This JHM column is for all you Central Floridians out there.
To be specific, those folks who live in and around the Orlando area.
Copyright Visit Orlando. All rights reserved
The upside of living here is that you've got world-class
theme parks right at your front doorstep. Which means (if you so desire) you
can be among the very first folks to experience the latest ride, show or
attraction at SeaWorld
Studios Florida, Universal Islands of
Adventure & the four Disney theme
But the downside of living in Central Florida is that you
have this seemingly endless parade of houseguests. Friends & relatives who regularly
fly into Orlando. Who - once they get into town - immediately expect you to
drop anything and then act as their personal tour guide at the Parks. Which -
given what theme park admission costs these days - can get pretty pricey if
you're still buying tickets on an individual basis.
And even though a lot of folks who are flying in Orlando these
days now have Universal on their radar (thanks - in large part - to all the
positive press that The Wizarding World of
Harry Potter has gotten) let's face facts: Your house guests - at some
point during their Central Florida vacation - are gonna wanna see Mickey. Which
is why it would probably be smart if you got yourself some sort of nnual pass for the Disney theme parks.
Copyright Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved
Thankfully, the Mouse knows that Central Florida residents
(like people everywhere else these days) are really watching their pennies.
Which is why the Walt
Disney Resort has created four different levels of Florida Resident Passes for
its theme parks.
The most affordable version of this strictly-for-Florida-residents
admissions media is the Weekday
Select Pass. Which - for $only 169 - will get an adult (And by Disney's
definition, an adult is anyone 10 years of age or older) admission to the four WDW
theme parks most Mondays through Fridays.
Now please note that I said "most Mondays through Fridays."
Given its incredibly low price point (i.e. a child's version of this pass can
be purchased for just $154), this admission's material does come with some
conditions. To be specific, if you're using a Florida Resident Disney Weekday
Select Past, you're not allowed to enter the Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studio and Disney's Animal
Kingdom Theme Park
Photo by Kent Phillips. Copyright Disney Enterprises,Inc. All rights reserved
The same restrictions apply to the next step-up in WDW
admissions material. Which is the Florida
Resident Disney Seasonal Pass. Which - for $251 - gets an adult into all
four of Disney World's theme parks year 'round. Except - of course - for those
three sets of blackout dates that I listed above.
Which is admittedly a really great price. Especially if
you're springing for the child's version of the Florida Resident Disney
Seasonal Pass. Which goes for $229 a person.
The only problem with those Florida
Resident Disney Seasonal and Weekday Select Passes is that they - in effect
- lock you out of the four WDW theme parks during the exact times of year when
most people actually take their vacations. Which means - like it or not - if
Mom & Dad want you take them to DHS the week before Christmas so that they
can then catch the Osborne Family
Spectacle of Dancing Lights OR if Aunt
Trudy flies into Orlando during the tail end of April and then wants you to
accompany her on a tour of Epcot's
International Flower & Garden Festival .... You've got no choice. You're
just going to have to buy a full-priced ticket if you want to get into the Disney
theme parks during those extremely busy times of year.
Photo by Matt Stroshane. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
Which is why - in the long run - it just might be wise to
buy a Florida
Resident Disney Annual Pass. Which - for $366 for adults and $332 for
children - will get you into all four of the WDW theme parks year 'round.
Better yet, if you spring for the
Florida Resident Disney Premium Annual Pass ... Well, that not only gets you
into the Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studio and Disney's
Animal Kingdom Theme Park. But the Premium Annual Pass also gets you into a lot
of other spots that tourists like to visit during their WDW vacations. To be
specific, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water
Park and the DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park.
Of course, you're going to pay a higher price for the Florida
Resident Disney Premium Annual Pass. The adult version of this Pass goes for
$484.00 while the child's version goes for $443. But the upside is that this Premium
Annual Pass also gets you discounts at Downtown Disney, Disney's Oak Trail Golf
Course and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Which is the sort of perk
that you can actually share with family & friends while they're visiting
the Walt Disney World Resort.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
If - on the other hand - you're not willing or able to shell
out nearly $500 for a Florida Resident Disney Premium Annual Pass ... More to the
point, if you have friends & family who've come into town on short notice
and want you to come out to the Disney theme parks with them ASAP ... well,
there's always the Wild
4 Disney Pass.
This is almost an unbelievable bargain for Florida
Residents. For just $119 (plus tax), you get four days of fun in WDW's theme
parks. And for an extra fee, you can add a Park Hopper Option and/or active the
Water Park Fun & More Option to add even more flexibility to your Wild 4
Mind you, at this price point, some restrictions do apply.
This Wild 4 Disney Passes are only available for purchase now through May 22nd.
And this admissions material has a one-week-long blackout period from April 17
- 24, 2011. More to the point, the unused portion of these tickets expire on
May 26th. Plus you'll need to produce proof of Florida residency for
each adult you're purchasing Wild
4 Disney Passes for.
The same sorts of restrictions apply for all of the other
forms of Disney Florida Resident Passes that I've mentioned in today's JHM. To
explain: This admissions material must be purchased in advance. After that ...
Well, you'll then receive an exchange certificate. Which must then be taken to
a Walt Disney World Theme Park ticket window. That's where - once you present your
exchange certificate along with a valid Florida photo ID - you'll then be
issued your Disney
Florida Resident Pass.
And once you have that safely tucked away in your wallet ...
Well, you'll then be good to go when your brother-in-law blows into town and
says "Let's go drinking-around-the-world at Epcot." Or if your old college
buddy comes into Orlando and
says "Let's go try that Wild Africa Trek thing at Disney's Animal
I'm sorry that I can't solve all of your Disney theme park-related
problems. Which is why you're going to have to come up with some sort of excuse
all on your own as to why you're not
willing to ride "it's a small world" over & over & over again with your
Hey, maybe you could tell her that you suffer from sea
sickness. It's just a suggestion.
FYI: The prices that you see listed in today's aren't the prices that you'd pay if you ordered your Florida Resident Disney and/or Wild 4 Disney Passes through Disney. But -- rather -- the discounted prices that you can this admissions media for if you purchase your Florida Resident Disney and/or Wild 4 Disney Passes through Orlando Fun Tickets. So if you're a Central Floridian and are looking to say a few bucks on these Florida-Resident-only ticket offers, be sure and check OFT out.