posted: Jan. 15, 2012 @ 1:41p
Updated - Jan. 22, 2012
Here is the story:
I am going to Orlando from Los Angeles on a vacation with my dad. Long story short, we want to go to DisneyWorld and Universal Studios IoA. I came across this site on craigslist and they sell tickets about 40% off retail which is the average CL seller (except this is a "company" and not a person). They say its not a time share or ticket broker, but they just buy tickets in bulk and can sell it for cheap.
Part that worries me:
To buy tickets, you must call them and buy tickets over the phone (no online ordering) and they ONLY accept greendot card which is a prepaid giftcard basically that you buy from your local WalMart/Walgreens etc... Once you pay for it giving your prepaid card number, they email you a confirmation with your tickets that you pick up at will call at the park.
So my question is, is this site legit or should I stay away? I tried researching the site for fraud sales or happy customers but I came up empty handed. Is it worth the risk to try it out if I find no feedback? I would be saving about $400 which is a lot for this trip. I don't really trust meeting with people because on CL, there are a lot of fraud reports from other users.
Anyone have any suggestions?
EDIT: UPDATE 1-22-12
Ok, I am not back in Los Angeles from an amazing trip. This is how I saved money at the parks just in case you wanted the best price tickets....
Pirate Dinner Show
This one I thought I got a bargain by getting $15 off each adult ticket and getting BOGO free drink coupons by going to my hotels ticket booth and sweet talking my way into getting a lower price. I then found UCT had it for $20 off face value but no drink coupons so I call it a wash there. Show was alright, more for children IMO because they grab kids from the audience to help with a lot of the show and go on stage. No amazing stunts or acrobats or even choreography that was good. Food that was included was so so. You don't get to chose, they give you salad/soup, rice chicken and pork. We got to take pictures with the cast though afterwards which was fun.
We got these tickets also from my hotel which was $22 per person plus 10 free tokens plus 1 free glow in the dark maze coupon which saved us about $10 each. Retail is $25 just for entry and about $7 for the maze. This place is a must see for all ages. They have many hands on activities to do and see. Really fun time, and bring a camera here! I couldn't find any better deals but was told AAA office might have it for $15 but we didn't want to drive all the way there on a gamble.
I bought these tickets by driving to the Kissimmee Florida Hospital and going to their gift shop at 9:30am (they open at 9am). I was told that they receive Disney World 1 day base tickets once in a while and gift them out if you make a $70 donation or greater but they sell FAST. I called at 9am and they said they got a batch in but won't last until 10am so we drove their and arrived by 9:30am. We donated $300 and got 4 tickets. No tax or anything here, could've done it for $280 if I wanted. They give you hard tickets here that state on the tickets they are from the hospital and good for 1 day (NO UPGRADES ALLOWED AT PARK). But we didn't want park hoppers anyways...
The cheapest way I found these tickets were by going to guest relations and letting them know my dad has trouble walking (he is 65 and had some surgeries) and they gave us a 15% discount on the tickets we bought. They stated that they do this for any handicapped or disability person or group (no proof was required but I don't know if we just got a nice girl or not). 15% off was cheaper than any broker I saw online including undercovertourist (UCT). Now, I am not saying go lie to them and make something up, but if you legitimately have someone with any type of disability, then they should honor it up to 6 people in the group. Inside the park, AAA card came in handy and got us 10% off everything we bought.
My mini review coming from Disneyland/Universal in CA... (skip this if you care only about prices and savings)
First, just a little about me so you know where I am coming from. I am a 25 year old male who enjoys rides as well as shows and loves theme park hopping. I will try to be as unbiased as possible. I do enjoy extreme coasters (like Magic and Knotts) as well as detailed, theme rides (Disney or universal). I go to Disneyland about 3-4 times a year, Universal about 3-4 times a year in CA.
Animal Kingdom - Much like the LA zoo, its a giant zoo with a few rides. If you are a ride enthusiast, skip this park. The 3 decent rides they had were Everest, Dinosaur and a safari ride.
Everest is EXACTLY like "The Mummy" ride at universal studios, except duller. A very short roller coaster ride that you go forwards on, then backwards for a few drops. This is suppose to be their "big" main ride. Or you can compare it to Matterhorn in Disney, but 1/8th of the track time and a short backwards part. Has the same Yeti snow mountain theme.
Dinosaur was a bit better for me. This is basically Indiana Jones except with a dinosaur theme and shorter as well (all the rides are sooo short!!). You sit in a jeep like Indy and go trying to find a dinosaur while the jeep is taking you on bumps and sharp turns. No spears get thrown at you though and no steep drops under a boulder.
Safari ride is an enjoyable family ride that takes you out on the back side of the park through their little "Africa" while the tour guide points out animals and facts. This is very similar to the tram ride at universal except instead of Hollywood sets, you are looking at animals. My tour guide sucked unfortunately and was driving fast so pictures were hard (we caught up to the tram in front of us while no tram was behind us). And he was not delivering his lines well (which is understandable, its a hit or miss at any park).
I did go on ALL the rides, but I am not gonna waste my time riding about the others.
The shows, on the other hand, were AMAZING. 2 big shows, Finding Nemo the musical and Lion King were both great! The only thing in CA that I can compare these to would be the Aladdin show in California Adventure. Finding Nemo I enjoyed much more, I would have actually PAID to see this, about $40 I would say. Its a full set, full production show about 40 minutes long. I have never seen the movie, but this show was still amazing. Its people holding full size props while singing and controlling them. After a while, you don't even notice the people, but focused on the props! Lion King was also great and funny. They sing all the traditional songs from the movie (which I loved when I was a kid) so it really brought back memories. Lion King is performed in the center of the room so you sit in a circle around it, no bad seat in the house.
Animal Kingdom, although was disappointed in the rides, made up with it in the shows.
I won't go into detail on the rides here because most overlap with Diseyland/CA (soarin, test track, american adventure, captain EO). I skipped all those because I assume they were the same. The new rides were also great and wish they brought some to the west coast. Spaceship Earth and Mission space were both really fun and unique rides. This park is a solid B+ overall. They have a good variety of rides and great photo moments and food from all parts of the world as well as buildings in the little "countries" they created. What I enjoyed most and also found most interesting is the workers! They actually fly over people from their native countries and pay them to live and work there for a year! I had a chat with one of the girls who they brought from Morocco and she said they flew her out to just talk and be there. Each country has workers to make it more real. All the food was great too! I recommend you eat as little as possible to try all the variety of foods they offer from the different parts of the world. The only thing this park lacked was shows which I can't blame them. They fit so much into an already big park which is tough to do in one day.
Universal - Islands of Adventure
By far, the BEST theme park I have EVER been to. I wish they had IoA in CA. Each ride there is so unique and unlike anything else. I don't want to write to much because this isn't my blog and none of you probably care, but the 2 best rides I have ever been on are Spider-Man and Harry Potters Hogwarts castle. I would like to meet the geniuses who designed these rides.
Spiderman is a 3D moving ride that includes not only a 3D movie, but real props as your car moves through the track. I thought it was going to be like Simpsons the ride (stationary 3D ride that just moves the car on a fixed spot). But no, this ride takes you through an entire rollercoaster style ride while involving fire, water, smoke and taking you through an adventure.
I thought it couldn't get any better but then I sat on Harry Potter! Oh boy, this is similar to Spiderman but version 2.0! Although no 3D, it takes you flying through the air also involving movie screens in spots as though you are flying in the air while playing quidditch, and then taking you through real props as you fly away from demontors, dragons, the whompping willow! I can not describe the thrill these rides brought when I thought the best thrills I got were from my previous favorite rides (Riddlers Revenge and Goliath at Magic Mountain). But these rides, although not intense roller coasters, brought more joy and more thrill in me than any other ride. I can ride these multiple times (in fact, I did ride each twice).
The Hulk was their intense roller coaster, and although not as big or scary as Magic Mountains, did provide that feeling of fear when it shoots you at the start going upwards (which is similar to Superman at MM). Also got to give a shout out to the other rides, Ripsaw Falls (this puts splash mountain to shame!) and Pop Eye and Blutos water ride (this also puts roaring rapids and bigfoot waters to shame!) The rides at universal were just other rides I've been on but on steriods! BRING SPARE CLOTHES OR A PANCHO IF YOU GO ON THE POP EYE RIDE AND TAKE YOUR SHOES AND SOCKS OFF!!!! You will get drenched no matter where you sit.
Anyways, had a blast!