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OleWarSkuleAlum
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2013
6356 posts

Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
I’m planning on taking the family (wife and 4x kids) in the date range of 28 MAR - 05 APR 2020. We live in Huntsville, AL and the drive is 9.5hrs. The alternative would be to drive to Nashville (1.75hrs) and fly into MCO. Would you rather fly in or drive?

We are planning on staying in POFQ or riverside. So there’s not any need for transportation once on site. Anyone have any experience with the magical express?

For reference we will have children ranging from 7-2 at that time. Additionally, the assumption is I have enough points to cover the costs minus the “security fee.”
This post was edited on 6/9 at 8:14 am


Shaun176
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2008
1250 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
Drive.

Total travel time will be pretty close since you are so far from the airport and you will have a car in Orlando.


OleWarSkuleAlum
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2013
6356 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
quote:

you will have a car in Orlando.


I’ve been to Disney dozens of times there’s no need for a vehicle once on campus for us. So that doesn’t really factor in.

The flight is 1.75hrs nonstop so total trip time in that case would be 3.5hrs minus the waiting in the airport. It’s still a significant time savings vs the 9.5hrs driving.


Rossberg02
Member since Jun 2016
1870 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
Wake up at midnight and drive. You’ll be there before lunch and will have time for a nap to go around a park for the evening.

This is how I’ve done it and it’s very painless. Kids are asleep. Wife sleeps. Just me, cold brew, and podcasts.


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34
Johnpettigrew
Member since Sep 2017
482 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
The drive to is always easy. THe drive home always sucks. Fly! You can still catch an early flight and be there before lunch.


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41
Shaun176
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2008
1250 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
1.75 hour drive; park n fly transfer .25 hours; airport luggage check, TSA, boarding, 1.5 hours; flight time, 1.75 hours; magical Express to resort 1.5 hours. 6.25 total vs 9 hours.

On the way back Magical Express makes you leave 3 hours before flight which makes return trip 8 hours.



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80
The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
24070 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
Flying with 4 kids that young sounds miserable, but I generally hate the flying experience to begin with. We drove from Bham both times we went and it wasn't that bad. We left super early and the wife and kids slept most of the way. Both times we stopped and stayed at a Hampton Inn in Clermont, FL. It's about a 45 minute drive to WDW from there and gave us a whole first day in the parks.

The drive home does suck though, especially those last few hours.


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10
Lsupimp
Colorado Fan
The Mean Streets of Baton Rudge
Member since Nov 2003
58667 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
I always drive from Baton Rouge to Vero to see my Mom. Easiest drive ever. Just leave at 4am. You get to Disney by 3 or so. Check in. Hang out at the pool. Go to the parks the next day.

Honestly, the kids have great memories of all our drives to Disney. Random stops, meals, laughs etc. Just make it an adventure.


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20
Globetrotter747
Member since Sep 2017
576 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
I say load up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and drive it.


OleWarSkuleAlum
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2013
6356 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
quote:

I say load up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and drive it.


Lol or the Honda Ody


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10
TD SponsorTD Fan
USA
Member since 2001
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tigerfan84
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Dec 2003
11422 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
drive


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TD422
LSU Fan
Destrehan, LA
Member since Jun 2019
5 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
Not that it’s a deal breaker either way, but don’t forget that Disney now charges their resort guests a parking fee...I’d still drive given that it can be done in one day, though. You just never know what kind of hassles lurk at the airport.


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
9314 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
I'd consider the times of your flights.

Tough call though. I much prefer driving especially with little kids. More things are in your control. You can pack the car the night before, leave at 4am, and be there by 2. But let's be honest if its a 9.5 hour drive with 4 kids it will be 10.5.



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ELVIS U
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2007
5603 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
We come in from the NOLA area, which is about the same distance, so we face the same question annually (since 1993). 95% of the time we drive.


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go_tigres
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2013
2298 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
We went in February and drove. Had a massive accident near the Florida/Alabama line then another just outside of Mobile. I swore I’d never drive again. My hesitation for driving the last 2 times I’ve been is how my youngest two would do on a plane. When my oldest was young he’d get headaches from the pressure.


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Clark W Griswold
LSU Fan
THE USA
Member since Sep 2012
7679 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
I’ve done both and my drive was about 10 hours. We broke it up and did a day at the beach on the way there and a stop and grandmas on the way back. All of my kids were under 6 at that time. We also flew with all kids under 5. We stayed offsite and needed the rental car which ended up being a big SUV so it was good for us. I prefer flying and usually cover it with points as well. The hardest part was physically bringing our luggage in and out of the airport with 5 people. My oldest pushed the youngest in the umbrella stroller. My wife walked with my other one while I pushed a cart through the lines at the airport. MCO can be a nightmare on weekends with lines out the door.

But for us it was a 2 hour flight which negated all that time in the car and made the trip easier to plan. We always do a pool day in the middle of the week to take a break from walking and flying gives you more time to allow that. So if you can afford it and your kids aren’t total a-holes on a plane, do it. We are planning a trip for around the same time and plan on flying with 6 of us.


OleWarSkuleAlum
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2013
6356 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
quote:

The hardest part was physically bringing our luggage in and out of the airport with 5 people. My oldest pushed the youngest in the umbrella stroller. My wife walked with my other one while I pushed a cart through the lines at the airport. MCO can be a nightmare on weekends with lines out the door.


I’m under the impression if you’re staying on property Disney handles the luggage and delivers to your room...is that not correct?


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UpToPar
USA Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2008
17881 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
quote:

The flight is 1.75hrs nonstop so total trip time in that case would be 3.5hrs minus the waiting in the airport. It’s still a significant time savings vs the 9.5hrs driving.



It's not like you're going to leave your house 1.75 hours prior to your flight and just walk on the plane. You'll want to plan on getting to the Nashville airport at least 2 hours before your flight to account for any traffic you hit on the way there and getting through security with 4 kids. Now you're at 2 hours + 1.75 hour drive + 1.75 hour flight + another 0.75 hours deplaning and waiting for luggage at MCO + 0.5 hours traveling to hotel = about 6.75 hours of travel time. You're still saving some time, but not nearly as much as you would expect.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
9314 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
quote:

It's not like you're going to leave your house 1.75 hours prior to your flight and just walk on the plane


Yep and with little kids flying is a lot more work imo. Driving you bring the snacks and drinks that make them happy, a dvd or whatever to keep them busy, and with apps like Waze you can generally avoid major traffic by avoiding peak times in the bigger cities on your way. Flying is also a lot more money.

Bigger kids that can carry their own luggage and walk through the airport and be somewhat useful, not too bad. But when you are pushing one on a stroller, carrying 4 peoples luggage, and got your third kid whining about the gate being too far away it’s just not worth the hassle unless the time savings is considerate.

The other thing I always highly consider is the flight times. If your flight leaves at noon and you could get there by car at the same time it’s not worth it to me. If your flight time is at like 8:30am and you can miss Nashville traffic and get to Orlando considerably earlier then if you drove, much more worth it.
This post was edited on 6/11 at 2:41 pm


tigerstakevictory
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2013
43 posts

re: Walt Disney World Options Driving vs Flying
Done both (live in Decatur by the way)
My wife and I both agree flying was way better.
2 kids - 9 and 6 years old last time we went.


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