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Old 09-05-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
gujuhero
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Updated - Our Budget Trip Plan 10/26-11/4 - Please provide any suggestions

I hope I am posting this in the right section. This will be the first trip to florida for me (27) and my wife (25).

We are going from NJ and have booked flight using Thank you points. We have a booked a Country hill INN hotel (3 star) Near the airport. We are going to buy tickets to discovery cove with Seaworld and aquatica included through Amex deal. We were planning to buy super grover pass but the amex deal will allow us to go to discovery cove and That should be awesome. As well as 2 days basic tickets to Universal studios and IOA. We are buying these tickets from undercover tourist.com We are also going to rent a economy car since we want to go to different restaurants outside the park at night for more options (Vegetarian).

We will be reaching their on Friday Night so:

Saturday: Discovery Cove

Sunday: Seaworld

Monday: Aquatica

Tuesday: Universal Studios (Hopefully low crowds and park is open till 6).

Wednesday: Seaworld (2nd Day)

Thursday: IOA (Hopefully very low crowds, First thing in the morning go to Harry Potter rides and olivanders and then rest of the park.)

Friday: Seaworld or Aquatica

Saturday: Relax at Cocoa beach

Sunday: fly back home.

Budget

Flights (34000 Thank you points)
Hotel ($500 for 8/9 nights, Great Deal I think)
Rental Car (190 for 9 days, Great Deal I think)
Discover cove and Seaworld, aquatica (140x2=280)
Universal 2 days (125x2=250)
miscellaneous, food, and parking =??


This is the plan, I would greatly appreciate the comments as to what I might be doing wrong and How I can do things better. I do like to save money alot so any money saving tips are welcome. Also, I would love some good night life suggestions. Wife is a scardy cat so no HHN for us.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by gujuhero; 09-18-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
Batesl49
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You sure have a great sounding plan, you think like I do. A few suggestions that I have found helpful.

Go to visitorlando.com to request a Magicard and booklet with many insider tips, coupons, and promos that only this card will get you. Great info on dinning, night life, and so on.
When visiting Studios, go to the best rides first, for me that would be The Mummy and MIB. If lines are not forming yet when you get off, get back on. If you like to ride that way it gets in some extra ride time.
Plan a meal at The Three Broomsticks, it is fantastic.
The wand shop has a line that is always long and in the sun so you might want to do that one first and then go to the castle for Harry.
Take time to sit in the Owlery, the sights and sounds are wonderful. Make sure your wife goes into the restroom across from the Owlery to hear Moaning Myrtle, it is way cool.

Ok, enough for now, if more comes to mind I will write.
Returning Nov/Dec. 2012 3rd visit. Harry here I come.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
JessB320
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You may want to look at the Orlando flex tickets at under cover tourist , they are good at US/ IOA/wet n wild (really fun water park) seaworld/ aquatica/ and city walk (club covers) they are good for 14 days and you can go to each park as many times as you want in those 14 days. They are $286 I think from UT, there is also an option that includes the above plus Busch gardens, not sure how much that on Eli's, may save you some on tickets. Also I think you can find a car rental for a bit less, I would follow the oct. car rental thread on the transportation board for some hints on that. Hope you have a great trip!!
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #4
gujuhero
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Thanks

Thanks for great information. I have ordered the free magic card and booklet.

I was planning to do the flex ticket and it took me a while to decide go with super grover pass. After comparing ticket prizes and parking cost, buying super grover pass was turning out to be cheaper. Additionally, it also includes 2013 season so I was also planning a road trip to Virginia next year and going to the Busch gardens and water park there also.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:02 AM   #5
JessB320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gujuhero
Thanks for great information. I have ordered the free magic card and booklet.

I was planning to do the flex ticket and it took me a while to decide go with super grover pass. After comparing ticket prizes and parking cost, buying super grover pass was turning out to be cheaper. Additionally, it also includes 2013 season so I was also planning a road trip to Virginia next year and going to the Busch gardens and water park there also.
Nice!! Sounds like that will be a great deal for you then!
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:11 AM   #6
hydrotony
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Make sure you know the Super Grover pass details. I thought I read that you had to go to Sesame Place first to activate it then all the other parks are activated. Just be sure. Have fun.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:58 AM   #7
gujuhero
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Originally Posted by hydrotony View Post
Make sure you know the Super Grover pass details. I thought I read that you had to go to Sesame Place first to activate it then all the other parks are activated. Just be sure. Have fun.
Yes, I researched that too. There is thread here where they do confirm that the restriction was lifted and you can get the tickets activated anywhere. I also called Sesame place mutiple times to get it confirmed by multiple CSRs that they can be activated in Florida.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:35 PM   #8
Maytrix
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Wife is a scardy cat means you MUST do HHN

It will make your time that much more fun! My favorite is watching the people that are easily scared.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:43 PM   #9
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OP your hotel rate is great but you have a bit of a drive to the attractions you mention. just wondering if you're locked into it? priceline, hotwire (if you don't need a specific number of beds) or lastminutetravel have good deals and you can pick your zone. We've gotten good deals on 1 BR units at the sheraton vistana. They have a kitchen which could help as to food costs.

if not prepaid, keep checking car rental rate. They can change hourly. Check out the transportation board here for codes. Dollar has had some good citi specials lately for sept/oct dates (just plug in your dates, no codes and if available they'll pop up...be aware they do charge $10 a day for spouse as extra driver). I have a standard (fullsize) car booked with alamo for $143 for 8 days but booked it in July.

dining/spending is always the wild card. Check out menus on allears. Since you have transportation there are lots of chain counter server options in orlando to help balance your budget.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:14 AM   #10
gujuhero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keishashadow View Post
OP your hotel rate is great but you have a bit of a drive to the attractions you mention. just wondering if you're locked into it? priceline, hotwire (if you don't need a specific number of beds) or lastminutetravel have good deals and you can pick your zone. We've gotten good deals on 1 BR units at the sheraton vistana. They have a kitchen which could help as to food costs.

if not prepaid, keep checking car rental rate. They can change hourly. Check out the transportation board here for codes. Dollar has had some good citi specials lately for sept/oct dates (just plug in your dates, no codes and if available they'll pop up...be aware they do charge $10 a day for spouse as extra driver). I have a standard (fullsize) car booked with alamo for $143 for 8 days but booked it in July.

dining/spending is always the wild card. Check out menus on allears. Since you have transportation there are lots of chain counter server options in orlando to help balance your budget.

Thanks for the great advise. In terms of Hotels, we are locked in through hotwire. I did not know about lastminutedeals but I will be sure to check it next time. The Hotel I booked is 47 a night and has free continental breakfast (Important).

You just saved me another $25 on my car rental. I went through dollar and got their City Specials. Its only 190 for 9 days now. Regarding Spouse as extra driver, I am the only one who is planning to drive so I dont have to worry about extra $10 a day. I hope additional driver is not mandatory?

Last edited by gujuhero; 09-07-2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:25 AM   #11
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Make sure you budget on tolls driving back and forth to your hotel to and from attractions. That's one problem with staying out near the airport.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:39 AM   #12
gujuhero
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Make sure you budget on tolls driving back and forth to your hotel to and from attractions. That's one problem with staying out near the airport.
Do you know approximately how much the tolls would be to go to universal or seaworld? Would it make sense time and traffic wise to avoid toll roads and take local roads? Thanks.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gujuhero View Post
Thanks for the great advise. In terms of Hotels, we are locked in through hotwire. I did not know about lastminutedeals but I will be sure to check it next time. The Hotel I booked is 47 a night and has free continental breakfast (Important).

You just saved me another $25 on my car rental. I went through dollar and got their City Specials. Its only 190 for 9 days now. Regarding Spouse as extra driver, I am the only one who is planning to drive so I dont have to worry about extra $10 a day. I hope additional driver is not mandatory?
good to hear, keep checking it may drop. If no other driver it's not mandatory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gujuhero View Post
Do you know approximately how much the tolls would be to go to universal or seaworld? Would it make sense time and traffic wise to avoid toll roads and take local roads? Thanks.
It's our personal preference. Pull up a map of the Orlando area via mapquest and search for driving directions but use the avoid tolls and highway options. We only drive on the surface roads to navigate Orlando area. It sometimes takes a little longer but far less hassle and traffic and it does save on the tolls.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:41 AM   #14
hydrotony
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Three web sites I know of for central Florida sell half-priced deals that may be useful.
The most well known is Groupon.com but Orlando has odealsdaily.com and another is livingsocial.com

Getting half-priced off-site meals can be a real budget helper.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:10 AM   #15
gujuhero
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Originally Posted by hydrotony View Post
Three web sites I know of for central Florida sell half-priced deals that may be useful.
The most well known is Groupon.com but Orlando has odealsdaily.com and another is livingsocial.com

Getting half-priced off-site meals can be a real budget helper.

Thanks a lot. I did not know about the odealsdaily.com. I bought a Mediatarannean restaurant deal where 15 dollars will give us 30. It also has belly dancing show on friday and saturday so that will be fun.

Fun Fact: I read Odealsdaily.com is owned by a radiostation and is a legit website. Thats pretty cool.
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