Family Vacations. Normally they start as an idea to visit here or there but can quickly turn into plans that take on a mind of their own. Getting there, where to stay and how to spend are all factors every family has to consider. I’m sharing 3 tips I’ve learned to save after planning our first family vacation to Legoland Florida.
Legoland Florida Resort
My youngest son was turning 6 had no hesitation in his choice of where he wanted to go. Legoland, Florida Resort! That was it, I had my instructions and I was off to start planning for this part of our 2017 Family Vacation adventures. I want to share 3 ways I was able to save during our Legoland Florida Vacation and how you can save too! I started my research online through the Legoland Florida Resort website. I loved that the park seemed to truly have ‘something for everyone’. Legoland has a traditional theme park with rides like kid friendly roller coasters and lego cars to the perfect water park with a lazy man wade pool and fun water rides. I knew that my entire family would find something to do and love here. There were just a few things I needed to know before getting there.
Know Your Ticket Options
As a military family, my first place to look for any local activity, family trip or vacation destination is always our local MWR (Morale, Welfare & Recreation) office. This is the place we as a military family can find tickets for everything from National Parks to Amusement Parks, Cruises to Island Getaways and More! I was super excited when I saw that our MWR was offering a Buy One Day Get One Day Admission rate. This was perfect! We would have 2 whole days to explore Legoland and give the kids to most fun for the most budget friendly cost.
Don’t worry. There are ways for any family to find great ticket options for Legoland Florida that will help you save on your vacation. If you take a look at the Legoland website you will see they offer several discount ticket options including Annual Passes, First Responders, Military. Always know what your family needs and what will work best for you specifically.
Where To Stay
Although Legoland Florida is a Resort with an awesome themed hotel right outside the park gates having other choices for where to stay can be a great way to save. For my family of 6 people – 3 adults and 3 kids – I knew that staying at the resort hotel would not be the best way for us to save and have more money for fun in the park itself. We needed to find a way to stay near the park but at a lower rate than the resort hotel itself.
For us, staying at a local hotel was our best cost efficient option. We chose to stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton. Located less than 10 miles and 15 minutes from Legoland Hampton Inn & Suites was our perfect option for where to stay during our Legoland Florida vacation.
We were able to book our 2 night stay with an awesome Military Rate. I loved that we had the option of a Suite with a separate living area, sofa bed, fridge and kitchen. It was a room that would comfortably accommodate our family of 6 plus the hotel had an outdoor pool, gym facilities and free wifi – they had me at wifi!
Every morning we added even more savings to our trip by taking advantage of the Hampton Inn & Suites complimentary breakfast which included a waffle station, hot and cold options and a restaurant style seating area. This meant we could sleep in a bit longer and avoid trying to find a place to buy breakfast before heading over to the park!
Know The Park
My third tip for saving during your Legoland Vacation is to know the park. Legoland Florida offers a few Savings to those who plan ahead online. From Ticket Prices to Parking costs. Purchasing our parking passes ahead of time online saved us $2 off the normal $17 a day rate.
Confession: See that little bit of information below the parking prices? Our first day we didn’t realize that the water park opens one hour later than the theme park. We came prepared for a day of getting soaked and instead spent an hour waiting in the parking lot because we also didn’t realize the water park was actually located behind the theme Park and we could have explored that until the water park opened. Doing a bit of homework ahead of time could have given us a bit of extra fun that day.
Where To Eat
Despite having the benefit of our complimentary breakfast will still needed to figure a way to feed our team the rest of the day. That’s when I decided to look to my friends. I have a friend here at home who was actually born and raised in Winter Haven, FL where Legoland is built. She gave me a few recommendations on some ‘local’ places to check out. Once we arrived I decided to do a bit of a comparison.
Local vs. Franchise
Our first night we ate at a well-known franchise restaurant. We ordered normally and weren’t too surprised by our bill of nearly $200 simply because we are a large family and it kind comes with eating out.
The next night we decided to try one of the local eateries my friend recommended. We set our GPS to take us to Andy’s Igloo a short drive away from our hotel.
Andy’s Igloo was one of the recommendations at the top of the list. I was told that the desserts and milkshakes were ones I couldn’t miss. We decided to start with dinner first and ordered 3 burgers and 3 kids chicken meals. They. Were. Amazing. How great can a burger and chicken fingers be, right? Listen – they were so good I forgot to take a picture! If you know me and any other Blogger that’s a sure sign that a meal was amazing!
I did manage to save room to try one of the amazing desserts – I chose the banana split. It was like being a kid again! I haven’t had a banana split in years and this one made it well worth the wait!
After I stuffed my face, we got the tab and our entire meal came to around $80 including a tip! That was a huge difference! $200 vs. $80 plus a great atmosphere and amazing food. That’s why my Bonus Tip for saving during your Legoland Florida vacation is to Eat Local! I know when we return for our next Legoland Florida visit local will be the way we go when it comes to places to eat.
What About The Fun?
That’s it! My 3 Tips To Save During Your Legoland Florida Vacation. Yet I haven’t even gotten to the fun of the parks, need to know fun and my top rides. Stay Tuned because all of that is soon to come!
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