Here are our top 10 tips for getting the most out of your trip and being money-savvy too.
1. Think Disney, then think beyond that. Disney World is a prime attraction in Orlando; there are loads of other things to do as well.
2. Use the new Orlando Holiday Planning Tool Orlandoholidayplanning.com — it helps you pick the best time to go, learn how to get around, find great places to stay and more. You can save the best tips for your trip and also watch short informative videos.
3. Talk to all the members of your family to find out what appeals to them about visiting Orlando. Often we have a general idea ourselves, but does everything want the same thing? Are they looking for thrills, relaxation or a combination of the two? Let everyone pick their top 3 or 5 things they’d like to do so everyone comes away satisfied.
4. Consider how you will get around Orlando. Many hotels run shuttles to and from the airport, there are affordable public buses and the I-Ride Trolley, which visits theme parks and outlet malls. But car hire is also a great option as it allows you to explore Orlando independently.
5. Push-chairs (or strollers as they called here) are available for rent at all the major theme parks including the ones we visited. They are also available at the large shopping outlets and malls at the information centers. Other options include these businesses who rent out strollers of all kinds. Here are some websites I found:
Another option would be to purchase an inexpensive stroller at a local Wal-Mart or Target store. There are several Orlando locations for each and the price can be comparable to renting.
Benefits to renting a stroller in Orlando include avoiding potential airline damage or loss, avoiding TSA issues, and having a lighter load while traveling. The cost of checking a stroller at the airport can also cost just as much as renting or buying in Orlando depending on the airline.
6. Remember to build in time to take it easy. Between the theme park thrills, outdoor activities like woodland treks and airboat rides and shopping and eating, it’s easy to exhaust yourself. Orlando is such an exciting destination but it is great to swim, read and relax too.
7. Look for weekly passes to attractions. You can find deals for several attractions at one price.
8. Think about your budget for spending money. Balance the need to have fun with an awareness of the bills that will be waiting for you when you return home. If you are setting a budget for your children, it is best to discuss this in advance.
9. Book early for the best choice of flights and accommodation. The second half of August to early September offer best values of the year.
10. Plan at least a week’s stay. That allows for a whistle-stop tour of all theme parks. A fortnight is better as you can build in a mix of action-packed and more relaxing days and investigate some of the less well-known attractions and shopping possibilities as well as the theme parks.
11. Buy theme park and attraction tickets before leaving home, as travel agencies offer the best deals. This is another great reason to work out exactly what you want to visit whilst in Orlando.
12. Check out the special dining packages offered by restaurants and theme parks. Children often eat free with paying adults.
13. Take advantage of destination-wide savings by downloading a free Orlando Magicard, offering discounts on everything from attractions, shops and restaurants to spas, golf courses and cultural arts venues.
For more information about holiday experiences in Orlando, log onto Orlando’s official Web site at VisitOrlando.com/UK
BritMums team member, Kate Davis-Holmes, was recently hosted by Visit Orlando for the purposes of editorial review.