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Northern Cal people do you drive or fly to Disneyland????


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  • Northern Cal people do you drive or fly to Disneyland????

    We live in Modesto and have always driven in the past. However, this is our first time with two small children and two large carseats. We also take my Mom with us (from Hollister), so we would need to rent a larger car. With the price of gas and car rental I am thinking we should just fly.

    However, with having to check in early at the airport I do not know if this will save time. How do you travel with the carseats? It night be a bigger headache to fly.

    Help us please. What is the best way to get there????
    "You can't judge a book by its cover."
    "No, but you can tell how much it is going to cost."

  • #2
    For us we've always driven. I had an Expedition(until yesterday! LOL)and the gas was pretty expensive, but when I drove my MIL's minivan it was much better. We thought about flying last summer, but having to buy 4 flights vs the gas and such was still cheaper for us.

    We left last year, from Stockton at 4:30, stopped in Manteca and then were on our way and we made the BEST timing! There's no one on the roads and the kids were sleeping the whole time, it made the drive so easy!!

    I'm no help with airport advice!

    Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ


    • #3
      We have always driven save once when my wife (girlfriend at the time) and I flew down. This was before 9/11 and all the new security changes so that may affect the time some to. I don't feel that we really saved all that much time, I think with getting to the airport early, the flight and traffic getting to the hotel it took about 6 hours. We were on a large bus from the airport to the hotel so spending a little more for a shuttle would probably speed things up.

      I don't think I'd fly again though, we only need to fill up the gas tank maybe a total of 4 times for driving, once before leaving, on the way there, before heading home and half way home. Depending on when you fill up maybe three tanks for us. Thats driving a mini-van so not great gas mileage out of it.

      The only other cost for driving is stoping to eat, which you would most likely still get something to eat if you were flying. Leaving early is the best way to go less traffic, the kids sleep, and if your lucky your are in Disneyland in time for lunch.


      • #4
        I've done both and honestly it ends up being the same time wise. By the time you check in early at the airport, wait for your flight, get your bags then take a shuttle to your hotel. It ends up the same time as driving for us (about 5-6 hours) We spent 125.00 this last trip on gas and we have a small SUV. I like flying because it's less tiring, you don't have to worry about traffic, gas, food stops and potty breaks .

        After this last trip it took us almost NINE hours to get home because of traffic the worst drive ever!!! So of course I'm in "fly mode" but when it comes down to it I like the freedom of having our own car etc.


        • #5
          Funny you ask this!
          We always drive because flying would mean buying 6 tickets-expensive! Can't beat driving for cost. However, just my daughter, her friend, and I are going this weekend so we are flying! For me, it's all about cost or I would fly every time. Being in the car w/ kids for 6 hours makes me tiiired and sometimes
          I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.
          That explains the trouble that I'm always in...


          • #6
            We flew once (our honeymoon) and it took as long (actualy a bit longer from house to hotel)
            and yes because of cost we Drive, 2-3 tanks of gas is way cheaper than 4 plane tickets. We go with 2 kids, a pile of books and some games that I organise before we leave (yeah, I'm A.R. what can I say) I pack a variety of snacks to hand out periodicly to help with grumbly tummies but we usualy make 1 stop for a light lunch (or breakfast) but basicly that's an excuse to get the kids out of the car for a while.
            we have potty stops down pat, we know which ones we always stop at and everyone goes...then we don't have to stop extra (except the trip where I was Pregnant, I saw every rest stop between San Francisco and Disneyland)
            it usualy takes us about 6 1/2 hours from home to hotel.....not to bad.


            • #7
              We used to fly from Oakland to Burbank on Southwest (cheap) then get a Budget rental ($19.95/day) and drive to Universal for the day, then head down to DL for a couple of days, then return the rental and fly out of Orange County airport (Southwest and Budget let you do that) all for less than a couple hundred bucks.

              Then came four kids...

              We tried flying with one, then two, and then it just wasn't worth it.

              We have been driving ever since (three to four trips per year). We have a diesel Excursion with the TV and Playstation for the kids and we plan a stop in Buttonwillow which is about three hours into the trip. We usually stop for lunch or dinner at Hamburger Hamlet next to Magic Mountain and then on into DL or Universal depending on our schedule. We also like to just cruise around LA, Malibu, Santa Monica . the movie stars homes, etc... just for the fun of it. Just under 6 hours of driving time from home to the Park.

              When you figure in the 9-11 nonsense at the airports, the cost of tix and the hassle of car seats/related small kid stuff, it just aint worth it to fly. When driving, you only have to pack once, can take snacks, stop when you want, don't have to worry about a flight schedule, etc...

              Flying is nice, but we prefer driving.


              • #8
                from Modesto for us, driving to Oakland(backwards) or SAC and then flying down there doesn't work for us.
                So I've learned if I go in the evening we aren't as tired as leaving at 4am in the morning like we used to. Always been curious about the train though. Relaxing, But you take a bus from Bakersfield. I don't mind the drive, We take usually one break, maybe two. Taking breaks always helps too stretch a little, restroom, walk around a bit. Also bought one of those coolers that connects to the Lighter, it doesn't require any ice and heats things as well, carries up to 6-8 cans or water bottles.

                I have always left in the evening, I figure Gas and hotels would pay the same for a flight. So I just go up the evening before. I usually leave about 4pm Sounds crazy? I have never had problem so far. It is smooth sailing.
                1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


                • #9
                  DRIVE! I remember a news station did a report on which takes less time, and it ended up that flying ended up taking more.

                  I like driving down 5. It gets me all pumped up. But the way back seems to take forrreevvverrr


                  • #10
                    Doing the opposite trip (SoCal to NorCal) in 2 weeks.

                    We are planning on driving more than half way to SF (Los Banos) and spending Wednesday night, then driving the rest of the way in. If it's possible to tack on another night of a cheap hotel I would recommend doing about 2/3 of your drive in the evening, staying at a Days Inn or something then driving the rest of the way the next morning.

                    That way you get almost a full nights sleep and don't have so far to drive the next day.


                    • #11
                      I'm going to try and drive so I can stop and see my family on the way down, but that has yet to be seen.
                      Best interview answer: My biggest weakness is my honesty...I can never remember my lies!


                      • #12
                        Fly? Drive? I thought all you MiceChat guys lived at Disneyland... j/k
                        As nice as the other parks are, we must always remember that it all began at Disneyland. Disneyland should be the crown jewel in the Disney crown.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michelle
                          DRIVE! I remember a news station did a report on which takes less time, and it ended up that flying ended up taking more.

                          I like driving down 5. It gets me all pumped up. But the way back seems to take forrreevvverrr

                          Always!! I think its because once I leave Disneyland what else is there to look forward to? the WORST part of the drive back is Harris Ranch


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Disguy
                            Always!! I think its because once I leave Disneyland what else is there to look forward to? the WORST part of the drive back is Harris Ranch
                            Haha, I'm used to the Coalinga odor.

                            There's this one part on 5 where there's just NOTHING and you can't figure out how far you are and it just feels like it's never going to end. That's the worst part for me.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DznyVan
                              ...We usually stop for lunch or dinner at Hamburger Hamlet next to Magic Mountain...
                              Oh man! I was raised on HH! (Lived in Century City as a teenager) Then when we moved to NorCal (Santa Cruz and Carmel for about 15 years), we used to make the same stop in Valencia. We would share an entree and each have OUR OWN 4-Layer Hot Fudge Cake!

                              For that reason alone...DRIVE!!!

                              Plus (as previously mentioned), it usually ends up taking the same amount of time, cheaper, no taxi/shuttle hassle.

                              Either way, have a great trip!

                              Last edited by SomeSayImGoofy; 05-12-2005, 02:02 PM.
                              When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.
                              MiceChat member since 1/16/05 (goin for the least posts/day record!!!)


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