What's the best way to get to Disney World from Tampa? A few of my fellow college-aged cousins and I are spending a couple of weeks in Tampa with our grandparents during summer break and we thought it'd be fun to head to Disney World since none of us have ever been.
Depending on where you are staying in Tampa, the time of day you plan on departing and traffic, Walt Disney World is no more than a 90 minute drive so it is an easy day trip. Staying in Orlando is a different matter. Along Irlo Bronson Hwy (Route 192) there are many, many chain hotels at reasonable prices and about a 15 minute or less to most of the Disney parks. Once you are on property you can take advantage of the transportation system within the complex to visit any of the parks, i.e. Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, etc.
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This may seem like a silly answer but rent a car. From Tampa, depending on where you are there, Walt Disney World is only 45 minutes away. Maybe an hour and a half if you're on the other side of Tampa Also Disney World is so big that you'll want a car to get around. If you take the busses from park to park or park to hotel, at the busy times you could spend an hour in line. Also Orlando is another half hour away if you want to do the nightlife there. Also Downtown Disney is a great attraction at night.
I haven't been to Walt Disney World, but I've been to Tampa and driven all around the area a bunch and I have to say, driving there would probably be best if you could borrow your grandparents' car or rent one because public transportation down there is nearly non-existent. It's not a bad drive. Only about an hour away.
There are shuttles and trains that do go to Orlando from Tampa and vice versa, but you do have to make reservations in advance, and you also have to find your way to the shuttle pick up location or the train station, and you have to do the same on the way back. Bear in mind that that's with all your luggage, which may be a hassle.
Definitely drive. You can get straight there and come straight back on your own, be able to stop off for breaks if you need to, and not have to lug all your stuff between a bunch of transportation points.
Hope this helps you figure it out, and have fun at Disney! :)
Depends on your budget.
The best option - private transfer. I can recommend a company called Star Trans-VIP (http://www.orlandotransportation-shuttle.com).
The second option - rent a car!
unfortunately the best way is I-4. You could take 92E and it would be very scenic but it will take at least 2 hours.
Def. drive it. The trains are a nightmare even for short periods of time.