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View Full Version : Thinking of driving to WDW. What are your thoughts?


Nik's Mom
05-24-2008, 03:21 PM
Hi,
We always fly to WDW (we lived in California). We just moved to Kansas (near Kansas City). We are thinking of driving to WDW next summer. We have 2 kids (6 and 9). My thoughts are that we could save some money, and the kids could see some of the country.

I'm trying to get some idea of how much that type of drive would cost? We have a 2005 Ford minivan and a 2002 Expedition. I'm thinking the minivan would be the better choice. How can I figure out what to budget to get to WDW?

Also, what are your experiences with a long drive to WDW? The drive would probably be about 18-20 hours.

Thanks!:)

4formickey
05-24-2008, 03:37 PM
we drove last year from chicago. It would have been cheaper for us to fly. I'm factoring in 2 hotel rooms (coming and going)Food, time on the road with 'are we there yet 'and peace of mind. Daddy is flying this year.

veraletta
05-24-2008, 03:37 PM
I love driving so we always drive to Florida from Ohio, if you donít mind driving then you would enjoy the drive, I say go for it, but if you donít like to drive then I wouldn't do it.

Purrrrfecta
05-24-2008, 03:43 PM
We drive from Kentucky.

Last year we drove to Columbia, South Carolina, and then we went on down to WDW. it was nice.

When wew drive straight from Kentucky we usually go all the way down to Valdosta, and then drive to Orlando the next morning so we can get there as early as possible.

eeyorethegreat
05-24-2008, 04:11 PM
Hi,
We always fly to WDW (we lived in California). We just moved to Kansas (near Kansas City). We are thinking of driving to WDW next summer. We have 2 kids (6 and 9). My thoughts are that we could save some money, and the kids could see some of the country.

I'm trying to get some idea of how much that type of drive would cost? We have a 2005 Ford minivan and a 2002 Expedition. I'm thinking the minivan would be the better choice. How can I figure out what to budget to get to WDW?

Also, what are your experiences with a long drive to WDW? The drive would probably be about 18-20 hours.

Thanks!:)

I use this handy tool from AAA
http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com/

ceecee
05-24-2008, 04:12 PM
We drove one time from Ohio to FL and said never again. The drive was too long! Especially with kids, you will have to plan on many stops along the way. Normally it takes us 6 hrs to get to Gatlinburg, but with DD it took 7, many stops along the way. Our Windstar gets 18 mpg so your Ford probably does about the same, the Expedition probably even less, so gas will be pretty costly. Hotel rooms along the way too if you are planning to stop at a few places for site seeing.

sunnyday123
05-24-2008, 04:16 PM
I would pick driving over flying any day. I would'nt even really care about the $$ as long as I could afford it. (ie. was independantly wealthy!)
I calculated and for me ( with no food and hotel rooms apparently ) it would only be $124 more than my flight. It would also take longer, and you run the risk of a flat, break down, etc. And yet, I would still drive!! Good luck with your decision!

Esmerelda
05-24-2008, 04:30 PM
Wow do I hate to drive long distances but this year we are trying it. This is the first time in 6 years we have driven to Florida. When I priced airline tickets back in late February for early June...for the 4 of us...it was around $1100 total. The gas to drive there will be around $300-$350. I have a Nissan Quest van...we put 2 new tires on it....put new spark plugs and wires and of course have the oil changed regularly. I get pretty good gas mileage on the highway and we will drive striaght thru with only potty breaks and a break for breakfast. I plan for us to leave about 6pm and drop off our dogs first..then just keep driving. That will put us to Disney about 10pm-noon the next day. We don't plan on doing anything strenous that first day...just checking in with the concierge at the WL....and lounging by the pool.

As I said...I'm not big on driving...but I'm looking at this as an adventure this year. It will be nice to take what we want....bring back items we have purchased rather than shipping them back..and not having to rush to the airport and then just waiting. Our last flight down to Orlando, we left our home at 0500 heading to the airport...we didn't get to our hotel until 1:30pm...for approx 6 more hours...we would have had our own car...and been there all the same.

I'm willing to try new things...and I must say, I'm looking forward to my outing this year :)

best of luck to the OP for a safe trip no matter how the travel there...:)

ajh88
05-24-2008, 04:40 PM
We are drivers! :thumbsup2 We live in St. Louis and usually drive to Valdosta, GA on day 1 (about 800 miles), so we only have about 3 hours to go on the 2nd day. We leave before dawn - usually about 4 am - so by the time the kids are awake and realize we're on the road, we've put about 250 miles behind us already.

As a PP said, if you enjoy driving places, I'd say to go for it - you won't know until you try! I am biased because I grew up in rural Kansas - we had to drive an hour to go to "town" for real shopping and 2 1/2 hours to the nearest major airport.

And money wise, we actually started renting cars for our trips - no wear and tear on our vehicles, better gas mileage, etc. - and we still come out ahead over flying (and renting a car in FL - DH has to have a car!). We can get away with a standard or full-size car (we need our trunk space!) - but it might not be a good deal if you NEED a van or SUV for your family.

Good luck - have a great trip!

Edited to add:

Money-wise, specifically, our RT airfare would be $918 (4 people, RT from St. Louis to Orlando on AirTran @ $99 each way)
Rental car in FL (assuming we got a $12/day PriceLine car) = $84 (+taxes/fees)
TOTAL for flying = $1002

Our driving budget breaks down like this:

Rental car - $265 (Chevy Impala for 9 days from Avis - unlimited miles)
Gas - $350 (estimated by AAA)
Hotels - $120 (down and back - $60/night)
Food - $100 (down and back) - usually less than this because we bring snacks and drinks for our hotel at WDW and use them as snacks for the trip too
TOTAL = $835

Local_Girl
05-24-2008, 04:41 PM
We have always driven to WDW from SW Michigan and plan to again this Nov. We took a trip when our 2 were the ages of your kids...and it went just fine.
Things to consider:

Do you/spouse like to drive? (My DH loves long road trips--he does all of the driving, which is fine with me :) )

How do your kids do on other longer trips?

Will you be staying in Florida long enough to make a long drive worthwhile? (We usually stay for 10+ days)

Plan to bring along a variety of things for them to do, electronics, DVDs, books, activities, etc. Try to plan potty breaks with gas fill-ups...it'll save some stops and time. But, we also find that it's nice to stop at a grassy rest area and let the kids run around for awhile, maybe with a ball or frisbee. We might do this as a picnic lunch stop.

Remember the drive down will be more exciting, due to the anticipation of going to WDW. The drive home, on the other hand, will be less fun. Perhaps plan a special stop on the way home to make it more interesting...

Good Luck planning! We really look forward to our road trips to Disney. :)

DVC Sadie
05-24-2008, 04:50 PM
Believe it or not some of our fondest memories are of our "road trips". There is something special and unique about spending time in the car playing games, singng or just talking.

For those of you who are planning on driving, have a great time! The memories will last a lifetime.

HugsForEeyore
05-24-2008, 06:08 PM
I am in a dilemma with driving to Florida from NJ. I own a tiny Honda Civic which gets great gas mileage (like 38 MPG, it's a manual too), but gas is still going to be well over $100 each way, so over $200 round-trip. If I have to get a hotel both ways, that would be about $200 including tax. So figure $400 for the gas/hotel/ plus some more for food. But I can take the Amtrak AutoTrain (where you bring you car with you) in coach for somewhere around $500 total round trip!

So nowadays, for a solo driver from the northeast, it almost doesn't make sense to drive to FL anymore. :confused3 If I take the train, I avoid like 14 hours of monotonous driving (28 total for both ways), plus wear and tear on the car, for maybe like $100 more than driving! I would gladly pay myself that to avoid the drive! Much safer, can relax and unwind, too!

So the high cost of gas is making me choose the train more - it's just about a no brainer for a solo person like me (if you like trains, that is :) ).

diz8297
05-24-2008, 06:26 PM
We have driven every year since 2002. We go from RI to FL-last year we did it twice because we went to see family for a separate trip!! We love it. Our youngest was almost 4 when we started doing this, and I have to tell ya they are really great overall!! We stop for breakfast and lunch and then we stop for the night. This allows us to go everyyear and frankly, now I prefer it. We can make our own schedule and have our vehicle to use at the World. Good luck and happy planning!!

DVC Sadie
05-24-2008, 06:42 PM
I am in a dilemma with driving to Florida from NJ. I own a tiny Honda Civic which gets great gas mileage (like 38 MPG, it's a manual too), but gas is still going to be well over $100 each way, so over $200 round-trip. If I have to get a hotel both ways, that would be about $200 including tax. So figure $400 for the gas/hotel/ plus some more for food. But I can take the Amtrak AutoTrain (where you bring you car with you) in coach for somewhere around $500 total round trip!

So nowadays, for a solo driver from the northeast, it almost doesn't make sense to drive to FL anymore. :confused3 If I take the train, I avoid like 14 hours of monotonous driving (28 total for both ways), plus wear and tear on the car, for maybe like $100 more than driving! I would gladly pay myself that to avoid the drive! Much safer, can relax and unwind, too!

So the high cost of gas is making me choose the train more - it's just about a no brainer for a solo person like me (if you like trains, that is :) ).

I love trains, always have, always will! I envy your trip on the train with your family. Have a great time! :wizard:

treeface
05-24-2008, 07:14 PM
We are driving from northern IN at Christmas this year (about 18 hours). We have done this on several occasions (about 2:1 driving:flying) and it isn't that bad. Like PP's, we usually stop on the way down, usually between Macon and Valdosta, then it's a short trip the next day. On the way home, we usually leave WDW before 6am and then just drive straight home and are home around midnight.

We will have to stop three times for gas each way (I drive a Pontiac G6 that gets 30+ mpg) and usually once in between each fillup for a bathroom and a stretch. Having DS along doesn't alter our number of stops at all, in fact, I could probably pull out the map and give exit numbers for most of our stops (they are almost always at the same places:)

Whatever you choose, I'm sure it will be what is best for your family and that it will be a wonderful trip.

Nik's Mom
05-25-2008, 02:08 PM
Hi all!
Thanks for all of the comments. As usual, my Dis friends come through with loads of suggestions and opinions, which is so helpful! We enjoy driving, but our longest road trip was only about 7 hours. The kids do just fine on those trips, as long as we stop for about 30 minutes for lunch and one potty break.

I'm still trying to decide what is best. I like the thought of the adventure of a road trip!;)

Poohs Pal
05-25-2008, 02:50 PM
We have always driven to WDW from SW Michigan and plan to again this Nov. We took a trip when our 2 were the ages of your kids...and it went just fine.
Things to consider:

Do you/spouse like to drive? (My DH loves long road trips--he does all of the driving, which is fine with me :) )

How do your kids do on other longer trips?

Will you be staying in Florida long enough to make a long drive worthwhile? (We usually stay for 10+ days)

Plan to bring along a variety of things for them to do, electronics, DVDs, books, activities, etc. Try to plan potty breaks with gas fill-ups...it'll save some stops and time. But, we also find that it's nice to stop at a grassy rest area and let the kids run around for awhile, maybe with a ball or frisbee. We might do this as a picnic lunch stop.

Remember the drive down will be more exciting, due to the anticipation of going to WDW. The drive home, on the other hand, will be less fun. Perhaps plan a special stop on the way home to make it more interesting...

Good Luck planning! We really look forward to our road trips to Disney. :)


We are also driving from Michigan in November. We will be a group with 2 or 3 vehicals. We use walkie talkies among the cars and it makes the trip a lot more fun as we can get seriously goofy. We are leaving Halloween night(5pm) and will be driving back on November 14th. I will have Dson who is in a wheelchair so we will leave thursday and arrive on saturday. We like to give ourselves extra travling time with Dson. He usually travels well but not always.
If we are travling without dson we will leave at 3am and stop in or around Tifton Ga on the way down. We have also stopped at Perry and Dalton Ga.
To the OP. When my kids were young(all adults now) we would make fun stops along the way. It took a little longer but made for a more relaxing trip. Susan

Kellydelly
05-25-2008, 03:24 PM
We have driven often from SE Michigan. With four young children (as in toddlers and babies!). I love the drive down, we usually start out at 10 pm or so and drive continously all night, stop for a good breakfast and then continue seeing sights along the way and stop for the night in Valdosta Georgia. We stop every 2 hours or so for bathroom breaks and coffee, it doesn't add that much time to your drive time to stop and let everyone stretch their legs. The drive back does tend to suck, though. No way around it. It's exciting driving knowing you are on your way somewhere fun, but on the way back it seems you will never see your driveway. We love finding cool things to check out on our trips, though (we've done quite a few cavern tours).

StephMK
05-25-2008, 04:04 PM
We drove from NE to VA last summer without DH and it was a fun adventure. I planned a lot of sightseeing along the way so we didn't go more than 4 hours w/having something to look forward to. The kids were 4, 7, 13 and watched lots of movies in between. It took a little longer that way but we added some states we'd never seen and some new experiences along the way. It goes much better if you don't have a really tight itinerary.

It's all in the attitude! Have fun!

Poohbug
05-25-2008, 04:16 PM
I just drove from WDW to Wisconsin. Just me and two kids. It took us 24 hours total including a couple of stops for resting and of course the stops for fuel. We did not stay at a hotel. For me the hotel stops are a pain-you never know which hotel is good and you pay to much(rack rate). It went really well-the kids thought it was an adventure to sleep in the car.;)

I would drive to WDW again. For me the best way is just to do it all in one shot.

christa112
05-25-2008, 04:27 PM
My thought ARE YOU NUTS??????:eek:

Just kidding. I drove across country with my dad when I was 11 or 12 and it was really awesome. It was just him and I and I was out of the "are we there yet?" stage. We took our time and stopped at the Grand Caynon and Meteor Crator (spelling?), The painted desert and petrified forest, we traveled through Texas and hit Six Flags over Texas, we went Tennesee and saw Graceland and Dollywood, and DC and did the zoo & the Smithsoean (spelling). I remember bits and pieces but they are pretty fuzzy, but I do remember it was a lot of fun.

Tink888
05-25-2008, 04:39 PM
We drive to WDW from Pittsburgh, PA and personally I really love the drive. It's about 16 hours. We usually leave around four in the morning so the kids can sleep part of the way and drive straight through to Daytona Beach. We spend the night there and then onto WDW the next day. Going home we drive 12 hours and then spend the night and finish the next day. It's nice to be able to travel on your own time schedule.

I've got two boys and they've always done really good with road trips. We have a mini van so there is lots of space for them in the back, they bring books, games, video games and they can also watch movies. We do a quick bathroom stop/gas fill-up every few hours. It may sound corny but it really is a great way to see the country. One year we woke the boys up in WV to see the sunrise over the mountains. Pretty cool.

The last trip we spent about 340.00 on gas, 130.00 for hotel rooms and about 100.00 on food so it was cheaper than flying. Even with the gas prices now I think we would still save a little.

I also really like having our own vehicle at WDW. Parking is free if you stay on property for both the resorts and parks. If we didn't want to take the buses, we could drive to the parks or other resorts so it was a timesaver in that sense. We could run to the grocery store for drinks, etc. and the nicest thing was being able to pack whatever we wanted or needed.

We did fly down once and DH & I are going down alone in Sept and are flying again. I haven't gotten my airline tickets yet because there is a part of me that's dreading the flight even though it's a huge time saver.

My friends think I'm crazy but I do love our WDW road trips. That's how we did it when I was little and to me there's just something special about a road trip, wherever you end up going. :)

Russian-in-Kansas
05-25-2008, 06:06 PM
Hi, we in KS too and are driving this year. The way we have figured that it would be cheaper for all 4 of us to do that instead of flying and renting a car there, since we will be off-site. This way we are planning our routes and booking cheap motels on the way and bringing a cooler with snacks with us.

Nik's Mom
05-25-2008, 07:26 PM
We are also driving from Michigan in November. We will be a group with 2 or 3 vehicals. We use walkie talkies among the cars and it makes the trip a lot more fun as we can get seriously goofy. We are leaving Halloween night(5pm) and will be driving back on November 14th. I will have Dson who is in a wheelchair so we will leave thursday and arrive on saturday. We like to give ourselves extra travling time with Dson. He usually travels well but not always.
If we are travling without dson we will leave at 3am and stop in or around Tifton Ga on the way down. We have also stopped at Perry and Dalton Ga.
To the OP. When my kids were young(all adults now) we would make fun stops along the way. It took a little longer but made for a more relaxing trip. Susan

Hi Susan,
My sons are both special needs (autistic), so it is nice to hear from a parent with a special needs child. We definitely would plan for some time out of the car. Thanks for the tip.:)

Nik's Mom
05-25-2008, 07:31 PM
Russian-in-Kansas,

I just read the bottom of your countdown. A big THANK YOU to your DH for the great sacrifice he has made to serve our country. You all deserve a great trip to WDW. :thumbsup2

Russian-in-Kansas
05-25-2008, 08:05 PM
No, honestly thank you :) I hope you have a great trip!

MichelleinMaine
05-25-2008, 08:31 PM
We did a ME to WDW drive last month with 7YO DD and 12YO DS. Mapquest and our GPS both put it as a 23h drive. We thought that was reasonable 2 day drive. BAH. Didnt' figure in it taking significantly longer. We didn't even make any significantly long rest stops, but even stopping for food/gas could take us a half hour. (NJ turnpike in spring break=the most horrific lines I have ever seen!) It took us closer to 30hours with traffic and stops. I wish we'd have had the liberty to split it into a 3 day drive. We liked the travelling, we liked seeing the states (would have liked to have seen more than McDonalds and the gas stations :thumbsup2 ) Three days I think would have been ideal.

We'd do it again, I think, on a longer trip. We were only doing a week in WDW and had 4 days for travel... that was a bit insane.

As others have said, it depends alot on how your kids travel. Ours are used to it. This was our longest car trip, but they've done some marathon plane journeys before. (This was a whole lot easier than flying to HI, lol!)

~Michelle (another Nik's mom :))

pbharris4
05-25-2008, 09:16 PM
Drive! See the country. Make it a game of sorts. Collect a postcard or something from each state. My Dad, Dh and I drove to CA from VA and back...saw a lot of neat things along the way...Grand Canyon, Vegas, Hoover Dam, etc. See what's along the route and they can learn something on the way. Take movies too.

lcboysfan
05-25-2008, 09:46 PM
We are also driving to Disney in July from Katy, Texas (A little west of Houston). I wanted to Fly but the wife insisted that we drive which is around 14.5 hrs which isn't bad but the way the Airlines prices are nowadays further justified Driving. We estimate it to cost us (Worst case scenario) 500$ in Gas (We drive a 2003 Acura MDX) and 200 in snacks etc. Which is still alot cheaper than 1100-1400$ in Airfare it would cost us to fly.

melanie18
05-25-2008, 10:15 PM
DH & I used to ONLY drive to WDW for years. We started to fly once DD7 was born. After our last 2 trips, we've decided to drive for our next one.

In Nov., DD7 got strep throat on the day we were supposed to fly home. I got our extended family to the airport for the flight, but DD7 was vomiting (:scared1: ) and miserable. Southwest couldn't get us on another flight for 4 days. After a trip to the hospital and a night in concierge level (thanks to those wonderful folks at the Wilderness Lodge), we chose to drive our rental car home the following day since DD7 was much better. DH & I agreed that it was probably the best drive we've ever done.

Just last week we were trying to fly out of MCO and our flight was delayed 5 hrs. We chose to fly into Baltimore (instead of Philly) and rented a car to get us back to Philly airport to get our car. Let me just say that the rental from Baltimore to Philly was a 2-hr rental and it cost us more the rental car we had in Orlando for a week. :eek:

Needless to say, I'm willing to give driving another shot if we go back again this November. I kind of look forward to the down-time in the car.

You will have a great time-- just go into it with a good attitude.

Plantlady
05-25-2008, 10:27 PM
We always drive on our vacations. This year it's from Kansas to California, to go to Disneyland. For a family of five, it's just cheaper.

Now, I'm not figuring in hotels, because we make sure to stop at wonderful, glorious places. We'll be visiting between 7-10 national parks on the way to and from. Priceless.

Last summer, we put 4000 miles on our car, vacationing. The kids just know that's part of it. Not a single complaint. They love it.

mom2girlsn1boy
05-25-2008, 10:51 PM
we are driving this year, we live in kansas my dh has figured for our van, (mercury villiager) that it would take about 650 dollars round trip for gas. We have three kids 2 of which would have to have tickets for the plane, so for us it's cheaper even with 2 night of rooms to drive. We are looking forward to it. My dh and I drove when I was 4 months pg with our first and we had a great time, and sure we will this time too.

souda
05-25-2008, 10:51 PM
Our first trip to WDW was in June 07 and we decided at the last minute to fly. That was the best decision that we made. My DD was almost 2 for the trip and she does not like to ride in the car. We live 60 miles south of New Orleans and I think it is a 12 hour drive. Instead of 12 hours in the car, we rode for 2 1/2 hours in a plane, we had a layover in Atlanta. My husband said he will never drive on a trip longer than 6 hours again. I think the drive going would not have been so bad, but the drive back after only having 5 days and it being our very first time in the world would have been torture, we were exhausted.

micki7337
05-26-2008, 08:51 AM
Flying would be cheaper with the price of gas at $4 per gallon and the need for hotel rooms coming and going. also if you run late you could miss your reservation at WDW if you fly it is easier all around especially if you use magical express to and from WDW.

Plantlady
05-26-2008, 09:09 AM
Flying would be cheaper with the price of gas at $4 per gallon and the need for hotel rooms coming and going. also if you run late you could miss your reservation at WDW if you fly it is easier all around especially if you use magical express to and from WDW.

Flight prices will also rise, with gas prices... something to keep in mind.

I personally like having my own control.. and only when we fly, do we run late, because of planes taking too long to take off. When we drive, we're in charge of our own time.

When you add several children.. it really is a much better deal to drive. Economically flying does not make sense, unless you get a last minute great deal.. but even that, would have to be fabulous.

Just my two cents.

Karibeth19
05-26-2008, 11:39 AM
We leave next Friday for our 8th trip in 5 years, and we always drive. We love it! DH and I get almost as excited about the drive as we do about being at WDW. What we do that saves us quite a bit of money is use our American Express card for a lot of our purchases throughout the year, and then we transfer our Rewards points over to Hilton Honors points. (The transfer rate is about 1500 HH points for every 1000 AmEx points.) We use the HH points for free hotel rooms at Hampton Inn on the way down and back. That saves about $200-$250, especially if you figure in the fact that we don't have to buy breakfast since it is free at the hotel. So, our only expenses on the road are lunch both days, dinner the first day, snacks and drinks (but we also pack a cooler with that stuff so we don't have to buy much), and of course, gas. But even at $4.00 a gallon, we've estimated that filling up our 2007 Jeep Commander will only cost $500 round trip. All together, we spend about $600-$700 driving; we certainly couldn't find air fare for the three of us that cheap!!!!!

sherreis
05-26-2008, 12:14 PM
In Nov. 2006, we drove from MD - Baltimore area to WDW and the drive was very tolerable. We left here around 1:30 PM on a Friday afternoon and stopped around 11 PM for the night. The next morning, we left the hotel around 8 or so and arrived at CSR around 12:30- 1 PM. My boys were 6 and 11 and were super. It was their first trip to WDW and they knew that if they wanted to go to WDW that was the only way we could afford it. It was a holiday week and would've been about $1500 to fly for the 4 of us.

This October, we're flying. Found great airfare at $54 each way from BWI so at that price, we're flying. I'll miss having our car while we're there. I liked driving to the parks instead of using the busses.

Nik's Mom
05-26-2008, 12:45 PM
I haven't really found cheap airfares from Kansas to MCO. It would be over $1000 for our family to fly, not including rental car. I think we could drive to WDW for cheaper than that.

I like the idea of being in WDW in just a few hours, but I also like the idea of giving the kids an opportunity to see some of our great Country.:thumbsup2

DVC Sadie
05-26-2008, 04:35 PM
Flight prices will also rise, with gas prices... something to keep in mind.

I personally like having my own control.. and only when we fly, do we run late, because of planes taking too long to take off. When we drive, we're in charge of our own time.

When you add several children.. it really is a much better deal to drive. Economically flying does not make sense, unless you get a last minute great deal.. but even that, would have to be fabulous.

Just my two cents.


I agree!

Not only will the base fare increase but the airlines are starting to charge for each piece of luggage (not only the 2nd checked bag, but also the 1st checked bag), so I do think that a few people will re-think the whole drive vs fly aspect.

DiznEeyore
05-26-2008, 07:53 PM
Flying would be cheaper with the price of gas at $4 per gallon and the need for hotel rooms coming and going. also if you run late you could miss your reservation at WDW if you fly it is easier all around especially if you use magical express to and from WDW.

I just checked flight prices for our family's November trip. There are 3 of us. ANY airline would cost over $1K right now out of Detroit. We can drive, stay in hotels, and eat for waaaaay less than that ($400-$500 less), even if gas hits $4.50/gal.

I'm not crazy about a 19-hour drive, but to save that kind of money (and we always rent a car at WDW -- we tried Disney transportation once ... NEVER AGAIN ... so that's another $150-$200) and have our own vehicle, I'll deal with it.

Bella the Ball 360
05-26-2008, 08:02 PM
I use this handy tool from AAA
http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com/

LOVE IT!! So like is it really going to cost me only 411.00 from Boston to Orlando?? I wonder if it is calculating the current price of gas? We are stopping in Williamsburg so our hotel room on the way down is part of a 3 night stay package which was only 99.00 to take a timeshare tour from Wyndham. If I add that (even though it is for 3 nights) and then add a room on the way back (approx 100) it should cost around 611 round trip. I am thinking aht it would cost more to fly but I do not care I HATE to fly so I am just trying to make myself feel better. Really it should be less b/c I factored in the extra 66.00 for the two extra nights in williamsburg.

DiznEeyore
05-26-2008, 08:31 PM
LOVE IT!! So like is it really going to cost me only 411.00 from Boston to Orlando?? I wonder if it is calculating the current price of gas?

The AAA calculator is updated daily IIRC, and it shows right on the map what the average gas price is for each region. :)

crostorfer
05-26-2008, 09:13 PM
I live in Oklahoma City and its a 24 hour drive from here. I budgeted out everything including gas at $4/gallon, one extra night's hotel on the way down ($100), the same on the way back, and $100 for snacks and food for 4 people. I also added in money for the toll roads in FL. (Remember, everything in Florida costs $$$$) It ended up within $20 of the cost of airfare for the three of us on Air Tran.

Hi,
We always fly to WDW (we lived in California). We just moved to Kansas (near Kansas City). We are thinking of driving to WDW next summer. We have 2 kids (6 and 9). My thoughts are that we could save some money, and the kids could see some of the country.

I'm trying to get some idea of how much that type of drive would cost? We have a 2005 Ford minivan and a 2002 Expedition. I'm thinking the minivan would be the better choice. How can I figure out what to budget to get to WDW?

Also, what are your experiences with a long drive to WDW? The drive would probably be about 18-20 hours.

Thanks!:)

Karibeth19
05-26-2008, 10:17 PM
I live in Oklahoma City and its a 24 hour drive from here.
:wave2: Hi from a fellow Oklahoman!

I'm just curious, which route do you take? Because we live in Tulsa, and it only takes us 17 1/2 hours to get there. We take I-40 to Memphis, and then go SE through Tupelo to Birmingham, where we meet up with I-20. We take that to Atlanta, and then I-75 South to the Fla. Turnpike, and then the Western Way to WDW. We drive about 11 1/2 hours to Perry, GA the first day, and then about 5 1/2 to 6 the next day.

Disneycrazymom
05-26-2008, 10:35 PM
We have been going for so many years now and have always ended up flying. But I spent the day today looking for luggage that is the right size and I can get enough in to check only 1 bag each for our cruise on Saturday. Honestly, if I were choosing right now I wish we were driving. And I HATE to drive. But this is just getting silly, all the things you need to worry about to get on a plane right now. Next year may very well be a road trip for us.

MoniqueU
05-26-2008, 11:14 PM
I can't stand driving. We once drom from Ca to New Orleans and then on to MS. I thought I was going to die through AZ, NM and Tx. Very boring. We live 3.5 hours from vegas and that is about my max with or without children. Once we started out driving to vegas but called the airlines on the way there to get a flight. On the one trip to New Orleans my husband got a ticket, add to that traffic and nasty restrooms and it is a no brainer to fly for us. We do drive up to Mammoth from So Cal and sometimes to Tahoe, but I don't ski so if anyone has that idea again I am staying home. I have a hard enough time on cross country trips, I always try to take the red eye so I can sleep because it is so boring to me.

suggies08
05-27-2008, 12:08 AM
We drive from KY every year and enjoy it. It takes us about 12 hours, not too bad. My dad used to drive it every weekend, he works for the railroad and was working in Florida most of last year and the first part of this year. He made the drive twice in a weekend, would come home on Friday and then leave Sunday mornings early. He never complained about it. If its cheaper than flying then I would say go for it.

Nik's Mom
05-27-2008, 12:50 PM
I can't stand driving. We once drom from Ca to New Orleans and then on to MS. I thought I was going to die through AZ, NM and Tx. Very boring. We live 3.5 hours from vegas and that is about my max with or without children. Once we started out driving to vegas but called the airlines on the way there to get a flight. On the one trip to New Orleans my husband got a ticket, add to that traffic and nasty restrooms and it is a no brainer to fly for us. We do drive up to Mammoth from So Cal and sometimes to Tahoe, but I don't ski so if anyone has that idea again I am staying home. I have a hard enough time on cross country trips, I always try to take the red eye so I can sleep because it is so boring to me.


Hi MoniqueU!:wave2: We just moved from West Covina, California (suburb of Los Angeles). We took that drive to Mammoth at least 2 times each winter for the kids ski lessons. You have me home sick for California now.:(

Mkgaapril
05-27-2008, 12:55 PM
I live in Northern Kentucky and would rather spoon my eyes out with a toothpick than drive to disney with a car load of kids...:rotfl2: It is so much easier to go to airport and be there in 2 hours....last long road trip I took with the kids was 4 years ago to sav. ga. NOT AGAIN...i don't mind a few hour trip 4-5 max...but NO WAY to Fla...plus with the price of gas...you can catch really good deals on airfare if you check often....

sunnyday123
05-27-2008, 01:46 PM
I live in Northern Kentucky and would rather spoon my eyes out with a toothpick than drive to disney with a car load of kids...:rotfl2: It is so much easier to go to airport and be there in 2 hours....last long road trip I took with the kids was 4 years ago to sav. ga. NOT AGAIN...i don't mind a few hour trip 4-5 max...but NO WAY to Fla...plus with the price of gas...you can catch really good deals on airfare if you check often....

:rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

I would still take a carload of kids over a plane anyday!!

(But you did make me laugh!)

Sheaboys
05-27-2008, 02:01 PM
We have driven 2x from Massachusetts to Florida (just north of Tampa), it is about 19-21hours give or take. We have a Hyundia Entourage Minivan at about 17-18 mpg. WE fill up 4x total on the way down, that includes fill up before we go, and fill up once at my parents house in Florida. So with prices currently it takes about $70 to fill up the tank, 4x, so that is about $600 in gas total ($280 each way), we stop to eat on the road, breakfast (sometime), definately lunch and supper, we have a cooler for drinks and another for poptarts and snacks. We leave MA. about 5pm, we drive straight through. We stop for supper if we did not eat, then around 8-9pm we have them change into jammies and pee break, they all go to bed at or very close to regular bedtime and don't hear another word until about 7am.

It works for us, since we are now a family of 6. If dh, does not with us to Florida, I fly with the boys and rent a car, but to rent a van and fly the 6 of us, just makes not sense financially. However, if the prices of flights are just $200 more than driving and we are only going to Disney (no car rental), then I would fly just for the fact that we will be there in 2.5 hours as opposed to 21 hours and no tiredness for a day or two that is associated with non-stop driving.

So, you really need to look at the big picture. Good luck with your decision.;)

mikkishelles
05-27-2008, 02:12 PM
We are driving down from Brooklyn, NY, in the end of June. We are leaving after my son's 5 year old birthday party, around 8 PM. We'll have the kids in their pj's, too. I figure that by the time we hit Philly, they'll be asleep and sleep until South Carolina. At that point, we'll throw their shorts and tees on, go for breakfast and then straight to Daytona, where we are staying for a few days before heading onto Orlando. The gas will run about $500 total, so it's much more economical than spending $1000 on airline tickets and another $300-$400 on a rental car. Also, DH doesn't mind doing all the driving, if I do the driving once we arrive and until we head back home, so that works for me!:cool2:

lemondog
05-27-2008, 02:56 PM
We're drivers too! The cost of airfare for 5 is just too expensive, period. Wew have a Toyota Sienna minivan, and using AAA's fuel calculator it will cost us approx. $200 round trip to drive from Nashville to Orlando...flying would be a WHOLE lot more! Also, we like having our car down there and not having to rely solely on Disney transportation, plus we can run to the grocery or wherever if we need to.

mombare
05-31-2008, 03:26 PM
We just drove from Minnesota to Georgia (to stay with relatives) and on to DisneyWorld in January and saved a ton of money. I figured that we spend a total of 6 entire days in the car - we were lucky enough to have the luxury of time on our hands this time. It truly does matter if you can't get cheap flights - we would have spent well over $1000 to fly to Georgia. It was great to have our own vehicle. Ohh, and my children were absolute angels in the car! :angel: We seriously hardly heard a peep - we had portable DVD's, Leapsters, books and LOTS of snacks! I say go for the drive! :moped:

EthansMom
05-31-2008, 03:54 PM
We've driven from MD to FL (before kids), which wasn't too bad. It was during the winter and we were lucky to have the luxury of leaving WDW a day early when the weather reports were forecasting a bad storm the next day.

We've also driven from CT, with kids, and while it wasn't terrible, we decided that it wasn't worth the $$ savings to drive that far instead of flying.

If driving takes longer than flying, don't forget to include the money you could have made working those extra days in your analysis for cost. For instance, from CT, driving takes two days, including a stop overnight. So, DH has to take two extra days of vacation (one day more travel in each direction) to drive instead of flying (which takes only one day).

Our cost analysis then looks something like this:

Drive:

Gas
Tolls
Food
Hotel (X2)
Extra Days of Vacation (X2)

Fly:

Parking @ Airport
Airfare
Rental Car (if any)

When I add in my husband's pay for two days, it's actually pretty much the same cost for us to fly.

KELLY
05-31-2008, 05:04 PM
At this point flying is still cheaper for us.

brenalexacamp
05-31-2008, 05:21 PM
we drove with our camper- we left from NH at 11:00- the kids slept.

me and dh took turns driving to I forget- we stayed at yogi's for the night- then off to south carolina for a night- then to disney

so we drove 12hrs, 6hrs, and 6hrs.

nice to have the camper- we have a child with down syndrome and at the time he needed a med and the only way he would take it is with ice cream!

we had all the foods he needed and it made the trip so much more enjoyable not worrying about what he would eat and no suitcases!

we used to small dvd players- at the time only 7inches were available- saved us- they could listen to books on tape, music or a movie- we got 2 of them.



definitely would do again- dh-just disneyed to death, I have been 2x without him- my last time me and ds only-hehe

with the gas prices up-he wigs out-
it had just started going to 1.90ish when we went