Florida Guide > Planning your Trip
How to save time and money at the theme parks
With so much to see and do in Orlando it is a good idea to plan ahead. Hopefully, these tips will help you to make the most of your time and save you some money at the theme parks.
To help save time:
Try to avoid peak times at the parks whenever possible. The parks are less crowded at the beginning and end of summer, late spring and early fall / autumn. Weekends are busier than weekdays with Easter and Christmas being the busiest time of all.
If you can, arrive at the parks as early as possible – before they open in fact. Once inside the park, head for the most popular attractions as they are always less crowded first thing. The queues are also less in the late evening when many guests are heading back home or watching parades or fireworks.
The hottest time of the day is mid-afternoon and this is also the most crowded. A good tip is head back to your villa for a rest or a swim in your pool and then return again in the evening.
Before you visit the theme parks, pick up some park maps from the many Information Centres around. Decide which attractions interest you the most and make a note of the ones that are closest together. That way you can minimize time and energy spent walking back and forth between the attractions. Try and decide which restaurant you want to have lunch or dinner at and if possible make reservations at the more popular ones, either before the day of your visit or as soon as you arrive at the park.
One of the most important time saving tips is to get a Disney’s Fastpass. You are given a designated time period during which you can return to the attraction, so you can go and do something else until that time arrives. Then return to the attraction and bypass the queues by using the Fastpass lane. Brilliant! However, the Fastpasses for the most popular rides go quickly, so try and get these as soon as possible.
To help save money:
If you want to visit numerous parks do not buy individual tickets as this can work out very expensive. Dine out at lunchtime if you are eating at a table-service restaurant. Prices are usually cheaper than at dinner.
Don’t forget to take sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, over the counter medications such as headache tablets and camera film into the parks with you. All of these items are available in the parks but you will pay a premium for them. If you are going on rides, which might get you wet, take along an extra t-shirt.
If you can manage it, try to resist impulse buying at the parks. Wait until the end of your trip to buy your souvenirs, that way you will know what you really want and not waste your money.
Most importantly of all though, is to have fun!
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