Best way to get from Tampa to Orlando on a Sunday afternoon

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by kathy884, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    I'm going to visit my cousin in Tampa before meeting my son in Orlando and doing a mini vacation and was looking for the best way to get to Tampa on a Sunday afternoon in March.

    My best bet so far is Uber. I could do the UberX which would work for me for $84 plus tip. The next class up for uber in case I can't get an UberX is $111 which would be OK too.

    I checked one way car rentals from Tampa International to MCO (Orlando airport), but the one way fees with Enterprise at least meant uber was cheaper. And then I'd still need to get from the Orlando airport to my hotel with uber or something. adding to cost

    Any other thoughts? Or do you think Uber is my best best? I was happy to see the uber as low as it was.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  2. writerguyfl

    writerguyfl DIS Veteran

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    I think it's way too early to get accurate rates on rate rentals. They will fluctuate...a lot. I'd just continue checking periodically.

    Also, what is your final destination in Orlando. Don't forget that there are car rental locations all across the Orlando area. It will take extra time, but try pricing our different local car rental locations. Sometimes, you can save big by avoiding an airport location. (Same goes for the pick-up location. See if there are any local locations hear where you will be in Tampa.)
     
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  4. Upatnoon

    Upatnoon DIS Veteran

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    Megabus goes from Tampa to Orlando.
    Greyhound and Megabus have service from Tampa to Orlando that would be cheaper but not as convenient.

    If your son is driving, you could ask him to come and get you.
     
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  5. WilliamtheWonderful

    WilliamtheWonderful Earning My Ears

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    Take Amtrak from Tampa to Orlando, and an Uber to WDW. You would have to stay in a hotel the night before you go to WDW, since the only, daily train is at 5:30 to 7:30-ish. The train seat costs $13.00 and the Uber should cost $30.00. Interesting.
     
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  6. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks all. I will look at some of these options. I wasn't aware of these options so really appreciate all of the posts. My destination is the Marriott Residence Inn SeaWorld. My son won't have a car either. He will be flying into Orlando International Sunday evening and taking an uber over to the hotel. I usually rent a car in Orlando, but we'll be using uber/lyft to get around instead this trip. If not too inconvenient, though, I 'm very up for a cheaper option for getting from Tampa to Orlando.
     
  7. Upatnoon

    Upatnoon DIS Veteran

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    Cheapest option would be Greyhound to Orlando, then Uber to hotel. Greyhound bus station is closest to the hotel. Obviously, the schedules would have to be something you can deal with.

    I
     
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  8. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much everyone! Thought I'd give you a follow-up. The rental car places not at airports aren't open for the hours I would need on Sunday (leaves only the airport to airport rental car option as these locations are open every day). Also Orlando and Tampa don't share the same fleet of cars, meaning different drop off fees make the one way car rental pricier than uber. Greyhound, Megabus, and Amtrack all were quite inexpensive (very economical options), but either left earlier in the morning than I wanted or later in the evening. I'm going out to breakfast with my cousin Sunday and then visiting his church for a noon service and not heading to Orlando after that. All that said I so much appreciate your posts and the opportunity to look at more economical options before doing the uber, but uber seems to be winning. All that said too, the uber while pricey isn't that outrageous and does work with my budget. I prefer a more economical option if it works anytime though, so feel great to have looked at more options.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing my favorite cousin and hanging with my son in Orlando for a few days too. DH isn't keen on Orlando or theme parks so is staying home for this one.
     
  9. Upatnoon

    Upatnoon DIS Veteran

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    Have a great visit! Uber sounds like the perfect solution for you.
     
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  10. MrKnight

    MrKnight Former WDWCM & Proud DIS Member

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    Another vote for Amtrak, Silver Palmetto Train #91:

    https://www.amtrak.com/silver-service-palmetto-train

    The nearest station to WDW is Kissimmee Station, the trip is only about 1.5 hours on a nice comfortable train and the price is significantly LESS than renting a car and/or Uber.

    Check the Amtrak website above and set the departing station as Kissimmee and arriving station as Tampa Union Station.

    IMHO this is the BEST option and sadly often overlooked by those not familiar with the area.
     
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  11. writerguyfl

    writerguyfl DIS Veteran

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    Don't discount the option of picking up a car from a local rental location on Saturday. For one-day, one-way rentals, you can keep the car up to 24 hours for the same price. As long as you don't have to pay for parking at your cousin's place (or don't want to spend time picking up the car that day), that should work.

    I probably could have been more explicit, but that's what I meant when I said it's way too early to get accurate rental car rates for March 2019. It's not really that Orlando and Tampa don't share the same fleet. Most airport locations in Florida (that I know of) are corporate owned and operated. That means they don't really try to keep cars based at the same location.

    As time passes, rental cars may accumulate at one location. Instead of hauling them via trucks, the companies will incentivize movement by offering cheap one-way rentals. But, this practice isn't instituted until needed. Basically, if you want a one-way rental in the distant future, you're more likely to see a drop-off fee (or high daily rate if the company doesn't use intra-Florida drop-off fees).

    I rent 6-12 one-way rentals between Fort Lauderdale and Orlando every year. So, I'm pretty knowledgeable based on personal experience. Most of those rentals are made with 30 days of pick-up. It's easy to see when a company needs to move cars to a certain location. A normal rate of $40 or $50/day will drop to under $10/day.

    My advice would be to re-visit the rental car prices once 2019 arrives. You may end up finding a deal closer to your trip.
     
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  12. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the tip writerguyfl. I'll take a look closer to the time in case that will turn out being more economical than uber.
     
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  13. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

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    Have your son pick you up.

    Just read he doesn't have a car.

    Just rent a car. I live in Tampa, never heard of anyone using Uber to Orlando and I know several Uber drivers. I can't see an Uber driver in Tampa wanting to drive to Orlando.
     
  14. MinnieMyers

    MinnieMyers Peace. Love. Disney.

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    We flew into Tampa last year to go to Universal. It was not ideal and definitely not the plan, but it was a last min change of plans. We rented a car for $130 for the weekend (Fri-Mon) and just drove up. Uber will end up costing more depending on how long.​
     
  15. SLim501

    SLim501 Earning My Ears

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    I would check rental cars closer to the date. We have a one way rental car from Tampa airport to Disney Car Care Center and it is $64 for one day. It was the same to return to MCO.
     
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  16. MrKnight

    MrKnight Former WDWCM & Proud DIS Member

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    It is still SIGNIFICANTLY more cost effective to take the Amtrak train, a one-way train ticket from Tampa to Kissimmee (nearest station to WDW) is only about $10.

    Not to mention, it sounds like the OP is traveling alone so he/she may find it more comfortable and enjoyable to travel via train and not have to worry about driving alone, dealing with traffic, parking, etc..
     
  17. Ngwira

    Ngwira DIS Veteran

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    What about Tony Hines?
     
  18. Kitty cat

    Kitty cat Earning My Ears

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    Good luck with Uber we were living in Orlando not to far from Disney last year and we're moving to Tampa I called an Uber because I needed to pick up keys to our new place the first two people refused to take us that far the third person did but only after I offered him a nice tip because we needed to there .There are people who will but it's a long way so some may not .We took the train back to Kissimmee we really enjoyed it plus the Train was a decent price .When we got back to Kissimmee we used the Lynx 56 bus for 2 a person to wdw (well Transporation and ticket center )as the lynx bus station was like a block from the train station in Kissimmee plus there was another bus at magic (transportation and ticket center )that went by sea world it would have cost 4 for both buses for one person or 5 for all day pass .If your trying to get there by a certain time I would look for the best deal on a rental car because your taking a chance with Uber and some of the other ways can take more time but if you have the time the amtrak was nice.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  19. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks all. Sounds like if the car rental is too high and no one will take me on uber, I may have to be in Tampa longer and do the train or bus. It's not critical that I get to Orlando earlier, but that would be my preference (was planning on a relaxing afternoon reading at my hotel and at the pool). DS doesn't get in till evening, though, and we don't have any theme park plans till the following day.

    Sounds like I should keep Amtrack and Greyhound information handy as a back up. I have FYI taken uber from Orlando to Tampa without a problem, but that was a few years back. I did give a nice tip, even though the driver did not complain in anyway and was super nice, as I thought it was really a long trip and might not be the preference. I've never tried it the other way though.
     
  20. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    There is a bus leaving at 4:40 p.m. Sunday arriving in Orlando at 6:45 p.m. for $23 one way and as stated earlier on price there is a train for $13 leaving at 5:27 p.m. arriving at 7:16 p.m., I'll map the take off points from my cousin's and the arrival point from my hotel to see which looks most convenient. Do those fill up on Sundays?

    Something else I am thinking about as I will be going to SeaWorld on Monday anyway is maybe buy the two park ticket (makes a partial day at Busch Gardens a little more reasonable), spend the afternoon at Busch Gardens, and chill out there (It's a pretty place -- reminds me a lot of the St. Louis zoo where I have a membership). Used to do all the coasters, but now at 58 I don't do those any more and would just do the animal attractions and shows. I still do the Manta at SeaWorld (really like that one) and do all the Disney coasters (they are pretty family friendly), but the Busch ones are too intense for me now. If they let me reserve that I could do the shuttle back from there for $10. Here is the weblink I found https://www.orlandoescape.com/shuttletransportation-htm/

    Anyway thanks again for the options and the reality check that uber drivers so often really like to stick to their own areas.

    An afternoon at Busch Gardens is sounding more and more appealing. If I call and they allow the one way shuttle option for me, I think I'll do that. My cousin doesn't care for crowds, so it may be me on my own, but could be quite pleasant. I'll invite him though and offer to buy is ticket if he wants to give it a shot.

    I think now my plan A if they let me do the SeaWorld Busch Gardens shuttle to get to Orlando is spend the day there and take that.
    If not, I think my plan B is probably that Amtrack, but I still need to check out locations on both ends for convenience on google maps.

    I've gone a full about turn on the car rental or uber ideas, especially as my son's flight to Orlando doesn't get in till 7:45 p.m. really giving me another full day for whatever. It's taken me a while to adjust from my original idea, but it sounds like due to transportation hanging out in Tampa for the afternoon makes more sense than hanging out in Orlando.
     
  21. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    Just a follow-up. My cousin is all gung ho for Busch Gardens, so that's a plan now on Sunday, and I am super excited. The Busch Gardens shuttle only lets you do a round trip, so that's not an option. I found the megabus option too that one of you mentioned (very cheap ($1 fares even), but I didn't like the times I saw, although no schedule for March yet). Anyway I decided. I am going which the Amtrak recommendation and doing the Tampa to Kissimmee, FL as it is direct and quite quick as many of you mentioned (1 hr. and 21 min. from 5:25 p.m. to 6:48 p.m. -- guessing train stops in Kissimmee first and then Orlando -- so helpful to know about that). The bus options and train to the Orlando station are of longer duration. My cousin will drop me off at the Tampa train station, and I will do the uber from Kissimee to my hotel (about 26 minutes, as I am staying near SeaWorld).

    This has been an education in transportation to me. Thanks you all so much!!! My cousin who has lived in Tampa for years had no idea about all these options for getting to Orlando which are of huge interest to him as he doesn't like to drive to Orlando.
     

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