Spring Break can be a fantastic time to visit Orlando – as long as you have your expectations in check. It can be an extremely busy time of the year, and when you have a large group traveling together getting to all the attractions you want can be even more challenging. The good news is that you follow these tips you can book the Spring Break trip of a lifetime and avoid many of the lines.
Rethink the Hotel
For many people putting a group trip together, hotels are the only accommodations they consider. It may be true in other cities that hotels offer the most affordable accommodations, but in Orlando you’ll be surprised by how many affordable vacation homes there are for rent. With up to 6 bedrooms each, separate living and sleeping areas, full kitchens, and private pools, these homes can not only save you money but can be an incredible place to relax.
As you’re looking for the right rental home, pay attention to how close it is to the activities you plan to enjoy in Orlando. You might be able to save some money by staying in the suburbs, but when it adds hours of travel time, it won’t be worth the minimal extra cash. Stick with hotels or vacation homes that are within 15 minutes of the Orlando theme parks and you’ll be glad you did.
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Know Your Budget Before You Start
It’s likely no surprise that the biggest problem many people face when planning group travel is figuring out the money end of things. Some guests may want to stay at the cheapest hotels, while others may want to stay at a deluxe villa. As the travel planner, it’s your job to find the right compromise.
The best way to start is to get a head count, then price out your accommodation options. Add on the cost of your discounted theme park tickets, and compile a total per person. Be clear about the costs and let everyone know well ahead of the deadlines exactly how much their cost will be. Set a due date for payments at least a week before you have to make the final payments yourself. Inevitably someone will need a few extra days, and you need this built in buffer to track down the last few people who haven’t paid.
Be Prepared for Spring Break Crowds
You’re excited about visiting Orlando during Spring Break – and so are 10s of thousands of other guests. The crowds will be high during this time, but they’re totally manageable if you plan well. The best tip is to be at the parks as soon as they open. For example, if the Magic Kingdom opens at 8 AM you’ll see very light crowds until 10 AM or so. The busiest time of the day will be from noon to 5 PM, which is a great time for your group to head back to your hotel or vacation home to take a dip in the pool and recharge for an evening at the parks.
Skip the Lines at the Theme Parks
You can also skip many of the lines at both the Disney World theme parks and Universal Orlando. At Disney you’ll have access to Fast Pass+. This is a free service and allows each person three fast pass selections each day. If you have your tickets ahead of time you can set your Fast Passes as soon as 30 days out, and you only have to make one set, which can then be copied to everyone in your party. These passes let you pick an hour window, say between 12:10 and 1:10, for a particular attraction. You then show up and get to bypass the regular line.
At Universal Orlando you can purchase an Express Pass, which is essentially like an unlimited Fast Pass. There are a few rides that don’t accept it, namely the Harry Potter attractions, but the vast majority do. You’ll be able to skip the lines at almost every ride, however, these passes aren’t cheap. The cost varies based on the crowd level, and you’ll be traveling during high crowd levels. For some groups it can be well worth the cost – especially if you’re only visiting for one day.
No matter how large your group is the staff at Orlando Vacation can help you plan your spring break trip. Call today for your FREE group travel quote.
Prepare for the Orlando Weather
The average high during typical Spring Break weeks is 79 with a low of 56. However, you can see anything from highs in the upper 80s to lows in the 40s. Check the weather the week before you head out and be sure everyone brings layers, sunscreen, and whatever’s necessary to handle the fluctuating temperatures.
You can also see significant rains during this time, though they typically only last an hour or two. Umbrellas can be cumbersome to carry through the parks, so consider heading to the dollar store and buying a case of ponchos before you visit. You can also buy them in the parks for $8 each. While the official Disney versions will be more expensive than others, there are a few advantages. First, they’re incredibly well made and very easy to refold and use again and again, unlike some of the cheaper options. Second, if you rip or tear your Disney poncho, you can simply take it back to anywhere that sells ponchos and get a replacement for free.
Spring Break can be an exceptional time to visit, but it is not without its challenges. If you follow the above tips your group can have a smashing great time and build memories they’ll be talking about for years.