I’ve often heard it said that it’s not the destination that matters but the journey. I don’t think the person who came up with that has ever been to Disney. I often work with families who are trying to decide whether they should fly or drive to Disney. So, I thought I would share my perspective on the pros of both options. Obviously, some people will have to fly (shout out to my Alaskan and Canadian friends). But, many of you will have the option so here is my quick rundown of both options. I love both options for different reasons. So, here they are in no particular order.
Benefits of Flying
- 3 words. The. Disney. Bubble. Walt Disney world is a big huge bubble of magic and amazing customer service. If you are staying at a Disney Resort and you fly into Orlando International Airport, you walk off the plane and into Disney magic. You do not have to go to baggage claim and wrestle your luggage onto a bus or wait for a taxi. You walk to the Disney’s Magical Express queue and already you can feel the magic. Disney’s Magical Express bus takes you to your resort where you check in and your bags magically appear in your room (within about 3 hours). You really don’t have to deal with the outside world and your vacation can begin and end with Disney-no need to be exposed to the world outside the bubble.
- No car? No problem. Save your rental car money for great food and unique souvenirs. Disney has transportation taken care of. You can travel all around “the world” by bus, boat, or monorail. No worrying about where you parked your car, no parking lot trams, no parking fees.
Departure day is also seamless. Disney’s Magical Express will leave your instructions for you in your room or on your room door. You can check your bags at your resort and get your boarding pass. Step on Disney’s Magical Express; take a ride to the airport. Upon arrival at the airport, you walk into the airport and straight to security. Again, no bags to wrestle, no checking in to do. Please note that Disney’s Magical Express will pick you up at your resort about 3 hours prior to your airline departure time.
Benefits of Driving
- Packing is a lot less stressful when you aren’t worried about the TSA regulations. Pack your own pillow! Bring a few extra pairs of shoes. Bring a full size bottle of shampoo! Pack some snacks/drinks/breakfast foods. The possibilities are as big as the space you have in your vehicle.
- Resort hopping. We like to eat at one of the deluxe resorts on our first night. Driving to a different resort from your resort can be a lot quicker with a vehicle. Disney’s bus service does not offer resort to resort service. Last month we stayed at Old Key West but had dinner the first night at Ohana at the Polynesian. Instead of taking a bus to Magic Kingdom and then the bus or monorail to Polynesian, we drove. At the gate to the resort we showed our picture ID and mentioned we had dinner reservations at Ohana. We were “welcomed home” and then able to park where we wanted which happen to be just across from the main entrance. We had a late dinner, enjoyed the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach, did some shopping, and headed back to our resort. It was very late and we didn’t have to worry about getting back to Magic Kingdom to take the bus back to our resort.
- Disney’s transportation. This is also a benefit of flying but is worth mentioning here. Just because you have your car with you does not mean you have to drive it everywhere. There may be times that it is convenient but for the most part, it can sit in the parking lot of your resort. If you drive to a park, you will most likely have to take a tram to the gate of the park anyway (because the parking lots are so big). Then when you leave you have to remember where you parked, walk or take a tram back to your car, and then the car is hot. Instead, take the Disney buses to the parks. They are air-conditioned, free!, and take you as close to the gate as they can get.
- SHOPPING. Disney has some very unique souvenirs, gifts, and mementos. When you fly you are really limited on what you can bring back. If you drive you definitely have more flexibility in what you can bring home.
- OUTLET shopping. Did you know Disney has 2 outlets in Orlando? These are not your typical Disney Store outlets. They are outlets for Park Merchandise. Just put Disney Character Warehouse in your GPS. Both are located at outlet malls. We like to stop there first and stock up on some GREAT gfts at amazing prices. Then we aren’t as tempted to buy as much on property (and can spend more time on the rides, at the shows, and eating!)
I am Aleshia Sokoloski, a Travel Agent with Travel with the Magic. I would LOVE to help you plan your trip to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, or Adventures by Disney.
Email me or Call me at 1-800-670-4312 ext. 139 or Find Me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn.