Transportation Discuss Sanford Airport -Ooops! in the Vacation Planning forums; The good news is I'm flying my whole family round trip from Indiana to Orlando and back for $679. The bad news is I just noticed is it is to ...
Sanford Airport -Ooops!
The good news is I'm flying my whole family round trip from Indiana to Orlando and back for $679. The bad news is I just noticed is it is to Sanford, not MCO which has the Magical Express service!
The Disney travel specialist offered two options, shuttle service for $448 round trip (do you laugh or cry?) or Alamo rental car for $218.53 + car seat charge for the week. Reserved the Alamo option.
Could use some advice:
1. Do those rates sound about right? I'd prefer the shuttle, but unfortunately our flight out is 8am and don't think I should trust that to a shuttle.
2. We're staying at All Star Sports. Anyone know how hard it is to drive in from there to the parks. I know last time we took the bus and it took like 45 minutes+ with all the stops. Looks like as a Disney guest my parking at the parks is waived. For a trip in late January do you think that makes more sense than the bus?
3. From Sanford to Disney I've read take Lake Mary Blvd. West to FL 417 South to the Osceola Parkway West to Walt Disney World Exits... I guess for speed instead of going through Orlando. Does that still stand? What am I looking at in tolls?
Thanks. Big mistake, but still way cheaper than flying to Chicago and then Orlando for the 3 of us!
Last edited by glistensound2; 11-11-2008 at 10:57 PM.
Not sure about the shuttle rate, but that doesn't sound out of line for a rental car. You can shop around at the Alamo website, or through services like hotwire.com and see if you can do better. Also, it's a bit of a pain but you can bring your own car seat from home. I don't know how old your child is, but for a child big enough for a booster seat, there are smaller ones sold for about $15 that can be carried on the plane in a tote bag.
It's easy enough to drive anywhere on property, there are fairly good direction signs. It helps to remember that your resort is in the Animal Kingdom Resort Area, as many of the signs direct you to a resort area instead of the whole list of individual resorts. You are correct that as a WDW Resort guest, you get free parking at the theme parks. They will give you a parking permit either at the security gate when you arrive, or when you check in. Just keep it on the dashboard of your car, and it is valid until midnight of the day you check out.
Directions and toll information can be found here: All Ears Net® Resort Driving Directions
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Think I might wind up driving to the parks this time. Now that we're staying 7 days if it seems like a hassle the first few day I'll opt for the bus service for the remainder.
BTW, I did try to price out some other rental cars agencies online, even Alamo itself, and I could not beat Disney's corporate discount rate. Guess it might be nice to have the flexibility to go off property if we want and I just don't trust a shuttle to get me to Sanford by 6 or 6:30am for the return flight.
We have been traveling to WDW for over 20 years now with our family, now way beyond car seat age. We always brought our own car seats, either checked them or brought them on-board. Flight attendant, if there wasn't room overhead handed it off to ground crew (same with stroller) and they brought it up to jet way upon landing both ways. One year we did not realize IL and FL car seat laws were different and we had to rent one at
$10.00 a day. They wouldn't give us the car until we rented the seat or proved we had one. We were down for 2 weeks. Lesson learned.
Once there were moderate hotels we stayed on site and no longer rented cars. Prior to ME we started with Mears Shuttle vans. They were cheap and pretty reliable. Then we ran out of patience, early pick ups to go back to the airport and started going by Mears Towncar. In 2004, family of 4, from the Orlando airport we went to Universal $55.00, Universal to WDW POR $75.00 and WDW back to airport $55.00. They had car seats. Mears did go to Sanford too might be worth pricing shuttle and a town car. (FYI, Mears is the sub contractor for the Disney ME).
The one time we had a car on site, it lived in the parking lot. Went once to grocery store and back and forth to the airport. I'm a fan of Disney transportation.
Last edited by HauntedGabe; 11-12-2008 at 12:46 AM.
Hey Haunted Gabe,
Mears Web site says they only service MCO airport, not Sanford. Maybe that is a new twist.
Mears MCO Only
Hey Haunted Gabe, Their website says they servie MCO only as far as I can see. We're coming out of Sanford Airport. If we were flying into MCO we'd just do the Magic Express bus.
My recommendation would be to bring your own car seat and stick with a rental car. Depending on the type and size of your seat, you can use the car seat on the airplane, or easy gate check-in. Another advantage to your own car seat is that you and your child are familiar with it for easy installation and fit.
The rental car is a faster option for all the parks except MK. If it is a common make, color, etc... be sure to write down your parking info or snap a quick digital pic of the car, license plate, and spot at the park parking lot so you can find it easy when it is time to leave.
Also, keep your current car reservation, but keep checking for discounts as your trip draws closer to see if there is a better deal and don't forget to see if the rental company will offer you a better price or free upgrade when you pick up the car.
Logically I think I would go with the rental & bring car seat however I hate to drive in Orlando area. Too many lost tourists turning left from the right lane.
This is from Sanford: Orlando Sanford International Airport - Taxi / Limo / Shuttle Companies
Maybe Sanford hasn't updated lately?
I look at Sanford like I do Midway, not as convient or as many choices as O'hare but boy you sure save a lot of dollars.
Last edited by HauntedGabe; 11-12-2008 at 11:52 AM.
The Sanford Airport is easy to get in and out of. It is so much less chaotic and time consuming than MCO. I think you will enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of Sanford.
It was over an hour travel time during rush hours. Be prepared for that.
On the car side, we rented from Alamo (I think) and it is the longest walk to and from the terminal. Especially with a lot of luggage in tow. We drove everywhere except to the MK one night. They closed the park 2 hours early and we were caught in a mad rush out of there. The driver was new and missed two stops at OKW. It took us an extra 25 minutes to get back.
We will always drive...
These have all been great replies that make me feel much, much better about my airport oversight. I can't thank you guys enough. We're planning on taking our 4 year old's booster seat and saving like $50. Thanks again!