My family and I recently visited Universal Studios theme park, in Orlando Florida …. something that I wouldn’t necessarily have imagined us able to do just a few years ago because we all know a trip to anything in Orlando can be quite expensive, amiright?!
Our day at Universal Studios was one of the sunniest and hottest of our whole week in the area – we started sweating buckets from the moment we stepped foot out of the car! Though walking all day in that weather felt more like we were on an episode of Survivor than at a theme park, we enjoyed watching the kids having the time of their lives! We picked the very hottest time of the year to go because it was also the cheapest time to fly down there, which leads me to tip #1 to help you make the trip too 🙂
6 Ways to visit Universal Studios on a tight budget
Start shopping early – This will give you your pick of the best rates on everything from transportation, accommodations, theme park tickets, and more. Though we knew August would be the hottest time of the year to visit Orlando, it was also the very cheapest time to fly, according to our research. The extra sweat was well worth the money saved, in our opinion 😉
Pack strategically – Just as an example, rather than paying a premium price for the misting fans that are on sale in every theme park in the area, we packed our smallest size misting fans we already owned. I grabbed two at Walmart on an end of season clearance sale, but I personally like this one since it’s not battery operated like ours are. You can charge this one through any USB port and it’s big enough to put out some serious mist, yet still small enough to be quite portable.
Call ahead and study the website – Every theme park has their own rules and regs about what they allow in the park, including Universal. Keep in mind, they can also change at any time too! So read up on their site and call with any questions regarding things like whether you can bring food or drinks into the park, etc. Every bit counts and the little things add up fast!
Bring backpacks – This can save women from having to bring their biggest mom purses and men from having to tote along man bags or fanny packs …. oh the horrors! This can also save you from having to rent lockers to store your stuff when your family rides the rollercoasters.
Check into discount tickets – Take a look at places like Groupon, Smart Destinations, and more. If you’re a military family, check out Shades of Green and the military page on Universal’s website. There are all kinds of ways to find reasonably priced tickets for those willing to do your research!
Have your kids be saving for the trip too – If your kiddos are old enough to complete small jobs for others like babysitting or lawn mowing, or help out around your house more than usual to earn spending money, these can be great opportunities to have the kids contribute to their own experience!
I know my kids were saving for months before we made the trip! They were so excited about it all, but especially “Harry Potter World” for which they wanted to have extra money on hand to get their dream treats on their dream trip! The girls each purchased their own wands with their own money and couldn’t have been happier about that! We still provided for all the little things throughout the day, like Harry Potter’s Butter beer but they were able to get above and beyond what we would have gotten them because they brought their own money too!
We all had a wonderful time and it was just so neat to see them on cloud 9 in so many moments like this one! The dragon you see below had just breathed fire down towards the awe-struck crowd all of a sudden and caught everyone totally off guard! Just look at their faces!!!
We even got to see a brand new attraction while we were at Universal! The Incredible Hulk Coaster now features thrilling new enhancements that make one of the world’s best roller coasters even more incredible. Enhancements include a brand-new ride vehicle, a new, original storyline and completely redesigned queue experience, and an all-new onboard ride score produced by Patrick Stump, front man for the internationally-renowned rock band, Fall Out Boy. For more information, check out the official Universal Orlando blog Hope this helped you see it can be done, to get to Universal even on a tight budget.
Thanks for reminding me to bring backpacks so we won’t have to rent lockers for our stuff as we visit Universal Studios. My husband and I have decided that this can be a great experience for our daughters, so we’re thinking of scheduling this trip for next month. I really hope that we’d be able to find nearby lodging options that can accommodate our entire family.