Driving versus Flying?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by itsmeamanda, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. itsmeamanda

    itsmeamanda Mouseketeer

    Feb 22, 2011
    We are trying to decide whether to drive or fly. Two adults, a 4 year old, and a 6 year old. I've only ever flown once. 12+ hour drive if we go that route.

    I am just not sure if the cost is worth it. And I don't know how I would like not having our own car. What are some benefits of flying?

    I'd also planned on eating in the room as much as possible to save money, but not sure how feasible that would be if we fly.
  2. Snappy in OK

    Snappy in OK Mouseketeer

    Dec 1, 2009
    If staying on Disney property, we prefer to fly down - especially if we can find an decent fare. We like flying in, utilizing ME and the Disney transportation. We have used Garden Grocer to have groceries delivered to the resort.

    We like flying to save the time of driving, and we really do prefer taking Disney transportation. It is part of the vacation for us, and I really don't care to worry about driving and trying to find out way! It sounds bad, but not driving makes our vacation more relaxing.

    On the flip side, our drive to Disney is closer to 18 hours. We do drive to WI & MN each summer, and WI is a 12 hour drive. Our kids are now 6 & 8, and they do really good in the car. We take coloring books, crayons, games, and (more recently) the portable DVD player.
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  4. nugov2

    nugov2 DIS Veteran

    Jul 29, 2012
    I think it is personal preference. Some people hate flying others driving. I dislike flying a lot my husband hates road trips so I usually suck it up and fly. Flights were pretty high though so I was able to get my way this time and we are driving(the first time I have gotten him to road trip in 14 years so he owes me) . We are staying off site because with 3 small kids we could never do 1 room so that makes it easier decision too. We really need our car. Also driving will be half of the cost. I would rather put that money into the actual trip. My kids are good in the car though so that helps too. It is an 18 hour trip for us. I think if it was much further I might sing a different tune :)
  5. delilah18

    delilah18 DIS Veteran

    Jan 30, 2011
    We drove and was about 25 hours we stop and stay overnight in georgia we drove down with a 2 year old and 4 year old. We loved having our own car.
    we are planning on driving again this year
  6. Angeejoe

    Angeejoe DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 2012
    My husband hates to fly, so we always drive. It's a long drive from OH (we only live a half mile from MI)! We stop along the way at a hotel when we get tired & then leave bright & early the next day. I wish we were only 12 hrs away!!! That would be a great 1 day trip. Sometimes I wish we could fly & spend the travel days we normally drive at Disney instead!!!
  7. pepe of ohio

    pepe of ohio DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2001
    Hi fellow Ohioan.... Same boat, I hate flying but driving doesn't take away from our Disney stays ....still stay 9-12 nights... Used to drive straight thru back in the 80's, too old for that now but a filler thru the 90's into the 2000 is Amtrak.... More time but about the same price as driving but the train still moves while we sleep...

    We're northeast Ohio, 19 hour drive.... Just did one a few months ago, fairly cheap for gas but the 2 overnights drives the cost up ( one each way) we're going back to the trains for less stress, though lengthy in time easier on the stress level ..
  8. Wicket's Mom

    Wicket's Mom DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2009
    We usually fly used to drive, but my DH hates the long drive. It is a 17 hour drive for us & we are older so now it's just too tiring. My DH figured with the cost of gas, motel stay, road eats & wear &tear on the car, it was a wash in the cost. But if there were more people than just two it would be worth it to drive.
  9. mum2four

    mum2four DIS Veteran

    Dec 29, 2012
    For "only" a 12-hour drive, we would definitely pick driving over flying. We could make that drive all in one day, even with four kids along. For us, driving is so much easier and less stressful with small kids because you can pack anything you need in the car and you're on your own schedule.

    I'm jealous, we have a 24-hour drive!. ;)
  10. skeettafic

    skeettafic Mouseketeer

    Jan 15, 2011
    We're trying to decide the same thing. We're coming from Western PA so it will be about 16 hours. We figure that flying will be double the cost of driving even if we stay in a hotel one night each way. My kids will be almost 9 and 5 by the time we go. Neither DH nor I particularly like to fly so unless we get a killer deal, we'll probably be driving.
  11. JustMinnie

    JustMinnie <font color=993300>The TF's notice everyone and ev

    Jan 20, 2003
    We always drive, my brother won't fly. It's a 2 day trip for us from Indiana, but don't really mind it. Gives us good, quality family time. :rotfl:
  12. sea nymph

    sea nymph Mouseketeer

    Dec 27, 2012
    We are on the Eastern side of PA and are driving. Estimated drive time is 18hours non-overnight stop. We are debating whether to drive straight thru or do an overnight. Depends on how the 3 kids (ages 6 - 10) handle it.
  13. bennifer

    bennifer Mouseketeer

    Jan 20, 2013
    We're in western PA, too. I love the drive, but DH hates it. I guess we'll fly this year since we drove the last 2 times down to the world.
  14. Carrie772

    Carrie772 Resolve to Recycle!

    Jul 21, 2004
    10.5 hours as far as miles go, but 12 when you take into consideration the stops and the time change. We love to fly if we can, but the drive is not bad! Straight down thru Bama to Dothan and catch I10 then I75. Very doable. Love our DVD player, even now the kids are bigger! 2 big kids have Kindle Fires (thanks Gramma!) and smallest can play games on my android. We make sure to eat while we drive. We would be sitting down anyway! And then we exercise at stops for gas or potty breaks. I make special Mickey music cd's to listen to. Sometimes I make a cd with Hawaiian music if we stay Poly. Or I will make one with cowboy music if we stay WL. Things like that.

    When they were tiny, I would give them a present every hour to unwrap. Sometimes the present would be a special snack, or a new fun pen and activity book, or sunglasses, etc. Kind of makes the hour markers more fun.

    BTW, we really like having our own car, esp when we have special reservations at a resort restaurant. Or if we want to hit Downtown Disney.
  15. Dis703

    Dis703 DIS Veteran

    Aug 24, 2010
    We will be driving this time with our 3 kids and my sister. Cost for all 6 of us is just way too much and we opted to spend our money on other things like a deluxe resort this time around. The drive without stops is 17 hours so more like 20 for us and we are going to try and go straight through without stops. I'm sure it won't be entirely pleasant, but trying to keep all three kids entertained on the flight while I'm drugged up on xanax just to make it through seems so much more daunting for us.

    If it was only 12 hours I might always choose driving to save the money as that seems really doable in one day to me.
  16. MomofDisneyLoversx3

    MomofDisneyLoversx3 DIS Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    I think it depends on your 'driving personality'. My DH and I are totally different in that. We have driven from eastern pa to cape cod 3 times (about 8-10hrs) and its lucky we both made it back. Also my dad lives about 3 hrs away and that trip kills me. I want to get in the car and GO. Have a snack/food in car, when you stop it's about 5 hrs into the trip, everyone uses facilities and then you move again. During facilities stops you get gas/coffee, switch drivers of needed etc. my DH could stop 3 times on the trip to my dads. Coffee one stop, restroom another, food another. For us flying is needed!!! Plus driving due to our vacation availability with work would cut into the Disney time.
    All that being said if we lived closer to the autotrain I would take it in a heartbeat. My mom and stepdad have done that to several locales an looooooove it. Cost wise it falls somewhere between driving and flying.

  17. sydneysmom

    sydneysmom DIS Veteran

    Sep 16, 2009
    Normally, we fly......but.....this trip we are driving the 12 hours. We calculated gas to $310 where the flights are still hovering around $1260. It's hard not to see its a better value in our case. Plus, we are going in June, so the resorts are more expensive. This helps defer some of that cost.

    But, we are going to leave on Friday night....drive through the night and be at the GF about 9-10 am to get park tickets. We wouldn't get there that early if we flew. (But we might be going to bed early!).

    We are going to take that day off from work to pack / board dogs and my DH will sleep most of the afternoon so driving through the night won't bother him. :thumbsup2
  18. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

    Jul 6, 2004
    We could do 12 hours in one day, so I would drive if I was that close. It is over 20 hours from where I am in Michigan, so we fly. I would only drive from here if we had a few extra vacation days to use, and we could stop along the way and see some sights.

    Another problem for us with driving is that it seems someone always has a nervous tummy, and we end up stopping a lot! Makes a long trip even longer!
  19. jupers

    jupers DIS Veteran

    Mar 18, 2007
    We are driving for the first time this year from Boston. But we are spending a few days in Hershey pa on the way down. So the plan is a few days in Hershey then drive 1 night to Georgia, stay with friends and next day finish trip to wdw.
  20. pdchris

    pdchris DIS Veteran

    Feb 28, 2005
    Fellow Michigander (NW). We've flown & driven but with the cost of flying, driving is so much cheaper. We usually stay over-might in Atlanta.
  21. milmore104

    milmore104 Mommy to 3 Disney Princesses

    Apr 30, 2002
    We live in upstate NY. We head down to FL twice a year now that my MIL moved there. We used to only fly. But then I showed my DH how much cheaper it would be for a family of 5 to drive. So this past Nov. we loaded up the car and drove down. It was so nice not to have to weigh my bags and worry about over weight fees. Also not worrying how to pack things to get thru TSA. We loaded up the car with all their favorite things. Brought along a little cooler w drinks and a bag full of snacks. We had so much fun playing games and being silly. It was a lot less stressful on me (the mom). Not worrying how they were going to act on a plane. I even had a newly potty trained little one. I'm talking a week before the trip she decided it was time!
    On the way down we drove straight thru. It took us 26 hours. We kept them pretty close to their schedules as far as eating. We tried to find places they could get out n play for a bit while we ate. On the way home we stopped in VA. Only because it was cold in FL and they didnt get any pool time in. So we stopped at a hotel w a pool.
    We are driving again in 2 weeks. If it was cheaper to fly I would. But we did enjoy driving. The only draw back for me is that it cuts at least 2 days out of our vacation :-(

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