Tips & Tricks
Orlando Theme Park
Tips & Tricks
Central Florida's theme parks are out of this world and with tens of millions of visitors enjoying the excitment of Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and much more each year, we're here at Gotta Go Orlando to help you plan your next Orlando theme park visit with maximum enjoyment and minimum stress.
Purchase Tickets in Advance
We recommend that you purchase your theme park tickets in advance and not at the gate. There’s no good reason to delay getting your tickets and plenty of great reasons to get them in advance.
Online prices will be cheaper than the gate price (unless it’s a single day ticket) and a huge benefit is that you won’t have to waiit in really long lines at the entrance to the theme parks. You can purchase your discounted tickets here.
Oh and another advantage of purchasing your Disney tickets in advance is that you will be able to make use of the Fast Pass Plus system, which takes us to our next theme park tip...
Consider Using Disney Genie+
Purchase Disney Genie+ if you want to spend as much time on the rides. For just $15 extra per person per day, Disney Genie+ allows you expedited entry (via the Lightning Lane) on over 40 rides throughout Disney World’s theme parks. Individual Lightning Lane passes can also be purchased on a per-ride at a few of Disney’s most sought-after attractions.
Consider Universal Express Pass
It depends on the time of year you're visiting and how much value you want to place on time, to decide if it’s the right option for you.
Universal offer two options to help skip the lines. Express Pass allows you to bypass the lines on each ride once while Express Pass Unlimited allows you to bypass the lines as often as you like.
Photograph Your Tickets
As soon as you get your theme park tickets take a picture of the back showing the bar code and details. This will be essential if you ever lose your ticket or need replacements for any reason.
Once you’ve photographed the tickets, email the images to yourself and someone else in your group, then you'll have a back up of the ticket information. Although not obliged to, the theme parks usually replace lost or stolen tickets and issue new ones. The old ones will be voided, so if anyone does try to use them, they may show up as “possibly stolen”. There may be a replacement fee, but hopefully your tickets will be replaced for zero cost.
Arrive Early and Split The Day
You should plan to arrive at the park around 30 minutes prior the the listed opening time, this gets you a head start on seeing and doing as much as possible, although spending so much time in the parks can be exhausting for adults as well as kids, so plan on taking a break in the middle of the day, especially on those hot summer days.
Splitting the day will help keep your stamina and give your tired and aching feet a rest, and remember, you need to save energy for all the fun evenings activities including the fireworks which you do not want to miss!
Arriving at the parks early means the crowds will be lower too, you can then leave the parks early afternoon when the crowds and lines start to get crazy busy, plus breaking the day gives you time to enjoy a well earned afternoon nap, enjoy a cooling swim at your hotel or resort pool, and you get to enjoy precious downtime. You can then head back into the parks feeling fully refreshed and ready for lot's more fun.
Remember Where You Park
When you park in the theme parks parking lots, take a picture with your phone or camera of the row and section of where you park. The theme parks make it easier to remember by naming the parking sections after characters.
It can be difficult trying to find your car hidden between thousands of others if you forgot where you parked 8 hours earlier, the picture will make it easy to find, trust us the parking lots are huge!
Wear Comfortable Footwear
A trip to a theme park means you’ll be on your feet for hours and hours, your feet will take an absolute pounding,
so take care of them and they’ll last the distance. Comfort is the key here, so best to leave those new shoes at home and pack those old dependable worn in sneakers, your feet will thank you.
Bring On The Extra Power
You’ll be taking a lot of pictures on your camera and using your cell for pictures too, as well as for keeping you updated on ride times and more on the theme park apps. This will be a drain on your battery obviously, so make sure to carry a spare battery or portable charger. There are plenty of outlets in the parks to plug in and charge, including rest areas and various restaurants.
The theme parks and many of the area attractions offer Fuel Rod's which can give you up to 4 hours of usage on your smart phone, iPhone or tablet. Adapters for Android and Apple cells are included.
Once the Fuel Rod is empty, you can either re-charge it or swap it out for a new one, easy! (The initial Fuel Rod is around $30 with swapped Fuel Rods varying per location)
Protect Your Phone
Take a zip-lock bag to put your phone into if you go on any water rides. Some of them can be pretty wet!
Pack a Poncho
Perfect for Central Florida's summer storms and those wet rides at the theme parks. They are lightweight, small and easy to carry around, and ideal for tto keep you dry in those surprise showers and wet water rides.
Work Your Way Backwards
Believe it or not, most people turn left when they enter a park and work their way around clockwise. You should try the opposite and head to the back of the park and work you way around in the opposite direction to the crowds.
Single Rider Line
If you don’t mind splitting up, riding alone and you really want to ride a particular ride then go ahead and use the Single Rider Lines to cut down wait time in the lines, especially if your on a tight schedule and the parks are busy.
Child Swap/Rider Switch
Most rides offer the option for parents to leave younger children with another adult party member hile they go have fun on the ride. Once over, they swap places and the second adult gets to ride without having to wait in line again.
The older kids will get to ride twice, bonus! Child Swap is at Universal and Rider Switch is at Disney.
Ride During Parades & Fireworks
At all the theme parks, the buzsierr ides will be much quieter during the popular parades and firework shows, if you’ve seen the parades already, then head for the mosy popular rides for a shorter wait time.