Every cloud has a silver lining. In the case of our current economic woes, the silver lining is travel. With reservations down, absolutely awesome travel deals are being offered to anyone with the time and resources to take advantage of them. Two of the most popular destinations in the country, Las Vegas and Orlando, are pulling out all the stops to attract visitors, but wading through all the hype and companies advertising discounts and packages can be frustrating, if not downright exhausting.
Recently I learned about a web-based company that simplifies the process of booking attraction tickets for Las Vegas and Orlando. Entertainment Benefits Group, headquartered in Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale with offices in Orlando, is one of the largest privately held travel and entertainment providers in the United States. The company was founded in 2001 by former management executives from Disney and Universal Studios. As an officially contracted wholesaler for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World, they work directly with Disney and other theme parks to provide tickets through their website OrlandoFunTickets.com.
Initially, I was skeptical. Why would anyone buy tickets to Disney World or other Orlando attractions from OrlandoFunTickets.com when they could go to the official website of an attraction and buy tickets directly? So I tested it. I went to the official website for Walt Disney World and checked the ticket prices. Not only were direct tickets through Disney slightly more expensive, their web site was extremely confusing. Once I got to the pricing page, I was asked to select which add-on options I wanted to include (Park Hopper option, Water Park Fun & More option, and No Expiration option). Unfortunately, there was no explanation for these add-ons. Surfing over to the OrlandoFunTickets.com page, I found each of these options clearly explained on their home page. I had the same experience with tickets for the Blue Man Group – better prices AND better seat selection through OrlandoFunTickets.com than I could buy at the Blue Man Group official website!
The company explains how they are able to offer these prices on their FAQ page: “We buy our tickets in large amounts from theme parks and attractions in order to receive discounted, wholesale prices. Then we pass our savings along to you.”
I investigated further. OrlandoFunTickets.com generates more than 700,000 admissions to Orlando attractions each year. They are licensed and bonded with the State of Florida, the company is rated by Dunn and Bradstreet, and the very few complaints against them (3) that have been registered through the Better Business Bureau had all either been satisfactorily resolved or, in the opinion of BBB, the firm had made every attempt to resolve the issue. In the online forums I found nothing but positive feedback. Not only can you book online, you can book through their toll-free number, 866-225-4712. Tickets can either be shipped directly to you or they will drop off tickets at your hotel room. Best of all, they NEVER work with or sanction timeshares.
Having successfully launched their Orlando website, EBG then turned their attention to Las Vegas, launching the website BestOfVegas.com to offer competitive rates for the best Las Vegas shows, tours, nightclubs, and accommodations. From small economy hotels to luxury hotels, from the hottest shows in town to the best deals you can find on smaller shows, from Las Vegas StripÂ tours to exciting tours of the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, from Nightclub VIP Passes to Bottle Service reservations, BestOfVegas.com has the best selection. As with their Orlando operation, BestOfVegas.com reservation service is free of charge. No convenience fees, administration fees, or credit card fees are ever charged. In addition to the website, customers can also call toll free at 800-947-1081 to arrange for tickets and reservations.
I even found one blogger who credited BestOfVegas.com with making her vacation more memorable, writing: “I tried for show tickets as we were staying in the city. But we couldnâ€™t catch tickets at the right time.” It wasn’t until she discovered BestOfVegas.com that she was able to get the tickets she desired. My birthday is coming up soon, and I’m planning to go to Disney World and Epcot, so I’ll have an opportunity to test the service first hand and will let you know how it goes. But from what I can tell, these two web sites are the best alternatives for Las Vegas and Orlando bookings.