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Old 01-01-2013, 12:10 PM   #1
ironpig70
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Late night flights with kids what am I missing

So I am in the preplanning stage and looking at doing an 8 day stay in May or August depending on when I can get off work at WDW. Will fly out on a saturday and return on saturday. Will be me, DW, DD 15, DS 9 DD 9

I looked at the Disney site and got all the prices and when it comes to flights from Oregon there was a pretty slim selection I liked. Either the arrival day was real short with flights landing at 4-5pm. Last flight out was at 4.

Well I headed over to Travelocity to see what I could find. Same thing on the day of flight. Yet the friday before had a red eye. Leaves Oregon at 10pm with a stop in NC at 6am and a 9am Orlando arrival.

I see this as a win as We can do a whole day in the parks the day we check in.

I would use the bus to the hotel and I know they can hold my bags so all is good there.

What I am looking for is what are the drawbacks?

What is a good plan to survive such a flight.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:59 PM   #2
sam_gordon
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Originally Posted by ironpig70 View Post
So I am in the preplanning stage and looking at doing an 8 day stay in May or August depending on when I can get off work at WDW. Will fly out on a saturday and return on saturday. Will be me, DW, DD 15, DS 9 DD 9

I looked at the Disney site and got all the prices and when it comes to flights from Oregon there was a pretty slim selection I liked. Either the arrival day was real short with flights landing at 4-5pm. Last flight out was at 4.

Well I headed over to Travelocity to see what I could find. Same thing on the day of flight. Yet the friday before had a red eye. Leaves Oregon at 10pm with a stop in NC at 6am and a 9am Orlando arrival.

I see this as a win as We can do a whole day in the parks the day we check in.

I would use the bus to the hotel and I know they can hold my bags so all is good there.

What I am looking for is what are the drawbacks?

What is a good plan to survive such a flight.
Downside... can you (or kids) sleep on the plane? I wouldn't guess it would be very restful. If I had that option, I would consider doing an "off day"... especially in May. If it's the first couple weeks in May, I'd say there's a very good chance you can check in to the room early.

Personally, traveling overnight would mess me up for a day or two. Can you take an evening flight out Friday, arrive around midnight, stay at an airport hotel, then use ME on Saturday morning to WDW?
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:03 PM   #3
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I guess the real question is, can you all get enough sleep on the plane. We've done the red-eye to mco before and while I am not one to sleep on planes, did manage enough "rest" to go until midnight at the MK for extra magic hours but our kids were both teenagers then.

My concern would be for the younger ones, but I'd say try it once, if it bombs, you can have a nap as soon as you get into your rooms, which you will likely have to wait for.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:07 PM   #4
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Downside... can you (or kids) sleep on the plane? I wouldn't guess it would be very restful. If I had that option, I would consider doing an "off day"... especially in May. If it's the first couple weeks in May, I'd say there's a very good chance you can check in to the room early.

Personally, traveling overnight would mess me up for a day or two. Can you take an evening flight out Friday, arrive around midnight, stay at an airport hotel, then use ME on Saturday morning to WDW?

It will be the end of May around Memorial day as that is the kids birthday. I know it will be more crowded then.

I like the idea of a later friday flight and staying at the airport.

The late friday flight idea was to avoid another day off work. A 10pm flight would make it possible to work friday.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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We can do a whole day in the parks the day we check in.
Can you, though? Or are you going to want to throw up from the lack of sleep (that's my reaction to not getting enough sleep...not sure how normal it is, LOL), be cranky, and not even remember that first day because you're so bleary?


There is no guarantee that anyone will be able to sleep on a plane. Even if you (and when I say you I mean anyone in your party) are tired, you can't control the people around you. They might want to talk all night, and the low hum of chatter might keep you awake. Or there might be turbulence all flight long that keeps you up. Or you're just so excited you stay up. There's no guarantee of sleep. And if you (any one of you) has had no sleep, or no good sleep, how will you get through that first day? Remember, unless you get lucky, you will not have a room until at least 3pm.

Since you have 6 year olds, you can't just spend a day at the pool with the adults napping on lounge chairs, as you will want to keep an eye on them.



We continue to nix the red eye flight, though it's tempting sometimes. I know what it was like on the flight I took at 18 going home for the holidays...I was bleary for DAYS. And at 25 when I flew to Ireland, and got ot deal with the drunk lady near me, keeping me up ALL night, and then landed at 7am and got to drive (other side of the car, other side of the road, with the gearshift on the left!) immediately....no no no. Never again.


We are leaving from seatac at 1pm, getting in just after midnight, going to the hotel, and sleeping. Yep it's a "lost" day, doesn't matter. In the past we get up super-early and catch that early EARLY flight, get in earlier...and it's still a lost day. Might as well not get up that early.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ironpig70 View Post

Well I headed over to Travelocity to see what I could find. Same thing on the day of flight. Yet the friday before had a red eye. Leaves Oregon at 10pm with a stop in NC at 6am and a 9am Orlando arrival.

I see this as a win as We can do a whole day in the parks the day we check in.

What I am looking for is what are the drawbacks?

What is a good plan to survive such a flight.
The drawbacks? Ha-ha-ha. Don't expect to get much or any sleep on the flights, especially after the NC arrival. 6 AM eastern time will be 3 AM pacific time. The flight crew will start preparing for landing (switching on lights & making noise) as early as 45 minutes prior. That may be the extent of your sleep. You may or may not be able to go back to sleep after you take off again. When you arrive in Orlando, you will probably feel dead to the world.

I have taken several red-eyes from SEA-MCO and never do well. In September, I got absolutely no sleep, and this was a non-stop flight. Do not assume you are "saving" a day, because you aren't. I am speaking from experience.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:54 PM   #7
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I think it might be hard to do a whole day the next day, it can be very hard to sleep on planes and especially since there is a big group of you, even if one you managed to rest the other person may not.
Dh and I did this on our trip to Hawaii and ended up arriving in Maui at 4 o clock, getting dinner and going to bed at 730 Hawaii time.
If you guys are comfortable not doing a whole park the day you come and maybe taking it easy instead I would say go for it
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:34 PM   #8
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You will NOT be able to immediately jump into park mode once you arriveWe used to travel overnight alot when the kids were small and I found out first time there is a definite exhaustion factor that hits you first morning. and without a room to nap in and catch up, I'm afraid you're in for a nightmare first day.Just because you can't get to a park travel day one doesn't mean you can't experience disney magic immediately!!! Let's say you take the flight that puts you wheels down around 5, check in at the resort by 6:30, have a nice dinner at the resort, swim, visit the gift shop, and settle in for a sound sleep. Day 2 may include a park breakfast ADR and if you coordinate each park with it's extended evening magic hours you will get more than enough time to be in park mode. We never stress over our travel days because there is only so much you can do--the important thing is you arrived
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:50 AM   #9
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Red eyes are the worst. Even if you can catch a few hours of sleep, you will be exhausted the next day. I recommend taking a flight during the day.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
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I wouldn't want to start my vacation exhausted and I think that is what you would be by taking a red-eye - especially with kids that young. Everyone is excited and I can't imagine getting a good nights sleep on a plane. The excitedment of Disney would probably help get you through the next day, but I think it would mess me up for a few days after that.

Good luck with the decision!
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:51 PM   #11
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We've done red eye flights to WDW from the west coast several times over the years- some with kids and some without. We were able to get some sleep on the plane, though not a full night's worth. We arrived fresh enough in the morning to visit a park and have a great time. We did call it a day by mid or late afternoon and returned to our resort for dinner and an early turn-in. Worked for us, giving us an (almost) full extra day at WDW. Would definitely do it again.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:13 PM   #12
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Take your dining room chairs.

Form two rows with Put row one about 12" from a wall
Put row two 12" behind row one. Put a bunch of bags under the seat of row one so the folks in row two can't stick thier feet there.

you have not made an airplane seating arrangement.

Sit it them and try to sleep. (And they are probably wider then an airline seat, keep that in mind) Sit there a LONG time, don't just sit down and say this isn't bad. When the person on the far side of the "row" wants to go to the bathroom everyone get up, sit back down, and do that again when they return.

To add to the excitment see if you can find a recording of a kid crying and play it...

Let us know how this works after a few hours.

Personally I would not go as fly a redeye with kids but...
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #13
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We tried this once and chose never again. We have three children. It was rough on everyone. We started out with the adrenaline rush of going on vacation. But when we got to WDW we were like zombies. We book CL just to have a place to hang out now in case our room is not ready when we arrive (among other perks). We have at least 12 hours of travel time if you count driving to airport, waiting for plane, flying to MCO, taking ME to Resort. That is exhausting. It is nice to relax a bit before going WDW commando. JMO.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:11 PM   #14
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I would arrive the day before and find an airport hotel. Rest up and hit the parks in the morning.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by OrangeCountyCommuter View Post
Take your dining room chairs.

Form two rows with Put row one about 12" from a wall
Put row two 12" behind row one. Put a bunch of bags under the seat of row one so the folks in row two can't stick thier feet there.

you have not made an airplane seating arrangement.

Sit it them and try to sleep. (And they are probably wider then an airline seat, keep that in mind) Sit there a LONG time, don't just sit down and say this isn't bad. When the person on the far side of the "row" wants to go to the bathroom everyone get up, sit back down, and do that again when they return.

To add to the excitment see if you can find a recording of a kid crying and play it...

Let us know how this works after a few hours.

Personally I would not go as fly a redeye with kids but...
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