Our family just recently traveled to Orlando, FL and if you are looking to plan your next visit to the family-friendly Florida city, we have a few tips to help you do so more affordably.
Visit Universal Studios City Walk at night or Disney Springs for FREE!
Did you know that you can visit the Universal Studios City Walk for free in the evenings? Or Disney Springs at no cost? Even parking is free! This is a fun way to get a taste of either park. We enjoyed taking in all the sites and window shopping while there.
Use your reciprocal membership at the Sea Life Aquarium and get 50% off
If you’ve been reading our blog for awhile, you are probably already aware that we are big fans of reciprocal memberships. These truly are the best way to get the biggest bang for your buck no matter where you go. If you have a zoo membership, check to see if it gives you access to the Sea Life aquarium through a reciprocal membership. If so, you’ll get 50% off the admission price.
PLUS, we were even able to apply it to the already discounted two-attraction deal that was being offered. We got into both the Sea Life Aquarium and Madam Tussaud’s wax museum for under $25 a person.
Stay at a hotel or an Air BNB location with a kitchen and save on meals
Orlando has a wide variety of accommodations to choose from, but we highly recommend selecting a location that includes a kitchen or kitchenette. We chose to stay at a Air BNB rental that was big enough for our family and Aaron’s parents who traveled with us. We were so grateful that it included a full kitchen so that we could pick up groceries for breakfasts and lunches. This saved us a ton of money and our guts (at least for those of us 30 and up!) thanked us for it too.
Download restaurant apps to get exclusive app savings and coupons
When you do go out to eat, be sure to look for restaurant apps you can download to your phone. We saved half off at Uno’s Pizzeria and got exclusive savings at Popeye’s too. Mind you, we ate at plenty of local restaurants too, but mixed it up a little bit with a few most cost-effective options as well.
Use the Checkout 51 cash back app to save on gas
Although we flew to Orlando, we had to drive to the airport and utilized a rental car to get around to all our excursions. To save on gas, we used one of our favorite apps – Checkout 51. Its pretty common for us to get anywhere from $0.05 to $0.15 off per gallon through this app.
Pack reusable $1 water bottles to fill up at the parks
We traveled to Florida in June, so it was pretty hot when we visited the Magic Kingdom. Instead of relying on in-park purchases to stay hydrated, we packed reusable water bottles we picked up for a dollar at a nearby store. Yes, you CAN take water bottles into Disney World parks but they have to be empty at time of entry. Fill them up at water fountains throughout the park (usually located near the restrooms) to stay hydrated all day long.
Shop for souvenirs off-site
Another great tip – shop for souvenirs off-site. Our kids had fun identifying items they liked at the in-park stores; however, we found the prices to be quiet high. So instead, we took the kids to a few souvenir shops off-site and saved a ton! For example, we found autograph books for only $1.97 and Minnie purses for only $8.97. Way cheaper than what we saw in the parks!
Look for more affordable tourist stops – like Old Town Orlando
One of our favorite stops was at Old Town Orlando. Our kids were able to ride a few rides and we enjoyed walking through the old town shops. Parking was free and you only have to pay for the attractions you want. Our kids rode go-karts, a roller coaster and some smaller carnival rides. Compared to some of the amusement parks, this might be a fun, more cost-friendly alternative if you’re looking for something the family will enjoy.
Visit the Orlando Science Museum for FREE with, you guessed it, a reciprocal museum membership!
Although it may seem like EVERYTHING in Orlando costs money, we are happy to report that with another type of reciprocal membership, you can get into the Science Museum at no cost if you have a museum membership.
If you are traveling to Orlando, we hope you have a fantastic time no matter your budget! Hopefully, these tips will help you keep things a little more affordable as you travel.