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With the King!

Planning a family trip is like taking a second full-time job. If you don’t use a TA (which I recommend), the research seems to take on a life of its own. I’ve done a lot of trips in the last five years, but I have a few suggestions for you when planning that family vacation.

  1. Timing is everything:  Planning a trip for one is relatively easy. Sometimes, it is just a matter of getting that PTO so you can go. But adding the significant other and maybe a few offspring can make the task daunting. Now, it’s a matter of everyone’s ability to take time off. And it becomes a jigsaw puzzle, fitting the pieces together. If possible, make that trip to Universal Orlando an off-peak trip. Crowds may be lower before or right after spring break and between Thanksgiving and the beginning of December. Some ticket prices, especially the express pass tickets, will be lower, which may also reflect the theme parks' desire to get more foot traffic during these times of the year. To summarize: Plan your trip during the off-season or shoulder season to avoid crowds and save money on tickets and accommodations.

  2. Accommodation: Orlando, Florida, has no lack of hotel accommodations. Almost every major hotel chain and regional offering is there. Personally, I appreciate the Universal resort hotels because of the theming aspect, but there are quality hotels for less money around. Universal has what are called “partner hotels.” These hotels were chosen based on quality, reputation, and proximity to Universal Orlando™, and the Universal Partner Hotels are each located within minutes of Universal Orlando™.  The guests at these hotels enjoy the benefits of discounts on some merchandise at select theme park locations, discounts on food and non-alcoholic beverages, also at select theme park locations, and scheduled transportation to the parks. You can book any of these hotels through Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations™ or call your friendly neighborhood travel advisor and let them do it for you.

  3. Transportation: If you are staying at any of the Universal Resort hotels, you will have transportation to and from the parks, either by bus or boat. Partner hotels also offer transportation to the parks, but they can be limited operations, while Universal’s transportation offers service into the late night.

  4. Food and drinks: Universal Orlando allows you to bring your own food, as long as it doesn’t require heating and, of course, there are no glass bottles. There are restaurants around, and while some may be a few minutes’ walk away, you can have food delivered to your hotel room. Bring your own snacks and drinks to the park to save money on food and beverages. You can also eat at off-site restaurants to save money.

  5. Tickets and passes: Look for deals and discounts on tickets and passes to Universal Orlando. The Orlando Informer is one place to consider purchasing multi-day passes to save money if you plan to visit the park for several days. Also, Universal offers discounts many times during the year, including discounts for Florida residents. There was a stay three days, get two days free special earlier this year, and it might still be going on.

I hope these suggestions will help you in your trip planning. Just remember, do not let the planning take away the joy and fun. Remember, you are on VACATION!


Updated: 6 days ago

Are you a Kings Dominion pass holder? Well, you might consider taking the plunge this year as one of the commonwealth’s premier coaster parks is set to “WOW” you this year. Updated food venues and immersive world-class events are scheduled to make your day(s) in the park your best.

New Additions to Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion has added a Passholders Lounge along with all kinds of construction walls! Construction walls? How can that add value? Read further, and I will explain.

Kings Dominion Passes

How else does Kings Dominion plan to get me to spend my valuable time and money at their theme park? Well, one way is through passes, like the 2024 Silver Season Pass, which offers unlimited visits and free parking to Kings Dominion and Soak City through Labor Day. Guests who upgrade to a Gold Season Pass will also receive unlimited admission to seasonal events like Halloween Haunt and WinterFest.

If you didn’t know, Kings Dominion was open year-round for 2023, but this year, the opening weekend was March 23. On May 4th, Kings Dominion will be open on weekends until May 25, when Soak City and the theme park will be open every day.

Kings Dominion Events

This year, guests can enjoy a new live show in Planet Snoopy, Team Charlie Brown. In addition to the new Passholders Lounge, which is open to Prestige level pass holders, Victoria’s Pizza is being renovated and will open in late spring.

Finally, with all the excitement of a new year, is there a level of passes you would consider buying? Daily tickets will always be available, but are you going enough to justify the cost of purchasing a pass of any level?

Some food items from Grand Carnivale

Sometimes, it can be a matter of the chicken and the egg. If you buy an annual pass, would you go more often, or would going more often be why I buy a pass? I present the question that only you can answer. Personally, I bought the gold pass for unlimited entries to Grand Carnivale, Tricks and Treats, Halloween Haunt, and WinterFest. If these events are important to you (along with some of the greatest coasters around!) I would suggest giving it a hard think.

The organization has gone all out to impress the pass holders and daily ticket guests this year and remains to have many of the most thrilling and challenging coasters in the region.

For more information, visit the website link below:

In addition, if you are looking for some travel products, check out my Amazon Affiliate store:

If you have a Kings Dominion pass, you may want to use it this year. The park promises to amaze you with its coaster attractions, improve its food venues, and prepare world-class events for your enjoyment.

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Springtime has arrived, and with it comes the festivals! Busch Gardens Williamsburg is kicking off the festival season with its 2024 annual Food and Wine Festival, running from April 25 to June 9. Considered Virginia's Largest Spring Food & Wine Festival, it boasts over 150 menu options, including something new this year: Peri-Peri Chicken from the African continent. Adult beverages are also featured at the OktoberTaps location, with eight craft brews and four thirst-quenching cocktails on tap, all using Perfect Pour technology.

2024 Event Map

Map is courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Want to save time and money? Consider purchasing a sampler lanyard. Available in 10-item and 15-item options, these lanyards can save you over 20% on food and beverages and are valid through June 9. Prices are $70 for ten items and $85 for 15 items, and can be purchased online or in the park. But be warned, with so many delicious options, you might be tempted to try everything at once!

Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to taste the world at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. For more information, visit their website at:

Get your taste buds ready and head over to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for their annual Food and Wine Festival. Purchase your sampler lanyard today and save on delicious food and beverages from around the world! Until next time, see you on the next journey!

Don't forget to check out (my Amazon Store) for your travel needs!

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