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Would You Drive or Fly?

disneyfreak0710

Active Member
I am wondering which would be better - driving or flying?

We live in Canada, so it's a good 26-28 hr drive. We've done it before - was great on the way there, less so on the way home because we were tired.

Our youngest has ASD and is anxious about flying, but would fly if she had to. However she also has health issues, and requires some medical supplies to travel with her that mean we need to involve TSA, extra luggage to deal with and she also needs a medical procedure done daily that takes 60-90 minutes, and it really needs to be done as close to the same time each day as possible.

If we drive, we won't have airport security hassle, extra baggage, and no worries of delays etc...leaving us stuck in the air, on the tarmac, in an airport etc... and messing up with her medical needs.

However if we fly, if all goes well, we'd be there in 3.5 hours instead of 3 days.

Which would you do?
 

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
We drive always but we are only 6 hrs away. I can sympathize with your daughter --I hate to fly and when I have to the doc gives me happy pills which makes it less stressful for me. What are you driving would make a big difference. Driving you can pack what you need and not have to worry. The last time I flew we got to Charlotte NC and there was a computer glitch and all flights were cancelled so we were stuck trying to get to Charleston just 45 minutes away. Th next day we were lucky to get a flight out I was not a happy camper. Driving maybe long but it has it's advantages ---you are in control
 
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StarshipDisney

Well-Known Member
I would have to agree that it may depend upon your situation. We live in SC and I know very well that it is 7 hours from my driveway to Disney (includes lunch and rest stops), so I would not even consider flying. I love the drive down I-95 towards Orlando.

26-28 hours may indeed make me think twice about driving though. But if you have the time and patience, then I also agree that flying is such a hassle nowadays and I find having a car invaluable. I would vote to drive but this really is one that can be argued one way or the other. Best wishes for your trip.
 
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Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
There are a lot of factors that weigh into this decision. I did a similar dive of the length you are talking about a little more than 8 months ago and this is what made us pick driving over flying.

We live in North Florida and had to go to Ohio for a wedding followed by a trip to Niagra Falls and then back to North Florida. The drive up to Toledo was 14 hours +/-. Toledo to Niagra was about 5 hours and the drive home was 16 hours +/-.

The party makeup was me, my wife, my daughter, her husband, and their 1-year-old son. The original plan for the three-leg journey was Fly to Toledo, drive to Niagra and then fly home. We had a direct non-stop flight booked for both flights months in advance. We were planning on spending the $35 per person for an extra bag as packing suits, dresses, etc was just not practical using approved carry-on sized luggage.

About 3 weeks prior to the trip the airlines canceled our flight. There was not a non-stop option that would take us from anywhere remotely near home to anywhere within a 3-hour drive of Toledo. The best option was a 2 stop flight with layovers that had out travel time at nearly 14 hours. The same was true for our trip back. That alone pretty much removed flying as an option as there was no way that I was doing a total of 6 flights round trip in economy with a lap sitting 1 year old, let alone all of the other hassles of flying.

In the end, the cost of flying vs driving was about a wash to slightly less expensive to drive. We were already planning on renting an SUV for the trip so that was not an added expense. We were also able to pack much more than we ever could have gotten on a plane. When my grandson got fussy we could find a rest stop and let him burn off some energy. We got to see parts of the country we have only flown over and got to hit a few local restaurants we would have never gone to otherwise. We also did not have to deal with any of the typical hassles associated with flying.

The biggest con was the time. We spent an extra couple of days driving vs flying that would have been spent in Niagra and Canada. However, since this trip occurred at the height of COVID, Canada was an option that was no longer possible.

To sum up, if you have the time, driving affords so many more options and fewer hassles than flying. If time is an issue, you kind of just have to suck it up and fly, providing you can actually get a decent flight to and from your destination.
 
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disneyfreak0710

Active Member
Original Poster
26-28 hours may indeed make me think twice about driving though. But if you have the time and patience, then I also agree that flying is such a hassle nowadays and I find having a car invaluable. I would vote to drive but this really is one that can be argued one way or the other. Best wishes for your trip.

In the end, the cost of flying vs driving was about a wash to slightly less expensive to drive. We were already planning on renting an SUV for the trip so that was not an added expense. We were also able to pack much more than we ever could have gotten on a plane. When my grandson got fussy we could find a rest stop and let him burn off some energy. We got to see parts of the country we have only flown over and got to hit a few local restaurants we would have never gone to otherwise. We also did not have to deal with any of the typical hassles associated with flying.

The biggest con was the time. We spent an extra couple of days driving vs flying that would have been spent in Niagra and Canada. However, since this trip occurred at the height of COVID, Canada was an option that was no longer possible.

To sum up, if you have the time, driving affords so many more options and fewer hassles than flying. If time is an issue, you kind of just have to suck it up and fly, providing you can actually get a decent flight to and from your destination.
So having a car would definitely be a necessity for us, as we are a) doing a split stay (one week off site and 3 days on site) as well as planning some non-Disney activities on our trip (Kennedy Space and a day trip to the Gulf Coast beaches). Driving is actually pricing out to be quite a bit cheaper for us, by the time we drive from our home to the airport (4-5 hours), stay the night before our flight and do a park n fly deal there, and then have to rent a vehicle for 10 days in Florida.

And thankfully time we have lots of as I'm a SAHM and DH is a college instructor who will be on summer break.

I mean, I personally love flying and I love getting there faster, but as you guys have pointed out, there are just so many hassles that can arise. My husband feels like we'll just have more control if we drive, that way. The last time we did it we would stop at the big rest centers, have a picnic lunch (we had a portable electric cooler), kick the soccer ball around or toss the football to get some exercise etc... and then hit the road again. We took 3 days, 2 nights getting there. Left at 5 am, stopped in Harrisburg, PA night 1, then Walterboro, SC, then pulled into our rental home around 2:30 pm the next day. Both nights traveling we planned it so we arrived around supper time so we ate supper, enjoyed the pool, relaxed etc... DH did say we may try and do it in 2 days, 1 night this time now that the kids are older.
 
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Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
So having a car would definitely be a necessity for us, as we are a) doing a split stay (one week off site and 3 days on site) as well as planning some non-Disney activities on our trip (Kennedy Space and a day trip to the Gulf Coast beaches). Driving is actually pricing out to be quite a bit cheaper for us, by the time we drive from our home to the airport (4-5 hours), stay the night before our flight and do a park n fly deal there, and then have to rent a vehicle for 10 days in Florida.

And thankfully time we have lots of as I'm a SAHM and DH is a college instructor who will be on summer break.

I mean, I personally love flying and I love getting there faster, but as you guys have pointed out, there are just so many hassles that can arise. My husband feels like we'll just have more control if we drive, that way. The last time we did it we would stop at the big rest centers, have a picnic lunch (we had a portable electric cooler), kick the soccer ball around or toss the football to get some exercise etc... and then hit the road again. We took 3 days, 2 nights getting there. Left at 5 am, stopped in Harrisburg, PA night 1, then Walterboro, SC, then pulled into our rental home around 2:30 pm the next day. Both nights traveling we planned it so we arrived around supper time so we ate supper, enjoyed the pool, relaxed etc... DH did say we may try and do it in 2 days, 1 night this time now that the kids are older.
I did the drive from Niagara to Jacksonville in 1 day. The total time including stops was around 18 hours and that is about my limit. I was really happy that the rental SUV had lane departure warnings for the last 2 hours and keeping the eyes open was getting really hard.

I would recommend getting a rental vs using your own car for a trip of that length.

If you suffer a breakdown in your own vehicle, you are going to lose a day or more if it happens outside of the M-F 8-5 window. With a rental from a national company, you will typically be back on the road inside of 8 hours no matter where or when it happens. In addition, getting a car fixed out of town never ends well. I got stuck paying $800 to replace a $150 alternator more than 10 years ago and it still sticks in my craw.
 
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mrsgrumpy

Member
we live in New Jersey and typically drive for our summer disney trips but fly for the trips we take during the school year to avoid wasting days. We drive around 8/9 hours one day and the same the next day with one stop in between. We considered flying for our upcoming trip this summer but decided to drive. We make it work with 2 kids (12 and 7). We play alot of car games and go thru tons of snacks. I honestly don't mind driving and I like having a car to run to Walmart for an last minute things I've forgotten or snacks and drinks for the room. I find I miss that when we fly down during the winter.
 
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