Leisure, fun and theme parks are special visitor attractions in Florida and especially in the Orlando area . Nowhere else in the world is there such a concentration of entertainment.
For the large theme parks of Disneyworld (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Pleasure Island; various Park Hopper Passes) and the Busch Group (Seaworld, Busch Gardens; Adventure Pass) as well as Universal Studios / Island’s of Adventure (Orlando Flexticket) you can buy tickets before you travel in Europe. Either from the catalog offers of the major tour operators via domestic travel agencies or directly via the Internet.
According to ask4beauty, the advantage of this purchase is certainly the clear travel cost calculation, further ancillary costs (tax, etc.) are no longer to be expected on site. Attention: If you buy tickets as part of guided group tours, you shouldn’t be surprised that they are more expensive than the actual admission prices. After all, the price also includes the guide’s entry into the park and his remuneration.
In the greater Orlando area, you can buy tickets on almost every street corner, at least near major shopping centers. The term ” Tourist Information ” is not legally protected in the USA and can therefore also be used by private individuals. This (self) designation is therefore not a seal of trust.
Even in the larger hotels there are ticket offices with ticket offers. If tickets are offered at special prices, this can be a serious offer. But be careful: most of the discount tickets are not, but rather, promotional / lure offers from country clubs and similar clubs that want to sell apartments or usage rights on a time-share basis. The discount tickets are linked to prior participation in a sales event in the club (usually with breakfast). Although they only sacrifice 2 hours of their free time, they fall into the hands of experienced salespeople. Their offers are not dubious, but have many pitfalls, so that consumer associations generally warn against time sharing (additional costs, usually no free choice of occupancy, annual vacation at the same location, etc.). These discount tickets are therefore only advisable if a time share purchase is intended anyway.
Otherwise, the tickets in the guest services of the hotels are usually only 1 – 2 $ cheaper than buying tickets at the park entrance. In addition to the small savings, you have the advantage of avoiding the usual queues at the counters in the parks. However: with the guest services you don’t get tickets yet, only vouchers, which have to be redeemed for tickets at specially marked cash desks at the park entrances (queues are usually shorter than with full payment). When comparing prices on site, please note that the net price of the ticket is always stated. This is increased by the local sales tax (Sales Tax = 6%).
If you come by car, you have to pay additional parking fees on site at most parks (flat rate for one day). As a rule, a flat fee is charged regardless of the length of time you park.
The tickets are generally valid for one day (from opening to closing). Anyone who leaves the park during the day / evening and would like to re-enter must announce this at the turnstiles at the park exit and usually receive a stamp on their hand that entitles them to re-entry (sometimes only visible in special light).
Occasionally a ticket can also be valid for 2 days at no extra charge (e.g. with Seaworid). Multi- day tickets, which are also available as a combination for several parks and which include price reductions compared to the purchase of one- day tickets, offer more flexibility. Often these tickets also entitle you to earlier entry into the park (entry up to 1 hour before the general public; an essential advantage for “preferring” much-visited attractions).
Access to the rides and demonstrations within the parks is usually well organized (no comparison with the EXPO Hannover!). At the same time, waiting times of up to an hour at the main attractions are not uncommon (longer high season) and are annoying despite being entertained while waiting. In general, you should not visit the main attractions in the morning, but at lunchtime, during the parades and special events with a large audience, and especially in the evening (from around 6 p.m.) (unless you are one of the first admitted visitors very early).
At the Disneyworid theme parks, the FASTPASS is set up for the main attractions. Fixed times are given for access to the attraction, you do not have to stand in the queue, but only appear at the specified time and use a specially marked entrance. The attractions for which this option is available can be found in the event information of the respective park. First you have to go to the desired attraction and insert the ticket into the FASTPASS ticket machine. The result is the FASTPASS stating the time at which you have to be back to get to the attraction. Attention: Every visitor has to buy his own FASTPASS in this way.
In the larger parks in particular, so-called parades take place, ie parades with costumed actors, floats, animals, music, etc. on set routes in the park. Usually there is a parade in the afternoon and possibly another in the evening. The exact times on the respective day can be found in the event calendar that you get when you enter the park (this is often also available in German, ask if necessary), or can be found on the internet homepage. These parades are very popular with visitors, especially those with children. The rush along the moving route is correspondingly high. If you want to get a good viewing area, you have to appear and wait well in advance of the move. Reservations are only possible if the route is to restaurants or similar. Pass by facilities with independent reservation options. They are particularly recommended Parades in the evening that only begin after the onset of dusk. These are sometimes quite impressive orgies of light. Some parades only take place on certain days (weekends, public holidays), this particularly applies to the theme parks in the Disneyworld area.
When planning a visit, you should generally plan to visit the evening parade and set up the daily routine accordingly. If possible, choose the day for the visit on which special parades also take place, because the reason that these do not take place every day is usually that they are particularly expensive and time-consuming. By the way: If you can do without parades, you should visit the main attractions of the respective park during this time, because the rush there is correspondingly lower.
Recommended visiting days
Obviously, it is difficult to give really workable recommendations on this subject. If you can, you should avoid the high season because it is then actually “full” in the theme parks (see the low season under Orlando). Otherwise the theme parks are busier during the week (especially from Monday to Wednesday) than on the weekends. Animal Kingdom, for example, is said to have the lowest visitor numbers on Saturday and the highest on Monday. Pleasure Island, on the other hand, is “in” on Thursday evening (Disney employees should have free entry on this day).
Individual theme parks also hold special events for a limited number of visitors at certain times or on certain days (e.g. Universal Studios). Parts of the park are then closed for these events and are not accessible or only accessible at specified times. You should take this into account when planning and choose an alternative date if necessary. You can find out more on the homepage of the respective theme park. During the holidays in the USA the parks are very well attended, but on the other hand they are also open longer in the evenings and offer more evening shows. During the Christmas holidays Park parking spaces in Wals Disney Word are temporarily full to the last place. When this occurs, Disney will not allow any more visitors to the park. Early arrival is advisable at this time.
Planning the daily routine
If you want to experience the attractions that are really worth seeing, you have to plan your daily routine. Live events, films, etc. are often only shown at certain times and sometimes only once a day. The corresponding times can be found in the daily event calendars, which can be obtained either with the admission ticket or near the turnstiles at the entrance at the Guest Service Desk. In preparation, it is worth taking a look at the parks’ websites on the Internet. It is important to set up the tour in such a way that you can reach the attraction promptly. Anyone who values good visibility and seating should take appropriate “course times” into account (arriving early ensures the best seats).
Many seating areas in event arenas are made of aluminum and – when they are in the shade – cool. If you don’t like cool seating, you should have something warming or insulating to sit on.
A day is long and the sun is usually shining. Casual casual clothing (shorts, cotton clothing) and comfortable sports shoes are therefore popular. Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and, if necessary, a light sweater for the cooler evening should not be missing. Parts of the “equipment” can be deposited in lockers (loosely; usually near the entrance) and picked up if necessary. In strong sunlight, the following applies: drink a lot.
Of course, it also rains in this sun-drenched area. But usually not for too long. If it starts to rain so be patient, go to a restaurant or do something else in a sheltered area. With a little luck, the sun will shine again after an hour at the latest. However: it can be covered for a long time. If a hurricane is announced, the rain will of course continue. Then you should avoid going to the park anyway. From May to September it is hot and humid and there are more thunderstorms in the afternoons. During this time you should avoid rides outdoors because the danger of lightning should not be underestimated.
- Ride: Term for all kinds of ride attractions, i.e. roller coaster, white water rides, but also demonstration attractions with thrills
- Roller Coaster: roller coaster rides, with loops
- Watch your Step: Frequently heard safety instruction (caution, level!)