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Old 04-20-2013, 09:56 AM   #16
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We drive from Texas and it takes around 20 hours. I used to drive from Michigan and it was about the same. My wife and I drive straight through and try to time it so we're arriving around the end of the day so we can get there and go straight to bed. Typically plane tickets are $300+ per person round trip and for four of us that's $1200 or more. Last November we couldn't find anything for less than $500 per person so we drove at a cost of about $450 including gas and food.

We set the kids up with iPads loaded with movies and they are content to just kick back and relax.

We're flying this year but only because I found flights for $167/person.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:06 AM   #17
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We usually drive from Richmond- about 12-13 hours.
We have tried staying over somewhere on the way down, and it works OK.
But now we leave home at 4 a.m. and drive straight through. We get checked in and head to a park-usually MK, just for an attraction or two and parade. We find this works great.

On the way home, we always leave in the afternoon and stay over night somewhere. Either SC or Georgia. This way we don't have to rush out of WDW in the morning. And we do not have the excitement or energy to drive straight through on the way home.

We fly when we only have a long weekend for the trip. For Thanksgiving this year, DD and I are going and we will have to fly because driving would take too much time. I wish we could drive. Flights over Thanksgiving are not cheap and I dread being in the airport on a holiday.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:12 AM   #18
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We are seriously considering driving to disney in august. we've always flown and this will be our first time driving. I am actually looking forward to it, but the rest of the family......not so much. We are in S. Jersey (about 10 miles from Del. Mem. bridge). We will be doing disney for 7 days and then universal for 2 and then visiting family for 2 days, so having a car really makes sense for us. But my DH argues that we can always rent a car. I've done the math and driving will save us at least $800 with the airfare prices right now.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:22 AM   #19
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We drove last year from PA. We left around 6 at night, drove until about midnight. We got a room in Emporia, Va. We got up early the next day and finished it out. We stayed with my father in law in Sebring. We took a day and than started our disney excursion. I could have gotten up the next day and started than but we figured since we were staying with my FIL, we'd spend a day with him. Coming home, we went to sea world and than left to come home around 3:30. We stopped in Georgia and got a hotel for the night. We were tired so we just stopped. Than we got up early the next day and finished the drive. It was a long drive but it saves some money. This year we are flying because we didn't want to drive again. It's VERY long. I just got tickets out of New Castle, flying Frontier to Orlando, for 4 of us for $814. If you can get a rate like that, fly. You'll probably spend close to that on lodging &, you won't be so drained when you get to Disney.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:24 AM   #20
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We drove last year from Massachusetts, New Hampshire border, because we thought it would be fun. It was a 24 hour drive. The first day we drove around 16 hours and stopped for a night in North Carolina. It was fun driving there because we had the anticipation of "Disney" ahead of us. Driving home was not as exciting and we hit a lot of bad weather and traffic. It definitely saved a lot of money compared to flying but that isn't why we did it. I would do it again if I had the luxury of time. We are flying this year.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:52 AM   #21
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I don't fly any more unless it's on business trips that take more than 8 hours to drive.

Besides, the cheapest flights I can find right now for the third week in September would cost us $1,000 round trip (4 adults). I can drive it for a lot less than that.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:05 AM   #22
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We drive from Western NY. About 24 hours driveway to driveway (we rent houses in Clermont 10 mins west if WDW).
I can not imagine flying anywhere willingly. Yes, it's faster... but airports, airlines, and airplanes just suck the life out of travel. Limits on luggage. Security headaches. Cramped seating. And my favorite: hurry up and wait. Wait on Tarmac.

We love to drive. Pack what we want. Leave when we want. Stop when we want. And we genuinely enjoy it.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:08 AM   #23
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we drive from northern NJ! about 18hrs! we usually leave at about 6-7am, drive until we reach Santee, SC and stay over for the night.. start up in the morning and its about another 6hours! i think driving is the way to go! i love having our car on property and it for sure saves us money.. sucks to put the miles on the car but.. lol better than pay a ridiculous amount in airfare
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:13 AM   #24
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:54 AM   #25
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With 4 people, there's no way it'll be cheaper to fly especially if you aren't on a time constraint. Plus, you're gonna need a car down there to go to Sea World anyway.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:16 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by disney-akj View Post
When we drive, it is about 15 or 16 hours for us. We always leave as soon as we can the evening before (about 4 usually). Then we drive a lot that night (usually 9 or 10 hours- always through Atlanta at least to avoid morning rush hour). Then we find a motel to get a few winks. Then the next morning we do not have as long to drive and are more rested to enjoy the parks. For a family of 5 we usually save a lot of money flying (At least $1000, but usually more). When we could purchase cheaper flights and the saving was only about $500, then we would fly. We never find deals like that anymore sadly.
This is our strategy as well, although it may change next trip if we have our baby with us. We like to split it up, leave around 7am and drive 12-13 hours the first day getting to a hotel around 8pm to get got rest for our first park day, then driving about 3 hours the next morning well rested, and arriving around 10am! It's always worked very well!
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:55 PM   #27
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We are currently on the road our way home from warm southern Florida (Ft. Myers) to CT.

We left last Friday (a week ago) at about 6, between traffic and put stops we only made it to about an hour to savannah. We arrived in ft. Myers Saturday about 3pm.

On our way home we left yesterday at about 2:30 and stopped in Disney for dinner and saw all those tired faces and we were refreshed from sitting at the beach all week.

So basically I am saying while I don't mind the drive one bit, I went on a relaxing vacation and not a Disney vacation. I don't think I could spend a week at Disney after a long drive and I wouldn't be as relaxed for the drive home.

But if flights were way over priced then I would drive.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:59 PM   #28
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We go to the world about twice a year from NY during the summer months we can find get air deals. However when we go in December the savings by driving are incredible. I personally like driving its great family time and the. We always have our car if we want to do something and not wait for the buses.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:32 PM   #29
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We are debating this right now and have done both in the past. We have gone the last two Augusts. Last year we drove down from just north of Baltimore. We left about 8pm and drove straight through the night. We arrived in Disney about 11:30 am. We stopped for breakfast in GA for about 1.5 hours and maybe another hour for gas stops and breaks overnight. We also ran into I-95 road construction traffic in VA that slowed us down for about 2 hours. We made awesome time with only about 13 hrs of drive time even with the traffic in VA. We weren't so lucky on the way back. Terrible rain storms and traffic made us have to stop overnight in SC. Our drive home was much longer, more like 16-17 hours.

We are trying to decide between flying or driving this summer. Last year our costs for driving were about $300 in gas (minivan), $125 hotel room, $250 food costs, so about $700. I can get flights right now out of DC (as it is cheaper than flying out of Baltimore) for about $950 for 5 of us. I am thinking the $250 more is worth the hassle of driving 30+ hours round trip. Only downside, I hate taking the busses and would want to rent a car while we are there.

My husband and I have a long history of doing long drives (he was in a band before we had kids and we toured so we have done lots of long overnight drives). Driving isn't for everyone. Our kids are also very good with driving. Last year they were 5,3 & 8. They had no problem sleeping in the van and pretty much all night. My husband took off the Friday we left and slept a good portion of the day so he was good to drive through the night. It was cake on the drive down, but like someone said the drive home sucks...there isn't anything to look forward too.

We are also considering the Auto Train. It is more expensive, however, you save your gas costs and the wear on your car. I also thought it might be fun for my kids.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:47 PM   #30
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It is definitely cheaper to drive, especially if you are driving straight through. We almost always drive and for our trip a few weeks ago, we drove straight through and over night for the first time. On the way back, we drove during the day and we preferred the overnight. It was faster and less hassle due to almost no traffic. Our drive is a little over 16 hours. We packed sandwiches and munched when we got hungry. My husband drove until almost 2 am, while I rested. And then I drove for a bit while he rested. We got there just before 8 am and even though they had a room ready, we felt pretty good and decided to go to Epcot for a few hours. It is really not a big deal to drive...and it is so much cheaper.
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