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  1. #1

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    Question Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    Hi there! We are in the process of finalizing plans for our September trip to WDW. I've been monitoring airfare to Orlando from Seattle. So far, no specials worth booking. I have come across flights to Tampa, with really good deals.

    I've mapped the distance between Tampa and our resort, and it's around 1 1/2 hours. To me that's not bad, considering I regularly commute to work every day approximately 3 hours in total.

    Has anyone flown into Tampa when visiting WDW? Would you recommend it? We could hold on for awhile, and try for Orlando.

    Thanks for your help!
    Angela



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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    When my parents & I flew down on vacation from MI to FL back in 1993, we flew into Tampa instead of Orlando because at the time it was $100 cheaper per person. And it's about an hour drive from Tampa to WDW. 1 hours would be if you were driving from Clearwater (where I am), which is across the bay. Just watch out for the occasional speed traps along I-4 in Polk county (Lakeland to approx. Haines City). When I went to WDW last month, I saw state troopers pulling over a lot of speeders. I admit I have a bit of a lead foot, so that made me ease up on the gas a bit.

    Plus if you fly into Tampa, you could take a day and visit Busch Gardens, Clearwater Beach (consistently one of the top 5 beaches in FL according to the Travel Channel) or the other sites around here.

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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    From what I have read, the Tampa Airport is super nice

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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    I flew into Tampa with my parents back in 2003 and headed to Lakeland to visit my grandma. I found it to be just as nice as the Orlando airport. To me it'd be worth an hour drive if the price deal was better then anything Orlando offered.
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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral View Post
    From what I have read, the Tampa Airport is super nice
    It's actually a kinda boring airport. I've flown in & out of TPA many times. I do remember they had a Fridays in there though. Been 6 years since I last flew so no idea if it's still there.

    Cincinnati was always my fave airport when I flew from MI to FL because they had a Disney Store in the Delta concourse. LOL!

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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    Tampa has a very Orlando-esque vibe to it. Little mall area, same monorail type transportation to the gates. And I didn't think the drive was bad at all to Orlando.

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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    Oh and there's a BIG upscale mall right by the Tampa airport... International Plaza. It has the only other Earl of Sandwich in Florida besides the one at Downtown Disney... and it has Sephora!

  8. #8

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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yensid TlaW View Post
    Tampa has a very Orlando-esque vibe to it. Little mall area, same monorail type transportation to the gates. And I didn't think the drive was bad at all to Orlando.
    Tampa has Ybor City - how can you leave that off a list

    I fly into Tampa quite a bit for business. Tampa is about the cheapest place in the country to fly people into from various places. I used to have 7 people reporting to me, based in TX, VA, PA, MO, CT, FL (he lives in Clearwater as luck would have it) and me in NJ.

    The cheapest place to fly everyone into is Vegas - but corporate sort of frowns on team meetings in Vegas

    The next cheapest place is Tampa. I like Tampa airport, very easy in ./ easy out, but then my idea of a good airport consists of

    a) quick access
    b) a place where I can grab a quick bite and some adult beverages
    c) Some place where I can bug into AC power and work (with the laptop) hopefully in reletive quiet

    Thats why my favorite airport has got to be Manchester NH. Good luck finding anything approaching a Disney store there



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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    The big difference is if you were already planning to rent a car for your stay at WDW. Are you planning to stay at a WDW resort, or off property? Many people (who don't like to drive) like the fact that WDW is entirely self contained and (through the magic of DME and the WDW transportation system) you don't really need a car if you're staying on property and don't plan on visiting any non-Disney destinations during your stay. They can also enjoy a savings of a couple hundred dollars or more (on a week long stay) in rental car fees & gas.

    Others, however (myself included) prefer to rent a car whether staying at a WDW resort or off property. Personally I love to drive and love cars in general so renting a car is always a big part of my vacation plans. You'd be hard pressed to find a more automotive-friendly area than Orlando (though Vegas tops the list). Abundant free parking is everywhere (even at WDW if you know the secrets). The freedom to go off property becomes more appreciated the longer your stay at WDW (many resorts offer a refrigerator and trips to Publix are a must after a couple days of resort "convenience store" pricing). And gas is really cheap in Florida! (compared to CA).

    That being said, I've never flown into Tampa... but what the heck, if you're renting a car anyway a one hour commute on either end of your stay doesn't sound bad, if the savings are that big! Check the rental car rates against your savings on airfare just to be sure. I find rental car rates at MCO (Orlando I'ntl) to be really cheap most of the time (well, actually airfare is usually cheap as well for that matter).

    Just to show you how much I like to drive around though... the last two times I've been to Orlando I drove down to Miami Beach for a side trip! It's about a 3-4 hour drive, but with my Sirius radio and GPS (I always travel with both) it was easy and fun.
    Last edited by DOOM BGI; 06-12-2007 at 10:49 AM.
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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    Tampa's airport is almost an identical design to Orlando's. (They basically were identical when they were built, time has changed that quite a bit though)

    The drive is a super easy drive now that I-4 is basically done with construction.

    It all comes down to the price about renting a car and such to drive. That would be my only deciding factor.
    -Bill

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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    It's actually a kinda boring airport. I've flown in & out of TPA many times. I do remember they had a Fridays in there though. Been 6 years since I last flew so no idea if it's still there.

    Cincinnati was always my fave airport when I flew from MI to FL because they had a Disney Store in the Delta concourse. LOL!
    Yeah, but now we can't get to it unless we're actually flying out!

    My dad used to take me with him to see my mom off on buisness trips and going to that store was my treat if I was good.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    I recommend Tampa airport, then again, I live about 10 minutes from it.

    Seriously though, it is one of the top rated in the country, it's very easy to manuver through, there are signs everywhere and the only other thing I can tell you is when you get on 275N to I4 don't hug the far right hand lane for I4 because the far right two lanes exit into I-4, most of the time people don't know that and are sitting in a line of cars and the left lane has no waiting.

    As with WDW, always take the route that other people "aren't"

    Enjoy your vacation, no matter where you fly into.

  13. #13

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    Talking Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    Thank you to everyone for your helpful replies!

    The savings definitely make it worth flying into Tampa. We are staying at Port Orleans French Quarter, and had planned on renting a car anyway.
    (first time onsite!! ), The rental rates for Tampa appear to be the same as Orlando, so that's great.

    I'm so excited! It's going to be a long 3 months until we leave.

    Thanks again... I love the MiceChat boards. Just wish I posted more....

    Angela



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    Re: Orlando or Tampa Airport - September?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lalaboops View Post
    Thank you to everyone for your helpful replies!

    The savings definitely make it worth flying into Tampa. We are staying at Port Orleans French Quarter, and had planned on renting a car anyway. (first time onsite!! ), The rental rates for Tampa appear to be the same as Orlando, so that's great.

    I'm so excited! It's going to be a long 3 months until we leave.

    Thanks again... I love the MiceChat boards. Just wish I posted more....

    Angela


    Your welcome! One more thing, just remember to follow the signs to Downtown Disney to get to the French Quarter (my fav resort btw ) so you don't end up lost.

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