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Old 03-29-2013, 10:02 AM   #16
kimmer
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We drive every year. Heading back this May (5th time). Here's our costs driving from Ottawa to DisneyWorld. We bring a cooler with home made food, water and snacks so we can avoid highway food and drive a 2008 Ford Expedition:

Gas, roundtrip including some driving around Orlando - $600apprx
Hotels on road for 2 adults 3 kids 1 night both ways - $300
Roadtrip food - $160
Oil Change $50
So about $1100 bucks round trip. This first time we went we were very scared too as we had an 8 month old with us; but we had a great time and now the roadtrip is something everyone looks forward to. We have a double screen dvd player for two kids to watch and an ipad for the other. I watch movies on an older tablet we have and my husband listens to audio books on the car stero. It was actually relaxing the last couple of years as the kids can help themselves to snacks and manage the DVD player on their own. There is just something about arriving and driving under that Welcome to DisneyWorld sign, maybe it is the build up during the drive.

They are so good in the car it is unbelieveable. We have a hard time making it to home depot without a fight, but ride 4600Km to Disney and back without so much as a whine!

Anyway hope this helps.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:39 AM   #17
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lSo basically it cost us $260 dollars per person to travel to and from Disney. I have considered the wear and tear on the vehicle but I can't justify including any costs associated with it because we actually don't drive that much when we are at home.
We have always paid less then $260 per person r/t on Southwest BUF to MCO. So for us it would be costing more to drive.

I'm not good in the car..come the 7 hour mark I think DH would like to ditch me on the side of the road .

It is apparently a beautiful drive..but not for us. I just need to get from point a to point b in the shortest amount of time. 2 days of driving = 2 extra days in the parks for me.

I've always wondered the true cost to drive down. Thanks for the figures everyone!
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:33 AM   #18
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For our family of 5 it is definitely cheaper to drive as we can only fly during school breaks and we always fly out of Buffalo. I don't know why the price of food is calculated into the cost of driving because you're going to be eating whether you're driving or at your destination.

I personally like the drive and we've done it many times over the past 15 years.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:07 PM   #19
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We drive straight through 22-24 hours from Peterborough. We usually leave around 3pm. If you add an oil change then the cost is closer to $400.00 on average for our Montana but personally I never look at that cost as that is just a normal part of owning a vehicle. Also when I said 7 fill ups that is not exactly accurate as I never let the van get below a quarter full as we have been stuck on the highway a few times and would not want to run out of gas(2007 wild fires in Fla). I seriously doubt that most people do near as much driving long distance and short distance as I do unless they are a trucker. Just for my business I do 70000 kms per year. That doesn't include the personal driving in our family van. Our friends who drove with us last year in their Mazda 5 with a hardtop roof carrier only spent $410.00 with 6 ppl in the vehicle. I also never include food as we always eat everyday anyways so why would you document that expense? Considering that I am used to being in a vehicle 10-14 hrs a day the 22 hrs is not that hard for me. Even at $200.00 pp return we are still looking at $1000.00 and still have to get to buffalo and pay for parking or a hotel stay w/free parking. For less than $500.00 (food included) we can drive and have our own vehicle there. We bring back whatever we want and go where ever we want. If it was just SnowWhite and I we would probably fly but I still prefer to have my vehicle there.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jba2 View Post
For our family of 5 it is definitely cheaper to drive as we can only fly during school breaks and we always fly out of Buffalo. I don't know why the price of food is calculated into the cost of driving because you're going to be eating whether you're driving or at your destination.

I personally like the drive and we've done it many times over the past 15 years.
Agree..we do Disney in January and April. Off peak times so that is why our flights are so cheap! If we were to fly March Break of Christmas is probably would be cheaper for us to drive.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:31 PM   #21
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Our experience is that driving down costs around $1000. We make the trip down a little cheaper by bringing breakfast and lunch along. The trip back is a little more expensive because we take an extra day. I tend to discount the wear and tear on the vehicle factor because for me it works out to around a month and a half of commuting. Not a big deal in the life span of a vehicle. Long steady highway driving is likely easier on the vehicle than the stop and go commuting in any case.

I think the key factors in choosing whether to drive over flying are: do you have the extra vacation time, do you want a vehicle available in Orlando and do you enjoy driving together as a family. If you answer no to any of these then I would fly.

We fly for the shorter trips and drive for the longer ones. We own DVC so we tend to get a one bedroom for the longer trips. Having a vehicle to go to the grocery store and to offsite restaurants helps make the stay in Orlando cheaper.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jba2 View Post
For our family of 5 it is definitely cheaper to drive as we can only fly during school breaks and we always fly out of Buffalo. I don't know why the price of food is calculated into the cost of driving because you're going to be eating whether you're driving or at your destination.

I personally like the drive and we've done it many times over the past 15 years.
Whether or not you include the cost of food depends on how you look at the drive. If the length of the stay in Orlando is the same driving or flying then any expenses incurred during travel are part of the comparison. If your total vacation time is fixed then it wouldn't be but then how much time you get in Orlando is part of the decision making instead.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:23 AM   #23
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Thanks for all the details. The numbers are quite compelling, now that I've checked the cost for flights at Christmas. Plus, my husband is itching to do the drive.

Our December trips are off-site, which means we rent a car. We're usually lucky if we get it for $500.
So it may make sense to drive when we will be off-site and need the car; fly when we're on property and can use ME.

So three tickets from Buffalo would be $1,200 (ballpark).
Night at Buffalo hotel: $150
Car rental: $500
Grand total: $1850

Driving: $600 (approximately - our vehicle uses premium gas)
Hotels: $450 (one on way down, two on way back)
Grand total: $1,050

Am I missing something? Seems next that the issue is putting a value on the time spent driving, which would vary by the family's circumstances.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:05 AM   #24
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Traveling in December brings weather into play. Both routes from the Toronto area have sections where bad weather could make driving challenging. You can get delays with flying too but the impact is typically less, especially if you book direct flights.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:03 AM   #25
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For gaz, between 250$- 400$, depending on what kind of car you have and what roads you will use to get there. We always drive staight ( more than 20 times) it is a 24h drive, we don't stop in restaurants on the way, we bring a lunch box.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:22 AM   #26
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I think that you should include wear and tear on your vehicle. For a minivan, that's about 27 cents per mile. For a trip of 2139 miles (my midtown Toronto house to Epcot) that would be $577. That does not include the wear and tear on the vehicle from driving around during the trip.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:34 PM   #27
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I think that you should include wear and tear on your vehicle. For a minivan, that's about 27 cents per mile. For a trip of 2139 miles (my midtown Toronto house to Epcot) that would be $577. That does not include the wear and tear on the vehicle from driving around during the trip.
Toronto to WDW is 2139 kilometres, not miles.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:17 PM   #28
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Toronto to WDW is 2139 kilometres, not miles.
Sorry, should have said roundtrip. 1700+ kilometers each way - Checking googlemaps again, I see that it gave me as the crow flies distance the first time. That should be 2100+ km x 2 or 4200 km total roundtrip. Canadian Black Book value puts the depreciation at $700 for my 2008 Sienna if I were to put another 4200 km on it right now and around from $300 if it were 3 years older.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:13 AM   #29
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So it looks like driving from southern or eastern Ontario or Quebec costs between $600 (drive straight through) to $1,800 (high side) and takes 21+ hours of driving each way.

But this cost is fixed per car, not per person.

So, take the table below using a trip cost of $1,000 vs. a flight cost of $350pp. I know those are going to vary widely depending on various factors. This is just 'a stake in the ground.'

1 person: $1,000pp drive vs $350pp fly - $650 cheaper to fly
2 people: $500pp drive vs $350pp fly - $300 cheaper to fly
3 people: $333pp drive vs $350pp fly - $50 cheaper to drive, probably worth it to fly
4 people: $250pp drive vs $350pp fly -$400 cheaper to drive
5 people: $200pp drive vs $350pp fly - $750 cheaper to drive

Higher flight cost and higher number of travelers point to driving. Shorter vacations and seat sales point toward flying. There are valid cases for each.

Similar arguments can be made in general for staying on/offsite.

For smaller families staying onsite and using DDP can make sense. For larger families staying offsite (for more room than a hotel room) and making a few meals vs. paying for dining out makes a big difference.

We haven't driven but are planning to try it for xmas 2013. Xmas flights aren't cheap and we're a family of 5, which magnifies the difference. It's not just a few $$$, but several thousand $$$ for us.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:58 PM   #30
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We drove through last May just to see what it was like and our small car costs us $334. Going there we drove straight through but we made a couple of rest stops for a few hours because the kids were sleeping anyways so it was fun to shut the car off and rest off for an hour.
Coming back we split the drive into 2 days
We used the Disney buses to get around but it was nice to have our car for a couple of Walmart trips. We liked it so we're doing in again in December
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