Easy guide to buying Disney and Universal tickets for Florida
By Helen Wright
Buying Disney and Universal Tickets for your big holiday to Florida is a huge source of stress for many UK-holidaymakers. Trust me, after almost 40 trips to Orlando, I’ve been exactly where you are and I know it’s very confusing and time-consuming working out which Disney tickets are best, which Universal Orlando tickets you need and how to fit in other attractions in Orlando, such as Gatorland, Discovery Cove, Legoland, SeaWorld… the list goes on! Universal Studios UK
As a UK-based Florida expert, I am frequently asked on my social media channels about Disney and Universal tickets, booking holidays to Orlando and how to plan the perfect itinerary. Come say hi on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as I am always around to answer any questions and point you in the right direction. We are also soon to launch dedicated Orlando guides on YouTube. I have put together this Disney and Universal Studios UK guide to make it easier to see what tickets are available, get a general idea of prices and work out what Disney tickets, Universal Orlando tickets and other attraction passes you need for your trip.
This post forms part of my Ultimate Guide to Orlando. If you wish to read the guide from the beginning, click here (opens in a new window). If you are looking for help or advice about booking flight or hotel packages in Orlando, I explain all the options here.
Cover image: Disney. This page contains affiliate links.
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO BUY Disney World and Universal TICKETS?
Where is the best place to buy Florida Disney tickets and Universal tickets and which ones to get? Ah, well, isn’t that the million dollar question? (Not literally, but almost. Am I right?). To answer this would be to know how long you are in Orlando, who is traveling with you, how much you want to spend, how much you love Disney or Harry Potter or Lego or animals etc etc etc…
Statistically, the average stay for a UK visitor to Orlando is 10 days and so let’s start there. Incidentally, 10-day Disney and Universal tickets (or longer) also happen to be the best deals, which is handy.
NOT SURE WHERE YOU WANT TO GO? Find some inspiration in our TWO-WEEK ORLANDO ITINERARY
Unless you go for a hotel+park package, you will need to buy your theme park passes separately to your flight and hotel. I always buy Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando tickets before going to Orlando. This is sensible for two reasons; to manage your budget and have the opportunity to spread the cost of purchasing them over a longer period of time. Plus, buying in the UK means you always get better value for money than at the gate.
TOP TIP: When it comes to Disney tickets, the new park reservation system requires you to book your specific park days in advance, so the sooner you have your tickets and link them in the My Disney Experience app, the sooner you can book your Disney park days.
It is important to use a reputable Orlando attraction ticket provider to avoid scams, in-park confusions and problems collecting your tickets. I always recommend attractiontickets.com for Disney and Universal Studios tickets UK. This company is an approved provider for Orlando attractions and Florida park tickets with a great. reputation for custimer service. They also sell on-site hotels for Disney and Universal as well as other fun Orlando attractions like Icon Park, Gatorland and Legoland.
An easy guide to Disney and Universal tickets + other Orlando attractions:
HOW LONG DO I NEED IN EACH PARK?
In an ideal world, it’s best to average one day per park. It might not work out like that, but the parks are big, the weather is often humid and you’ll be doing a lot of walking so you may not be able to do them as quickly as you think. Plus, both getting around Orlando and moving around the parks can be much more time consuming than you expect. With this in mind, let’s have a look at the task in hand:
UNIVERSAL ORLANDO (3 days).
There are two main theme parks (Universal Studios and Universal’s Island of Adventure), plus a new waterpark (Volcano Bay).
WALT DISNEY WORLD (6 days).
There are four main theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), plus two waterparks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon).
SEAWORLD (4 days).
As well as the main SeaWorld park, there is also Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive day resort. Plus, the Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa and a waterpark (Aquatica).
LEGOLAND ORLANDO (2 days).
Legoland has a theme park and a water park.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (1 day).
The space-themed park is an hour from Orlando.
Okay, who was keeping count? If you want to do every main park and waterpark, that adds up to, er, 16 days…two days longer than the average fornightly holiday. That doesn’t allow any time at the other fab Orlando activities, pool days or just days to sit and do nothing in the sun. For ideas to condense this and allow for a few days of calm, check out our Orlando two-week itinerary suggestion here.
How to condense the itinerary for your first visit before buying your Disney and Universal tickets
To simplify things, let’s remove the non-Orlando attractions (Busch Gardens and Kennedy Space Center) as well as Legoland, which is recommended primarily for children up to 12. To answer a question many of you asked, if you are short on time, it is definitely possible to do the four main Disney theme parks in a minimum of three days and without too much stress, if you need to. Of the two Disney waterparks, I would choose just one (and the one I would choose is Blizzard Beach). Two days is the minimum time you’ll need at Universal Orlando, three if you plan to go to Volcano Bay Waterpark also.
Now we’re talking a more realistic plan for theme park fun, which is more than enough to make the price of your Disney and Universal tickets worthwhile. If you have read my itinerary suggestion, you will see that I highly recommend rest days to avoid theme park burnout. I hope you have a Fitness Tracker because you are going to clock up some serious steps on this trip!Okay, so back to the thing you really need to know – what are the best orlando park tickets to buy and where is the best place to buy Disney and Orlando tickets from the UK?
PLEASE NOTE: This advice is based purely on my opinion and developed over 35+ visits to Orlando. It is designed to suit a general audience who want to see as much as possible on a two-week visit and are seeking advice on park tickets to best fit their time and budget.
THE BEST PLACE TO BUY DISNEY WORLD AND UNIVERSAL TICKETS AND WHICH ONES TO GET
I’m lucky enough to have been invited to Orlando on a sponsored basis on some occasions but this guide, along with every post on passportstamps.uk, is reflective of my true and honest opinion. I was not paid to write this post and would never recommend somewhere I didn’t believe in or solely because I was paid to do so. For your information, some of the Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios tickets UK packages below contain affiliate links. This will be of no consequence to you but if you choose to return to this site and use these links to book your tickets I will receive a small financial benefit for my efforts in creating this post. I hope you remember to do so.
Always use a recommended UK ticket agent for your Disney and Universal tickets
In my experience, the best place to buy Disney World and Universal Studios tickets is from a ticket agent in the UK as this usually works out cheaper than directly from the parks with added perks thrown in. These perks can range from Disney spending money, to Airboat adventures and exclusive access deals.
Wherever you buy your Orlando theme park tickets from, always use an official seller. Of the UK-based authorised agents for Disney World and Universal tickets, AttractionTickets.com are well-respected, certified and frequently offer the best and most competitive prices. More importantly, they have an excellent track record for customer service and really know their stuff when it comes to Orlando attraction tickets. Personally, I like this agent because they are based here in the UK and so if you have any questions or problems with your tickets they are easily contactable. Your Disney and Universal Studios tickets UK theme park passes are either posted to you at home or come as a digital ticket, which eliminates any complications collecting passes at the gate or standing in line for the park when you could be riding the coasters. AttractionTickets.com also offer freebies with their tickets, such as dining vouchers or tickets for smaller attractions as part of their ‘added happiness’ campaign.
Of course, there are other vendors that offer Orlando deals but to simplify this post and provide a realistic comparison on the type and amount of tickets you need for your trip, I have used Attraction Tickets’ current pricing to highlight the best packages. This post was last updated in April 2023. *Prices are subject to change.
A SIMPLE GUIDE TO DISNEY AND UNIVERSAL TICKETS
UNIVERSAL ORLANDO, UNIVERSAL’S ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE, VOLCANO BAY AND UNIVERSAL STUDIOS TICKETS UK PRICES
Best choice: UNIVERSAL THREE-PARK EXPLORER PASS
For Universal Studios tickets, UK prices are advertised as ‘three parks for the price of two’ and includes unlimited entry to both Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, plus Universal’s Volcano Bay waterpark for 14 consecutive days.
Benefits: Much cheaper than entry on the gate. You can come in and out as you please over the two-week period and Universal CityWalk, which offers great nightlife options, is walking distance from the parks.
Negatives: It is unlikely that you will use 14 full days of Universal tickets unless you are a super fan.
Adult price: £335
Child price: £319
Click here to find more information about the Universal Orlando Three Park Explorer pass
Express passes to queue jump the rides are also available at an additional cost.
Disney tickets for WALT DISNEY WORLD
Best choice: DISNEY 14-DAY ULTIMATE TICKET
Unlimited ‘hopper’ entry to all the Disney theme parks and waterparks for 14 consecutive days.
Benefits: Superb value if Disney is your main focus or you plan to visit every park at least once. You can visit more than one Disney park on the same day for no extra cost, after 2pm. Disney Magic Bands and Disney Memory Maker (often priced separately) are often included with this deal.
Negatives: The claim of ‘£38’ a day only applies if you go every day across the two weeks – which is unlikely.
Adult price: £545
Child price: £519
Click here for more information about Disney’s 14-day Magic Ticket
Best Disney and Universal tickets if you only want to visit Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando
Best choice: DISNEY AND UNIVERSAL COMBO TICKET
Unlimited access to all Disney parks and waterparks and all Universal Orlando Parks and Waterparks, each for 14 consecutive days.
Benefits: Superb value if Disney and Universal tickets are your priority or you plan to visit every park at least once. You can visit more than one Disney or Universal park on the same day for no extra cost. Disney Magic Bands (often priced separately) and some excellent food and drink vouchers are usually included with this deal.
Negatives: The claim of ‘£63’ a day only applies if you go every day across the two weeks – which is unlikely.
Adult price: £869
Child price: £832
Click here for more information about the Disney and Universal Combo Ticket
Buying Disney’s Magic Ticket and 3-Park Explorer Universal tickets separately is a total cost of: £880 (adult) and £838 (child). The saving is minimal – although £34 will get you a set of Minnie Ears or a round of slushies, so not to be sniffed at! However, the extras offered with this ticket make it really good value.
Disney and Universal tickets uk
TICKETS FOR SEAWORLD PARKS
Best choice: DISCOVERY COVE PACKAGE
The Discovery Cove Package includes a full-day all-inclusive experience at Discovery Cove with a dolphin swim or shallow water interaction, plus 14-day consecutive entry to both SeaWorld and Aquatica. (A 14-day pass to SeaWorld, Aquatica and, sister park, Busch Gardens without Discovery Cove is £159, three for the price of two: SeaWorld parks)
Adult price: £282
Child price: £282
(Price without a Dolphin interaction: £207 for both adults and children)
Benefits: Since a visit to Discovery Cove includes all food and drink – including alcoholic beverages – and a dolphin swim, this package is excellent value for money.
Negatives: It’s unlikely you will need 14-days to complete these parks alone. It’s the best value if you want to go to Discovery Cove, but the three-park pass without Discovery Cove (above) is more affordable if budget is tight.
Click here to find out more about the Discovery Cove package
ALL PARKS INCLUDED
THE ORLANDO FREEDOM TICKET
Best choice for all parks: ORLANDO FREEDOM TICKET
You wanted an easy guide into the best place to buy Disney and Universal tickets, but this mega pass includes entry to all the parks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando (Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay and Universal Studios tickets) and SeaWorld* as detailed earlier in this post, for 14 consecutive days. The 14 day period starts from when you use the first ticket for each park – for example, once you have used your the first of your Universal tickets, the 14 days will commence. When you clock in for the first time with your Disney tickets, the 14 days for Disney will be activated. This can be a different day to your Universal tickets. You can visit more than one park in the same day. (*Does not include Discovery Cove)
Benefits: Best value combo pass for visiting all parks if you do not want to visit Discovery Cove. This deal often comes with Disney MagicBands and free parking at SeaWorld parks.
Negatives: You would only get value from this ticket on a 14-day holiday or longer. Does not include Discovery Cove (This would be a cost of £189 per person at the gate for entry with a dolphin swim)
Adult price: £1045
Child price: £999
To buy all three pass packages above separately, the total adult cost would be £1162, and total child £1120. So the Freedom Pass offers a saving of £117 per adult and £121 child*.
Click here to find out more about the Ultimate Freedom Ticket (*Without Discovery Cove)
GUIDE TO BUYING Disney and Universal TICKETS – THE VERDICT?
If your trip to Orlando is between 7 and 14 days and you plan on visiting these parks at least once, the Orlando Freedom Ticket is the best value.
If your trip is 14 days+ and you want to do Discovery Cove, I would purchase the Combo Disney and Universal Tickets package, staggering the start of your park visits to spread out the ‘consecutive days’ and allow yourself a longer time to enjoy the attractions at leisure. For example, you can activate your 14-days at Walt Disney World on day one, and activate your Universal tickets on day five. Then your consecutive days do not all run out at the same time. This will allow you to get full use of your park ‘days’. Then I would purchase the Discovery Cove package seperately.
One last thing to consider when buying Disney and Universal tickets UK
We hope you found our guide to buying Orlando park tickets helpful! Your support keeps our site running and allows us to continue to produce quality and helpful advice that you can use for your holiday to Florida. I was not paid to write this feature. As always this post, as well as my ultimate guide to Orlando and every feature on passportstamps.uk is based on my honest and personal experience. Some of the links on this post contain affiliate links and so if you come back to my site and use these specific links to book park tickets or hotels I will receive a small financial benefit at no extra cost to yourself. I hope that you will remember to do this when you are planning your trip and I hope you have an amazing holiday in Orlando. Tweet us or Instagram me and let us know how you got on.
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