beachIf it has been awhile since you’ve vacationed in the Central Florida area, you may be in for sticker shock when you see the prices of the Orlando theme park tickets. Over a week ago Disney raised their ticket prices which prompted a rise in some of the Universal Studio tickets. While Disney has increased nearly all of their tickets, only gate prices at Universal have gone up in price. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Because of this increase in gate price, it is almost always better to purchase your tickets online ahead of time. Be sure to research various theme park discounts that are available, including military specials, Florida resident specials and others.

It would not be a surprise to see more Orlando theme park tickets go up in price. Gatorland raised their ticket prices last December and general admission is now $26.99, $18.99 for ages 3 to 12. Other smaller attractions are sure to follow this lead and also increase their theme park tickets.

On the contrary, SeaWorld has brought back one of their more popular promotions with a return of their $50 weekday ticket. SeaWorld tickets normally are $92 for a one-day ticket; $84 for ages 3-9, so this is a significant savings. Busch Gardens will also honor a similar special. What makes this so great is that it continues through May 5, 2014, which covers spring break and the beginning of SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary celebration later this month (begins March 21). It also will cover a few days of the new attraction opening in Busch Gardens, Pantopia.

There are almost always some freebies or discounts to be found. Currently a nice one from Disney includes a free Memory Maker package for guests booking their vacation with a qualifying WDW vacation. If you are already planning to book a Central Florida vacation through their site, be sure to ask if it qualifies for this freebie. There are quite a few exceptions.

Dispite the rise in ticket prices, vacationing in Central Florida is a great way to escape, especially after the brutal weather the northern states have experienced this Winter. It is hard to put a price tag on warm weather and sunshine. Orlando theme parks are offering plenty of that right now.