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Old 06-27-2009, 03:00 PM   #1
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Are we crazy to attempt to drive straight thru to the World?

We live in Central Texas and are 18 hours away from DisneyWorld. On our last trip, in June 2008, we took 1 1/2 days to make the drive (staying overnight in Pensacola Beach) and on the way back took 2 1/2 days, spending some extra time on Crescent Beach (St. Augustine) and Biloxi, MS. We are planning another trip for this Dec. and will only have a week and are strongly considering driving straight thru both going out to DW and coming home, mainly for the time it would save us. DH and I would switch off driving. We figure this would get us to DW quicker and we would get to stay a little longer. By Dec, our kids will be 12, 10 and 4. They are all great car riders and would have enough to keep them busy in the car. I'm not worried at all about them. Plus, most of the time that we would be in the car going out to DW, they would be asleep, because we would leave late afternoon. We would stop for gas, of course, and also make a point to eat sit down meals all the way there and back, so we are at least getting some breaks from being in the car. What do you think? Anybody made a similar-length trip and have any words of wisdom to pass on?? Would you consider making such a trip? Thanks-
Me DH DS (17) DD (15) DD(9)
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:09 PM   #2
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I know several people who have done this with great success. I think the trick is to leave at like 6pm and drive through the night because there is so much less traffic.

I personally might have a hard time doing that since I am so not a night person. But I am considering it for February.

Have an awesome trip!
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:31 PM   #3
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I've done it from PA. It's not quite 18 hrs, but slightly less. I've done it a few times, leaving between 4pm and 6pm each time. It's doable, but don't plan much for the first time. The kids may be rested, but the adults are pretty tired!
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:24 PM   #4
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Check out the thread in the Transportation area about 2000 mile roundtrip drives. There is a ton of great info there. We just went straight through a few weeks ago on a 18+ hour drive. I'd try to avoid the sit down meals as much as possible though. They can add a ton of time to the trip. If you eat dinner at home before you leave, you'll only need to eat breakfast and lunch on the road. We sat down for breakfast and drove through for lunch. We found that it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. We were tired, but not drop dead tired. Just make sure to switch off...I'd say no more than three hours at one time over night.
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:08 AM   #5
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Crazy but doable

Question is: can the two adults safely switch off driving? We always have another person who is awake and in the front passenger seat to keep the driver company and make sure the driver does not doze off. The kids will be well-rested but you will not be. If you can make this work, it sure beats spending the $$$ for airfare for 5. So the sooner your oldest can get his license .....
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Old 06-28-2009, 06:35 AM   #6
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We left at 4:00 pm to avoid traffic - 19 hour drive. We didn't stop except for gas and drive through food. 1 slept/1 drove. I was so excited that I didn't sleep much anyways!

My husband worked nights then, so he just stayed up all day so that he was able to sleep at 4:00 pm. He was well rested by the time I got tired.

On the way home it was much harder - the excitement factor was gone Because of the trip home I would never drive again!
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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OP, here: Thanks for all of the great replies. I will definitely check out the 2000mile thread. I totally think this is doable! I'm getting excited just thinking about it! Thanks again!
Me DH DS (17) DD (15) DD(9)
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:24 AM   #8
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You aren't crazy. I have driven 18 hours from Central Missouri twice and love the drive. In 2005 my two 20-something daughters and I left home at three PM and drove straight through, arriving in Orlando around 11:00 AM. My oldest drove twice for two hour stretches. The deal was for one to stay awake with the driver, but this didn't work as I would find myself the only one awake. I normally consume mass quantities of Diet Pepsi, but didn't want to have extra potty breaks, so I refrained from drinking all night. We stopped in Valdosta, GA for a big breakfast, and three hours later I had a hard time staying awake. The caffiene would have helped.
Driving through the night results in low/no traffic, but is boring. On the way home we left WDW early in the morning and I drove straight through.
Last Xmas my son and I did the same drive as above with him driving 12 of the hours. I drove 12 of the hours home.
I am considering a solo trip in October and may drive again, only leave home in the morning and stopping somewhere for the night.
I love the drive through TN and northern GA and like having a car in WDW.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:35 AM   #9

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I think you're a little crazy. PP suggest leaving at around 4p, you'll arrive at WDW at around 11a. You'll be ready to sleep but your kids will be ready to get going. Your room might not even be ready.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:05 PM   #10
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Crazy, no. Optimistic, yes.

As others have said, lots of people do it, and have done it. Check the 2,000 mile post to see what others have to add on the subject. To some, the time saved is well worth it. I just finished a 12 hour drive from NC to MA last week, as the only driver, and it was tough, but certainly do-able.
One thing to note: most people would be totally wiped out after that long of drive. And as Lewisc noted, your room might not be ready when you arrive. Having experienced that last year at WDW, I know that when you are zonked after a lengthy drive, delays in getting to the room are bad news.

The drive down should be a breeze, with the excitement of WDW and all. The drive back (for us anyway) is usually torture, and nobody is in the mood to leave WDW, and then sit in the car for those next many hours.

I agree with others that sit-down meals can be good or bad things. Good, that you are taking a break from the car. Bad, that a slow server or kitchen take up valuable driving time.

I say go for it on the way down (as you seem already prepped to do), but build in time to stop for the night on the drive home (when the excitement level has disappeared).
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:09 PM   #11
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We've done it but it was hard since my mom and I are not late night people. It was a struggle to stay awake at 3am. Plus if the car breaks down I'd rather it happen during the day time hours where there are more things open.

Give it a try, you never know. For us, never again!
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:57 PM   #12
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We live around Ft Worth and will be driving this year in December...We are supposed to be there on a Tuesday so I thought about leaving after chuch on the Sunday before and just taking our time.

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