View Full Version : Anyone ever drive through the night to get to WDW?

02-20-2005, 10:30 PM
We'll be leaving the NY/NJ area around 8 or 9 at night with hopes that our kids who will be 5, 3 and 8mo at time of travel will sleep for the majority of the trip. Anyone ever do this and how was the experience?

02-20-2005, 11:53 PM
I used to do it...before I had kids. I would pack the day before, sleep 4pm-10pm and then leave...and arrive 20-22 hours later depending on traffic, and crash until the next morning . No horrible speeding, but that is for a single driver...could not do that now. Would there be a 2nd driver and aTV in the car? I think if you tried to drive while the kids slept you would have a lot accomplished....but they need breaks. Good Luck

02-21-2005, 12:00 AM
Dw and I with DC 6 and 2 leave from NE IN and travel to WDW. It is about 16 hrs and we leave at 6pm. Kids lay low and then sleep most of the night. When we get there we hang out at the pool and relax. It is very easy to do with 2 drivers. goiing at night you miss some of the traffic. :cool1:

02-21-2005, 12:18 AM
we have driven the 22 hour trip from Massachusetts straught thru with 2 of us driving and i will never do it again. to tired on the road and when we got to disney. not safe at all driving in my opinion

02-21-2005, 01:21 AM
We have done this and it really didn't seem that bad on the trip down...we left about a couple of hours before the kids' bedtime...they watched a movie on our DVD player and then promptly fell asleep. I took the first driving watch as I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep until I was absolutely exhausted. It worked out very well...the kids woke up and we were over half way there.
Now, coming home it was hell...we ended up having to stop...didn't have the excitement fueling us.

02-21-2005, 08:44 AM
We have driven straight through 3 times. We had a motor home so the kids weren't squished in. We alternate sleeping and driving. It wasn't bad at all. We also have 3 dc and they were all under the age of 8. We will probably do it again in oct, but no motorhome this time. I'm not too worried as our kids are now experience travellers.

02-21-2005, 09:10 AM
You guys kind of touched on the things that have been bothering me...
first, the whole sleepy issue. I'm worried about getting in an accident from driving all night. But my DH says he'll sleep during the day and then drive most of the night. The plan is that I'll take over in the early AM since I'm more of a morning person. I just hope I can sleep while he's driving :rolleyes: .
Then the other thing that worries me is the trip home. Since we'll be leaving after checkout, it'll be a really long ride home! We do plan on stopping over on the way back-any suggestions about where to stay?
Anyway we're going to try it because it'll save us a ton of money over taking the train. (we don't fly).

TR Denise
02-21-2005, 09:27 AM
We used to drive straight through all the time the kids were sleeping we took turns driving. We found switching every 3 hours worked best. We also found we couldnt drive home straight thru. After a week of disney wih 3 kids we were falling asleep at the wheel

02-21-2005, 09:36 AM
This is what we do, works good for us... I never work the day we leave because I am self employed. So I take my wife to work in the morning, try to catch a little nap in the morning (when DD takes hers), get up by noon and pack the Jeep... Be at school at 3:00 to pick up my wife and away we go.. I will drive until dinner around 6:00 and then afterwards a little, perhaps until about 9:00 when we switch drivers.. My wife will drive until abought midnight while I sleep, when she gets tired I take over and will finish the trip up, getting to WDW by 10:00...

02-21-2005, 06:52 PM
I have found that leaving at 2:00 am works great for me. The kids go back to sleep and sleep until 8:00 or 9:00. We make qiuck stops for gas and food. We arrive at Disney around 8:00 pm. I get up at 3:00 am for work, sometimes 1:30, so I'm used to getting up early.

I would be afraid to drive throught the night. I know the boring, dark roads would put me right to sleep.

02-21-2005, 09:14 PM
I haven't done it with kids, but my husband and I drove straight through from Chicago to Orlando with a cage containing our three cats. To lessen stress on them, we left around 6 p.m. and drove through the night. We switched off, each allowing the other person to at least nap a little. It wasn't too bad, except that we had no idea that Atlanta was going to get an ice storm that day. It stretched a 19 hour drive into 24 hours due to shut-down roads and accidents. Check the weather before you go!
We didn't feel uncomfortable at the rest areas, and there were plenty of fast food places and gas stations to stop at.

02-21-2005, 11:19 PM
We always drive to Disney with our family of five. We've been driving straight through the night for several years now. Leave around 5 pm, pull into Disney around 9am. The advantages are you don't have to stop as much because the kids are asleep and there is less traffic on the road at night. The hard part is staying awake all night. If you're well rested and take it easy the day you leave, the drive isn't too bad.

That said, for our June trip we are going to drive down during the day. The plan, it's good to have a plan ;), is to leave home around 4am and arrive that evening around 8pm. Our last couple trips, we've had so much to do (between work, packing, etc.) before we left, there was no time for resting. And that made the drive down very hard. So hopefully, we'll be more rested doing it this way.

02-22-2005, 12:12 PM
We're planning on driving through the night for our early May trip...we've driven before, but we drove during the day. I'm hoping that by leaving around 5pm, we'll avoid the traffic in NYC and DC :)

02-22-2005, 03:34 PM
I have driven to disney most of the time. Driving throught the night is terrible, but can be done. It is very tought around 2/3 am but once that sun come up you are rejuvinated. We leave from Jersey at 3:am wake up the kids, drive to Savannah and get there about four pm. have a nice dinner and get up and leave the next morning about seven and in hotel by two. Drove home from disney throught the night, never again , but I agreed to my Dh so I could get another day out of disney. Left disney at 2 am and got to Jersey by ten pm. Driving in november again , doint our three am stint and this is to miss the washington traffic. My father was a big fan of leaving at six and driving all night because we slept and we must have did it 20 times as kids. Good luck and drive Safe. Ps Caffeine is great but remember the bathroom pit stops might wake up the kids.

02-22-2005, 03:42 PM
We are leaving around 5 pm. We live in Wilmington NC, about a 9 hour drive. I'm hoping my son falls asleep around 9:30 pm (He thinks we are going to Charlotte, NC,) If everything goes according to plan, does it ever, LOL) we should get there around 3 am. My boyfriend and I are night owls, so I'm not worried about driving at night. We are going to rest on Sunday, and start bright and early Monday morning! :bounce:

02-24-2005, 03:16 PM
We did it last year. My DH stayed home the day we were leaving to rest up for the drive. I took the first round of driving. We left at 7:00 p.m. My DD listened to her CD player and then watched a movie. We switched drivers when we needed gas. My DD slept through most of the night driving.

On the way home we left WDW at 6:00 a.m. We drove straight through again and we were home at about midnight. But the drive home is just not the same as the drive there.

02-24-2005, 05:40 PM
The drive there won't be so bad, but I'm already bummmed about the drive home. :earseek:

02-24-2005, 06:06 PM
I give.

02-24-2005, 06:07 PM
I am not quite sure when we are leaving yet but we are driving straight through from Michigan. Our reservations start on the 6th but if we got there the 5th it wouldnt be so bad. Just an extra day to rest right? Any pointers?

02-24-2005, 07:25 PM
We've never driven to Disney with the kids but we have driven to South Carolina several times. We did drive at night and our kids slept most of the trip. But keep in mind that Disney is approx. a 24 hour drive straight through. Even with two people driving I don't recommend it. Because what usually happens is that the person not driving at night stays awake anyway for fear of your spouse falling asleep at the wheel. I know that's what I did and ours was only a 12 hour drive. I suggest you stay in a motel part way down.

02-24-2005, 09:28 PM
Nope, I figure that driving is dangerous enough without falling asleep and driving off the road. Studies have shown that most people are NOT alert drivers during the wee hours of the morning and you are on the road with a bunch of others in the same condition.

02-25-2005, 06:04 AM
We drove from NY straight down last August - 19 hrs and we were at the resort. The plan was to stop overnight but dh felt fine. The last hour was a killer - traffic in I4 (?) we were so close. The next 24 hours are shot. It can be done but you will feel so much better if you stop. We took the Autotrain back. I would definitely recommend this. My dh also thought it was not that bad and would do it again.

Check the prices with Autotrain, the earlier you book, the better rate you get - less $ for gas, no hotel $, less stress and you get to sleep/nap/relax.

03-03-2005, 07:03 PM
Me, DH, & our three kids have driven twice to Disney from NYC.

The first time we drove to Savannah GA, stayed overnight & then drove the rest the next day.

The second time we were so excited to get down to WDW that we drove straight thru..left at 1a.m. (but my kids woke up & stayed up! ugh). The did have there t.v. in the car to keep them busy. We got to WDW at 6p.m. the next day. It took 17 hours...

Both trips coming home were a nightmare..we were so tired from Disney that we were falling asleep & it just seemed longer coming home...also the traffic once you hit Wachington is always brutal & so is the traffic coming back into NY.

I like to drive because we bring water, juices boxes, detergent, double stroller etc. I would not take all that on a plane. It is nice not to have the depend on the buses at WDW.

This year we are flying because that trip back it just too much all in one shot. If you have 2 days to drive then it can be a good thing.

03-03-2005, 07:25 PM
Not since I was in college!

I'm afraid one of us will fall asleep. It's just not worth it to me to go straight through and worry.

Last year we actually spread the drive over 3 days because we weren't sure how the kids would take it. They were really antsy by day 3, so this year we're going to do it in 2.

We like driving so we can take all our stuff. :)