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One of the most common questions for me as the author of Frommer's Orlando is, "How much does a vacation there cost?"
 
Well, a new online tool helps you figure out how much an Orlando theme park vacation will hit you for.
 
It's clean and easy to use. Want to go to Walt Disney World for three days with the Park Hopper option? Check the boxes. Want to follow that with two days at Universal for Harry Potter? Check that box, too. Eating a counter-service meal for lunch but table-service place for dinner? A running total of your add-ons appear at the right of the page. Before you start, you should know your estimated total cost for accommodations, because that's a field you'll need to fill in for yourself.
 
It's a great idea that works right up until the point where you need to add your ground transportation. Perhaps because it's sponsored by Orlando Shuttle Service, a transportation provider from the airport to the center of Orlando, it vastly overestimates to cost of most other forms of ground transportation. Perhaps because it has a dog in that fight, it claims the rental car would cost $715.00 for a week's stay—a bogus estimate unless you're choosing the most extreme luxury rental. In reality, $29 a day is a more typical price for a standard car, which brings your weekly total to a little over $200. Also, if you're staying in a Disney hotel, your shuttle from the airport would be free.
 
So if you can use the tool for everything except transportation costs, you will find it useful—though, of course, the sponsors might like it if you engaged its services after calculating the other costs. Subtract transportation, and the new tool is useful because you'll have a running total to that point. 
 
Finding your way through the maze of tickets and ancillary charges is one of the hardest things about navigating a trip to Orlando, and this new tool gets that right. 
 
By the way, I take no responsibility for the exorbitant prices you will encounter for tickets to the theme parks, 
 
Click HERE to use the planning tool for yourself.


Tags: orlando, theme-park, deals-news, walt disney world, florida, universal, universal orlando, harry potter, seaworld, kennedy space center

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