On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World

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On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World
It’s how I Roll…

If you would have ask me a few years ago if I would drive to Disney from Western PA I would have given you a big old NO…but times change and airfare kept climbing!

With that we had a trip scheduled in September 2010 and I had looked at airfare endlessly becoming more and more frustrated and I got that little voice in my head, you know the “what if” voice…what if we drive? Well I put off the idea for a while, but the neighbor that was traveling with us said “did you ever think about driving, I really hate to fly” well that’s where it began I became relentless in finding out about driving from Pittsburgh PA to Florida! How long would it take, how much would gas cost, what was the best route, should we stay half way, where was halfway and of course was it cheaper than flying!

It looked like anywhere from 16 to 20 hours depending on who you asked or what website you went on~

I found a great site to calculate gas prices on AAA as well as a great site to find the cheapest gas prices on the route!

Speaking of that what was the best route? I asked on many web-sites the route most take and we went from there. Plus I mapped it out seen what was half way, but we chose to keep on going!

Well the biggest answer to all of those was yes it was cheaper than flying!

Here is a quick breakdown of that:

  • We rented a Van $450
  • Gas down & back -$320
  • Rented a Room on the way down $60

That was a total of $830 and for when we were going for 6 people I couldn’t get airfare cheaper than $1200 and that was with layovers, switching planes and leaving early in the morning on departure day, we like to stay as long as we can on our last day in Disney!

We took snacks & drinks with us and ordered a pizza when we stopped for the night. On the way back we drove straight through. With the pizza and stopping for breakfast on the way back we spent about another $60 or so bucks.

If renting a van wasn’t necessary we could have saved a lot more, but with six of us it was a must. We also looked at it as not putting the wear and tear on our car, but if you do drive your own vehicle look into getting AAA or some other type of roadside service.

We actually made it to Florida before stopping to stay over and found a coupon book at roadside rest just before the Florida state line and found a great hotel deal in there for 6 people for $60 just minutes from Disney! So check out those rest stop booklets many offer hotel, restaurant , shopping and fun things to do deals! We also seen many BOGO deals plus ads for places to visit or see!

We loved entering each state, just knowing you were somewhere other than home was exciting! The kids had their DS and Games plus we have portable DVD player so they even watched a movie or two.

Just as planning our Disney Vacation, I planned our drive down and back and looked for deals where I could get them, with gas (gasbuddy.com) our hotel (Roadside rest coupon booklets) and even a pizza coupon we got at the hotel (all those coupon & books beside the check in desk) I was on the look out for deals to cut cost. Plus I checked out Chip & Co for tips and hints about Driving to Disney 😉

Some may say “but Dana you only saved $300 by not flying” while that maybe true we could take and bring back as much luggage as we wanted, could leave when we wanted, seen thing we wouldn’t have if we flew plus believe it or not we really liked driving~

We will be driving back to WDW in just a few days and all my plans are in motion for another great road trip!

Dana is a Disney Planner at Heart, she and her peeps will hitting the road to Disney from Pittsburgh PA with her Terrible Towel in Hand! Go Steelers!!

  • Disney World Quick Tips – Planning your Disney World Budget (chipandco.com)
  • Driving to Disney World (theaffordablemouse.com)
On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World

On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World

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On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World
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19 thoughts on “On the Road Again! Driving vs Flying to Disney World

  1. We drove to Fla on our honeymoon for a non disney cruise (prekids) and my husband vowed NEVER to drive that far again. Some kids fare well on a long ride like that. My children do not!

  2. Yeah, we are driving from Cleveland Ohio area in a few weeks for the first time. It is just way more economical. Especially, if you also consider the checked bag fees most airlines charge per piece of checked luggage for the way down and then the fee for the way back! It makes so much more sense.

  3. I have done both. I currently live 26 hours away so driving with a 9 month old is out of the question. And it would end up costing me just as much as the Southwest flights I found for October. Driving is nice because you can stop and do other things. I visited an aquarium and two zoos on our honeymoon trip at Christmas one year. You also have your car down at Disney to get groceries, visit or eat off property, or go shopping (Orlando has great outlet malls). Flying can be much quicker especially if you live in the western half of the country.

  4. Dana, we live in Pittsburgh, too and drive to Disney every year. We started doing this as soon as our daughter was old enough that we had to pay for 3. We once made the trip in 14 hours with just my husband driving! Another plus no one mentioned is having your own vehicle at the World. It sure does come in handy for many reasons! Last year, we drove to Virginia and took the auto train down. We will be taking the auto train home this November. It’s nice for Daddy to get to sit with the kids and watch movies, or look at the world go by.

  5. Great tip about the roadside booklets for coupons!
    We used to be flyers, but with a large family and increasing costs, we’ve learned to enjoy driving to Disney, too!

  6. My wife and I are leaving for our 4th trip in less than 2 weeks, and we’re driving again. It’s just too expensive for us to fly. We’re fairly close (about an 11 hour drive), so it’s not too bad. We take turns driving while the other sleeps.

  7. I’ll bet they are through the roof, even this trip I looked and couldnt find any flights that would make it cheaper to fly! I remember when i could go Southwest for $49 bucks one way but sadly those days are long gone.

  8. I’ll bet they are through the roof, even this trip I looked and couldnt find any flights that would make it cheaper to fly! I remember when i could go Southwest for $49 bucks one way but sadly those days are long gone.

  9. I’ll bet they are through the roof, even this trip I looked and couldnt find any flights that would make it cheaper to fly! I remember when i could go Southwest for $49 bucks one way but sadly those days are long gone.

  10. yep thats was one of our big thing….all the stuff that coming with flying! I do understand why most of its done, but changing planes with kids and a mom in a wheelchair is a pain! I think we will be driving for awhile!

  11. yep thats was one of our big thing….all the stuff that coming with flying! I do understand why most of its done, but changing planes with kids and a mom in a wheelchair is a pain! I think we will be driving for awhile!

  12. yep thats was one of our big thing….all the stuff that coming with flying! I do understand why most of its done, but changing planes with kids and a mom in a wheelchair is a pain! I think we will be driving for awhile!

  13. On Saturday we leave for our third trip to Disney with the kids,and this will be the second time we are driving. It’s about 16 hours for us and we drive until we are near or sometimes even in Orlando. We get a budget hotel that night and then plan to check into our resort and be in the parks the first morning of our reservation. It’s not something i particularly look forward to – but it works for us. Even with the cost of gas and hotel, we come out way ahead when flights are so expensive. And last year, when we did fly, we felt nearly as tired. We had to change planes, nearly missed one,struggled with packing light, and had our park days shortened due to the Magical Express schedule (which is a great, free service – but does take a lot of time!).

  14. Growing up, we always drove to Disney. Coming from a family of 6, i knew things were crazy. But now that I have my own children, our family of 5 flying would break the bank! We camp at Fort Wilderness whenever we go so we bring our trailer. It is nice to have something that the kids are familiar with. It is also nice to have the refrigerator in the camper, so when you do stop for gas, you can also make a sandwich, thus saving lots of money on meals alone, and cut down on the time it takes to get there. I have flown to Disney twice, and I never liked the time restrictions (you have to be at the airport at “x” time and you can only pack so much). I think I’ll stick to driving (unless someone else is willing to foot the bill!). Not only do we have room in our vehicle, we have room in the trailer (unless husband says something) for all the wonderful things we bring back!

  15. We’ve driven from Northern Michigan to FL both times we’ve gone to Disney. We really can’t fly with 4 cheaper than driving, including hotels and meals there and back. It does take 2 – 2 1/2 days of driving one way, but is totally worth the money to us! (You can just imagine how expensive the flights are on Thanksgiving weekend when we’re headed down there!! No can do!)

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