Have you been to Orlando before and know the attraction tickets that you want already? If so, you can head straight to the Ticket section and pick them out now. If you are new to Orlando, a bit confused, totally confused or just want to read some new ideas then take a deep breath, sit back, relax and read on.
In this written guide we will go through a lot of the logic that is coded into our Ticket Finder tool. If you would prefer a more visual and interactive guide then the Ticket Finder tool is perfect for you.
There are a lot of different Orlando attraction tickets available and we all have different circumstances so Ticket Rangers cannot answer the question, “Which ticket is best?” What we can help to answer, however, is, “Which ticket is best for me?” There is a subtle but big difference. By helping to break down your individual requirements and circumstances we can arm you with all the knowledge needed to make the right decision.
Where to start?
The first step is to be realistic with yourself. An awful lot of people buy tickets that are above and beyond what they need and will actually use. An extreme example would be for somebody that is spending 2 days in Disney with no intention of going to any water parks or park hopping buying a 21 day Disney Ultimate ticket that would give 21 days of access, including to water parks and the ability to park hop. This imaginary individual would be far better off with a 2 Day Disney Special ticket that does not include 19 days that will not be used, does not include the water parks or park hopping and is therefore much, much cheaper. This ticket is not available all year round so if you think it will be ideal for you then please keep checking back or join our social media pages for regular updates.
Orlando is, usually, very hot and spending a day in one of the many parks is physically tiring and can really take its toll on adults let alone kids. A number of people struggle to go full throttle from start to finish, especially if you are on a longer trip so it is a good idea to try and be realistic about where you want to visit and how often. We understand a trip to Orlando can be a once in a lifetime event and the natural urge is to try and squeeze in as much as possible, some of you will manage to do that, but you will know yourself how likely you are to be one of those people and how likely you are to be a bit more easy paced. There are no right or wrong ways to be, we are just all different.
Now that you have your realistic head on, the next natural step is to make a rough itinerary of where you want to go and how often you think you would like to visit. We have some great guides on Ticket Rangers in the Attractions section that you can have a look at to help you get a feel for what each theme park offers and how much it appeals to you.
A simple way to get started is to list the dates of your trip and then next to each date have a section for morning, afternoon and evening. Start by filling in all of your 'definites' and gradually move your way down the list of attractions you would like to visit. The sections will soon start to fill up and your first draft itinerary will be ready in no time.
Things to consider when making an itinerary are Extra Magic Hours at Disney parks, where people staying in Disney hotels get early or late entry into certain parks. These can have an impact on crowd levels as they tend to be popular with onsite guests. A number of parks have shows and firework displays late in the evening so you may want to make sure that you are in Magic Kingdom on a evening when Happily Ever After is on, for example. Crowds can also be affected by special events like Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios or Mickey's Not So-Scary Halloween Party in Magic Kingdom so check your potential dates for anything that may clash.
Show your itinerary to people you are going with or friends and family, review it, amend it and when you are happy then move onto the next step.
Narrowing down your options
UK guests are very fortunate in that both Disney and Universal offer us some great ticket packages that are not available to everybody else. Disney offer 7, 14 and 21 day Ultimate tickets that include Memory Maker (with an adult ticket), park hopping, unlimited visits and access to the water parks. Comparing these to the tickets on offer to other guests from around the world, the prices are very good. Universal have similar with the Explorer tickets that are valid for 14 days and offer unlimited visits and park hopping. Remember that park hopping is required at Universal if you want to ride the Hogwarts Express – without it you will not be allowed on. The alternative tickets available to other guests that Universal sell can be more restrictive and are generally more beneficial for shorter stays.
The Disney Ultimate, the Universal Explorer and 3 for 2 SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens are good places to start. They offer a lot of freedom, you can visit the theme parks as many times as you like during the validity of the ticket. Our Combo tickets have examples where you can buy groups of these tickets together and potentially make some even greater savings.
In additon, there are some further options for SeaWorld Parks and Discovery Cove
The first thing that Ticket Rangers would like to point out for these parks is that Discovery Cove tickets also include entry to SeaWorld, Aquatica and sometimes Busch Gardens. That means you do not have to buy a Discovery Cove ticket and separately purchase ones for SeaWorld Parks. An Ultimate package will include all 3 SeaWorld Parks whereas the regular package includes SeaWorld and Aquatica. This makes the price of Discovery Cove a lot better value for money if you also plan on visiting the other parks.
With Discovery Cove you will need to decide if you want to have the swim with dolphin experience or not. There are also restrictions on age and health so they are worth investigating before you decide.
If you just want to visit the SeaWorld Parks and not Discovery Cove then the 3 for 2 SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens ticket is, in our opinion, the best value for money ticket on the market. You will get unlimited visits for 14 days to all 3 of the parks and it also includes free parking with every visit. You can often pick this ticket up for £100 or less. Single day tickets are available for each park and vary slightly in price. They are cheaper than the 3 for 2 ticket so if you are definitely only going to do 1 day then they will work out best. If you are planning on doing 2 of the 3 SeaWorld Parks then you can get tickets to match but they are often the same price as the 3 for 2 ticket but don't provide free parking, so you're better off buying the 3 for 2 and getting your parking included.
Tickets for LegoLand, LegoLand water park, Kennedy Space Center and Gatorland are a lot simpler than most. We list the single day admission tickets for Kennedy Space Center and Gatorland. For LegoLand there is a bit more choice with a 1, 2 or 14 day ticket. You can also gain access to the LegoLand water park with a 1 or 2 day combo . Keep an eye out for the special deals that you can find for LegoLand and also the freebies some sites offer as it is possible to get tickets for these parks for 'free' when you buy other tickets and combos. These deals are often subject to availability and for a limited time only so you will have to be quick. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be informed of when these and other deals go live.