Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ways to Save at Universal Studios

It seems as though everyone is locking up their wallets tight these days and being a little more careful about where they spend their dimes. And though you might consider a trip to Universal Studios a frivolous expense that will take away all your dimes, a trip to this Orlando theme park doesn’t necessarily have to be a costly good time. Just follow the following tips and you’ll see that a trip to Universal Studios can be fun and inexpensive too.

One of the biggest expenditures during an Orlando vacation is food. Three meals a day can add up to a lot over the span of a trip, and if you happen to get hungry at the parks, you’ll often find that the fare is pricier than you’d like. Many people save by bringing their own snacks and drinks in a backpack – then you can camp outside your favorite attraction and nosh away.

However, Universal Orlando also offers a Universal Meal Deal ticket, which allows you to enjoy an unlimited amount of lunch and dinner at either Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure for one low price. Good for one or two days, the meal deal is a bargain if you plan on spending the entire day at the parks, and it’s good at places like Mel’s Drive In, the Comic Strip CafĂ©, and Louie’s Italian Restaurant. Best yet, you can go through the lines as many times as you want really gorge. We advise skipping on the Meal Deal Souvenir Cup, though. Unless you plan to drink a lot of soda (not a good idea when you’re about to go on a roller coaster), it’s simply not worth it.

Another big expense during theme park trips is souvenirs, especially if you’re traveling with kids. One money-saving tip is to allow each child only one souvenir that they can pick during the beginning or end of their vacation. Help them choose their souvenir carefully so that they pick something that will be useful throughout the trip or for their next one, like an autograph book or a hat. Also, you can eliminate opportunities for spending money by coming prepared with your own camera; that way, you won’t have to pay for shots with Spiderman.

You can also save on the costs of a rental by staying at one of Universal Studios’ three resorts. Guests of the Royal Pacific Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel, or the Portofino Bay Hotel all benefit from complimentary on-site transportation. You can take the convenient water taxis along picturesque waterways or ride the shuttle bus directly to Universal Studios or CityWalk. You can also ride free to SeaWorld, Wet ‘n Wild, and even Walt Disney World.

Universal Studios resort guests are also privy to Universal Express Ride Access, which entitles them to special shorter lines at popular park attractions. Your room key doubles as your Access Pass, and by saving time at the park, you’ll likely save money. This neat benefit certainly makes staying at the resorts worth it.

And for those who can’t get enough of CityWalk, you may want to hold off your visits to this entertainment-filled park until after 6 pm. Unfortunately, Universal began charging for parking at CityWalk at the beginning of the year, but the fee is $12 during the day and only $3 at night.

Finally, the best way to save on a Universal Studios excursion is by getting discount Universal Studios tickets at DWTickets.com. So go ahead and treat yourself to a Universal Studios adventure – with all the ways that you can save, you won’t even feel guilty about it.


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