• On Mar 3, 2020
    Crystal from TX Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are a large group 20+ traveling from Dallas. What is the best (least expensive) way to travel?

    Hi Crystal,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! I am excited to hear that you are planning a visit with such a large group. Having planned for larger groups in the past, I know how glorious and exhausting it can be!

    This is a tough one because, given the distance between Dallas, Texas and Orlando, Florida, I am not sure the least expensive option is the best choice. We have driven, taken a chartered bus, ridden the train, and flown to the Walt Disney World Resort from my home in North Carolina. Our total distance is about 573 miles and estimated time to travel is just under eight hours. With a larger group, the chartered bus option was fantastic because we stopped to eat and still got there in just under 11 hours. Driving has been stressful with traffic and weather leading to delays. When we drive, we spend the night in a hotel, so that has been an added expense. In some cases, given the cost of renting a car, the night in the hotel and fuel, the cost of airfare has been comparable. When we took the train as a family, we rented sleeping cars, so those were as expensive as the flights. The experience was fantastic because we were not exhausted when we arrived, but we did not save any money.

    When I checked, the distance from Dallas, Texas to Orlando, Florida it was 1083 miles with an estimated driving time of just under 16 hours. For safety reasons, I would be concerned about driving that far without spending the night in a hotel for the drivers to get some rest. Plus, I would imagine that you would need an extra vehicle just for luggage. The train might be a possibility, but, when I checked, the total travel time was estimated at over 65 hours. Although you might be able to reduce that travel time by piecing together ticket itineraries, I doubt the amount of time it would take to travel would be reasonable, especially since you do not want to have to cut your time in the parks short to account for that additional travel time. When I checked the bus travel time, it was estimated to be 28 hours. 

    Since I always factor in the value of our time when comparing prices, given the distance you will have to traverse, I think flying is the better option, especially since you have time to watch for ticket specials with various airlines. Just know that everyone needs to be prepared to purchase their flights at about the same time and be willing to allow for some variation in arrival time if you all cannot get on the same flight. 

    Finally, make sure that you have checked the Special Offers and everyone has booked a vacation package as soon as possible, especially if you all want to stay at the same resort hotel. If you are booking 10 or more rooms, contact Group Reservations at 407-939-1942. Be sure that you have made advanced dining reservations so that you all can dine together for at least a few meals. Once you have a resort hotel stay confirmed, you can make those dining reservations 180 days in advance and I highly recommend that you do. And, because I believe it's a small miracle to pull together a trip for large groups, I suggest that you consider Memory Maker so that you can have access to all of your digital PhotoPass photos and videos - there is nothing quite like that group photo of everybody screaming on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™!

    Crystal, I am sending lots of pixie dusted patience as you plan this AMAZING trip!

    Magic and memories,

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Meet the Panelist: Donyell, North Carolina

Hello from North Carolina! I am a mom of twin girls, wife, and university professor who has been inspired by the creativity of Disney for a lifetime. Since my first Disney visit when I was 12-years-old, I have been drawn to the adventures crafted by Disney Imagineers. Planning Disney vacations helps connect me to families who will find in Disney the kind of joy my family has experienced over the years. Allow me to help you map your own Disney journey so that you, too can create the memories of a lifetime! Learn More About Donyell

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