Let’s face it, a vacation to Walt Disney World can suck your wallet dry. Or does it have to? I decided to try to find the least expensive way to get to Walt Disney World, spend two nights, and visit one park. It’s cold in northeast Ohio and I need to see some palm trees. I even found a friend who can take the time to travel with me.
First, the transportation. Flying is out because that would be around $200 round trip. Amtrak isn’t an option either because that is more than the flight! $376 to be exact. Then I remembered a very affordable bus line called Megabus. I can go from Cleveland to Atlanta Georgia, then hop another Megabus to Orlando. The total round trip cost will be $98 per person. Now I’m getting somewhere!
I checked out the Walt Disney World website and found a discount on a room-only reservations. The cost of a Value resort is within my budget. I booked a room at Pop Century resort and added a ticket for one park, Magic Kingdom. The cost per person is $275.
So right now, my costs are $336 for the entire trip. I anticipate the cost of a public bus to be under $10 as we will need to take one to Downtown Disney so we can get a Disney bus to our Value resort.
This isn’t going to be the fastest way to get to my resort. It will take approximately 16 hours on the Megabus to Atlanta. Then, the 6 hour layover until our Orlando bus arrives. The ride to Orlando will be approximately 9 hours. It will be a long trip.
Long doesn’t begin to describe it. Sitting for endless hours on a bus with sketchy or non working wifi isn’t easy. There was a bus change in Cincinnati, Ohio. For 45 minutes we transferees huddled together on a dark and dirty street. Fortunately, the next bus arrived on time.
This Megabus took us to Georgia with stops in Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. We finally arrived in downtown Atlanta at 6am. Now, much isn’t open at this time of day. Upon the suggestion of a local, we found our way to a nearby hospital and chose to rest there. The time here passed quickly and pleasantly. We even had breakfast and then a light lunch.
We finally arrived in Orlando at 9:30pm at the Orlando Lynx transportation center where we caught a local bus to Downtown Disney for $2. From there, we took a Pop Century resort bus to check in. By midnight, we were fast asleep.
Total travel time ended up being 32 hours of bus travel one way.
The time at Walt Disney World was delightful. But not perfect. My issues of MS, lack of proper sleep on the bus, and a disagreement with my stomach, I began to feel the toll of my long bus ride. I wish I could say I endured the long tortuous Megabus ride back to Ohio, but I didn’t. I became so ill, I chose to fly home after we checked out. This added $450 to my inexpensive trip including the cost of a hotel room, taxi ride to the hotel, and my one way flight home. No cheap trip goes unpunished.
Would I ever take such a bus trip again? No. I prefer not to.
Tamara Botzum is a graduate of The Disney College of Knowledge and is happily selling Disney travel through CruiseDirections.com. Tamara and husband Spencer have visited Walt Disney World over eight times so far. Their first trip together was in 2006. They have also visited Disneyland twice. When Tamara is not selling Disney vacations, she enjoys reading, interacting with Disney friends on Facebook, traveling, writing short stories and crafting.