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View Full Version : Planning Help, Drive or Fly? Beach add on or no?


Lisha1979
01-15-2010, 09:56 AM
Someone please please help! I can't figure out the best way to plan WDW and a beach trip in one shot. It will be DH, DD4, and myself.

We're planning a trip to WDW May 15-20 (or May 14-20). If we drive we'll be in the car for 12-13 hours (we live in Middle Tn).
At first we thought about driving and leaving out on the 14th after DH gets home from work. We'd drive half way and find a hotel then get up the next morning and drive the rest of the way to WDW. We'd be staying at POP and checking out on the 20th. We plan on staying in the WDW area until about 6pm on the 20th. Then we'd head to the beach (at first we thought PCB, then changed to JAX or St Aug) We'd stay there 3d/2n then head back home to Tn.
PCB has been ruled out b/c it's 6 hours (or so) from Orlando then we'd be tacking on another 8 or 9 hours back home.
St Aug won't be so bad but still a lot of car time.

Last night DH suggested Flying into Orlando and going to the hotel. We'd spend our 6d/5n at the hotel then have them shuttle us back to the airport so we can get a rental car from the airport (Is this possible?) Then we'd go to Tampa or Cocoa Beach for the 3d/2n. Once done at the beach we'd use the Rental car to go back to Orlando Airport to catch the flight home.
I checked flight prices last night and the Non stop flights are running us about $900 for the family.

I'm trying to plan this out as cheap as possible (I get a high on being cheap LOL, DH doesn't understand this LOL).
I was wondering if we can drop the rental car off when we get to either Cocoa or Tampa and be without a car while down there. Then the day we leave we'd pick up a car and drive it to the airport. Is this possible at either of these beaches? Are restraunts in walking distance? We plan on staying at the beach and not really doing much running around besides meals.

If you read this far THANK YOU so much!!! =)

PracticalDisneyMom
01-15-2010, 11:55 AM
Obviously, even with the price of gas, driving is less expensive than flying. As you mentioned you would probably need to factor in a hotel stay both ways, but depending on where you stayed, it would still work out to be cheaper dollar wise. But, that means that you would have 4 days driving: 2 going and 2 back. So, that only would leave 4 days of vacation time. Flying would give you more actual vacation time and it's actually less stressful than being cooped up in a car for 4 days.

You can possibly make up the difference in cost of airfare by saving on hotel rates. The time you want to go is during a discount period that Disney is offering right now. You could save 25% - 45% depending on where you stay and for how long. There's also a special offer in which you can get a gift card worth $300 - $750 depending on where you stay, when you book a 5 night package. The gift card can be used for a variety of things: dining, recreation, etc. Go to Disney's Special Offers page for details. Although the 25% - 45% offer is a "room only" offer, you can still add park passes and the meal plan. Before you choose one or the other, price out both to see if one gives you a better deal than the other.

You may want to look at Disney's Vero Beach Resort. It is a 2 hour drive from the Orlando airport. You could rent a car at the airport and drive directly to Vero. Then back to WDW for the remainder of your stay.

But, here's another idea. WDW has some perfectly lovely beaches on property i.e. Grand Floridian, Caribbean Beach Resort. You may be able to have the best of both all in one, plus be able to take advantage of the discounts currently being offered.

Hope this helps.

Rylee
01-15-2010, 11:56 AM
I think I can answer a couple of questions for you.

The last I knew, Disney has a couple of car rental company's on property. (Possibly located at non-Disney owned hotels, but still on property.) We done this before but DH went to get the car while the kids and I hung at a park or at the hotel.

Also, if you choose a rental company with services in both locations, you could fly into Orlando and back home from Tampa... if the flight prices are right.

Check mousesavers and other sites for discount codes... sometimes with a discount code, the weekly rate is very reasonable.

Now... is there a beach in Tampa? :confused3 hehehe Many years ago, I lived in the area, but always went to Clearwater Beach. We have also visited the Clearwater Beach area after Disney trips, because I always need a vacation after we visit Disney. :rotfl:

PracticalDisneyMom
01-15-2010, 01:43 PM
I think I can answer a couple of questions for you.

The last I knew, Disney has a couple of car rental company's on property. (Possibly located at non-Disney owned hotels, but still on property.) We done this before but DH went to get the car while the kids and I hung at a park or at the hotel.

Also, if you choose a rental company with services in both locations, you could fly into Orlando and back home from Tampa... if the flight prices are right.

Check mousesavers and other sites for discount codes... sometimes with a discount code, the weekly rate is very reasonable.

Now... is there a beach in Tampa? :confused3 hehehe Many years ago, I lived in the area, but always went to Clearwater Beach. We have also visited the Clearwater Beach area after Disney trips, because I always need a vacation after we visit Disney. :rotfl:


Alamo/National has a location in either the Swan or Dolphin hotel, I can never remember which, but they are side-by-side.

Lisha1979
01-15-2010, 04:01 PM
Thanks so much everyone =)


I have the vacation priced out and the $300 gift card is a better deal for us.
I compaired it against the 30% deal and we'll be better off doing that.

Does Clearwater have restraunts pretty close to the hotels? Also, does anyone have any hotel suggestions? I've never been to Clearwater Beach before. =)

pixarmom
01-15-2010, 08:42 PM
Thanks so much everyone =)


I have the vacation priced out and the $300 gift card is a better deal for us.
I compaired it against the 30% deal and we'll be better off doing that.

Does Clearwater have restraunts pretty close to the hotels? Also, does anyone have any hotel suggestions? I've never been to Clearwater Beach before. =)

We're going to Clearwater (for the first time) before Disney this year! We found Royal North Beach (little beach apartments) and can't recommend them yet, but they looked good and have positive reviews on tripadvisor. We'd love to hear more restaurant suggestions, or any other advice!

AirGoofy
01-15-2010, 10:53 PM
We drive from KY with DDs (8,5) and understand the travel. We did a split stay at the beach and WDW. We loved both places, but felt our time there was too short. We wished we would have stayed at one place or the other. We did not like packing and unpacking.