A very early filght time...


Jan 14, 2001
I need some advice.
My DD (5 yr/ old) and DS (7 yr old) and me (Mom) will be traveling to WDW in May. We have an early morning flight (6:15am). The airport is @ 2 hour drive from home. Should we: 1) Wake up extremely early and have DH drive us to airport, 2) wake up extremely early and drive to airport myself or 3) just stay overnight near airport. I assume we will need to be at the airport (Philadelphia) 1 1/2 hours in advance (at least). We are going with others who are planning to drive down that morning (it's a big group so we will need several cars). We are only going to be at WDW for 4 days so we would like to have enough energy to hit a park right when we get there.
For a flight that early out of Philly, I'd advocate staying at a hotel overnight. Be sure to find one that has a shuttle running at 4am and that has complimentary parking. Depending on which airline you are taking, curbside check-in may be available.

It only takes us about 1-1.5 hours to get to the Philly airport. We've already booked our stay at the Embassy in March, and our flight leaves at 11am!;)

Hope this helps!

You would definately be better off staying at a local motel near the airport. We live 3 hours from DFW, and for our July trip, we're staying at a Marriott near by the night before our 7:30am flight time the next morning. I've also done the early drive-in and that's no fun at that time of the morning. Stay near the airport, you'll be better off for it.
I agree with the others. You'll get the most for your money if you drive there the night before, and you won't have to worry about what happens if you have car trouble or anything. You might be able to get a better rate for parking at the hotel if you take the shuttle. I would get to the airport about 2 hours early. It's really probably not necessary with a flight that early since things won't be backed up yet, but the kids can always snooze in their chairs after you get to the terminal.

One other thing I would suggest is calling the airport to ask what time check-in desks open. It may not be necessary to be there 2+ hours early. I know that in Boston the desks don't open until 5am. If you get there too early you may just be waiting around for the people who can actually check you in and get you through security.
If you are flying Southwest people will be in line before the desk opens. You need 2 hours for SW even that early in the morning.

I say stay overnight at an airport hotel. I would check about what time to be there for check in . Philly has had problems on and off since the 11th. But you wouldn't want to get there befoer the employees get there.
We have done this twice, once to WDW, once to Texas from Detroit. The trip to WDW we stayed at home and left very early, it was hard! The kids got all out of sorts, off schedule, crabby etc... The second time we stayed at airport hotel, did not even have to take a shuttle just off the elevator and through security... much easier and worth every penny the Marriot cost! This year decided to go even easier... booked a 10:30am flight!
i woudl say stay by the airport....b/c our flight leaves at 5:40 and we are onyl 30-45 minutes away

i mean youve have to leave about 2:30 or so...too early
then you can sleep in a bit more
We leave on March 16th and our flight leaves at 5:50am, yes that early. We are only about 20 minutes from the airport. I wonder what I was thinking when I booked these flights back in August. I only had a choice between that time and a 4pm flight. I wanted to get their early and not waste the day...I also have to find out when the staff will be there, I know they recommend 2 hrs, but I dont think anybody would be there at that time. The airport in Norfolk is soooooo small,like going to a shopping mall. We will just leave our car at the airport, I wouldnt dare ask anybody to drive us at that time of the morning.Im not looking forward to waking the kids in the "middle of the night" or so it will seem. I think once we all get onthe plane, things will look brighter.:smooth: :
We are going in March and have a 6:30 am flight from PHL. I went on Travelocity.com and got ressies for the hotel that is in the airport (I don't know the name off of the top of my head.) I think the rate was $100 a night. There are several hotels within 3 miles from the airport that you could check at the same internet site. We are doing the same thing for the return flight. (6:30-ressies in the airport) Not my first choice but they were the only reasonable tickets still available the week before Easter. Have fun!! P.S. I only live 30 mins from the airport but this way I can be in the night before all packed up and ready to go.
I'll add my vote for staying close to the airport the night before your flight. We are doing that in April, flying out of the San Antonio Airport @ 5:55 am. With the airport two and a half hours away, and the suggested two hour arrival before the flight, that would have us leaving home @ 1:00 to 1:30 am. It's very dark then. I know that we will all be excited then, but I hope that it will give us a little more steam for our first day.
Wow Pollyann, you sould a lot like our family. Two dd's ages 5 and 8, 6:15 flight from Philly. We live about 45 minutes from the airport...we will probably stay overnight....we stayed at the Marriott once before - it is connected to the airport. They parked our car for us and we didn't have to worry about anything. We had to pay for parking because our car was oversized and wouldn't fit in their own parking area (an Expedition). I think it was about $90 for the hotel though...we might check out Embassy as someone mentioned...Please let me know what you decide...by the way, we are also going in early May (May 6)...maybe we'll run into you!
I think we decided to just drive down in the early morning hours :o ! (I know the majority of you think I should stay overnight but the majority of my group (all together 12 people:D ) want to drive! ) MicheleNJ - we are leaving on May 6th too! (6:15am Delta). Maybe we will run into you! We'll be among the group of 12 yawning!!:o
Maybe we are a little more lucky being in Bensalem (30min away), but I couldn't imagine paying the 100$ to stay at the airport. We try to keep our DD calm and quiet before leaving hopeing she will sleep in the car. She gets up around 6:30 which also helps. Once we get were we are going she always takes a nice nap, ready for the evening festivities. We fly out May 3 at 7:00am.
We always have early flights, so we have DS get dressed the night before after he takes his shower. In the morning, we wake him up, have him go to the bathroom and then put him in the car. We bring a poptart or something similar for him to eat in the car. If we have time, he eats again at the airport. He considers sleeping in his clothes one of the better parts of the trip.
After reading this thread, I think we are going to stay at the airport the night before our flight in March. Isn't it funny that so many people who replied to this thread are flying out of Philly? We live about 45 minutes from the airport and we have a 6:15 am flight out of Philadelphia. With two young children I think the much reduced stress of staying at the airport Marriott will be worth the money for us. We can deal with parking our car the night before leaving, no bleary eyed trip on the blue route to the airport in the wee hours of the morning, and some extra sleep before we arrive at WDW; I'm sold!
Are you paying to park at the airport? I'm flying out of Philly in June...flight leaves at 5:45 am...staying at Sheraton Suites the night before...there are five of us...costs $199 but...room for five people, shuttle runs 24 hours to airport, and it includes free parking for up to ten days. Call and ask about their park and stay policy if you are interested. Plus if you are staying at Dolphin and have the Starwood card, you get Starwood points for what you pay for parking...just a thought!


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