Which Disney Destination is Best for You

As a parent, I know a little something about Mickey and his friends, and I’m often asked, “Which Disney is right for me?” Part of that depends where you live and what you’ll pay for flights to Disneyland in Southern California or Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Cheap flights and tips on Disney World

It also depends on how much time you have: Disney World is spread out over 47 square miles while the original Disneyland in Anaheim covers a lot less ground (even when adding in its sister-park, Disney California Adventure).

Can I find cheap flights to Disney destinations this year?

You can find cheaper flights. Both Disney destinations are relative bargains this year and you’ll find Orlando and Southern California on my list of cheapest summer destinations thanks to lots of airline competition from lower-cost carriers like Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and Virgin America.

Orlando Travel Guide: Attractions, Dining, Shopping

How do I fly to Disney World?

Flying directly to Orlando (MCO) will probably be cheapest, but if you don’t mind doing a little driving, also look at flights to Daytona (DAB) which is 56 miles from Orlando and even Tampa (TPA) which is 85 miles away. You never know when an airline will come up with an absolutely irresistible fare if it can’t fill its empty middle seats.

Los Angeles, Southern California Travel Guide: Attractions and More

How do I fly to Disneyland?

You have a lot of options. You could fly to the major airport nearest Anaheim, which is John Wayne in Orange County (SNA) but you may find flights into the larger Los Angeles International (LAX) cheaper thanks to all those airlines competing for your dollars – and it’s just 34 miles from Anaheim. If you live in a city served by JetBlue, take a look at Long Beach Airport (LGB), which is 25 miles from Anaheim which often offers terrific airfare deals.

Babies on Planes – Yes or No?

What’s smarter – non-stops or connecting flights?

If you’re traveling with babies or toddlers, non-stops may be the way to go in case the kids get restless and cranky. With older children, you have more flexibility – and those connecting flights can often save you some real money.

Any packing tips?

As always, try to avoid baggage fees. Many airlines will charge an extra $200 in round-trip bag fees if everyone in a family of four checks a bag (although both JetBlue and Southwest still offer checked-bags for free). If everyone can handle a carry-on, I say go for it (but remember, Allegiant and Spirit now charge a fee for carry-ons). If you do check a bag, watch the weight. It is often cheaper to check a second bag than to pay the cost of a single overweight one.

How do I find cheap tickets to get into the Disney theme parks?

Check with Mickey. All I can tell you is, if you can somehow wrangle a VIP tour or use those Fast Passes to skip the wait in line, do it. Your feet will thank you.

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Published: May 2, 2012