For all you budget minded folks...which would you do?


Earning My Ears
Mar 15, 2000
We can drive (about 14 hrs), do a few "extras" such as Cirque, Blizzard Beach, maybe DisneyQuest. This will also include 1 nights lodging on the way or....we can fly, forget the "extras" and be well rested upon arrival.
We also considered driving, but found much cheaper fares out of Birmingham or Nashville via SouthWest (we live in Huntsville so both are about 100~ miles 1 1/2 hours away) and flew pretty cheap 130.00 round trip


Driving two days each way (4 more vacation days my husband would have had to use) plus the 2 nights in hotel (1 each way)plus the extra food and being in the car with the kids for almost 30 total hours!

PLUS SouthWest was doing the double extra Rapid Rewards so we earned a "free" ticket for our next trip :D

Hope this helps you decide which way to go!


Wilderness Lodge Dec.'00
All-Star Movies Oct. '01
Wilderness Lodge Dec. '01

Addicted to Disney After Just One Trip

If you want to save money, then I would drive.

(1) If you fly you will need to pay for airfare, a rental car or a shuttle. If you drive you just need to pay for gas (and wear and tear on your car).

(2) Since you live 14 hours away, most of your day will be shot by flying anyway. You *might* get into Orlando in the mid-afternoon, but then you have to either rent a car or grab a shuttle. You won't get to your resort until late afternoon or early evening. If you need to change planes that will add even more time to your flight.

(3) Cheap flights usually require you to leave Orlando early. The later flights fill up fast so you are likely to be leaving Orlando at the same time whether you drive or not.

(4) You'll have your own car which is easier to find in the parking lots ;).

This assumes that you can completely burn that whole first day in travel. If you are in Orlando for less than a week and are buying a UMP, then you will probably want to fly so you can do something that first night. Personally, we never go into the parks our first night even though we have annual passes.

-- Robin

We are driving from Md. but...that is ONLY because my mother in law won't fly. I am taking a total of 5 kids (3 of my own) and I personally would much rather skip the few extras and fly! But that's just me!
We are going to Disney in May with three children ages 5, 7, & 9. It's tough trying to decide whether to fly or drive. Really only you can decide. There will be just as many say to drive as to fly. We are going to drive, but we also have a few extras that are helping us; we have a TV/VCR in our vehicle, and we have three drivers to take turns. We are also leaving a day before our reservations start in Disney and leaving at around 1:00 am so the kids will sleep most of the way. We'll check into the Holiday Inn close to the park, enjoy the rest of the afternoon and be ready to do Disney bright and early the next morning! I say do what makes most sense for you! ;)
If you drive and have a few $$$ for extras, you can't go wrong with (1) Blizzard Beach; (2) Cirque du Soleil - which I'd have as #1, but feel the kids would rank as #2.

OR try one of the other parks - IOA, for example, absolutely thrilled the kids!

We drive from eastern Canada - more than 2000 miles - and can guarantee that at least from our hometown, it is far cheaper to do this and spend the extra $$ on motels on the road, than to fly. The cheapest rate we could obtain in December would have seen us paying almost $2,000 for airfare for our family. That pays for a lot of gas, motel rooms and food.... (And we are fortunate to have enough holidays to do this and a willing DH driver!).

We are driving down in may from upstate new york 24 hr drive. first time we haven't taken a plane. but with all the airlines going on strike i dont think we can go wrong. plus all the money we will save to spend on disney i think it will be worth it. we also have a tv-vcr in the van we bought from sams for $399 the money we saved on flights paid for it (have fun)
drive to disneyworld at least once with the makes for great memories......spend the extra money and time to see stuff on the road you may not see at home.
we are driving this summer twice for the first time. our kids have never seen the smokey mountains. we want them to see the country not just fly over it all the time. it can give kids another perspective on things. they love tallying up how many states they have been in...they should be able to add a few to their list this summer.......almost as fun as collecting autographs at disney........well almost :)

as sports 9/99
hrh 6/01
as movies 9/01
for the great responses. Getting "input" from others is great. I'll have to check into one of those tv/vcr combo's to entertain my 9 yr old.
We are going to drive from Chicago in November with 3 kids, (2 mos. 5 and 3). We got a 2 rooms at the Homestead Village in Smyrna, GA for the drive down for $1/nt. each plus AmEx bonus thru Priceline. We have a similar stay on the way back near the Nashville airport and we had to spend a whopping $5/nt. for each of those two rooms thru Priceline.

I tried to justify the cost of airline tix, but adding in the cost of the rental car just made things way too much. We decided to get a TV/VCR combo (which will be our only added expense) and figure that we can get there and back for about $350 including lodging and snacks/food along the way.
Another benefit to driving is you will be able to take extra supplies along with you that you wouldn't be able to take if flying. Bottled water bought on sale from home, juices for the kids, and lots of different kinds of snack foods, maybe a couple cases of soda, laundry detergent if you plan on washing any clothing while your away. Just little things that you wouldn't take along if flying. These too have to be included in savings if you would have to buy them en route.
What kind of condition is your car or van in? We have an old 1992 conversion van it is great to take trips in but last year we had a break down experince that made me think twice about driving for a while. We broke down in the mountains of west virginia on the way to Williamsburg VA. The fuel pump went out. I coasted to an exit ramp (which were far and few inbetween) out in the middle of nowere. luckley a school bus came by (school was still in in this area) took us to a small gas station. Called a tow truck. Then a very nice police man came by asking questions. He then took me and my 2 kids ages 2 and 9 to a Best Western motel a few exits away and my husband went with the tow truck. They towed to van to a nearby auto parts store. and my DH worked on the van out in the parking lot barely getting finished before closing time. We were back on the road the next morning thanks to all the nice people we meet. But It could have turned out alot differently. I really believe god heard my prayers that day for everything to work out so good. I believe those were argels helping us that day. I will never travel again without a cell phone.
Fortunately, our van is almost new (2000) and in great mechanical shape, although we've made the trip before on a wing and a prayer. We used to set aside a small cache of money in the event of car troubles and, if we had none, we'd buy something when we got back. Our 25" TV comes to mind and now that I think back it's over 11 years old and probably due to die soon (knock on wood!).


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