Are Family Vacation Packages to Orlando Theme Parks Worth Buying?

Orlando Family Vacation Packages

Bringing a family to Florida for a long-awaited vacation get-away can be costly. Theme parks offer family vacation packages, but are they the right choice?

Airline tickets, automobile rental, hotel accommodations, restaurant selections, attraction tickets, and miscellaneous details to tend to are all part of planning for a family vacation. The planning stage of the vacation is overwhelming at times with so many choices to consider. Family vacation packages help to relieve some of the stress by offering combinations of travel arrangements with lodging and theme park tickets for each member of the family. Best choice? Maybe and maybe not.

What Vacation Packages Include for Travelers

Travelers to the Orlando, Florida area will find packages offered by the major theme parks. Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando all offer numerous packages each varying in the options they provide the traveler. Accommodations range from value motels for the thrifty shopper or deluxe five-star resorts for those seeking pampering and relaxation. The length of stay and the number of amenities desired to determine which package will meet the family’s needs.

Disney World package

A basic Disney World package includes accommodations, one park per day tickets for the length of stay, complimentary transportation to and from the airport and around the Disney property, extended theme park hours, and numerous discounts. Ticket upgrades are available including Park Hopper (more than one park per day), no expiration date, and add-ons such as water parks.

Travelers can customize their Disney World package in many different ways, adding on options anywhere in between and up to a package that includes just about anything found at the Disney World Resort in Orlando. This top-of-the-line package includes all of the aforementioned pluses:

  • three meals for each guest per day,
  • optional bottle of wine each night of stay,
  • one refillable resort mug per guest,
  • unlimited use of recreation,
  • Cirque du Soleil Show La Nouba tickets,
  • special tours,
  • unlimited admission to children’s activity centers,
  • special seating for fireworks shows,
  • skin or body treatments for each guest at the spa,
  • itinerary planning.

Universal Orlando Resort

Packages at the Universal Orlando Resort include hotel accommodations, one day/one-park tickets for both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios for each guest for the length of the stay, early park admission one hour before the park opens to the public, and access to Universal’s CityWalk (nightly entertainment area). With the recent opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal offers packages that also include a commemorative ticket and breakfast at the Harry Potter themed Three Broomsticks. Similarly, the Blue Man Group package includes show tickets for each guest. Travelers can personalize their packages from the basic least expensive amenities to AAA Four-star resorts on Universal property with added perks.

An ultimate 7-night vacation package offered by Universal Orlando includes all of the above and an Orlando Flex Ticket for the duration of the stay. The ticket allows guest admission to five parks:

  • Universal Studios Florida
  • Universal Islands of Adventure
  • SeaWorld Orlando
  • Aquatica (SeaWorld’s waterpark)
  • Wet ‘n Wild Orlando.

SeaWorld Orlando

The SeaWorld Orlando packages include nightly accommodations, unlimited admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica for the duration of the stay, and special add-ons including Busch Gardens Tampa. Airline options are made available by both Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando packages.

Reasons Travelers Choose to Not Buy a Vacation Package

With the exception of the 7-night ticket offered by the Universal Orlando Resort, each theme park is exclusive in the packages it offers. If the family wishes to visit a Disney park and a Universal park none of the theme parks offer a package to accommodate them.

Central Florida offers so much more than the major theme parks. Only an hour’s drive to the east is Daytona Beach where visitors can swim in the Atlantic Ocean and stroll along sandy beaches. About halfway between Orlando and Daytona Beach is Blue Spring State Park where visitors tube the run from the first magnitude artesian spring and view manatees taking refuge from the cold during the winter months. Fishing opportunities abound in Ponce Inlet, just a short drive south of Daytona Beach. Families desiring a bit more flexibility and opportunities for a variety of activities may prefer to make their travel plans on their own.

Reasons Travelers Choose to Purchase Packages

Packages are usually less expensive than purchasing each element separately. Even if the money saved isn’t reason enough, the ease of planning and added conveniences might sway a traveler to invest in a package.

When deciding whether a family vacation package is right, consider each family member’s interests and the type of vacation desired and then weigh them against whatever savings are offered in time and money. Vacation time is a time for relaxation and worry-free fun.

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