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Old 08-17-2014, 01:22 PM   #1
YayHeyNoWay
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is TAMPA worth it over MCO, if flight is way cheaper?

Wondering if anyone can help with advice...

We can save $200+ flying SW into Tampa vs Orlando. This would mean no Magical Express, and having to rent a car, and driving in the rental car 1 hour to Disney property from the airport. We've never experienced a Disney trip this way, so I am curious about it. (We never rent a car, only take Disney transp. Actually, I've never rented a car in general, no idea how to go about getting a good price for one).

If it doesn't cost us any more money (ie if car rental + gas & tolls would all be less than $200), then I would like to try it out. Plus, having a car would help if I make ADR's at different resorts, since there is no direct bus between resorts.

Any thoughts?

We are staying on property at a Disney resort and we have no plans to go anywhere else outside of Disney property.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:23 PM   #2
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For this particular trip, I'm just wondering if I would be able to get a car cheap enough that it would justify flying into a different airport. That way I can test car rental process, driving around property, etc.

We usually pack a whole separate suitcase full of snacks, since we fly Southwest and don't have to pay for bags. We've never gotten grocery delivery, we ship a 24 pack of bottled water down from Costco for $8. Last spring we walked across the Downtown Disney parking lot, to the Hess station, to get some adult beverages for the week, lol.

Since we are on the dining plan this trip for the first time, I would like to make some reservations at other resorts, and a car rental would be a plus since there is no direct resort to resort transportation via Disney . I know you don't pay for parking at any resorts on property. And as a Disney Resort guest, we wouldn't pay for parking at any parks. That is if we even bother to drive the car to a park versus taking the Disney buses we usually do.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:34 PM   #3
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We did this in July. We didn't know if we were going for sure until about 5 1/2 weeks before going and airfare was crazy.

We were going to be renting a car anyway (we were offsite at a Team hotel while my nephew was in AAU Nationals so the rental cost was the same either way) so we only had to decide if gas and a slightly longer airport commute would be worth it.

It was. We saved about $300 (did have to pay about $40 bucks more in gas and about $15 for a higher airport facility fee on the car). Plus my parents like to gamble so we stopped at the Tampa Hard Rock café and casino on the way out and the way in to the airport.

However make sure your GPS is up to date they have done roadwork around the airport and the same entrance that messed up leaving, messed up coming back to the airport. Not a huge deal but it led to some "discussion" from the backseat driver in my family. Oh and there is a huge construction thing going on I4 as you come into Tampa that put us on a Thursday morning with standstill traffic. Only about 10 miles but felt like 100 because of afore mentioned backseat driver.

The drive itself was easy, it's very straight forward and you're on I4 for 98% of the trip. I wouldn't do it everytime but it's worth looking.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:41 PM   #4
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How long are you staying? If a week or less, you definitely should be able to rent a car for well under $200, taxes and fees included.

We always rent a car because we always go offsite various times during our trip. And a handful of times we've flown into Tampa. It's an easy drive to WDW from there.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:47 PM   #5
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I think it really depends. We are flying into Tampa and saved about 25.00 pp but car rentals are running at least 50.00 above orlando. I wish there was a magic ball to predict pricing. LOL
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:55 PM   #6
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Depends, probably if flights are >$50 cheaper/person

It would depend on:
a) Are you open or oriented to renting an auto vs ME and DisTransp. (We almost always rent a car)?
b) Any interest in visiting LegoLand (right on the way between TPA and WDW)?
c) Relative cost of total airfares + rental car at MCO vs. TPA (figure an extra 20 miles each way for gas ~ $8 in gasoline and minimal toll differential).
d) How many people in your party . . . the more the $savings!
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:24 PM   #7
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There are 4 of us. 7 days, 6 nights.

We can get a flight for $109-120 per person into MCO, per usual, but our return flight is looking at $150-170 per person! Tampa I can get each way for $83! We only fly SWA, for free bags, and we are members/have their Visa card.

I've never rented a car, we use DME & Disney buses to get around. No plans for outside activities, either. Just WDW!

So how much would a rental car cost for Tues - Mon? And how hard is it?

Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
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b) Any interest in visiting LegoLand (right on the way between TPA and WDW)?
This part DOES intrigue me, for the 8 yo boy...!
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YayHeyNoWay View Post
This part DOES intrigue me, for the 8 yo boy...!
Our 8 year olds (now 9) absolutely loved Legoland. Miniland USA alone was worth every penny. I think you could easily see/do everything there in one day if you have the time. If you happen to get the Lego magazine, there are "kids get in free with an adult" coupons.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:19 PM   #10
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Yes if your looking at saving money because of the cost of airfare its worth it. Last August we had to fly out of TPA back home because of cost and it was great. Its just a 1 hr drive from WDW to TPA. For our upcoming August trip I tried my best to find a great fare into MCO from any of the NY airports and couldn't do it. I booked with JB out of HPN to TPA $120 and $114 back (the return was free due to JB points). couldn't touch that price in and out of MCO. Got great car rental price thru Alamo Aug.21-Sept.1 full-size car $220. If you need any help let me know....
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:35 PM   #11
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Fewer screaming babies on TPA flights generally. That may be a plus or a minus depending on your situation. Depending on time of day, the difference between driving in from MCO and TPA can be as little as 35 Minutes. Can also be longer. I do think Tampa is an easier airport to get around in (security lines etc).
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ohtarabell View Post
Fewer screaming babies on TPA flights generally. That may be a plus or a minus depending on your situation. Depending on time of day, the difference between driving in from MCO and TPA can be as little as 35 Minutes. Can also be longer. I do think Tampa is an easier airport to get around in (security lines etc).
yes thats true.....just more college kids during certain times of the year especially with parents/family in tow...
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:44 PM   #13
YayHeyNoWay
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Hmm, it's only the return flight that concerns me. I wonder...

If we fly down into MCO, taking DME to our resort, how hard would it be to fly out of TPA? And how would we get there, rent a car for just one day? Is there a shuttle? Can I secure a rental on property & just drive to TPA & return the car?

I'm sorry, we have no experience other than inside the "Disney bubble:" fly into MCO, DME to resort, use Disney buses/boat/monoral, DME back to MCO!
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:45 PM   #14
YayHeyNoWay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice cube View Post
Yes if your looking at saving money because of the cost of airfare its worth it. Last August we had to fly out of TPA back home because of cost and it was great. Its just a 1 hr drive from WDW to TPA. For our upcoming August trip I tried my best to find a great fare into MCO from any of the NY airports and couldn't do it. I booked with JB out of HPN to TPA $120 and $114 back (the return was free due to JB points). couldn't touch that price in and out of MCO. Got great car rental price thru Alamo Aug.21-Sept.1 full-size car $220. If you need any help let me know....
Yes I would love to know how best to rent a car for 2 adults/2 kids for very cheap, thanks!
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YayHeyNoWay View Post

So how much would a rental car cost for Tues - Mon? And how hard is it?

Thanks!
There is absolutely no way to know. Some are saying $200 for a week is an absolute; I disagree completely (that it's an absolute). Depends on the week. You could get $150. You could get $300+. It all depends on what's going on, what the rental companies need, etc etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YayHeyNoWay View Post
Yes I would love to know how best to rent a car for 2 adults/2 kids for very cheap, thanks!
carrentalsavers.com is a booking site many here use. I've actually never found better there than I have on the sites' websites. We use Alamo and mainly National in Orlando. I sign up for their "frequent renter" programs to try to get the best rates.

Most of us here figure out what we want (quickly, when airfare is part of the reason for the rental, because airfare changes) then go to car rental sites or Costco if we belong, or the above mentioned site, etc, and run through the possibilities.

Check out renting at and returning to Tampa. Check out renting from MCO and returning to Tampa. Check out renting at/near WDW and returning to Tampa. I would write it all out first then just fill in the prices.

If you book something, try to make sure it's changeable/cancellable. Book what you can stomach, price-wise. And later, check again, to see if the price has come down. If the site lets you just change it, do that. If you have to cancel...first book the new one then cancel your old reservation.

No matter what, you just have to check your dates and your options, and see what the prices are for your exact trip!
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