Monday, March 22, 2010

But Peter, how do we get to Disney World?

Wendy: But Peter, how do we get to neverland?
Peter: Fly, of course!
Wendy: Fly?
Peter: It's easy! You think of a wonderful thought!
The children: Any happy little thought?
...
Peter: All it takes is faith and trust... Oh, and something I forgot! Dust!

Another step in planning, after you have decided when you want to go is to decide how you will get there. I wish all it took was faith, trust and dust to get to Disney World!! There are two things to consider before deciding how to get to WDW: are you close enough to drive and how much do you want to spend or save?

We have done both. We've driven majority of the times and have flown a few times too. I'm a frugal person, so I will always opt to drive just to save that money. I'd rather use the extra money to stay a few more days in Walt Disney World than fly.

This may be an easy decision, depending on how far you live from the World. Being in North Alabama, it's not too far for my family to drive to Orlando to visit the mouse. It takes us 9 hours. We can break it down into 3 parts: home to Atlanta, GA= 3 hours; Atlanta to the Florida state line= 3 hours; the Florida state line to Walt Disney World= 3 hours. It was great with my oldest son the last time we drove. He knew we would break every 3 hours for gas, food or a stretch. He could plug up the DVD player and watch another movie in between stops. We also packed snacks, drinks, toys, games, coloring books, etc to keep him occupied. The drive was very easy for us and could easily be done in one day- even with enough time to visit the Boardwalk or Downtown Disney once we arrived!

For us it's easier to travel interstate the whole way. There isn't as much to look at on the way, but it's a straight shot without the stop and go traffic. Another plus... we miss I-10. I hate that stretch across the Florida Panhandle! We have been south on I-65 to Montgomery, AL, then south on Hwy 231 to I-10, and I-10 to I-75 south in Florida. But again, I hate the roads with stop and go traffic (231) and I-10 E. So we opt for the Atlanta route.

If you are too far or have more money than I do, flying is a lot easier and gets you there faster. We have flown into the Orlando International Airport twice and have enjoyed the Magical Express Transportation service provided by Disney. If you fly, you MUST take advantage of this service. It's amazing! I guess the reasons you wouldn't use this free service is: 1. you aren't staying on property, 2. you want to do things in Orlando other than Disney, or 3. you want to have a car to go to the grocery store or something like that.

Here are the details straight from the Disney World Web site:
1. Reserve Disney's Magical Express Transportation when you book online or by calling (407) WDW-MAGIC or (407) 939-6244. Guests under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian's permission to call.

2. Upon landing at Orlando International Airport, skip baggage claim and proceed to the Disney's Magical Express Welcome Center in the Main Terminal Building, B side, Level 1. Disney's Magical Express service will collect your luggage and deliver it directly to your Walt Disney World hotel room within 3 hours after you check in at the resort. Luggage delivery service provided by Disney's Magical Express is available for flights arriving between 5:00 am and 10:00 pm daily. For airport arrivals after 10:00 pm, Guests may collect their luggage at Baggage Claim and transport it with them on the motor coach.

3. International Guests flying into Orlando International Airport from another country must follow the U.S. Customs and Border Protection process and claim luggage after disembarking the plane. After completing the process, proceed to the Disney's Magical Express Welcome Center in the Main Terminal Building, B side, Level 1. Disney's Magical Express service will recollect your luggage and deliver it directly to your Walt Disney World hotel room within 4 hours after you check in at the resort. Luggage delivery service provided by Disney's Magical Express is available for flights arriving between 5:00 am and 10:00 pm daily. For airport arrivals after 10:00 pm, Guests may collect their luggage at Baggage Claim and transport it with them on the motor coach.

4. Sit back and relax as Disney transports you to your Disney Resort hotel in an air-conditioned motor coach.

5. As your vacation draws to a close, you'll receive a Transportation Notice advising you of the pick-up time and place for your motor coach ride back to Orlando International Airport. Please note that it is your responsibility to bring your luggage to the pick-up point.

The best parts of the Magical Express are that your luggage is taken care of and you get to watch a video on the bus ride to the resort showing you all you have to look forward to! My son LOVED watching this video and it made all of us even more excited about the week we were about to experience!

In May, we will definitely be flying from Alabama to California when we visit Disneyland... however, in December we will be driving to Disney World with the boys (in my new car might I add!). We'll see how driving 9 hours with a 23 month old will go...

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