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View Full Version : Need help from those who have driven from MA or CT to Disney World.


cpl100
05-20-2003, 05:19 PM
I am planning to drive to Disney World for the first time in July. Previously I have driven as far as Atlanta. Based on posts I have read here, I plan to drive down the 'alternate route' via Rt. 84 to Rt. 81 to Rt. 77 into Florida on the way to Florida. I am stopping overnight in Charlotte to visit a friend. She advises me that it is probably an 8 hour drive from there to Disney. As I am the only driver, I plan to make another overnight stop halfway between Boston and Charlotte but have no idea where that would be. I do not feel capable of driving more than 9 hours or so in a day (including stops). I have three questions. First, can anyone confirm that Charlotte is, in fact, about an 8 hour drive from Disney? Second, does anyone have ideas about the mid-point from Boston to Charlotte? And, if so, do you have recommendations on where to stay at this location.

On the way home I have promised my boys to stop overnight in the Washington DC area to see the Spy Museum. I had wanted to avoid the DC area due to traffic, but.... Where would anyone recommend staying between Disney and D.C. on the trip North? Again, I know this drive would be well beyond my 9 hour limit. And does anyone know a great, reasonably priced and convenient place to stay to see this museum?

ToyStory Fan
05-20-2003, 11:29 PM
I've done it from NY and I must say you are pretty brave to do it as a solo driver.

I think that you'll find Charlotte to be just about an 8 hour drive, 525 miles according to my road atlas, so at 70mph with stop(s) it should be pretty close.

I'm not really familiar with the alt route since I am only about 2 miles from 95 and that just makes life easy (plus the Navigation Computer says it's the best way) ;)

I'd probably stop in Richmond if I were you...that should make it about 7-8 hours for your first stretch, then on to Charlotte, then to WDW.

cpl100
05-21-2003, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by ToyStory Fan
I've done it from NY and I must say you are pretty brave to do it as a solo driver.

I think that you'll find Charlotte to be just about an 8 hour drive, 525 miles according to my road atlas, so at 70mph with stop(s) it should be pretty close.

I'm not really familiar with the alt route since I am only about 2 miles from 95 and that just makes life easy (plus the Navigation Computer says it's the best way) ;)

I'd probably stop in Richmond if I were you...that should make it about 7-8 hours for your first stretch, then on to Charlotte, then to WDW. Thanks so much for responding. I have checked the map and Richmond is on 95 which would be considerably out of the way from my planned route to Charlotte. I see that the location on Rt 81 approximately parallel to Richmond is Staunton with Harrisonburg slightly North of it. Perhaps that would be a good place? Does anyone know?

Robert P
05-21-2003, 02:24 PM
Yes, Charlotte to WDW is about an 8 hour drive, depending on when you are driving. If you time it badly, i.e. get tied up in Charlotte, NC and Jacksonville, FL rush hour type traffic, or if you plan to stop often (meals/gas/restroom), it would be alot closer to 9, even more. (GA higway construction has been hit or miss lately, so I don't think timing will matter through that stretch.) FYI, from Charlotte, we follow 77 South to I-26 at Columbia, then over to 95 South.
Sorry, I don't have my trip notes from my last Mass. trip with me, but alot of where you stop coming down will depend on when (and how) you choose to get through (or around) CT/NY area. The entire VA drive is pretty much wide open once you get to 81, and you shouldn't have any traffic problems before you get down to Roanoke.
Staunton, VA has several exits, and at least a Hampton Inn, a Comfort Inn, and I think a Holiday Inn. If you can get that far, that should be a decent place to stop. I sounds like that may be a bit too far, if you are only driving a max of 9 hours at a time.
Have a safe trip.

P.S. Yes, you are correct, Richmond would not be practical on your trip down. It is not very close to 81.

dgaston
05-22-2003, 07:29 AM
Just chaperoned the 8th grade trip to DC and the Spy Museum is definitely worth the trip! Your boys will love it.

I'd try Priceline for the hotel. You can read up on bidding at www.biddingfortravel.com DC hotels are so expensive otherwise.

Another option not at all convenient to the Spy Museum might be staying at the National 4-H Center. Their rooms are 4 bunks with private bath at reasonable rate, but way out Connecticut Ave at the 7100 block.

cpl100
05-22-2003, 07:58 AM
Thanks Debbie. I pm'd you.

phorsenuf
05-22-2003, 08:03 AM
AAAHHHH, I know this trip all too well! LOL. First, I'm not exactly sure of a stopping point halfway as I always drove straight thru myself from Nh to Concord, NC. ( we used to live there). That took about 15 hours. Yes, it is another 8 to Disney. NH to DC is about 8 or 9. I myself use 95.
A friendly word of caution tho if I may. We took the alternate route on the way to Fl during our April trip and yes, it seemed faster and there were no tolls. The thing I didn't like about it was it goes through much less populated areas and the exits are further apart. The reason I am mentioning this is because on our last trip home, at the last minute we decided to take 95 and thank goodness we did. Our car broke down (just outside of Richmond) in the middle of the night. We were right near an exit that had food, lodging and everything else you could need. Since this was Sat morning at 3:30 AM, we couldn't get it fixed until monday. My husband said thank goodness we didn't take the other route because who knows where we would have been stranded and what may have been around......heck, we could still be there! LOL
I just think that's something to consider since you are driving alone.
I've done that drive by myself many times to NC from NH so I am not the "worrying" type or have any qualms of doing things like that, but when I travel it alone, I take the 95 route for those reasons. Just something to think about.

cpl100
05-22-2003, 08:26 AM
Thanks so much for posting that warning. It is certainly something to consider. Since I am driving alone, I only plan to drive in the daylight hours, except for the time I am leaving New England in the early morning, and safety is the reason for that plan. And I do plan to have my auto thoroughly checked out prior to leaving for the trip, not that it is a guarantee at all.

I must comment that I think you make GREAT time from NH to D.C! The fastest I have ever driven it is 9hrs 15 minutes to see friends. And when I got there they were amazed it was that fast as I'd beaten their record.

Last night I learned that I will be doing the trip the reverse of what I'd planned due to scheduling with my friend (so it's the D.C. route on the way to Florida and the Charlotte route on the way home). After your comments I am going to take a closer look at the map. I am not concerned about the cost of tolls; I am more concerned about the length of trip, ease of driving and less traffic. Would you please give me a clearer idea of how long the more desolate stretch is (and where it is if you recall) and the distance between exits (as much as you can remember)?

Thanks so much. I do appreciate the time you took to respond.

phorsenuf
05-22-2003, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by cpl100
And I do plan to have my auto thoroughly checked out prior to leaving for the trip, not that it is a guarantee at all.

All our problem was a hose on the tranmission cooler fell off (it had actually been replaced 2 months prior to this. Mechanic error, they didn't tighten it enough). It took the garage all of 60 minutes to fix it, but since nothing was open on a weekend.........

I must comment that I think you make GREAT time from NH to D.C! The fastest I have ever driven it is 9hrs 15 minutes to see friends. HEE HEE

Would you please give me a clearer idea of how long the more desolate stretch is (and where it is if you recall) and the distance between exits (as much as you can remember)?
I don't exactly remember the distances, but I remember driving and thinking I really wanted to pull over for a "cat nap" but it was awhile before I found somewhere. There are exits here and there, but quite a few don't have any services at them. Are you a memeber of AAA? If so, call and get a trip tix for that route. If you're not, let me know and I'll get you one.. They are very helpful and will give you mileage between exits and such.
Oh yeah....if driving with ALOT of tractor trailer trucks bother you, avoid this route!!! LOL

Thanks so much. I do appreciate the time you took to respond.
Very happy to help :D

cpl100
05-22-2003, 12:51 PM
Leaving from Washington D.C. and driving on Rt. 95, what would be the halfway stopping point to Orlando? Also, it will be a weekday morning, any suggested leaving times (morning, not night).

Thanks so much for the help.

Okay, trying to bump this up in hopes of a response to the last question. After a little research I am thinking the midpoint is in the area of Florence S.C.?

cpl100
05-28-2003, 10:50 AM
BUMP

Mickeydad
05-28-2003, 04:06 PM
Just drove the 'alternative' route in April and will do it AGAIN next April.

I think, however, if you are driving alone, I-95 is probably better. But, if you have a cell phone -- you can always call for help.

When we drive next April, we will be leaving CT very early on a Saturday morning (3am). So, we may go the I-95 route since it is a weekend.

But, the 'alternative' route was very beautiful and smooth.

Good Luck:)

cpl100
05-28-2003, 04:14 PM
Thanks for responding with your thoughts. Do you have any insight as to the midway point between D.C. and Orlando using Rt. 95 ?

caitycaity
05-28-2003, 08:28 PM
i would guess florence, south carolina would be close to half-way. :)

as to when to leave to avoid dc rush hour traffic, i'd say before 6 am or after 10, and even then, be prepared for some traffic. :)

cpl100
05-28-2003, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by caitycaity
i would guess florence, south carolina would be close to half-way. :)

as to when to leave to avoid dc rush hour traffic, i'd say before 6 am or after 10, and even then, be prepared for some traffic. :) I feel so good! That was my guess.

caitycaity
05-28-2003, 10:18 PM
have a great trip! :) i much prefer to drive than to fly any day (i am afraid of heights), but dh gets whiny on long car trips. :rolleyes: :p