US Dollar in 2015: Orlando Attractions Tickets & Spending Money

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Florida Money Saving Tips – Exclusive to MyFamilyClub, from FloridaTix

If you’re heading to the theme parks in Orlando, Florida, in 2015, what’s been happening with the US dollar over the past 6 months will have a massive impact on the price of your Orlando attractions tickets, accommodation as well as your spending money while there. It pays to be informed.

TopDollarSince mid-to-late 2014, the dollar has been falling steadily against the pound, leaving British visitors to the US out of pocket. If you were to change £1,000 into US dollars for your holiday, you’d get about $200 less in April 2015 than compared to last April.

While you can’t do much about international currency rates, you can try to offset this cost by being savvy. Buying your Orlando attractions tickets through official UK resellers such as FloridaTix helps, as they often bear the brunt of exchange rate changes and can access better rates through hedging, passing this saving onto consumers.

Other tips include ordering yourself a prepaid credit card in dollars, and following the rate on sites like XE.com. When it looks like the pounds is rising, top the card up, but hold off while the rate is low. Do this over many months and you should get a decent “blended” rate. This is much better than leaving it a week before you go, when you’ll have to accept the going rate. It’s great for building up a nest egg of spending money too!

 

The Advantages of Booking in Advance from Specialist Ticket Agents

You can make big savings by booking your Orlando attractions tickets in advance before you depart – it can be pricey turning up in Florida and paying on the gate. Here are the top advantages of booking with UK specialist ticket agents:

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UK-Exclusive Tickets

  • Ticket agents like FloridaTix have unique contracts with the likes of Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld that gives them access to special UK-only tickets not available in other countries. They buy their tickets in bulk from the theme parks and are considerably cheaper than buying direct.

  • These tickets typically offer unlimited access to all parks for 7 or 14 days, meaning you can hop between parks as many times as you like for the chosen period. Some of the US tickets bought on the gate only allow you entry for 1 park per day, so you’d be charged extra if you wanted to hop between them.

Spread The Cost

  • Deposit schemes operated by ticket resellers can be a great help with your budgeting. They typically allow you to pay £10-£20 per person to secure the tickets, and allow you to pay the balance off interest-free, until 5 weeks before you depart.

  • This means you can keep the money sitting in your bank account earning interest and spread the cost, rather than paying all in one go. You can also “lock-in” the price you pay, offsetting the risk that it will go up before you depart.

Added Extras & Freebies

  • In addition to the discounted Orlando attractions tickets, Florida ticket resellers will also often negotiate added extras and freebies on behalf of their customers, as they have relationships with businesses in the US that are keen to promote themselves to families in the UK.

  • FloridaTix is currently offering the below with every booking made through their website:

  1. Free $10 voucher to spend at Planet Hollywood Orlando.

  2. Free entry into the Wild Florida Wildlife park for your family.

  3. Free Florida Mall voucher book with shopping discounts.

  4. Free Florida “iSpy” guide book, a pocket-sized book that makes spotting all the Florida sights great fun for adults and kids alike.

  5. Free Play 4 Less voucher, which offers up to 20% off at over 55 attractions and activities.

You can keep up to date with the freebies being offered at FloridaTix here.

Ticket Combos

  • “Combo” packages are special bundles that have been put together by the ticket sellers to save customers time and money. They’re particularly convenient if you definitely want to experience all that the big parks (Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens, and SeaWorld) have to offer.

Price Matching

  • Most of the ticket sellers operate a price-match policy. They constantly monitor each other’s pricing so there should be good deals online, but it’s worth contacting their call centre if you spot something more expensive elsewhere, but particularly want to book with them.

 

Article_1Walt Disney World Tickets: Need to Know

Pretty much all families seeking Orlando attractions tickets for a trip to Florida want to experience the magic of Walt Disney World. Here’s some of the need-to-knows about booking your tickets:

  • There is currently a 14 days for the price of 7 offer running on Disney tickets, but it ends on 30th June. Make sure you book before then to get the deal – it’s valid for all arrival dates in 2015.

  • Check whether you’re receiving a “gate-ready” ticket (also called “real” or “hard” tickets), or an e-ticket before booking. E-tickets are generally a few pounds cheaper, however you’ll have to queue up once you get to the theme park in Florida to exchange them for hard tickets. Some people prefer to pay the extra to skip the queues and walk straight through the gate, however this is down to personal preference.

  • Be aware if buying from any website in dollars, that your card holder may apply a currency fee. It can be better to pay in pounds so that you know exactly how much you’re paying.

  • Buying Disney World tickets from an authorised reseller in advance means you can take advantage of MyMagic+. This system lets you pre-book your preferred rides, attractions, shows, restaurants and character meets – it’s an absolute must if you want to meet Elsa from Frozen for example.

 

Article_4Universal Tickets: Need to Know

  • Universal offers a 2 park and 3 park 14 day ticket in the UK. The 3 Park ticket includes Wet n’ Wild, a water park on International Drive. This usually costs around £8-£10 more than the 2 park ticket and so is good value if you want a low-cost way of seeing more of the Orlando attractions.

 

Article_3SeaWorld / Busch Gardens: Need to Know

  • SeaWorld is offering a 3 for the price of 2 ticket in 2015 only, which includes SeaWorld, Aquatica Water Park and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Busch Gardens is in Tampa, a bit further out than most of the Orlando theme parks, so make sure your ticket includes a free transfer from Orlando. This is vital as it will be expensive to get to Tampa if you don’t have a car.

 

Article_2Discovery Cove: Need to Know

  • Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive resort that has very limited capacity, so it’s a must to pre-book if you want to get in. Most people go there to experience swimming with the dolphins, however there’s a cheaper “non-swim” option available for spectators.

  • Discovery Cove has a number of seasons and so prices vary throughout the year. It is worth checking the prices at the start and end of your holiday, in case you can save money by visiting in Week 1 rather than Week 2 or vice versa.

  • All Discovery Cove tickets include SeaWorld and Aquatica. Their Ultimate ticket includes Busch Gardens too for what is usually a very small additional charge.

 

Money Saving Tips While in Florida

It’s all very well to save money on buying your tickets before you leave, but you can still blow your budget once you arrive if you don’t keep a lid on your costs. Here are some tips we find useful for saving money at the Orlando attractions:

  • Don’t spend loads on fizzy drinks while in the parks – take empty water bottles and fill them up from the free water fountains you’ll see dotted about. Most restaurants will offer free iced water too. It’s hot pretty much year-round, so it’s important to stay hydrated, but it doesn’t have to cost you the earth!

  • Take advantage of the several dining cards that are on offer to save money on food. The Kids Eat Free Card, for example, allows children to eat for free at over 120 Orlando restaurants and costs just £10 per child – that will save you heaps during a family holiday of one, two or three weeks!

  • Instead of forking out for expensive merchandise in the parks, get your Disney goodies at outlet malls for a fraction of the cost. For a unique and priceless memento that won’t break the bank, why not make your own “autograph” book for the characters you meet to sign!

  • It can be very easy to over-spend, particularly with excited children and the general feeling of giddiness that Florida can create. Set yourself a daily budget and stick to it!

  • Make your own food and take it into the parks. If you do want to eat out, it’s cheaper to wait until you’re outside the parks and scope out local restaurants that have buffet options.

  • Consider a self-catering villa for your accommodation. However some of the dining options offered by Disney or Universal hotels can actually make your trip cheaper, so weigh up both options to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

  • If you haven’t rented a car, the I-Ride Trolley is a good value way to get around Orlando and costs just £11 for 14 days.

We hope you’ve found this guide to buying Orlando attractions tickets and visiting Florida useful. You can find out more information on tickets and accommodation options by checking out our guide to Orlando ticket deals 2015. Enjoy and happy travels!

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