) has an AMC 24 theater and also the Fork and Screen features (where you can order food right from your your seat). If you have my coke reward points, you can use them at the theater. Also, City Walk at Universal has an AMC 20. Remember you cannot use my Coke reward AMC red or green tickets on Disney movies. Just an idea if you want to relax after a day of walking the parks. Also, there is free parking at Disney Springs. Have a great vacation!

  43. Heazer

    We just spent a week in Orlando. It was myself, husband and our 6 children. We had been saving cash for the trip for months. We bought no extras in the meantime. We booked a condo off of Disney, about 3 miles away, through VRBO. We intentionally chose one that had a waterpark, so that we weren’t paying extra for tickets to one at one of the amusement parks. We drove, so I brought my crockpot. I meal planned on the way down there, and it was a HUGE savings! On the days we spent at Disney, I just threw stuff into the crockpot, and dinner was waiting for us when we got back. Disney allows coolers, so we packed our lunch each day we went. We bought the kids each a Disney gift card for Easter, so any extra snacks or trinkets they wanted, they bought themselves. We are military, so we are fortunate to get their discounted tickets on base. It was way cheaper to do the 4-day park hoppers. We were able to pay for our entire vacation with the cash we had saved, and never had to pull anything out of the bank. We even splurged on a very nice dinner at the Ohana. For me personally, planning way in advance was the way to go.

    • Heazer

      That cut off. Planning was the way to go:)

  44. Morna

    Also my fave website for info is She has info for Disney and the other area parks. I’ve been following her for at 20 years. Great resource!

  45. Lisa

    I have found a coupon code through for buy one adult ticket get one free for legoland. We have 4 adults and 3 children going. Only one coupon code per transaction. Wondering if I can split my transactions to end up with 3 free kid tickets. Anyone used a coupon code before and know?

  46. Tomoko

    I just received an email for new Refer-A-Friend offer from Disney Reward Chase Visa Card (No annual fee!)
    You will receive an offer to earn a $200 Disney Gift Card after you spend $500 on purchases with your card in the first three months from account opening. I received a similar offer back in May and purchased Disney World tickets with my new Disney Visa card (that hit the $500 purchase requirement) and received $200 GC . Limited time and invitation only. If anyone need an invitation please let me know 🙂

  47. Kristen

    we’re thinking about a trek to Orlando, but won’t be doing Disney this time around. instead, it’ll be Universal. Any tips for it?

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