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Save on Disney and Universal theme park tickets

Posted: 6:21 PM, Mar 24, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-24 22:34:33Z

Both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios have raised prices this spring, and are moving toward variable pricing, with prices higher during peak days at some parks.

At Disney, a peak day Magic Kingdom ticket is now $125, but is still $105 during off peak times, known as "value" days.

Epcot and other Disney parks are still slightly cheaper.

At Universal Studios Florida, a one day pass is now $105. It sounds like a bargain compared with Disney World. But there is a big catch.

You will need to buy the  more expensive Park to Park ticket  -- for $155 a day -- if you want to ride the Hogwart's Express between parks, and visit both Harry Potter attractions, as they are split between the two parks.

Tell a child they can see only half the Harry Potter experience, and they might try to turn you into a small rodent with their ($35) magic wand.

Travel Agent offers Tips

So we went to Cincinnati-based travel agent Lesley Sawhook of DestinationMagic.com for some tips. She says if you move fast, you can grab a great deal at Universal.

"Universal Studios has a deal running right now where you can buy 2 tickets and get one free."

Leslie says if you want the free 3rd day at Universal, you need to hurry and buy tickets by April 12th (available at Universal Studios' website).

To save at Disney, with its new variable pricing, she says you'll want to avoid July and August, Spring Break, and Christmas.

You will pay top dollar during those times.

"The week before Easter, the week after Easter, everyone around the country has time off from school," she said, which means big crowds, and high prices.

Instead, she says, try to go during value days, when most schools are in session, for much lower ticket prices and hotel rates.

Perhaps your school district has some off-season "teacher in service" days, when you can take the kids to Orlando for a 4 day weekend.

"If you have some flexibility in your schedule, waiting till mid april or the end of April, especially the beginning of May, you can really get some great bargains," she said.

Other Discounts

Finally, if you are in the military, a AAA member, or a Florida resident, you can get discounts on multi-day tickets.

And you'll often find discount tickets through the savings websites UndercoverTourist.com and Mousesavers.com.

Those sites may also still have some older tickets, issued before the price hikes, so you don't waste your money.