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Old 07-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #1
alohamom
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How much does it honestly cost you to drive to WDW from Ontario?

Ok, so for the first time since we were in our early 20s DH and I are considering a driving vacay and WDW is one of the options. LAst time we drove the 2 hours to Erie PA as a family I swore I would never ever drive with my DH and kids again BUT then we had a little road trip to Windsor in May for a swim competition and it wasnt too bad.
We usually book a bundled vacation with Hotwire and stay off property so the 4 of us can fly and hotel stay for a week in March (11-18) for approx 1600-1800 total depending on where we stay (possibly Mystic Dunes, Hawthorne Suites or something similar) This does not include a rental car which I haggle separately so about 250.
What does gas/hotel cost you (approx) to drive round trip. There is no way we would want to do it without stopping so I need to factor in two hotel nights.
I am hoping you "drivers" can give me a fairly accurate breakdown of cost so that I can look at all my options-thanks in advance for any and all help!
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:15 PM   #2
bankr63
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Your fuel costs are highly variable depending on your type of vehicle, but with gas still under $1 per litre in the states, it's not too bad; I drive a big thirsty SUV so I try to leave with just enough gas to get over the border. Your best bet is to go to Gasbuddy.com and plug in your vehicle model, start and end points. It will calculate the amount of gas used and cost and tell you the best places to fill up; we've found their estimate to be pretty accurate for our vehicle. We go a little over, but we also take some side trips...

The gas heat map is really good for telling you whether you should wait for the next state/county to fill up.

For hotels we budget for $125/nt/room (all in). Sometimes we do better with the hotel coupon books we grab at the state welcome centres, sometimes we fall back to the CAA rate which is usually in that range.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:59 PM   #3
alohamom
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Awesome-thanks for the link!
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:16 PM   #4
cslittle999
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It's been a few years since we've driven down but my memory has gas between $300 and $400. It amounted to around 6 or 7 tanks for the minivan. Budget $125 for the hotel and be sure to pick a place with a good breakfast included. For food we always brought lunch for both days on the way down so you only need to factor in buying dinner. On the way back we would do the same. My memory says it can be done for $800. We spent a bit more because we would do two overnight stays on the way back and we tended to have a side trip on the way back too.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:22 PM   #5
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Grrrr. A hate when the iPad app says it times out and you can't tell if it actually posted.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:07 PM   #6
alohamom
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Thanks Chris! I used the gasbuddy site that bankr63 suggested and that is approx what it suggested as well (about 800 round trip)
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:04 AM   #7
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I also find that Gas buddy is fairly accurate. Last year it told us our gas would be $350 RT. It ended up costing a little over $400...maybe $420. We drove in my Nissan Xtrail but the speed limits are much higher than here at home so I think we ended up cruising at around 125KM for most of the drive....hence the additional gas consumption.

In past years (when gas was a similar price to this year) we drove in our Chev Venture and our grand total incl food and hotels was over $800. We stayed at cheap hotels and that cost was in the $80 range each way. We also pack most of our food and usually only purchase 1 fast food type meal each way.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:33 PM   #8
scboyd
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here is a breakdown from our last trip in May 2013...

I thought I would add the "other" travel costs associated with driving.

Hotels...
We tend to stay at Doubletree by Hilton when ever we can as I know Im going to get a clean and well maintained room for around $100 per night. We have done the Days Inn route paying only $50 per night but we just found the level of cleanliness and maintenance of the room and property was inconsistent. I pre-book the rooms as soon as I can so we get the best price available and I shop around with Hotels.ca and the hotels websites.

First Night:
DoubleTree (2600 Yorkmount Rd Charlotte NC)
$92 canadian

First Night on way back
Holiday Inn Express (211 Lanneau ct Columbia SC)
$101 canadian


Second Night on way back
DoubleTree (340 racetrack dr Washington PA)
$97 canadian

Food:
We purchased muffins, cereal and snacks for breakfast for driving and we would stop for lunch and dinner. We also purchased buns, cold meat and cheese and a small jar of mayo for two lunches on the way back. Our cooler was filled with water, milk and juice.
For dinner we stopped at Red Robin, Chick-a-fil, and Denny's
Total for all of this food other than drinks which we purchased prior to leaving was $ 284.00 american

The kids are also given $15dollars each way to spend while traveling on little toys while we stop to stretch and rest at Walmart/target etc... This keeps the kids entertained for part of the day while in the car...

Total spent
Fuel: $405 american
Hotel: $290 canadian
Food: $284 american
kids $60 american
total: $1039 mix currency but dollar was very close to par at the time...


So 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.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:43 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the detailed answers folks, I really appreciate it! I was thinking it would be less than what it actually is but who knows, it might be a fun experience...
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:53 PM   #10
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It always depends on when your going but we were able to get 4 return flights out of buffalo for $872. Driving didn't make sense . It cost one tank of gas to get to buffalo and a hotel the night before for $100 which included parking our car for the week. So basically $1000 for direct flight and it allowed use to keep the time in Disney a bit longer because it wasn't 4 days on the road
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cslittle999 View Post
Grrrr. A hate when the iPad app says it times out and you can't tell if it actually posted.
Ok I thought it was just me! Happens to me all of the time!
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashing View Post
It always depends on when your going but we were able to get 4 return flights out of buffalo for $872. Driving didn't make sense . It cost one tank of gas to get to buffalo and a hotel the night before for $100 which included parking our car for the week. So basically $1000 for direct flight and it allowed use to keep the time in Disney a bit longer because it wasn't 4 days on the road
We got a similar deal flying out of Detroit with spirit airlines for $800 round trip for 4 people in September.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scboyd View Post
here is a breakdown from our last trip in May 2013...

I thought I would add the "other" travel costs associated with driving.

Hotels...
We tend to stay at Doubletree by Hilton when ever we can as I know Im going to get a clean and well maintained room for around $100 per night. We have done the Days Inn route paying only $50 per night but we just found the level of cleanliness and maintenance of the room and property was inconsistent. I pre-book the rooms as soon as I can so we get the best price available and I shop around with Hotels.ca and the hotels websites.

First Night:
DoubleTree (2600 Yorkmount Rd Charlotte NC)
$92 canadian

First Night on way back
Holiday Inn Express (211 Lanneau ct Columbia SC)
$101 canadian


Second Night on way back
DoubleTree (340 racetrack dr Washington PA)
$97 canadian

Food:
We purchased muffins, cereal and snacks for breakfast for driving and we would stop for lunch and dinner. We also purchased buns, cold meat and cheese and a small jar of mayo for two lunches on the way back. Our cooler was filled with water, milk and juice.
For dinner we stopped at Red Robin, Chick-a-fil, and Denny's
Total for all of this food other than drinks which we purchased prior to leaving was $ 284.00 american

The kids are also given $15dollars each way to spend while traveling on little toys while we stop to stretch and rest at Walmart/target etc... This keeps the kids entertained for part of the day while in the car...

Total spent
Fuel: $405 american
Hotel: $290 canadian
Food: $284 american
kids $60 american
total: $1039 mix currency but dollar was very close to par at the time...


So 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.
Along with the wear and tear on the car which I have no idea how you would put a dollar amount on that you have to factor in the service to the vehicle before and after the trip which would be at least $150. For us that's free as it's DH's line of work.

We can almost always get flights out of BUF for approx the same amount of money as driving(or less). Last year we had to drive as we planned the trip only 3 weeks in advance and airfare would have been double the cost of driving. Plus, driving only saves money if you have more than 4 people in the car, if you stay in hotels that cost less than $90, you pack all your food and you only stop one night each way....or don't stop at all.
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:13 PM   #14
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I'm getting a little nervous now with our decision to drive in September. It will be our first time driving and Gas Buddy estimates our gas about $330. I would probably add a bit more onto that because we plan to stop at DH's sisters in Georgia for a few hours on the way home and also to go to both of the Disney outlets while we are in Orlando. We aren't stopping either way as its just DH and I and we are taking turns driving and sleeping. Now I'm wondering if it really will be cheaper for us. Plus I am dreading putting the wear on the car as its a 2013 and I want to keep it in as good of shape as possible.
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:24 PM   #15
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One factor to consider in the fly vs drive equation is, do you want a car while in Orlando? The cost of the rental car can make flying more expensive. It depends on how many people are traveling, the size of the vehicle required and if you need it for your whole trip.

Do remember to factor in checked baggage costs if they apply to your flights. I think that's why so many of us book on Southwest.

As for wear on the vehicle it really depends on your situation. For us a round trip to WDW is 4200 km plus whatever we drive in Orlando. For me that's only two months of commuting. Not really a factor in the equation. For people who commute less it can be a larger chunk of the vehicle's life.

In the end you can almost always make flying cheaper if you don't have a large family. For us sometimes the drive is part of the journey. It's always going to be a personal choice based on your situation. Maybe your vacation time is constrained so it's most important to limit the time getting to/from Orlando.
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First Trip Home - BWV August 2007
MNSSHP - VWL October 2008
BWV and AKV Kidani August 2009
BWV November 2009 - 20th Wedding Anniversary
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