A few weeks ago I talked about flying or driving and the pros and cons of each. Well, we just returned from a trip to Walt Disney World and we changed things up on this trip and flew. My conclusion is that flying is much better! Here is how we went about it.
This trip was supposed to consist of 7 people; 4 adults and 3 children from age 3 to 12. The plan was to drive during the night, letting the kids sleep and the adults switching drivers every 2 or so hours. We could be in Walt Disney World early morning and no one would miss that much sleep. Well, strike 1 was when 2 adults and 1 child, age 3 couldn’t go. That meant only 2 drivers during the night – not good! So plan B – we would drive during the day, the day before and stop about 2 hours from Walt Disney World and we would still be able to start our vacation on time.
That is when we started looking at airline pricing. While I do not mind driving at all – it is only 7-1/2 – 8 hours from here, we realized that taking 2 grandchildren that weren’t used to being in a car longer than 30 minutes at a time, could drastically increase the time “on-the-road”. That was strike 2, but before ruling it out, I had to find affordable airfare and price out each option.
Option 1 was to drive and take roughly 9-10 hours allowing for breaks, pay for hotel 2 hours away and we could take coffee pot, snacks, etc. BUT what kind of mood would we be in to handle 2 grandchildren when we got the most Magical Place on Earth for a once in a lifetime trip for them?
Option 2 was to drive 2 hours south of here, catch an affordable flight, and extend our stay in Walt Disney World another night. We could catch a bus to Disney Springs that first afternoon and enjoy a meal and get a good night’s sleep before starting in the parks the next day.
This almost seemed like a no-brainer! We sprung for the airfare, surprised the kids (and their parents) and the next morning off we went to fly to Walt Disney World! Our biggest surprise was not being able to pick our assigned seats, so I had to contact the airline direct to make changes for the 4 year old to sit close to us. They were very accommodating on the trip down, but on the way back it took a little longer.
I won’t say this was without trade-offs. We ended up purchasing refillable mugs for the oldest and us, so we could get coffee in the mornings. I was able to put Pop tarts and snacks in my carry-on bag, so that helped with breakfast in the mornings. The biggest added expense was checking 3 bags – adding $75 each way to our bottom line. Not a deal breaker in our book, because we were refreshed the next day instead of exhausted from driving. Next time, I will read ALL the fine print though!
What we did learn – pack MUCH lighter, don’t worry about snacks and getting a mug for coffee and drinks isn’t the end of the world although it does make a nice souvenir! Next time we will fly, taking care to make sure we can pick our seats. Taking Magical Express was wonderful, as it took a huge relief off of us trying to collect luggage.
How do you get to the Most Magical Place on Earth – Fly or Drive?
Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.