Prices and Spending, Orlando
Be aware of these little booths they seem to have operating everywhere, buy your theme park tickets before you go, seriously it is cheaper on line, in most cases if you print off prices online your local travel agents will match them anyway. These booths try and convince you that they have tickets (Used) that they will sell you for half the price as long as you return to them to resell them. Why risk this as the parks are now very vigilante with regards security this has changed anyway. You now have to do fingerprinting on entering the parks, so avoid these booths.
Unique Suggestions: Don't bother just avoid.
Ok, here's the deal. We love our tourists. And we REALLY love your money! So, just like most places, we charge a premium in the areas where the most tourists are.
Gas is about $.20 per gallon higher near the attractions (Disney, Universal, I-Drive, etc.) Grocery stores charge significantly more in the attractions areas than in other parts of town.
Unique Suggestions: Unfortunately, public transportion in Orlando isn't very good, so most people rent cars. The good news is that can save you on cab fares and enable you to drive just a couple of miles out of your way to get cheaper gas, groceries, and find less expensive restaurants.
An example of the savings? I stopped into the Winn Dixie near the I-4 and Lake Buena Vista intersection. The same bottle of wine that I paid $8 for in my neighborhood was $22!
When looking for a hotel to stay in the Orlando area, try and find one away from the International Drive area, on an evening it can get rather noisy, and the prices can be higher than other parts of Orlando.
Unique Suggestions: Wet and Wild, but take care in the hot weather the ground can burn your feet when going to and from the water so get a cheap pair of Flip Flops
Food in the parks! Food is very expensive... It's like eatting at a movie theater. $2.75 for a 20oz pop, $2.50 for a bottle of water, or $3.50 for a beer! I would recommend packing at least 1 meal and bringing snacks along. They won't take your food away from you (say you are a diabetic if they try!) but you cannot bring in GLASS or a Cooler... so, a small insulated lunch bag is best!
Beware of the prices at shops and restaurants. The price you see isn't always the price you will pay because you may have to add sales tax which is about 6% (2000), I don't know why they don't just add it to the price in the first place, it would be alot easier for everyone instead of standing there trying to work out the prices.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you have a little extra money to allow for the tax.