USA ‘09 – DAY 11 – COUPONS, PARKING & WATER PARKS

We went to Universal again today so instead of telling you about the Simpsons ride once more I thought I would post some miscellanea.

CouponsFirst up – coupons. Unless you like throwing money away, in which case skip this section, before going to pretty much any attraction other than the major theme parks don’t go without taking a money off coupon. They are available everywhere from the villas, restaurants, shops and outlets and offer significant savings. For example the dinner shows can be reduced by up to 50% and we got $4 per person off our trip to Boggy Creek yesterday.

You can also get coupons for the outlets. Craftily the coupon booklets for Lake Buena Vista are held at the shop furthest from the entrance but it is still worth making the trip as there are further discounts off the already cheap clothes and shoes on offer.

Next, parking in the parks. So you have taken a deep breath and bought your park tickets feeling glad that you have got that expense out of the way. Thinking that there is nothing else they can sting you for – wrong! Somewhat unbelievably both Disney and Universal also have the cheek to charge you for parking too. I have two objections to this: firstly it’s not that you can avoid it. The States is not geared up for walking, you have to drive into the parks and so you have to pay – it is not optional. Secondly it is $12, equivalent to £8 at today’s exchange rate. That makes parking at the Oracle a real bargain. Oh and Disney and Universal are clearly operating a cartel too as, surprise, surprise, it is the same at both places.

Typhoon LagoonWe did do something yesterday other than visit Universal again – we also went to one of the Disney water parks, Typhoon Lagoon. There are a couple of Disney water parks and if you have multi-park entry tickets then entry to the water parks is included too.

Both parks are themed and have the same layout. There is a lazy river running around the outside with a simulated beach complete with waves in the middle. At the back there are a number of water rides, including a family raft ride which you can see us on here.

The lazy river is great as it allows you to be, well, lazy as you float around the park on an individual rubber ring. It would be completely relaxing if it wasn’t for the jets of cold water at regular intervals. However, it is a great way to cool off and do something a bit different.

Oh, and another great thing about the water parks is that the parking is free!