View Full Version : Would you fly into MCO or Tampa in this situation?

04-02-2008, 04:17 PM
I can't decide, help! We're going to rent a car either way, so factor the cheapest rental car possible for ten days for three people into it, also.

We're flying Midwest nonstop from Milwaukee August 9-18 and have the choice of:
1. Orlando: Time is worse, will lose most of the first day (arrive MCO 6:20 pm), $248 each RT
2. Tampa: Time is better, will arrive 11 am, so even with drive should arrive WDW by early afternoon, right?, $208 each RT

I'm not afraid of driving, but wonder if the cost difference of even a cheap rental car would eat up the $120 savings? (We're renting one either way, but have read here that Tampa's rentals are more costly...)

Thanks for all input!

04-02-2008, 04:28 PM
We have flown into tampa a couple of times for our orlando trip because it was cheaper. The drive is not that bad. We have rented from the Tampa bay Dollar rental car several times and will be renting from them again next week and return the car in orlando and have always gotten just as good of a rate then if we would have gotten the car in orlando. We have rented from dollar at least 4 times and have had good luck. Mousesavers has some good codes and well as if you are a BJs member. Good luck

04-02-2008, 04:44 PM
So, do I understand right, you landed in Tampa, rented a car there, but are returning it to MCO because your return flight is out of there? Now I have to go price one way flights and see if I can do any better! (But we do love Midwest's nonstop flights...)


04-02-2008, 05:06 PM
Given your sitaution, I'd fly into Tampa. The drive is quite easy. We flew into Tampa in Jan to visit my DH's grandparents before heading over to WDW. We got a great rate then from Alamo. Mousesavers has some great codes - we used the one available to WalMart Customers (basically, for everyone). And check back often...the rates both dropped and increased several times after I made our ressie. Whenever it dropped I just changed my reservation.

04-02-2008, 05:12 PM
Given the current price of gas you better figure Tampa will cost you an extra $15-$20.

What are your return flights? You'll have to allow plenty of extra time if you fly back from Tampa. You'll probably lose your last day, an afternoon flight out of MCO and you can do "stuff"

OKW Lover
04-02-2008, 05:19 PM
I'd fly to Tampa to save the money and get an extra half day at WDW. The drive is easy, especially at that time of day, and should only take you ~75 minutes. When you figure that the trip from MCO to WDW is ~30 minutes, the difference in time isn't great.

You might also look into flying into Tampa but back out of MCO.

04-02-2008, 05:29 PM
We are flying SW and i was able to get a better rate out of MCO for the return flight then i could out of tampa. So we are staying a few days in tampa on the beach and then to save money are driving to orlando and staying a couple days there. The Hotel rates were much cheaper than staying the whole time at the beach. I just want to be anywhere that i do not have to see snow and can swim.

04-02-2008, 06:47 PM
I'd take Tampa over Orlando any day. MCO is a horrible airport.

04-02-2008, 07:20 PM
My only concern for you is that the car rental rates have been quite a bit higher for Tampa over Orlando lately which really eats into your savings. We have flown into Tampa many times to save money when rental rates were about equal; at least for the times we have done it lately - that is no longer the case. BUT, I would probably focus more on the fact it gives me more time at Disney - which is priceless. :thumbsup2

Also, the last time we flew in and out of Tampa (October of 2007) the traffic really backed up at an interchange on the highway close to the airport on our return. I'm talking it took us almost an hour to get through it. I thought I would have a stroke. (I tend to freak out and overreact over things like this:sad2: ) I think that might be the norm now, so please factor that into your return time.

04-03-2008, 07:48 AM
We fly in and out of TPA all the time. I have family on the west coast so we usually always have one leg TPA and one leg MCO, with a rental car. Check rental rates but it has been my experience lately that there is no difference in the rates with National or Alamo, who we normally use. Flying into TPA often does save money and it is about a one hour drive to WDW from the TPA airport. Traffic could be bad on a week day but you are arriving at 11 AM so you should be avoiding rush hour traffic. Good Luck!

04-03-2008, 01:18 PM
Thanks, everyone! Our return flight time will about even out, since we'd have to leave MCO at 8 am, and can leave Tampa at 11.

Now fingers crossed for a cheap car rental...


04-03-2008, 01:55 PM
So, do I understand right, you landed in Tampa, rented a car there, but are returning it to MCO because your return flight is out of there? Now I have to go price one way flights and see if I can do any better! (But we do love Midwest's nonstop flights...)


We do exactly the same thing-both airfare and rental cars are cheaper and the drive isn't that bad.

04-03-2008, 03:22 PM
Tampa, for sure.

With Alamo a full size rental would be $318.71using the Wal Mart code. In Orlando the same thing would be $304.23.

So you pay $14 more (these are also not using any coupons, just the walmart code), and you drive half an hour longer. But the airport will be easier to manage and you'll have extra time in WDW! Priceless to me :D

04-03-2008, 03:31 PM
Another thought...do you need a rental car once you get to Disney? You could always return the car once you get to Disney and take the Magical Express back to the airport. That would most likely save you some $$ on the rental car...

CK 1 and 2
04-03-2008, 05:53 PM
Have you looked at flying Midwest into Tampa and out of Orlando? :confused3 We have done that and found that the flights can be less expensive becuase either the in or out is full and causing the ticket price increase. We fly Midwest frequently and the problem I have found with Tampa, more than once, is that there is only 1 flight in and out! We have been forced to stay or fly Air Tran through Atlanta to get home to Milwaukee. I would be careful!