Driving vs. Flying to WDW

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by mizv, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. mizv

    mizv Earning My Ears

    Jan 1, 2010
    Hi all!

    We booked our trip for 6/5-6/12. We have been looking for airfares and are very disappointed. Either they have us flying super early in the a.m. or later in the evening. And the price.....Southwest is $1300 for the 4 of us. We have 2 free tix on SW, but they have no flights on those days for our free tix. That bites.

    So, now we are considering driving. From Chicago to Orlando, it mapped out about 18 hours. We figure if we leave Fri. night (6/4) our two boys (9 and 6) could sleep a majority of the ride and hubs and I could switch off driving. We would have a car at our disposal and be on more of our own time schedule rather than the airlines or airports.

    I think driving would be the way to go....thoughts, experiences???
  2. dizneemom

    dizneemom Mouseketeer

    Jan 7, 2009
    We are from Iowa and drove down on our trip last year. Our whole family agrees that it was the best trip we have taken. We have a 9, 6, and 2 yr old and they all did great. It was so much less hassle than the airport w/3 kids. We figure we spend a whole day in an airport anyway. Also there was a lot less stress. The best part was being able to bring more things such as food ect from home. It was great and we will be doing it again in April. :thumbsup2
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  4. motherwild

    motherwild Mouseketeer

    Jan 13, 2009
    It's a long drive. We drive from NY to WDW and we take 2 days. we leave about 4:30am and stop in SC over night and it is another 8 hr from there. Mapquest tell me it 18hr 41 min from NY. that doesn't count stops for traffic, gas, meals or bathroom breaks. I also don't travel with children. Just some things to think about.:drive:
  5. gabriellyn

    gabriellyn Woohoo!

    Feb 7, 2008
    We flew for our first two trips but drove last June when we went with some friends. We LOVED it! I thought maybe our boys (especially the youngest) would have a hard time in the car but I was wrong! We drove from Houston and stopped overnight both ways. It was a great trip and we really enjoyed it! We won't fly again unless the cost is too low to pass up, but with 5 people it would have to be phenomenally inexpensive for us to do it. Plus, we feel the Orlando airport (MCO) is horrible and such a hassle - it was nice not to have to deal with that. It was much more relaxing to drive.
  6. disneylovin24

    disneylovin24 ~Let It Go~

    Jan 9, 2010
    I'm a big supporter of driving to disney:thumbsup2 Not only does it save money, but you get to see so much of the east coast. And having your own car in disney is a huge help!
  7. GaSleepingBeautyFan

    GaSleepingBeautyFan DIS Veteran

    Aug 12, 2007
    We've driven tons of times from GA to MN (22 hours) with our kids. It'd definitely doable and we survived it. I never want to do it anymore. We've got one kid who gets car sick and I get sick of being in the vehicle with my husband who can't sit still.

    If its the only way you can go to Disney because of the cost of airline tickets, I'd drive it. Just have stuff for the kids to do in the car and make plenty of stops.
    I would think driving home after WDW would be the hard part since you'll be tired out.
  8. cassiez76

    cassiez76 DIS Veteran

    Jul 29, 2009
    we always drive. always have. of course we are only 9 hours away.

    BUT...we drive new orleans to baltimore at least once a year and that's 18 hours. (24 when your transmission cr@ps out!)

    hubby and i always switched off, but now that we have the little one, we stop over nite half way.

    it's also super nice having your own car in a different place! that's how i've grown to love the orlando area and wouldn't mind living there.
  9. Disgirl09

    Disgirl09 Earning My Ears

    Jan 12, 2010
    We drive every year to disney and is form pa so its about the same distace its alot of fun to drive just bring along games and food :)
  10. standleyent1

    standleyent1 Mouseketeer

    May 17, 2006
    I don't know how far you are from Rockford but I just checked Allegiant, Rockford to Sanford and for a family of 4 it is $931 but the dates are 06-06 to 06-13. Flying into Sanford you save a lot of time having to go through a huge airport like MCO. Usually the rentals are cheaper and you walk right off of the plane and down the stairs, out the door and right up to the rental counter and are out as fast as 10mins. Keep in mind my DD and I have been to Disney 30 times since 2000 and we have gone several different ways, we have driven many times as well as we have flown many times and both have there advantages. The idea of having the freedom of your own car is really nice as is utilizing the WDW transportation.
    Hope you have a great time!
  11. arielmomma

    arielmomma DIS Veteran

    Jan 4, 2009
    We will be driving to WDW in 4 days! Hurray! We have driven to Florida before from Mid-Michigan and its not bad. Its not as fast as flying, but you have a lot more freedom.

    We drive straight through and start out in the afternoon. I do most of the driving and all of it at night.

    As a SAHM, I have found that driving at night with my whole family sleeping listening to a book on CD that I want to listen to uninterupted eating junk food with no one asking for a bite is really nice!
  12. bxtx

    bxtx Mouseketeer

    Oct 10, 2007
    We drive - its 1000 miles from Texas. We leave mid-afternoon as my Elementary kid gets off the bus. Stop for dinner. Keep going until midnight / 1am. We do tow a trailer so we just move the kids into their beds and we sleep in ours which makes it easier I think, but you could do a motel. DVDs and Nintendo DSs are a lifesaver. :cool1: DH does most of the driving, and he loves the Comedy channel, or we download a fav comedy series onto an MP3 player/iPod which he plays once the kids fall asleep after dinner - makes the hours whizz by! We're on the road again by 8am and arrive at the Fort 4pm - ready for check-in and setting up our little site :woohoo:
  13. natashag76

    natashag76 Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly what a day!

    Dec 30, 2008
    mizv- we're also in IL and we've done both. i just happened to find fabulous prices on tix when we flew on direct flights! however, our most recent trip was by car. it wasn't too bad either. thankfully we have a dvd player in the minivan. but we got our triptiks from AAA and off we went! it was also really nice having our own car there. that way when DS needed a nap one of use could zoom back to the hotel while the other stayed with the 2 older kids. then they just took a bus back to the hotel if nap time wasn't finished yet. i can even recommend some decent hotels along the way if you plan to stop! have a great trip!!
  14. KateMW

    KateMW DIS Veteran

    Oct 7, 2009
    Are you flying out of Chicago? Because if so, there are TONS of nonstop flights at all times of the day to Orlando. The prices are pretty good compared to other airlines. You can always wait and see if they have a sale in the next couple of months. We got our tickets from SW for $100 round trip during their last sale.

    We would NEVER drive. The hassle isn't worth the $ you save and we would want to kill ourselves by the end of it. That's just us though...;) We love to fly and it's so easy!
  15. Jazcat

    Jazcat Mouseketeer

    Jan 5, 2008
    we live in St. Louis and have driven both times however the last time I fell asleepat the wheel and sideswipped a semi thank god no one was hurt. we still plan to drive but now will drive during the day and spend the night at a cheap hotel we now have twins so we will need that hotel night sleep. also we drove during the night I don't recomend doing that also you can pull over at rest stops and sleep a few hours if that all you need and then no need to pay for a hotel
  16. kwitcherkicken99

    kwitcherkicken99 Sleep keeps me pretty. Caffeine keeps me nice!

    Mar 5, 2009
    Are you keeping an eye out for the last minute getaways on Southwest and AirTran? I'm looking at flying out of Indy for around $730 for 4 of us on Delta. I think US Air was around $800. Keep digging for fares.

    As much as I enjoy having a car on property, we're flying this time around. I'm tired of taking 19 hours to drive when I can be there in 6. However, since we're flying, we are staying at a value to offset the cost. I'm trying to find ways to increase our budget without digging into our income so we can stay mod, but frankly, I'd rather fly! LOL!
  17. deerhart

    deerhart DIS Veteran

    Jan 6, 2010
    Southwest should have their june fares for sale again in like late March early april. They went off sale about 2-3 weeks ago.

    We fly out of St. Louis and the rock bottom prices for us are between $74-$85. This puts our tickets for a family of 4 at just about $750.00 (same as last year) But we DO fly out first thing in the morning and last flight at night back.
  18. Doc CW

    Doc CW Dallas Cowboys Football #1

    Jun 23, 2006
    I personally enjoy the drive I enjoy driving and its cool to see a car in VA and then you see that same car later when you are in GA or FL. We also listen to music and we sing the whole way, not very well though. We Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah our whole trip down and if we stop for the night before we go to bed we sing There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow. We are Disney crazy even with driving. :banana:
  19. MSMomTJ

    MSMomTJ Mouseketeer

    Jan 17, 2010
    We considered driving, but we decided that flying was better for us. We want to have as many days as possible at Disney, and driving from MS to Orlando will take up too many days.

    I loved taking road trips as a child, and I can't wait to take them with my kids. But, my husband and I are not that comfortable with driving in places we don't know, so we will have to work our way up to driving far!
  20. ZanyToes

    ZanyToes Mouseketeer

    Feb 14, 2007
    We are driving for the first time this April. It's about an 18 hour drive for us as well. We are leaving a day earlier and spending the night halfway into the trip.. we'll actually arrive about 2 hours earlier than we would have with the flight we choose! It will save us $800 to drive.. and includes gas, food and hotel! It'll be an adventure I'm sure but I'm looking forward to it.
  21. kirs10a

    kirs10a Mouseketeer

    Dec 28, 2009
    Have you checked flights out of Bloomington? I've been pricing flights from 5/29--6/3 and they're running $170/person. HTH!

    Bloomington also has free parking...a plus!

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