View Full Version : Looking for a hotel recommendation for on the way to WDW

08-25-2004, 08:40 AM
I'm planning a car trip to the World with my soon-to-be-four year old (hey! do I really have to buy him a ticket? He's only a year older than three, after all? ;) Just kidding.) and my 7 month old daughter. The drive is indicated on mapquest and other sources as requiring 13 hours so I'll be doing it into legs to allow for diaper, feeding, fussing and general boredom stops.

Anyway...I'm looking for a hotel recommendation for our overnight stop. We'll be coming from the north, probably down 95. Ideally, the place would be safe, clean and not too spendy (although I don't feel the need to do the $21.95 places either!). Breakfast included is nice, but not required.

So, Mouseperts (that's Mouse Experts), what say you?

(Yikes, by the way I just got a look at my counter. I. Am. Not. Prepared.)

08-25-2004, 09:12 AM
I can't give a specific recommendation because I don't think we've ever stayed in the same place twice.

What you do is stop at the Welcome Center for the state you will spend the nite and pick up the hotel ad booklet. They are online also - roomsaver.com. That will list the hotels at each exit and have specials listed.

I don't recommend booking your hotel in advance as there are many factors that can affect where you end up stopping. Depending on weather, traffic, fatigue, kid's behavior, everyone's mood, etc., you may stop sooner or later than you expected. Unless you are going during a peak time, it really isn't necessary to have a reservation as there are plenty of hotels along the I-95 route.

08-25-2004, 09:18 AM
I don't recommend booking your hotel in advance as there are many factors that can affect where you end up stopping. Depending on weather, traffic, fatigue, kid's behavior, everyone's mood, etc., you may stop sooner or later than you expected. Unless you are going during a peak time, it really isn't necessary to have a reservation as there are plenty of hotels along the I-95 route.

I was thinking this,too. The middle of September ought to be fine for going reservations free.

Thanks for your idea about the welcome centers - I hadn't considered them. Ideally I'll be able to get within six or so hours of the World, but a lot will depend upon my sanity, the baby's mood and how many stops I'll have to take for diapers and all that.

08-25-2004, 10:56 AM
We always stop at Holiday Inn Express. The breakfast is included and they are USUALLY in great shape and clean. I do reserve, but that is so I get my priority club points and usually when I reserve on line and pre-pay(can't cancel) I save 5-10 off of the regular room price.

08-25-2004, 11:01 AM
I agree entirely with Disneysteve. The few times we made reservations, we either were exhausted by the time we finally got there, or stopped earlier than we really wanted to.

We stop at the welcome center and get the book. I've never had a lot of trouble finding an appropriate room with a coupon. The only terrible room we ever got was at a Days Inn, so we avoid them now.

Weather and traffic accidents destroy the best of plans and kids do it tenfold. Go with the flow.


08-25-2004, 11:43 AM
I convinced Dh NOT to make reservations for the trip down from NY in April and oh how we regretted it!!

We were so tired, and had to check 4 motels before we could find a non smoking room. We ened up in a dumpy place because we were exhausted.

It would have been far better to do some research before leaving home and booked a room at a reasonable rate.

I remember the same thing happening to me one other time.

Next time we will book a room in the SleepInn in Fayetteville NC.
We stayed at a SleepInn in northern Florida, I think it was in Ormond Beach and we loved it.

Breakfast is included.

Holiday Inn Express is good too, they have a better than average breakfast. We stayed there in Siesta Key.

Book the room from home, trust me. You never know what might be going on when you are travelling, and it's horrible to try to find a nice room when you are exhausted from driving all day.

Fayetteville also has a Cracker Barrell.


08-25-2004, 01:16 PM
Keep in mind that a lot of smaller hotel chains are individually owned and managed. So it really isn't accurate to assume that just because you stayed in one Holiday Inn Express, for example, that all Holiday Inn Express locations are good. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way.

We've stayed at good Days Inns, good Holiday Inns, good Comfort Inns... and we 've also stayed at really bad ones.

The situation is different with more upscale hotels because those are all company owned - Marriotts, Sheratons, etc.

08-25-2004, 02:46 PM
I would highly recommend Jameson Inn. They are a company owned chain, and we find them to be perfect for the one night, on the way to Disney stop. There is one in Brunswick, GA, which will leave you with about a 4 hour drive to WDW when you wake up.

08-25-2004, 03:42 PM
I try to stick with Fairfield Inns, free breakfast and I've never stayed at one that wasn't clean and comfortable. I like using the following website to find a place to stop.



08-25-2004, 06:14 PM
We leave NJ at 5AM and have no problem getting to Richmond Hill, GA by six or so (we travel in November). We stay at the Hampton Inn. Easy on/off 95, lots of services right there, interior corridors, nice staff, very clean, decent free breakfast.

08-25-2004, 10:28 PM
If you plan on going as far as Gainesville, FL, we stayed at the Baymont Inn and couple of years ago and it was nice. I would definately get a ressie; when we checked in at about 1am, the front desk was turning away people who needed a place to stay.

08-25-2004, 11:15 PM
I find the most consistency in:

Fairfield Inn
Hampton Inn
Comfort Inn
Holiday Inn Express

which all have continental breakfasts and usually quite sufficient ones. Fairfield Inn is normally our first selection. We have only had one HIExp that had been converted from another hotel (Cave City KY) that I was not 100% satisfied with - although it had huge rooms!!! I was just used to all new construction with them so some things were a bit 'older' & I was creeped out because the rooms above us were never remodeled & not in use (the desk clerk said they couldn't understand why the owners left off that one chunk of rooms because they could sell them out every weekend!). However I believe it had about the best cont.brkf that we have ever encountered at one and a nice outdoor pool.

Super 8 & Days Inn run the range from the pits to outstanding. You can pick up a S8 or DI guide from any one though and they rate themselves. "Pride of Super 8" or Days Inn Sunburst system. Their continental breakfasts also run from slim or none up to make your own waffles. I always ask as I often need something quickly in the morning.

If you belong to AAA, run thru a tourbook and pick several spots and check the AAA ratings. If you aren't a member, ask around at work. I have ordered extra books a few times for friends and AAA probably didn't mind because those people signed up in the long run!!!

08-25-2004, 11:40 PM
Okay, this may sound nuts, but it works...

What we have done is pull into the hotel parking lot, and call their 800 number for availability and price. Sometimes this gives you a lower rate than a walk-in rate, even though you literally "walk in" a few minutes later. Either write down your conf. number, in case it's not in the system yet, or just mention the rate you were quoted, and you'll get it.

This will also work to find out if they have non-smoking rooms.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 11:53 AM
That's a good idea PattiPB!

I traveled up and down 95 twice with my girls ALONE. My policy was interior corridors only for safety reasons! That way, I just loaded the girls in the stroller and walked right into the lobby--no having to go back to my car or anything (I was really creative :) )

Having that list of 800 numbers would be awesome to get the best rate, so you don't have the "I'm dog tired, I just need a bed--look" that gets little pricing pity from the hotel staff.

Also, if you have AAA--you can do your trip tik on line--and you can look at various stopping points in various towns along your route to get some hotel information.

I traveled with my girls from DC home to Melbourne, FL--but got a late start--so my stops were all in NC--otherwise--wish I could be more helpful! And I got the rack rate (ugggh!!!) even with a AAA card didn't get a discount bennie.

Beware the hotels/motels that list there prices on the signs--they are the singleton rates!

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 11:55 AM
One more note--if you can remember to cancel what you will not lose--most hotels along the I-95 corridor have a 6pm cancellation policy--so you could book a couple ahead of time--and then cancel the ones you won't use.

Requires though memory to remember to council or you could be out a bunch of room nights on the CC.