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Orlando Theme Park Tickets: How To Find The Best Discounts

Jun 11, 2008
Orlando-Kissimmee is the third largest metropolitan area in the United States and is best known for its many theme park attractions. Once someone has enjoyed the rides, magic and fun of Orlando, it's not a hard sell as a favorite vacation destination. The city is synonymous with theme parks and in an effort to save money, as well as time, waiting in line at the park, travelers often purchase theme park tickets online. It's not uncommon to find hundreds of online and off line businesses competing for their share of theme parks ticket sales by promising the lowest prices.

Although the task of finding the best ticket price may seem daunting, the process can be broken down in just a couple of steps that can be done in as little as a couple of hours, depending on your web surfing skills. Before you begin gathering information, make sure to get a pen and some paper in order to keep track of company names, ticket prices and other details that may be forgotten as soon as you leave their website.

The first thing you should do is a get a "baseline" ticket price for the theme park you're interested in by visiting the theme park's official website. Go through the motions of purchasing tickets (but don't buy them yet!) and make sure to add all the options you're interested in, like park hopping, meal plans, express passes, etc. The total cost for tickets during this first step will be the price to beat when you start shopping the vendors with discounted Orlando theme park tickets.

Now that you know what the actual parks will be charging you, the second step is to get some prices from the "competition". During this second step of researching discount ticket vendors, you want to make sure they are a legitimate company. There are many sites who claim to offer cheap tickets, so make sure that the business is an authorized ticket provider and can back it up. The term "Buyer Beware" definitely applies to the search for the cheapest park tickets so if you're ever in doubt about the legitimacy of a company, do not buy tickets from them, ever.

With that said, get online and do a Google search for "discount theme park tickets", "discount Disney tickets" or something similar and see what comes up. There will be several pages of listings, but the ones that I usually investigate first are the sponsored listings that are in the top yellow box as well as the ads on the right side of the first page of your Google search results. These ticket companies are paying big bucks for the privilege to be among the top ten advertisers and can usually offer the best savings and most will even match or beat a competitor's price.

You will have to weed through the timeshare solicitation companies offering free or discounted theme park tickets in exchange for a timeshare presentation, unless that is something that interests you. Find up to five companies and go through the virtual ticket buying process with each one and see what prices you come up with. Some companies may have you call their toll free number or fill out an online form in order to get a quote. They are used to people shopping around for the best prices so don't be intimidated by this extra step.

You should now have the theme park ticket prices from the official park website along with at least three other ticket prices from the competition. Now it's just a matter of choosing the best price ticket with the best options. There are also a few things to keep in mind when purchasing your discounted tickets:

1. When comparing prices, make certain that the sales tax is included in the posted price

2. Some theme parks only allow you to purchase meal plans through them.

3. If you know you will be returning to the same theme park within the year, it may be beneficial to buy annual passes or invest in tickets with the "No Expiration" option. Unused days and admissions will never expire, so you can continue to use that same ticket whenever you return to Orlando.

4. Military personnel often receive huge military discounts to Orlando theme parks. For example, the Hero Salute program offered by Busch Entertainment Corporation offers all active duty and ready reserve members of the service one day's free admission along with up to three direct dependents to any one of their parks that include Busch Gardens, SeaWorld and Discovery Cove.

5. Airlines and travel agencies offer Orlando vacation packages that include airfare, park tickets, accommodations, rental cars, etc. You can often plan your entire vacation in one spot so don't forget about this option when you have more time for research. Sign up at their websites to receive news of their latest discounts and promotions.

6. Members of Sam's Club, Costco, AAA and AARP receive several travel benefits along with discounts toward theme park tickets. If you've already paid for the membership, you should take advantage of the discounts if they are offer the best price.

Finding the best price on theme park tickets doesn't have to be complicated. Stay focused, do a little research and reap the rewards. The money you save on this trip can be put towards your next Orlando vacation.
About the Author
Kelley Falgout is a theme park enthusiast and publisher of www.FamilyThemeParkVacations.com, a vacation planning tool and continuously growing database of all theme parks, amusement parks and water parks located across the United States. Click here to get your free copy of the Orlando Attractions Vacation Guide.
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