Fly or Drive-need opinions


We have a small dilemma. We usually drive to WDW, from our home in NC. It takes us about 9 1/2 hours or so. Our kids do great in the van, we have a DVD player in it, which helps tons. But, we found cheap airfare, we could all fly SW, direct, for less than $700 for the 5 of us. If we flew, we would leave a day later than previously scheduled, but we would be landing at MCO at 8:30am. We would go straight to the parks that day to start our vacation. If we drive, we will drive a day earlier, check in, “clean” the room,(anal, I know:ph34r: ), and take off to DTD for dinner at EOS and some shopping. Go to bed early and be at Epcot early the next am.
So, short story long, do we start off our incredibly tiring, but fun vacation with a quick plane trip,then straight to the parks-with no chance to catch our breath, or do we drive down, take an afternoon and evening off, and start the parks the next day-well rested and ready to go?
Just a couple of quick variables-we will be traveling with 3 kids-ages 11,8 and 3.
If we drive, we have an extra day of free dining, which would allow us to do an extra table service during our stay(or schedule a 2 TS credit meal). We would leave on the earlier day-if they had a mid day flight, but to leave that day (a Sunday) we have to leave before 7am or at 8pm.
I know this is a lot of information-any suggestions?
Thanks, ya’ll!!:wub:


I would fly but that’s me.

We usually fly but decided to drive this year and I’m fine with that. We actually like to drive, it’s great family time and my DH and I can talk about things we don’t always have time to talk about. He’s been so busy this summer that I am looking forward to the time together in the car.


We would fly…anything over 6 hours is way too long for me.:happy:


Flying actually makes me more tired than driving. Not sure if its the scheduling, rushing and overall crowds, or maybe the dramamine I have to take to prevent motion sickness. But, if you have the time, I would recommend driving. I always appreciate the family time in the car, where they have no choice but to be a part of the conversation, stories, laughing, etc.


If you can afford to do it, fly…


All travel is tiring. I travel alot for work and that first day I’m usually exhausted by the time I arrive. I’m OK being in a car for that long (not from here - from where you are - way to long from MA), and I think I’d prefer to take a 10 hour drive and rest upon arrival than to rush from airport to park. Plus think of all the $$ you’d save. Just my 2c.


If I lived in NC I would definitely drive. By the time you pack the car, park at the airport, unpack the car, fly, land etc., you probably just spent 5 hours. You can definitely spend $700 elsewhere in Disney.


DRIVING is my vote…As a kid, every vacation was in the car and I have some of the most fondest memories…hectic and chaotic…but some of the best and now it is the same for my kids. We drive every vacation. When they get older, we may consider flying, but for now when the childhood memories count, we drive.
We drove from NW Ohio and my kids are 10, 7, 3…They were perfectly fine…Also you will have that extra time and not feel rushed the first day in the World since you will be down a day early and relax! Any extra time down there is worth it to me!


I also agree about driving down. We arrived at MCO early in the day on our last vacation and were wiped out by afternoon. I would rather have the first night to relax and get acclimated, especially for the kids. I’m sure the last thing you want to deal with are three very tired and gumpy kids.


Fly… would be my choice. We drove one year from OH. and it took forever & we felt very exhausted from the long drive. Since then we have flown early in the day… then straight to MK.


You are right at the point of will it save you that much time. Figure 1.5-2 hours to check in, 1.5 hour flight, then 1-2 hours to get bags and transportation. Suddenly, you’re really not saving a lot of time. Plus you don’t have to strip naked to go through security. (OK that’s a SLIGHT exageration.)

Personally, I’d fly. But I’m a pilot so I’d ALWAYS rather be in the air!!! :biggrin:


I love to fly, but hate traveling in a car for more than 3/4 hours, so you know my answer. We rarely go to a park our first day at WDW. We unpack, rest for a little while, then go to DTD. It’s always a fun day for us. Next day, we’re ready for a full day at the parks. What ever you decide to do, it’ll be fun. You’re going to Disney World!!!:mickey:


We drive, but would consider flying if I got an amazing deal. if we fly, we would either lose time in the park, or have to stay an extra night - so unless its a super deal, its not worth it $ wise to me.

I like driving too because I like having my own car when on vacation - and adding a rental just makes that $ saving less.


i would drive…we do from pensacola, fl. (7hrs. + rest stops).

its’ not bad, like you said in your OP.

so instead of rushing straight to the parks after flying down, i vote for taking a break after the drive down and hitting DTD and then Epcot the next day.


I would drive.

I love packing everything I think I might possibly want without having to worry about lugging it around the airport.

And also: Everything PhilliesFan said. :biggrin:


We’ve done both - we would rather fly anytime, but if the group is very large, it makes flying much more expensive of course. With the price of gasoline around $3 a gallon or more, driving costs much more now than back in the day.

We have a 15-hour drive to WDW from our home (near St. Louis), but we usually leave around 2 or 3 a.m. and get there early evening. It sounds awful, I know, but it’s really not that bad - at least on the way TO WDW. The trip back is a little more tedious, since the magic is behind us! LOL.

One time, eight of us in two cars left at 4 p.m. Christmas Day (in a snowstorm) and checked in at the Dolphin the next morning at 10 a.m. after stopping for breakfast at Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness.

We’re planning a similar trip in December this year, but have’t decided whether to fly. Most likely, we’ll drive…

Good Luck! Have fun!


That’s what we do, we leave about 3 am and get in in the early evening. It can be fun and the family time is great.


We’re about 12 hours from the World and have done both. It’s not bad if you have a comfortable ride and dvd for the kids. Of course flying is nice, but if you drive you have your own car there w/o having to pay for a rental.


[B]9 hours vs. the hassle of flying is nothing. geez, we drove straight through to WDW from central new jersey in 16 1/2 hours. the drive down was not bad, but the ride home was terrible. for some reason going home felt so much longer.

but as other posts have said, by the time you incorporate driving to the airport, paying the parking fee or limo fee, the waiting time, the flight time, lol the strip search, baggage claim, taxi to resort, etc etc… vs. a 9 hour drive?? i’d take the drive.[/B]


Don’t know where you’re flying from but if you:

leave home 2 1/2 hours before departure (get to A/P 1 1/2 hours early)
flight time of 1-2 hours (nonstop or layover?)
arrive, walk, collect bags and get to resort 2 hours later

you’ve got 5-7 hours if you fly!