Let’s face it — driving to Disney World can be expensive!
Gas prices are very high right now in the United States, including around Disney World. Driving can also take a long time depending on where you’re coming from, cutting into time that you could be spending exploring the parks or relaxing at your hotel. But, when it comes to traveling to Disney World right now, driving could actually be your best option. So, let’s talk about why you still might want to drive to Disney World.
Gas Tax Suspension
We know that gas prices are high right now, but there might be a little relief on the way. President Joe Biden recently asked Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months, according to CNBC. He is also asking states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide similar relief.
There is currently a 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on gas and a 24.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on diesel. If these taxes are suspended, people could save about 3.6% on gas when prices average around $5 a gallon. This may not seem like a lot, but it could definitely add up.
However, this might not necessarily fix gas prices in the long run, and ultimately gas prices that are set by global markets, gas companies, and consumer demand. But, President Biden has also called on energy companies to accept lower profit margins to increase oil production and refining capacity for gasoline. Energy companies are also meeting soon to discuss ways to increase their supply.
So, while gas prices might not be ideal at the moment, there could be a little bit of a drop in prices in the future if the tax suspension is approved. This could really help your gas bill if you’re driving to Disney World!
If you don’t drive to Disney World, the other option is to fly. We totally understand flying if you live somewhere very far away, like in California or Canada. But, if you are within a reasonable road tripping distance, it can be a tough call between driving and flying.
While gas prices are high right now, flights are also very expensive! You can probably save a lot of money driving one car down to Florida instead of paying hundreds of dollars EACH to fly there with your family. Sure, that price at the gas tank might make you wince, but hundreds of dollars on gas for a road trip might be better than thousands of dollars on flights!
You also have to take into consideration what the airline industry is going through right now. There are significant staffing shortages, meaning there are less routes available, delays, cancellations, and more. You could take a connecting flight to Disney World, only to find out once you arrive at your connecting airport that your flight has been canceled. Then, you have to deal with getting rebooked and possibly messing up your schedule for your vacation.
There have been a LOT of flights canceled in recent months, which can make it a risky and expensive option. If you’re driving, you might run into traffic, but at least you know you’re completely in charge of getting where you want to go. Of course, you have to factor in food on the way and the fact that the car could break down or have a flat. So those are things to factor in as well.
No Magical Express
Disney’s Magical Express was discontinued at the start of 2022, meaning there is no longer a free transportation option between Orlando International Airport and Disney World. Now, you have to either get a rental car, use one of the paid replacements for the service, or take a rideshare like an Uber.
There are two options available that are very similar to Magical Express, but they cost money. Mears Connect is the first, costing $16 per adult, $13.50 per child one way, and $32 per adult, $27 per child round-trip using their Standard service. They also have an Express service, which is only offered round-trip at $250 for 4 people and an additional $55 for each extra person.
The other option is the Sunshine Flyer, which is $17 per adult and $12.50 per child for a one-way trip, and $34 per adult and $25 per child for round-trip service. Kids under the age of 2 ride free. These are the standard prices, but sometime the Sunshine Flyer has special deals and offers, like right now, children can ride for free and adults are only $16 if you book by July 31st.
Whichever way you decide to get to and from the airport and Disney World, it’s going to cost you. So, driving yourself could save you some money in that regard. But, remember that if you bring your own car you have to pay for parking at Disney World hotels, so the cost could be about the same either way, depending on how many people are in your party and how many nights you’re at Disney World.
Freedom of Having Your Own Car
Having your own car with you at Disney World also gives you a certain amount of freedom. You can be completely on your own schedule, not having to wait for Disney transportation or a rideshare service to get where you want to go.
You also have the ability to go park at the actual theme park, which allows you to arrive and leave whenever you want, and it can also help you park hop faster. Keep in mind that if you’re staying at a Disney World hotel, you can park at the theme parks for free.
If you have your own car with you, you can also go out and explore beyond Disney World much easier. You can pop over to the other theme parks in the area, head to the beach for the day, and more. It will also allow you to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, or wherever else you might need to go while you’re on vacation. Sure, you could take an Uber to do these things, but it’s probably much easier just to hop in your car to run to the grocery store.
So, driving to Disney World right now might not be a terrible idea after all! But, that’s not to say that it won’t still cost you a big chunk of change. Gas prices ARE high across the country, so you would need to factor the cost of driving into your budget depending on what kind of car you have, how much gas costs around where you live and around Disney World, and how far you’re driving. But, when the alternative is pricy plane tickets, it might not be such a bad call (unless you can score some really great flight deals!).
Also keep in mind that you do have to pay for overnight parking at Disney World hotels. It’s $15 per night at Value resorts, $20 per night at Moderate resorts, and $25 per night at Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts. Those costs can add up too, but remember that you do get free parking at the theme parks if you’re staying at a Disney World hotel.
Ultimately, you should probably price out your two options and weigh out what is best for you family. You may like the luxury of not having to drive to Disney World and you may have a large number of flight points racked up! Or you may love taking long road trips with the fam and find that it’s much cheaper for you to drive than fly. We track flight prices monthly and have been keeping a close eye on gas prices in the Orlando area, so we can make sure that you know all of your options and what prices are looking like. Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest and most up to date information!
Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney World tips and info on planning your next vacation.
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Do you prefer flying or driving to Disney World? Tell us in the comments!
The post Why Driving Might Be Better Than Flying to Disney World Right Now first appeared on the disney food blog.