Are you planning a trip to Orlando? Congratulations! You’re in for the trip of a lifetime. While this is an incredible destination with tons to do and lots of attractions to explore, there are also a few things you should know before you hop on a plane or start the long drive. Check out our favorite three tips for beginners to the Orlando area.

1.         Disney and Universal are not one and the same

One of the most common points of confusion for new visitors to Orlando is the difference between Disney and Universal. Many assume that a visit to Disney World will include the new Harry Potter land, or that a visit to Universal will include interactions with Mickey Mouse. The reality is that Universal and Disney World are totally separate parks. Both have several amusement parks within them (2 for Universal and 4 for Disney World) but a ticket to one will not cover a visit to the other.

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2.         It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip

Many visitors save up for years to afford their trip to Orlando. This is often done because they don’t do enough research. They look at the ads put out by Disney and Universal, check their websites, and assume that the only way for a family of 4 to visit the parks is to save thousands of dollars. The truth is that there are tons of ways to make the trip much more affordable.

The biggest way to save is to stay off site. This means instead of staying at one of the expensive Universal or Disney resorts, you can stay at a nearby Orlando resort hotel or a comfortable vacation home. Either option will be much more affordable than staying on property and will give you more amenities, too. Other ways to make your trip affordable include traveling during the off season and buy discount theme park tickets.

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3.         Don’t assume it’ll always be hot and muggy

Is Orlando hot and muggy during much of the year? It sure is! The good news is that it gets comfortable at night and you’ll be having so much fun in the parks that you’ll hardly notice the heat. However, keep in mind that during the winter months it can get quite chilly in the evenings. Check the weather forecast before you head down to assure you bring clothes that will keep you comfortable.