Flying into Tampa instead of Orlando?

Hello all…first time poster. I’m planning our family’s trip for March 2020 to WDW. We are staying at POFQ and will be flying in from Minnesota. I was planning to fly into MCO, use Magical Express to get to the resort and completely forego a rental car. However, right now (realizing prices can fluctuate) prices are quite a bit more expensive to fly into MCO than into Tampa. In fact, we could fly to Tampa, rent a car, pay for parking at the resort as well as expected gas usage and still save money over flying into MCO. Other than losing out on Magical Express, is there anything else I’m not considering when looking into this option? It seems like having the flexibility of having a car if needed and saving money is a no brainer, but as this is my first trip to WDW since 2004, I have no idea if there are other considerations I’m leaving out. Thanks for any help/thoughts/info.

2 Likes

It’s a popular option with a lot of UK visitors. You wouldn’t be able to drop your bags at your resort on the last day, but not all airlines participate anyway.

We have flown into Tampa on several occasions where the airfare was significantly different. We tend to rent a car though even we fly into Orlando. The drive from Tampa isn’t a long distance but I4 can be awful. To me it can be worth the money though. And you could easily add a beach day or two if you did fly into Tampa. Or a day at Busch Gardens.

3 Likes

good golly, yes. if you can rent a car and pay for onsite parking and still come out ahead, I’d jump on that

1 Like

Indeed. Not sure I would sign up to do it again. Took a lot longer than I anticipated. But I did arrive at rush hour. Might be better at an “off” time of day.

1 Like

Welcome @chris.grecian, I’m also from MN and have used this cheaper flight option many times. For me, it’s worth it if the savings are there. The travel up from Tampa to WDW is not terribly long, but it also depends on who you’re traveling with and how easy-going they are. A short car ride after a flight can be painful for some, usually the kids. Our family of 5 usually drives down these days, but I’ve made the trip to/from Tampa recently to pick up grandparents who joined us for our trip. It works pretty well, but as others have said, I4 has gotten busier over the last few years, so expect some slow traffic along the way at some point.

1 Like

Completely agree.

1 Like

@chris.grecian Just a thought: We always rent a car. We just prefer to drive ourselves places for the most part. I would caution you though, getting around WDW by car can be confusing if you don’t have experience. Some people don’t like the stress of navigating around, especially on top of the general stress that vacationing at Disney can bring! And depending on where you stay, retrieving the car from the parking lot can be a hassle and add time.

2 Likes

We would also consider TPA over MCO for a significant price difference.

1 Like

For me, it would boil down to total cost. Am I saving $50 total? Then I’d scratch it and book thru MCO and let Disney have the headache of driving me. Am I saving $500 total? Then I’d be flying into Tampa. Somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot that is going to be dependent on a # of factors.

2 Likes

Heh.

Traffic/time of day would be my only concern. I’ve flown into Tampa several times for Disney trips combined with visiting relatives on the Gulf side.

I fly to Tampa a lot but my parents live close.to there so I go and visit them.

Just so you are aware of the rental situation once you collect your bags you follow signs to rental cars. You need to take a small airport train two stops first is parking garages and the second stop is a whole building for the rentals. so when you are choosing a rental you will see all rentals say shuttle but it is within the airport but a different building. This adds maybe 15 minutes

1 Like