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Old 04-20-2013, 05:11 PM   #31
Capt_BJ
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I don't know where you are in Delaware

or what's the major concern on the question ... dollars ... time ... stress

but since no else has mentioned, have you considered AutoTrain?

Put your car on a train at 4pm in Lorton VA, sit back, enjoy a meal and sleep, be rejoined with your car in Sanford FL (about 1 hr from Disney) around 9AM the next morning after a continental breakfast.

You have your car while in FL .... you can carry anything that fits in your car .... you sleep rather than drive down 95 from DC to central FL . . . .

I've done it twice

(btw - this is NOT TSA security, so I bring a cooler with snacks and beverages with NO problems)
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:21 PM   #32
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We drive around 17 hours. Our first day, we drive 12-13 hours, leaving home around 9 am so we're not tired when we hit the road. We stop around 9 or 10 pm, get a good night's sleep then hit the road again around 9 the next morning. We get to Disney World right around check-in time. We're totally refreshed, and ready to hit the parks with no exhaustion at all.

The only reason to drive straight through is to save the money on a hotel on the road. We tried it twice, both times it was a disaster with unexpected delays on the road leaving to a 20 hour drive. Never again.

I've heard many stories of arriving exhausted and unable to enjoy the first couple of days with a straight through drive. So instead of planning a rest day when you arrive, why not use that day on the road and pay $100 a night for a 95 hotel, rather than a few hundred a night for a Disney hotel for that extra night??
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:00 AM   #33
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Thanks for the ideas , i just checked the auto train idea and thats out, it will cost me around $650 one way for that. I think i will leave the day before and take my time going down and maybe stay the night somewhere. I will just drive until i get tired and stop if i have to. But i think driving down is the way to go.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:14 AM   #34
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I am north Delaware and it is 16 hours. If you drive straight though you can save some money on the trip and more if you need a car while there. I will note that with some of the Frontier fares out of Wilmington it is cheaper to fly and rent.

Realistically you do have to put some value in the lost day at WDW from travel time and recovery time.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:13 AM   #35
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I live in Wilmington DE. It's just the 2 of us and we drive down to Disney every time. It usually takes between 14 and 15 hours. The best part about driving is you can take everything you want with you. Anything you pick up while your down there will also make it home safely. Depending on kind of car you have gas costs can add up, but usually it is still cheaper to drive.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #36
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Realistically you do have to put some value in the lost day at WDW from travel time and recovery time.
I've often heard the "lost day" comment, and while true that lost day would have been an EXPENSIVE day too. So, there's a flip side to that as well.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:57 PM   #37
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Our upcoming trip in December will be our 3rd drive down. After we drove (and survived) our first trip, it seems to be the way to go for us. We live in NJ and it's about 17 hours straight through stopping for meals for us.

Our last trip we left around 3 a.m. drove all the way down and then stayed at a Marriott near Universal Studios arriving around 8 p.m. The kids got to swim, we ate pizza and turned in for the night. Got up next morning fresh and ready to go to the parks then check in to our hotel.

This time around we plan on leaving around 8 or 9 pm. and going right to our place to check in. We are renting a house w/ pool with other family members so we'll do some food shopping, have dinner and chill and get a good night's sleep so we'll be fresh at the parks the next day.

We kind of build our driving into the trip so I would add 2 additional days and then you are not tired or miss out on anything planned. I have friends who drive down, arrive early morning, get a few winks in the car and then head off to the parks at opening. I'm sure they crash later but it doesn't seem to bother them.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #38
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:14 PM   #39
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yes, it's almost always cheaper to fly.
To me, my time & sanity are always worth more than the savings. I'm not a big packer and in probably 30 vacation flights, I've never had any anti-family issues that pp mentions she read about.

I like that we can get an early am flight and be in MK by 10am or we could fly down Fri evening after school and all be in bed by 11pm.

I have driven back when I was young and was the only way I could afford to go & was still happy to be driving there. I'm a long way from being 20 now & not so desperate. Our rule is to fly to any place longer than 6-8 hrs drive.

To me cheapest way doesn't necessarily mean best. If that were so, we'd be visiting Six Flags instead of WDW.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:53 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post
To me cheapest way doesn't necessarily mean best.
This is the true answer. "Best" is a relative term and will vary based on the individual.

If you're looking from a pure cost standpoint, driving would be cheaper, even if you do an overnight stay.

Some people enjoy (or at least don't mind) the drive. Others don't.
Others enjoy the speed of flying. Others don't.

I do find it interesting that when these threads come up, just about everyone advocating driving talks about how it's "not bad" and "we're so excited getting there, a lack of sleep doesn't bother us", but very few mention the drive back (and the "recovery").
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:08 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_gordon View Post
This is the true answer. "Best" is a relative term and will vary based on the individual.

If you're looking from a pure cost standpoint, driving would be cheaper, even if you do an overnight stay.

Some people enjoy (or at least don't mind) the drive. Others don't.
Others enjoy the speed of flying. Others don't.

I do find it interesting that when these threads come up, just about everyone advocating driving talks about how it's "not bad" and "we're so excited getting there, a lack of sleep doesn't bother us", but very few mention the drive back (and the "recovery").
And on that whoever wants to go back to the same ole same ole? Weather you flying or driving it still sucks either way to return to the norm after you've been in the magic for a while. I prefer to drive cause we drive up the coast and spend a couple nights on the beach in Ormond Beach before we drive home. Of course I don't live to far away, maybe 7 hrs once I get to ormond beach. But I would still prefer to rent a car and drive either way
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:54 AM   #42
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Personally I'd leave the car at home and take regular Amtrak....never understood the need of the Auto Train.... You can rent a car cheaper in Florida that pay to haul yours down on the train...

We're from northeast Ohio, for us, Amtrak round trip the 2 of us in coach is 450.00....

That's about the same as for driving and a motel each way.... Difference is time ... Driving is 16-18 hours plus motels.... Train is 36 hours ( 8 hour layover in DC) but train moves while we sleep, no stress!!

Only way we'll go to WDW, drive or train !!
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:16 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by granpoobah View Post
Thanks for the ideas , i just checked the auto train idea and thats out, it will cost me around $650 one way for that. I think i will leave the day before and take my time going down and maybe stay the night somewhere. I will just drive until i get tired and stop if i have to. But i think driving down is the way to go.
granpoopah - make sure you call directly for a fare quote. the online quotes are higher and my understanding is, unlike an air fare, you can cancel an auto train reservation.

Still, I wouldn't bother with the auto train. If your going to take that long - just drive.

I have driven to HHI twice now. I commute from Middletown to Wilmington every day. It is a horrendous drive and based on that I thought I would never have the patience or fortitude for a drive to Florida. All I can say is that both of my drives to HHI have been significantly less stressful than what I deal with day to day driving through the ridiculous traffic patterns in this state. If you can commute in Delaware and stay sane then you are well suited for a drive south on I95.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:55 AM   #44
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We live in Columbus ohio and have driven once and are driving again this year. The first time we drove we took 77 to 95. This time were just taking 75 straight down, it's supposedly quicker. We are driving with DD10 leaving at 3am.

We will be saving at least $650 driving rather than flying.

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Old 04-22-2013, 11:33 AM   #45
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I could never drive down. It would drive me crazy knowing that I would already be in WDW 3 hours into our drive if we flew.

We are in Boston so the drive would be 20+ hours which is just way too long for us. We live 5 minutes from the airport so there is little to no stress getting to the airport and starting our vacation. Our flight actually feels like the start of vacation for us.

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