Sending Your Kids To Universal Studios Every Day Is Cheaper Than Day Care

in Universal Orlando, Universal Studios

Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passholders (Guests) posing outside Universal Studios Florida

Credit: Universal

In a surprising revelation, a woman revealed that her mom used to send her to Universal Studios Florida instead of an after-school program because it was cheaper. And even more shocking, this still may be the case today.

The Universal Studios globe on a sunny day in Orlando, Florida.
Credit: Universal

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Universal Studios has become a theme park giant, filled with iconic rides and properties in their numerous locations. Whether you’re at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, or Universal Studios Singapore, you know that you will have a memorable time that every member of the family can enjoy.

However, none of these match Universal Orlando Resort. Not only is it home to Universal Studios Florida, but it also boasts the Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and the upcoming Epic Universe. Yes, Florida seems like the perfect place to enjoy a Universal Theme Park. And for one mom, it was also the ideal place to send her kids every day after school.

A Mom Bought Her Kids Annual Passes to Universal Studios Orlando  Because It Was Cheaper Than After-School Care

A signage inside of Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

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In a TikTok video from Chef Liv Vasquez, she revealed that her mom had a unique solution for taking care of her kids after they got out of school. Most daycares and after-school programs were expensive, especially in Florida. After doing some research, her mother found the perfect answer to her babysitting problem: the Universal Studios Annual Pass.

“So my mom realized that it would be cheaper to get an Annual Pass to Universal Studios for two kids than it was to put us in an after-school program,” she said. “So me and my brother would take the bus after school every day to Universal Studios, [because] our bus literally dropped off right in front of Universal Studios. We would just go to Universal Studios after school every day.”


My mom really hacked the system on this one. #universalstudios #the90s

♬ Sneaky Snitch – Kevin MacLeod

Many commenters loved this idea, with one person noting that the park is “fun, secure, and has lots of cameras.” Others shared that their parents would do the same thing with Six Flags Magic Mountain or all-day movie passes. Another commenter noted that they, along with many other kids, would be brought to Walt Disney World Resort during the summer because their parents were Cast Members.

This may seem ridiculous, but the logic is surprisingly sound. Looking at Liv Vasquez’s pass, this was for 1998. That means the cheapest Annual Pass was around $288, much less expensive than a private daycare or a babysitter. And even though it has been 25 years since then, this tactic still seems more financially viable than most after-school programs. Seriously.

This May Still Be The Case in 2023

Guests of all ages posing happily with the Minions
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

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Whether you’re going to a Universal or Disney Park, tickets are now more expensive than ever. However, that’s apparently nothing compared to paying for after-school child care. “[The] United States is one of two countries in the entire world that doesn’t offer paid family and medical leave,” said Jennifer Rinehart, the senior fellow and director for women’s economic justice at The Century Foundation.

“That’s time, paid time, to care for loved ones when they need us,” she continued. “And that means that people are struggling. This is an all-hands-on-deck problem.”

Universal Orlando Resort, Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

In Florida, nurseries and childcare centers cost between $150 and $600 monthly. Meanwhile, after-school programs at private schools cost between $300 and $800 per month. In one year, you could pay between $1350 and $7200, assuming you’re taking out three months for summer.

Compare this to the cost of an Annual Pass at Universal Orlando Resort. Currently, one pass costs between $425 and $905 for the whole year. Even Walt Disney World Resort could be cheaper, costing $1449 if you’d like to go any day during the year.

Iconic globe at Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal

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This math holds true for Los Angeles as well. After-school programs cost between $268 and $4220 per month, with an average cost of $1430. Meanwhile, an Annual Pass to Universal Studios Hollywood costs between $179 and $629, depending on if you don’t want any blackout dates.

Does sending your child to a theme park every day instead of a daycare or babysitter seem ludicrous at first? Absolutely. But after you crunch the numbers and consider the amount of security, it is far more financially sound to simply send your kids to some of the best entertainment in the world.

Would you rather send your kids to an after-school program or universal Studios? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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