How Much Spending Money Do I Need for the Orlando theme parks?

Seemingly Orlando couldn't get any more popular with families. Then a Harry Potter world opened.

If you like a theme park, if you like Harry Potter, or if you're partial to both, then have a read of this and weigh up your options. We've covered all things Orlando so you'll be left with realistic "dollars needed" target.


This reflects what everyday travellers tend to spend in Orlando. Think mid-range – most of the theme parks ticked off, a few cab rides, maybe a big night out, and a bit of shopping on the side. It doesn’t include the cost of hotels or car hire as these are often booked in advance.

  • Eating Out: $52 per day
  • Entertainment (bars, tours & attractions): $66 per day
  • Transport: $27 per day
  • Shopping: $43 per day


Real Traveller Average Daily Spend: $84

  • "WeSwapper's Favourite" - Universal Studios - $105
  • WDW Magic Kingdom -$107
  • SeaWorld  - $99.99
  • Discovery Reserve -$179

It's worth saying first of all, you might not spend every single day of your trip going to theme parks, that's what drives the average daily entertainment spent up.

The most popular pick for WeSwap travellers in Orlando is Universal Studios. When you purchase your tickets online through Universal Orlando, you receive a $20 discount over the gate prices for multi-day tickets. This is absolutely a win-win situation for you because you will want to visit US more than once (it's where the Harry Potter park is), and you don’t have to wait in the terribly long lines at the ticket windows either!

WeSwap tip: Before your trip look at partner hotels too. It might knock a wedge off either your park entry or your accommodation.

Universal Studios now boasts the Wizarding World of Harry Potter too!

Universal Studios now boasts the Wizarding World of Harry Potter too!

Magic Kingdom has the famous Disney Palace that you'll have seen a thousand times on TV. With life-sized Disney characters everywhere, this is a real winner with younger children. In terms of money saving advice, ours would be to avoid the souvenirs shop. You'll be able to pick up Disney regalia for half the price elsewhere in Orlando.

WeSwap tip: Avoid peak season for savings in almost every single area. Keep an eye out for online deals and vouchers and sign up to news letters. There are deals to be found out there.

Purchase your entrance ticket together with the meal ticket at Sea World. Unless you've taken packed lunch, this is a serious money saver and you can use the ticket when you want. Sea World gets a lot of stick from animal rights groups but they do apparently contribute huge amounts of money to animal research. Worth considering this and making your own call before you go.

Away from the urbanity of the theme parks, Discovery Cove in Orlando is a day resort that offers the opportunity to swim with dolphins, snorkel among thousands of tropical fish and hand-feed exotic birds. There are also rocky lagoons to hang about it. This shows off Florida's more tropical side and again, it's not cheap but you will experience nature at it's finest.


Swim around with the friendly dolphins at Discovery Cove


Real Traveller Average Daily Spend: $52 per day

If you're spending your days in the parks, chances are you'll be fairly tired come night time. If you're staying in an apartment or a rented house this is the time to cook. To be honest though, the hotel rooms are large and they won't object to you taking food to your rooms. On the other hand, if you do want go out, you'll find no shortage of American food joints: burgers, stakes, ribs.

  • WeSwapper's Favourite Hard Rock Cafe - $62
  • Ponderosa Steakhouse - $42
  • Glass of wine/beer (outside the parks) - $5
  • Coffee - $4

Indeed, the most popular restaurant in Orlando with WeSwappers is the legendary Hard Rock Cafe. As well as al the types of food you would imagine, keep your head up and eyes peeled for awesome memorabilia around the place from rock 'n' roll icons. Also, you can;t leave without a tee-shirt.


No, that's not the Roman Coliseum, it's the Hard Rock Cafe inside Universal Studios!

Ponderosa Steakhouse: It wouln't be right to go to America and not visit an all you can eat buffet. Like most "all you can eat" restaurants the value depends on how much you eat! The food is constantly topped up and seems to be fresh. Expect to see meat, meat and more meat. And some shrimp, and just about anything you can imagine actually. Hungry yet?


Real Traveller Average Daily Spend: $51 per day

  • Taxi into city from airport - $50
  • Bus into city from airport - $2
  • 24-hour bus fare $4.50

You need to budget a decent amount for transport in Orlando because although the parks are in close proximity, they're not all walkable and you need to be able to get around.We would recommend logging into Uber. The same account will work from back home and it's likely to make things much easier.

Alternatively, for a family, car hire might be the best option. This really depends on your itinerary and how many of you are in the party. Of course, you could spend less and use buses to get around.


Real Traveller Average Daily Spend: $43

  • The Florida Mall

Brits, clothes shopping in America is cheaper. Your trip isn;t going to be cheap but if you need clothes it makes financial sense to do clothes shopping here. Boasting six department stores and 1.9 million square feet, the Florida Mall has pretty much everything hence it's popularity with WeSwappers. This is one for the high-street shopper with the likes of  Zara and H&M... and cheaper than they are here.


America is a grest place to go clothes shopping and there are lots of fmailiar shops here

As we said earlier, avoid spending in any of the theme parks. You'll pay considerable mark-ups. Disney memorabilia can be found all over town in places like The Festival Bay Mall, LaBelle Furs, Pointe Orlando and Florida Mall.

WeSwap Tip: Many of the shopping centers in Orlando offer coupons that allow you to get freebies and discounts. It is best to bring along some coupons in order to save money during your splurge.

Last checked and updated: 15.03.2017. All travel, accommodation, and entertainment costs are taken from the provider’s official website – but don’t forget to double check yourself first before you head off.


If you’re planning a trip to Orlando, then you might consider WeSwap for your dollars. Our peer-to-peer platform makes travel money up to 90% cheaper for travellers. You’ll also join a 200,000+ community swapping travelling tips and wisdom as well as their travel money!

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