1. lacrossemom13

    lacrossemom13 Earning My Ears

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    We are debating driving down to Disney in May. We usually fly out of buffalo. Is driving cheaper? We have 4 kids from 11 to 7 months. I know we would need alot of stops. Any advice is appreciated!!
     
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  3. CanuckTraveller

    CanuckTraveller Mouseketeer

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    Where are you driving from?
    We are near Ottawa, and have budgeted 2 nights in hotels each way at $100 a night, plus meals and about $400 in gas...if DH wins the debate and we take the Civic ;). Otherwise add another $200 in gas.
    There are 4 of us and I can't find anything under $2400 for us to fly, so we are driving. Plus we would need a transfer from WDW to Port Canaveral and back, which is another $150.
    Depending on your dates, it is likely cheaper for you to drive, especially if you can only spend one night in a hotel each way.
     
  4. lacrossemom13

    lacrossemom13 Earning My Ears

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    We are just east of Toronto. Is it an easy drive?
     
  5. bdoyledimou

    bdoyledimou Pop Road Warrior -Travelling they way they did in

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    I have driven a few times from Markham.

    The secret is -- leave home at 7 pm -- kids will crash just past the border -- keep driving -- swap drivers at 4 am -- keep driving. stop for breckie at 9 am, swap drivers after brekie, swap again after lunch, have a rest at 4 pm at the Florida border, and then 2.5 hours to Disney world! :)
     
  6. iluveeyore

    iluveeyore DIS Veteran

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    We are doing this in January, and have done so many times before. When the kids were young, we would try and do the drive all night thing while they were sleeping, but we were way too tired to enjoy our first day at Disney. We learned that if you leave early in the morning (like 4 am) a nice first stop is along the I-77 around Charlotte, NC, or a bit past if you can keep driving. If you leave at 4am and arrive somewhere into SC around 6pm, you can stop for the night, have a nice dinner somewhere, and the kids can stretch out and relax, and everyone can get a proper nights sleep. This leaves about 6-7 hours drive for the second day, depending on how far you get the first night. We usually get up early, grab a free breakfast if the hotel offers it, and hit the road so we get to WDW around lunch time. That way if our room isn't ready, we can relax at the pool for the afternoon and have lunch at our resort. Also, if you're not sure where you will be staying on the way down, make sure to stop at the Welcome Center/rest stop for whatever state you will be staying in, because they usually have coupons for one-night stays in a booklet at the rest areas. With enough entertainment and snacks, and a few rest stops along the way, it can be an easy enough drive with kids if you split it into two days. The gas roundtrip for us is about $500, plus a night down and a night coming home and two dinners, so we budget about $800 roundtrip. For four of us to fly in January and then to rent a car once we get to WDW, we are saving about $700 - you will save even more with six of you. We love to fly and just get on with our vacation, but sometimes it's an adventure just to drive and enjoy the anticipation of getting there. :drive:
     
  7. Teresa Pitman

    Teresa Pitman Disney Grandma

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    We just drove from Guelph at the end of September. We had three kids ages 5, 7 and 10. We left on Monday evening right after supper and arrived in WDW late afternoon on Wednesday.

    We have tried other routes, but have settled on the I-75, mostly because we like to use the "Along the I-75" book that lists what gas stations, hotels and restaurants are at every exit. He also lists malls, Walmart, Target and large grocery stores. It really helps to have that book because you can look ahead - if a child is hungry or needs a bathroom you can say "Okay, in 15 minutes we'll be able to get off and go to Taco Bell."

    We buy most of our food at grocery stores, both to save money and provide more nutritious meals. There are picnic tables at the rest area stops where you can eat. We usually stop at hotels where breakfast is included in the price (Holiday Inn Express is a favourite) because it saves a little money and a lot of time.

    We let the kids run around at the rest areas (these are not like the highway service areas in Canada; they have grassy areas, picnic tables, washrooms, and sometimes vending machines) or if the weather is not good, we'll go to a mall or Target and let them walk around for a half hour or so.

    Sorry, that may have been more than you wanted. Yes, for our group it is cheaper to drive than fly.

    TP
     
  8. FrenchSnowWhite

    FrenchSnowWhite DIS Veteran

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    We are also a family of 5. would love to fly but never we could beat the price of driving to WDW.

    We have done many times from Montreal, and like others have said, you could leave after diner and the kids will sleep all the way, but it's more tough for the drivers the next day. Or leave early the morning, we leave at 3:00 am and drive as much as we can, normaly we can reach South Carolina, then stop for a good night sleep, enjoy the free hotel breakfast to save time and money and drive the rest of the day to finally arrive in the afternoon at Disney:thumbsup2

    Lunches in winter is not easy in less you eat in the car, thing that we don't do, because we think it's important to stretch our legs and let the kids take a break;)

    Other tip, if you have air miles, you can order a free 100$ gift card from Best Western hotels that you can use whenever you want! That's what we always do, that way we only have to pay for gas and food along the route!!!:yay:
     
  9. webworm

    webworm DIS Veteran

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    Right now AirTran has a sale on and there are lots of nonstop flights available from Buffalo in May for $200 inc taxes. Sample below:

    http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

    Itinerary details
    Itinerary
    Buffalo (BUF) to Orlando (MCO) - sam., mai 4
    AirTran 179 Dep: 8:00AM Arr: 10:35AM 2h 35m Boeing 717 Economy (Z)

    Orlando (MCO) to Buffalo (BUF) - sam., mai 11
    AirTran 312 Dep: 4:00PM Arr: 6:35PM 2h 35m Boeing 717 Economy (Z)


    Cost per passenger (including taxes & fees) 199,60 $US
    Total cost for 1 passenger 199,60 $US
     
  10. MamaLema

    MamaLema DIS Veteran

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    No matter how anyone prices it, nothing beats driving for our family of 6. Even if you take into account the price of hotels, gas, restaurants along the way, there are many expenses to flying also, including that you have to rent a car.

    An added bonus is all of our kids LOVE driving, they love how the scenery changes, they get excited as we enter each state and we see the signs "Welcome to Virginia", etc. they love the Welcome Centres. We love stopping at outlet malls. To me the journey is as much fun as the actual trip.

    We drive 77/79 and have made our own mini-book on the rest areas and restaurants along the way. Makes it so much easier.

    Plus when you drive, you can just about bring as much as you want, no need to worry about packing it all into 2 suitcases. We even make a major grocery stop before crossing back into Canada:)
     
  11. FrenchSnowWhite

    FrenchSnowWhite DIS Veteran

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    You must live near my house:thumbsup2 We are from north of Montreal, and I feel exactly the same about our drive to Florida each year:flower3:
     
  12. lynypixie

    lynypixie Mouseketeer

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    Driving with the 3 kids to Niagara falls this summer almost drove us crazy, so we decided to fly. I have 3 preschoolers, so it's a little hard. Plus, we only get a week off, so we prefer to spend more days in disney world (it's our first trip there as a family). But we're leaving from Burlington (and will do some grocery shopping on our way back)

    When the kids get older, I want to go to Winsor Hill and do Universal studio, then I'll drive, I guess.

    By the way, I'm in Greenfield Park :) (south shore of Montréal)
     
  13. lynypixie

    lynypixie Mouseketeer

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    And I add: how can you be sure of the day you will be there in Disney? How do I know if I'll make the trip in one, two or tree days?
     
  14. FrenchSnowWhite

    FrenchSnowWhite DIS Veteran

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    Because we've done it many times:thumbsup2 And we know that if we leave at 3:00 am the first day at night we will be in South Carolina, so the next day we will leave early also and then get at Disney around diner time;)

    We always make our first day the biggest day on the road;)

    And it's not the same strategy in summer or winter!
     
  15. CindyV

    CindyV Mouseketeer

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    we have driven 4 times now, 3 times with my son who is 6. we just got back friday.
    We leave early morning. We would love to leave at night, but my son is not a good sleeper. when we have left early in the morning, he has never gone back to bed or had a nap. When he is older, i think we may try this. We leave around 3:30 in the morning and drive as much as we can handle the first day. We eat dinner and decide if we want to go any further (usually one hour more) then the next day, we are in disney by lunch. We like doing it this way and it works for us. Last few times we had teenagers with us and our son. This last time only our 6 year old. He handles it well.
    IN regards to cost, we spent 80 on hotel there and same back. We kinda kept track of our gas, and it was 400-450. Yes it is long and can be tiring, but we rested up good and only had 4 1/2 hours the next day. We bring lots to occupy our son and a treat/snack bag in the back with him.
    When there were 5 of us we decided to drive as flying was a lot at the time. We couldve flown this time as it was only 3, but adding in the extra costs of baggage car rental etc, we were saving money. Plus i dont like flying.
    Time difference to me isnt a lot in our heads when you factor in flight length, how soon you need to be there, drive to the airport..
     
  16. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

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    There are several online sites that can calculate time and distances on any route you select. We generally use CAA trip tiks. We plug in the route we want to drive and it spits out distances and estimated travel times. We break the trip into manageable segments and plan our overnight stops accordingly. We usually arrive within an hour or so of the times published.

    Another tip for hotel stays- if you accumulate points with a hotel chain, you could get free or very cheap nights en route. This is what we do- DH generally accumulates more than enough points that we can stay free at any of the Marriot chains on the drive down and back. So it only costs us gas and dinners (we bring a cooler with lunch and snack supplies).
     
  17. Teresa Pitman

    Teresa Pitman Disney Grandma

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    When we are traveling with little kids, we usually give ourselves three days. If we get there early (as we have done once!) it's not hard to find a place to stay for one night and then check in at WDW bright and early the next morning.

    On our last drive (this September), we left Monday late afternoon and arrived mid-afternoon on Wednesday, driving from near Toronto down the I-75, with three kids ages 5, 7 and 10.

    TP
     
  18. Disney-Chick

    Disney-Chick A Canadian who loves Disney eh!

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    We are a family of 3 and drive. We are not in Ontario (Nova Scotia) and it takes us 36 hours. We try to do the drive in 2 days. The first year of driving we took 3 days. We check into Disney on Nov. 29 but are leaving on Nov. 26. Even if weather gets in the way we can take 3 days. My DH uses google maps and is very organized with where/when we stop. How far we can go on gas. Where to stop and has a list of all hotels at each exit. It may sound over board but we are well prepared. :laughing: And we also bought a Atlas because you never know when you may need to take a back road. We did in Virginia when there was an accident and it would have taken us 2 hours to get through. We pulled a u-turn and took an exit reviewed the map and took a back road.
     
  19. peigirl

    peigirl Mouseketeer

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    Even though I love my GPS, I take my atlas too...we drive 36 hours from PEI too
     
  20. katiegirl

    katiegirl Earning My Ears

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    We usually drive as well! I like to consider it too trips in one! We usually stop near Charlotte if going I-77 or some where near the Tennessee/Georgia border if doing I-75. We love the change of scenery as we go and there is nothing better than slowly removing layers at each pitstop we make!:thumbsup2
    My boys are really good in the car and like to take it all in. Our next trip in February we're flying out of Buffalo and as it stands now the cost is pretty comparable to driving. I'm still not convinced so I'll have to wait and see.
    I'm already kind of sad about the not driving part but the boys really wanted to ride in an airplane (DH included :)) so I caved.
     
  21. dancin Disney style

    dancin Disney style <font color=blue>I found one to share with some fa

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    We have driven to FL and other southern US states many times. We used to drive all night as the kids slept but a few years ago decided that it really was not a safe thing to do. So what we do now is this....
    DH goes to bed the night we are leaving by 9pm and sleeps until we leave at 2-2:30am. He's had a good 5+ hrs of sleep and feels rested. While he sleeps I finish packing the car and getting everything ready. When we leave I stay awake until we cross the border and then as soon as we cross and get on the right highway I sleep. I will sleep about 3hrs and by then DH needs to stop for coffee. From that point on we drive all day only stopping for gas and to switch drivers. We will nap during the day while one of the kids(teens) keeps the driver company. The plan is always to drive until about 8-9pm and then stop for the night. This leaves about 3-4hrs the next morning, so we can sleep in a little and still be at the WDW resort for lunch.

    We always pack all our meals/snacks/drinks in a cooler....we might stop for a fast food dinner just to take a little break. I have kept careful track of the cost of the drive and it ends up being about $575(when gas is low) to $800 when gas is priced around $4/gallon as it is now. This includes the food that I stock the cooler with and a night in a hotel with breakfast included. We drive from the Toronto area and drive a Chev Venture.
     

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