To fly or drive to Walt Disney World?

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This post is written by Kimberly Hill, co-owner of Mouse Tales Travel, and Myrtle Beach mom. 

We live in that difficult place – too close to Walt Disney World to make flying the only choice and yet too far to make it a quick, easy driving trip. “Should I drive or fly?” is one of the most common questions I get from Myrtle Beach families and the answer is not the same for everyone.

Why drive?

  • You can bring as much stuff as you can cram into your vehicle.
  • Usually cheaper than flying, sometimes considerably cheaper.
  • You can use Disney transportation or not. Or both.

Why fly?

  • Time saver. Most of the time.
  • Getting on a plane is easier than driving.
  • It’s more relaxing to fly than to drive the 9+ hours.

You should also take into consideration how your kids handle long car rides. Give MiaMouse, our 9-year-old daughter, a book, her iPad, and a constant supply of cold drinks and she’s good for the trip, no problem. However a family with preschoolers and toddlers might think twice about the same trip because the kids aren’t happy for that long, plus their trip will take longer with more stops. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Think about your packing style as well. I’m an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of girl and packing for a flight to Disney makes me break out in hives. We also bring bottled water, snack and breakfast foods, things to keep MiaMouse entertained while we work (yes, working vacations always!), everything we need to work while on vacation x2, etc. so we pack our car to the gills. If you prefer the I’ll-just-take-a-carryon-thanks style of packing, I can provide you with a lean, mean packing list and you won’t have any problems with airplane baggage limits!

Finally, you’ll want to look at your touring schedule. Goofy’s Beach Club Breakfast is one of my favorite morning character meals but since it’s located in Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, transportation is tough unless you’re staying within walking distance at one of the other BoardWalk area resorts. Now, if you’re going to the Best Friends Breakfast with Lilo & Stitch (and Mickey & Pluto) at ‘Ohana in the Polynesian Resort you have more options – breakfast bus to Magic Kingdom, monorail or ferry to the Polynesian.

Editor’s note:  There, currently, are no direct flights from Myrtle Beach to Orlando International Airport.  I’ve found that the time it takes to get to the airport early, check-in, board, fly, layover, board, fly, de-plane, get baggage, and get to your resort usually results in a trip that’s about 20 minutes shorter than if you would have driven and three times the expense.

There is one direct flight from Wilmington to Orlando’s Sanford International Airport, but again, the time it takes to get up there, and then the extra time it to travel from Sanford to Walt Disney World just never seemed worth it.  Plus, Disney’s Magical Express doesn’t transport to and from Sanford, so you’ll either need to rent a car or arrange private transportation.  I’ve considered it several times and it just never seemed worth it.  ~melissa

Want to read more? Check out the latest on the Myrtle Beach for Families blog.

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