End January 2022 trip - Drive or Fly?

This is a spin-off from my “End January 2022 trip - should we still go?” post.

Sorry for the long read, but you guys are my Disney “friends” and you’re the best group of people to bounce this off of!

Based on that post, I think we are still going to go, at least as of right now. So, now, I would like opinions on whether we should Fly or Drive.

I’m concerned about two things: The flight(s) getting cancelled and the many chances for COVID exposure by flying - ground transport to/from airports, airport waiting areas, airplanes, Ubers that we’ll need to get from WDW to USF.

I already have a refundable flight booked with SouthWest. So getting out of that won’t be a big deal.

By driving, we eliminate the COVID exposure risks from ground transport to/from airports, airport waiting areas, airplanes, Ubers that we’ll need to get from WDW to USF.

By driving, we’ll use up two extra days to travel. (We can get there by plane the same day, but driving will require an overnight hotel stay on the road there and back). However, we’ll still have enough days to have one full day in each of the 4 WDW parks and 2 USF parks. Those other two days were extra and we were just going to figure out how to spend those last minute.

By driving, because I’d be removing 2 nights stay in WDW (Beach Club) and won’t have to pay for the flight, factoring the cost to drive (gas, tolls, overnight stay along the way, etc) I calculate we’ll save about $1700.

By flying, my daughter would be happy that she gets to fly on a plane (her previous trips she was too young to remember). We’d have those two extra days to spend revisiting parks, lounging at Stormalong Bay, etc. But we have the extra COVID exposure chances and the extra $1700 expense.

If we continue with our plans to fly, there is always a chance the flight will get cancelled and we’d have to drive anyway. So just in case, I’ve already book a room for that night halfway to WDW.

I’m really torn what to do. Would appreciate some opinions here. Maybe I can learn from your recent experiences with a similar quandary.



I am #teamflying all the way with kids. We drove our first year and while doable and not that bad, once we flew, there is now no turning back. If it were me, I would invest in some high quality KN95s and fly… but it all comes down to your personal comfort level.


That’s a long way to drive and a lot of missed vacation time at WDW. I would fly and only use driving as a backup contingency in case your flights get cancelled. But I can see the benefit of locking in what you’re going to do.


Yes flying includes moving through both airports and time on the plane, but driving includes rest stops, gas stations, hotels, and restaurants.

If you were driving 6-10 hours, could pack some sandwiches, and make it in one trip I would say drive because it would be less exposure, but I actually think at 2 day drive exposes you even more than a direct flight.

Of course that doesn’t take into account the recent cancellations and delays. I am scheduled to fly Southwest next Friday and am hopeful that SW figures out their staffing before then so my flights still happen! I would have more faith in your flights not having issues then mine next weekend!


See, I love a road trip. To me the drive is part of the fun. But maybe I’m weird. I would totally drive if I was worried about it at all. Is there cool scenery on the way there? I’m biased because I drive (18 hours minimum) from home (Tacoma, WA) to DLR on pretty much an annual basis. Some of that drive is dreadful, but some of it is amazingly beautiful. We’ve been doing that at least once a year since 2014 and I have had some great conversations with my kids during those drives. Of course, they prefer to fly.


I would love to drive to WDW, but I don’t have that kind of time. :wink: Maybe when I retire …


Would you like to go on a cross country roadtrip with Avery? she is considering taking her car to Vermont in the fall. It’s only 40 hours or so from here. I think it might be easier to just buy a new car over there! :rofl:


Just looked it up and that drive is at least 18 hours! :scream: I thought the 10-12 hours I drive to my parents’ home was far enough. And only 6 to Disneyland from here.


We all have exposure to disease no matter where we travel to, including our local store, or a friend’s house. Also, time is money, so fly fly away! (I enjoy the experience of flying)

P.S. I can’t say I miss the old profile pic of oneself banging head against wall…


I would fly. Driving saves you some exposure, but honestly I think the main place you will be exposed is WDW itself. If driving could save you all exposure, it might be worth it (though I would still fly because no way I am losing park days to driving).


I would get the best masks you can find and fly.


I did already buy those. Should be here Sunday.


Bear in mind, when we started making that drive, my girls were 7 and 9. We didn’t make it again until they were 11 and 14. No tiny autocrats in car seats. :joy:


I would fly. I hate car rides. I feel safer on a plane than I would on the multiple stops along the way on a car trip

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#teamfly here (with TSA PreCheck if you can get it).

Are flights still cheap / do you have miles on another airline? With the current travel flexibility policies, you could book a backup flight on another carrier to mitigate the cancellation risk if you really wanted to…

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I agree w/ this. We always drove when the kids were little b/c we could never afford the airfare for all of us back then, but if you can fly… why not? It does cut the travel time and give you more time in the parks. You will wear your super-duper masks, social distance, dine outside and do your best to minimize exposure.


Vote for drive.

We’re 20 road hours from WDW. For years we left at the crack of dawn on day one, doing 12 - 14 hours to a favorite hotel. If we messed up our Birmingham arrival, dealing with rush hour would add up to 2 hours. But then we’d have an easy 8 hours the second day arriving WDW mid afternoon.
Return, we’d leave WDW at the crack of 1 pm after a final park morning, overnighting again at our fav hotel. 12 hr day home second day.

Recently we started doing 2 more even days. Still looking for a new fav hotel.

Reasons for driving:
We’re two hours from the airport. Arriving 2 hours early for tsa, and now we’re a third of the way on our first long day.
We can bring all the crap we want. Decorations for our lodging. Food. Disney crap previously bought so we don’t have to buy new Disney crap. Oh, and liquor. And we have backup transport if for some reason we finally sour on Disney transport.
We can keep on traveling when hurricanes ground planes. (Sept 2019)

We’ve traveled with kids from 13 months on up - yay for portable dvds. We’ve scoped out fast food places with play areas so kids can play while we’re eating - kid eats in car and naps! We’ve stopped at state parks for out of car time either picnic or a walk or looking at exhibits.

Possibly the best reason is you’re not at the mercy of flights being canceled for whatever reason.

There is the possibility of bad roads - we once went home to Missouri from WDW by way of Texas. So weird to be driving across Mississippi in 20 degree snow flurries.


I’m #teamfly. I’ll be going in 16 days and I’m flying. Plus all those horror stories about that freak storm in VA and those people being trapped for 24 hrs on the highway puts me at a “no way” for driving.


I thought about that. Planes can fly over that weather, unless it’s happening at the departure airport.

I would fly, but thats just me. My kids are not good with long car rides, we just drove 3.5 hours from WDW and that was enough for me. But of your family is used to it, it’s a different ball game and sounds like your schedule permits it.

Both options have their pros and cons, you (and your family) are the best ones to make the choice

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