How to find cheap holidays in Orlando and do the theme parks on a budget
A holiday in Orlando is top of the bucket list for most families.
After all, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort can be utterly magical for kids, while parents can make the most of thrilling rollercoasters, not to mention the gloriously sunny weather.
Unfortunately, cheap holidays in Orlando often seem like a myth and parents can be left feeling like the dream holiday turns into a financial nightmare.
But that doesn’t have to be the case.
In fact, there are a few tips and tricks that could help you get the most bang for your buck, from holiday packages to sourcing deals on tickets to the theme parks.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve searched out the best places to find cheap holiday packages, as well as the ticket offers you won’t want to miss…
What’s included in our guide?
- Where to find cheap Orlando holidays
- How to visit the theme parks on a budget
Where to find cheap Orlando holidays
Best places for Orlando holiday packages
If you’re looking to get the best value for your money, package holidays can often be the best option, especially when you’re travelling with kids.
That’s because they often include your flights, accommodation, and extra perks such as free shuttles to the parks and bonuses from extra hours to exclusive offers.
However, not all packages include access to the theme parks – it’s worth double checking with your travel agent before booking so you’re not left facing a nasty surprise!
Virgin Holidays can be a great source for families after Disney holidays as the firm has plenty of packages including the Disney hotels and special offers .
They also have a policy where if you book a package with attraction tickets and find the same ticket for cheaper within 14 days of your booking, they will match the price .
Meanwhile, First Choice recently launched a new all-inclusive package for Walt Disney World – but it’s worth noting it’s only great value if you plan to do the Disney parks only, otherwise the costs start to add up.
If it’s Universal that’s piqued your interest, then British Airways and Thomas Cook have some packages including the resort’s on-site hotels which can be ideal.
Expedia , TravelSupermarket and Lastminute.com can also be good sources for cheap flights and hotel packages – but it’s worth noting that these don’t include park tickets.
You can also find more inspiration on our Florida Holidays page .
If you don’t want to go for a holiday package…
If you’re not fussed about staying in one of the resort’s hotels or are just spending a couple of days in Orlando as part of a wider trip, then it may be worth looking to book your flights and hotel separately.
Sites such as Hotels.com , Booking.com and Lastminute.com often have offers and deals on cheap hotel stays – sometimes going for as little as under £20pp a night – meaning you could free up plenty of budget to spend on the parks themselves.
As for flights, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer direct routes, but if you’re saving the pennies and don’t mind stopovers, then Cheapflights.co.uk and Skyscanner have plenty of cheaper options.
How to visit the Orlando theme parks on a budget
Whether you’ve opted for a holiday package or booked your flights and hotel separately, chances are you’re going to need to book your day tickets to the parks.
While Disney holiday packages often include offers on tickets to the parks, these won’t include Universal tickets – and vice versa.
There are a lot of parks to get through too. Disney has six parks; Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. As for Universal, there are three parks: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.
Check out some of our extra tips for saving money below…
Where to find theme park ticket offers
To give you a helping hand, we’ve already rounded up the best Walt Disney World ticket offers here and the best Universal Orlando Resort ticket offers here .
Attractiontix can be a great source for days out and theme park offers. For example, they currently have a ’14 day for the price of 7′ ticket to Walt Disney World , as a well as a two to three Universal park explorer tickets with unlimited access for 14 consecutive days – including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
You can also find offers year-round with the likes of Picniq , Groupon and Floridatix .
Planning to do a mish mash of the various parks? Then a combination ticket could be just the… well, just the ticket.
These often include unlimited access to all of the parks so you can go exploring while also making the most of your favourites.
Attraction Tickets Direct and FloridaTix can be good sources for these.
Look out for meal deals
If it’s the Disney parks you’re planning on visiting for the majority of your stay, then you may want to consider a Disney Dining Plan .
These are worked out on a per person, per night basis but can work out at great value.
For example, the more basic plans include 2 self service meals, two selected snacks, and one refillable resort mug per stay (with unlimited refills of fountain soda, coffee and tea at any Disney Resort Hotel).
Universal Orlando Resort also offers a dining plan which includes at least one self service meal, one quick service meal and one non-alcoholic beverage. (You can chop and mix the plans to suit your needs whether you’re there all week or just for the day!).