So you’ve finally decided to take your kids to Universal Studios Orlando (and yourself because yo, this place is just as much fun for adults.)
Give me ALL the butter beer
You’ve been researching accommodations and deciding how you’ll get there.
You’ve been picturing your kids’ faces as they walk down Diagon Alley for the first time. (Spoiler alert: It’s amazing!)
And then boom.
You see that the ticket prices just to walk through the doors are kind of freakin’ expensive.
We get it because this was our reality one Spring Break.
Our Spring Break Trip to Universal Orlando
If this is your first time to TREKKN, you may not know that we spent 17 months touring North America in an RV with our three kiddos. Yes, touring sounds like we’re a band. We’re not, but I like to say it like that anyway. Humor me for a minute.
You can find out a little more about our journey, including how fast we packed up everything and left and then why we stopped, by doing a little light reading on the site.
During our 17 months on the road, we found ourselves in Florida for 6 weeks and we planned on being in Orlando for spring break. Which was the perfect location to fly our Disney-obsessed-Harry-Potter-obsessed-loves-theme-parks-so-very-much daughter who attends college in Texas to.
We told her our plan and she was 100% excited.
And then we checked ticket prices for the parks and had a bit of sticker shock.
You see, we’re not really theme park people. We’re more let’s go hike up a mountain to a tea house kind of people.
So we had absolutely no idea how much going to Universal Studios would cost.
After looking over our options, we decided we could afford two days at the park. Not ideal but better than nothing, am I right?
And Then We Saw a Sign
One evening we were out and about in the Orlando area and we saw a sign that said something about Universal Orlando discount tickets. It was a little booth in some random parking lot and Todd asked me ‘should I go see what that’s all about?‘ Sure. I mean what harm could a visit to a little booth in a random parking lot with a DISCOUNTED TICKETS sign shouting at us do?
I can seriously hear some of you who are more experienced in this area groaning really loudly because you know what that booth is all about.
What was the booth all about? How did we get Universal Studios discount tickets?
One (Kind of) Recommended Way to Get Cheap Universal Studios Tickets
We signed up for a Timeshare presentation.
You read that right.
This is why we titled this article ‘One (KIND OF) Recommended Way to Get Cheap Universal Studios Tickets‘ because this way is most definitely not the best way for everyone.
But for us, at the time, it made sense.
We could get a 7-day pass for five of us, for the same price we were going to pay for a 2-day pass. And we just wanted more time to really enjoy the park and not feel completely rushed the whole time.
So Todd and I booked our “appointment of doom”, woke up the next morning, and with a little dread in our hearts went to the presentation.
What’s a Timeshare Presentation Like?
If you’ve been to a Timeshare presentation, you know exactly what most of them are like. They’re kind of painful, honestly.
Also, if you have seen the episode of Travelers (it’s on Netflix) where everyone in the Timeshare presentation screams in pain, suddenly disappears and probably dies (I can’t actually remember what happened to them), then you might be a little hesitant to attend. I mean, what happens on TV is real life, right?
As we were leaving I told our boys if we don’t come back, they know what happened to us. I have a dark sense of humor.
If you haven’t been to a timeshare presentation, ignore everything you just read. They’re so much fun! (Said no one ever ever ever.)
All in all, the 90-minute presentation we were promised, ended up being FOUR HOURS long. (Note: We’re not very assertive folks. You could pull this off in half the time.)
But after saying ‘no, no thank you, and this really isn’t for us’, Brad shook our hands and sent us on our merry way to receive our 7-day passes to Universal Studios Orlando. (Brad wasn’t his real name but was changed to protect his identity. He was actually a really nice guy. Just a little…persistent.)
I can not tell you how excited I was to get the heck out of there with our tickets and then text my daughter and tell her that we had Universal Studios passes for 7 days.
Was Our Universal Studios Experience Worth Four Hours of Torture?
Okay, I’m being totally dramatic. It was only torture for about the last 30 minutes when, um, Brad wouldn’t take no for an answer.
But yes, it was worth it. We had a FANTASTIC time and were able to slowly enjoy the park instead of having to rush through it in 2 days.
Would we do it again? Heck yeah, we would! But believe me, we would get out of there in 90 minutes or die trying.
Side note – There are a couple of things for you to consider about getting your tickets this way:
- You’ll need to spend part of a morning or afternoon attending the presentation, so this could eat into your vacation time and
- We have no idea if all the ‘Discounted Tickets’ signs you’ll see in the area are for timeshare presentations
Before you decide to take this route to get your discounted Universal Studios tickets, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Can you say no?
- Are you good at saying no?
- Is the word no in your vocabulary?
- How good are you at saying no?
If you’re not good at saying no, you’ll probably not only walk out of that timeshare presentation with a shiny 7-day pass to your theme park of choice, but you’ll also walk out of there with a shiny new timeshare payment to boot!
So be careful. Be strong. Grab those discounted tickets after the presentation and get out of there. Do not pass go. Just keep walking (briskly) to your car.
And above all, have a wonderful time at Universal Studios with your family!
Julie Bonner is one-half of the TREKKN team. She specializes in helping you whip up delicious meals in your tiny RV kitchen, as well as RV organization tips and helping fellow RVers make their RV feel like home. Her favorite RVing spot is in Banff National Park in Canada where yes, the water really is that blue and the people really are that nice.
Tuesday 24th of November 2020
Hi i'm from Europe, Belgium, I have NO idea what a timeshare presentations is... Help? :-)
Sunday 29th of November 2020
Ah yes, I can see how that might be a bit confusing. :) In the states, it has become kind of a running joke of sorts, well known by just about everyone (especially the ones who have been roped into it...and mostly regret it).
A timeshare is "the arrangement whereby several joint owners have the right to use a property as a vacation home under a time-sharing agreement" (Dictionary.com) There are large corporations that run massive timeshare properties all over the globe and they are extremely aggressive in their sales tactics. Normally, they will offer some type of financial incentive (like our discounted Universal Studios tickets), and in exchange you agree to endure their "hard sell" for 1-3 hours (timeshare presentation). The goal is to get you to purchase a "timeshare" in one of their properties, or multiple properties. This normally ropes you into hefty monthly payments for years to come whether you end up being able to enjoy the property or not.
I hope that makes everything crystal clear! Sorry for the confusion and lack of explanation in the post. Wish you the best!
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Saturday 9th of March 2019
LOL my husband I did this for an $80 VISA card so I think you won this round, hahaha.
The best part was when we were matched up with a guy who was clearing in training, based on the quality of our shoes and watches I'm guessing. But this probably made it easier, it was obvious they didn't expect us to buy. I was happy to let 'Brian' practice his spiel. He was also a nice guy.
We had a very nice dinner at Red Lobster!
Sunday 10th of March 2019
Love it! :) Our guy was a pro who's been doing this for a long time. He was so nice, but also so brutal. I felt like we'd been taken hostage!