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Old 04-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #991
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Originally Posted by PA Princess View Post
We are planning a drive to WDW this summer. We have gone back and forth on flying or driving. I think we have finally decided to drive to WDW and take the auto train home.

We have done the drive in the past when kids were younger and we preferred to do the through the night drive. Now all of our kids are 7 and up and two are drivers, so a day time drive seems more doable. I am wondering if the time line I am thinking is realistic.

We are about an hour outside of Philly, we have no problem driving DC beltway, and we are departing on Sunday, August 12. Our plan is to leave by 5am, drive for 5 hours (should be in VA), stop for brunch, drive 6 hours, stop for dinner, and then drive the final 5 hours to the hotel.

I know this will be tiring, but I am hoping adrenalin and having 4 drivers will get us through the long day. We have no plans the following day, so we can recuperate.

Any tips or cautions?
Shockingly, we are driving from an hour north of Philly to WDW on the same day!! I'm fairly new to the area, having come from Chicago, but have been repeatedly warned to avoid 95 til past DC. Someone suggested going I-81 to I-77 and finally hooking into I-95 in S. Carolina.

I have 4 kids, but none are of driving age. We are thinking of leaving early morning, but will stay somewhere (2-4) hours from WDW for an overnight stop. It looks like 18 hrs of drive time, which would translate to about 20 with brief stops. You may be getting in much later than your original timeline.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:07 PM   #992
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Originally Posted by McBane View Post
Shockingly, we are driving from an hour north of Philly to WDW on the same day!! I'm fairly new to the area, having come from Chicago, but have been repeatedly warned to avoid 95 til past DC. Someone suggested going I-81 to I-77 and finally hooking into I-95 in S. Carolina.

I have 4 kids, but none are of driving age. We are thinking of leaving early morning, but will stay somewhere (2-4) hours from WDW for an overnight stop. It looks like 18 hrs of drive time, which would translate to about 20 with brief stops. You may be getting in much later than your original timeline.
im in nazareth, if i go 78/81/77/26/95/4, i do it in 16 1/2 hours. we stop every 2-3 hours for gas, rest stop. we dont mess around real long and get back on the road. even doing the speed limit, you get there faster than 20 hours.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #993
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im in nazareth, if i go 78/81/77/26/95/4, i do it in 16 1/2 hours. we stop every 2-3 hours for gas, rest stop. we dont mess around real long and get back on the road. even doing the speed limit, you get there faster than 20 hours.
Just curious, where do you get on 78 at? We will be taking this route in June and we will start on 81 near Hershey and my directions say it will take us about 16 1/2 hours.

This will be our first time trying this route - we usually take 95. Any tips on taking this route???
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:51 PM   #994
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Originally Posted by McBane View Post
Shockingly, we are driving from an hour north of Philly to WDW on the same day!! I'm fairly new to the area, having come from Chicago, but have been repeatedly warned to avoid 95 til past DC. Someone suggested going I-81 to I-77 and finally hooking into I-95 in S. Carolina.

I have 4 kids, but none are of driving age. We are thinking of leaving early morning, but will stay somewhere (2-4) hours from WDW for an overnight stop. It looks like 18 hrs of drive time, which would translate to about 20 with brief stops. You may be getting in much later than your original timeline.
Funny how many things we have in common! How old are your kids McBane? Mine are 7, 11, 16, and 17 (though older two will both be a week away from their next birthdays when we travel). I hope you have a smooth and safe drive.

We are more west of Philly than north (Reading area), and all the calculators and our past experience has been that this is a like 16 1/2 hour drive for us. We have driven 95 (especially the route from here to DC/Northern VA) many times and we are comfortable with that drive. I will investigate and talk to dh about the 81 route.

We could stop and stay over night somewhere if we had to. First leg of our trip is very low key and we can take a day to relax or hang out at the water park to re-coup from the drive. We are not doing Disney parks this trip mainly to make certain we are rested for the 7 day cruise on the Fantasy at the back end of the trip.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:21 PM   #995
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Roof top carrier

I am seeking some feedback on rooftop carriers. We will be driving from Kansas and will be utilizing a rooftop carrier. I am tired of reading reviews, so I decided to come to the boards for some assistance. What model of rooftop carrier has worked best for you? What model has been disastrous? Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:12 AM   #996
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Originally Posted by dthogue View Post
Just curious, where do you get on 78 at? We will be taking this route in June and we will start on 81 near Hershey and my directions say it will take us about 16 1/2 hours.

This will be our first time trying this route - we usually take 95. Any tips on taking this route???
I am going to be watching this thread for updates on i81. Please report back after you drive it.


N the for folks driving thread someone mentioned some ongoing construction on I81 in VA. Trying to find out about that before committing to that route again. We did it 2years ago and really enjoyed it. So much less stress than i95. But if there is some major construction project going on that would be a problem.

We are about 45 minutes east of Nazareth and it takes us about that same amount of time. We stop less, every 4 hours if we can. Use gasbuddy.com to determine stopping points. Although I have not figured out how to alter my route
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:09 AM   #997
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Originally Posted by dthogue View Post
Just curious, where do you get on 78 at? We will be taking this route in June and we will start on 81 near Hershey and my directions say it will take us about 16 1/2 hours.

This will be our first time trying this route - we usually take 95. Any tips on taking this route???
That's great! We start on 78 in Fogelsville and it takes us longer than it will take you, as it takes us 1 hr. 20 minutes to get to Hershey....we were just out there 2 weeks ago to see Dsisney on Ice. So you may be able to make it in 15 1/2 hours since you're right off 81!
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:31 AM   #998
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I am seeking some feedback on rooftop carriers. We will be driving from Kansas and will be utilizing a rooftop carrier. I am tired of reading reviews, so I decided to come to the boards for some assistance. What model of rooftop carrier has worked best for you? What model has been disastrous? Any feedback is appreciated.
I am not sure if you are thinking a hard or soft carrier, but if you are thinking soft I would highly recommend roofbag.com, in particular the Cross Country model. We have the larger model and have used it for multiple trips to Florida from Wisconsin and it has worked great. It is relatively compact and easy to store, waterproof (short of driving into a lake I don't think you can get water into it), and easy to load / unload.

If you have any specific questions please let me know - I would be happy to answer them.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthogue View Post
Just curious, where do you get on 78 at? We will be taking this route in June and we will start on 81 near Hershey and my directions say it will take us about 16 1/2 hours.

This will be our first time trying this route - we usually take 95. Any tips on taking this route???
from hershey exits, i would say 15 1/2.(i could do it in 15 if i had to) it depends alot on how fast you drive, how often and for how long you stop and traffic. i tend to drive a bit (5 mph) over the posted speed limit or if i find a running buddy, it could get higher than that. i tend to get in the left lane and stay with the flow of left hand lane traffic. if your a right lane, white knuckler, it could take you longer. when we stop, we go into, do what we have to and hit the road. if we stop to eat, we hit fast food and eat in the van. we pack for in the cooler so we dont stop to eat to often. im going this way in 2 weeks from today.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:25 PM   #1000
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Originally Posted by WIDisneyFan View Post
I am not sure if you are thinking a hard or soft carrier, but if you are thinking soft I would highly recommend roofbag.com, in particular the Cross Country model. We have the larger model and have used it for multiple trips to Florida from Wisconsin and it has worked great. It is relatively compact and easy to store, waterproof (short of driving into a lake I don't think you can get water into it), and easy to load / unload.

If you have any specific questions please let me know - I would be happy to answer them.
I was looking at hard side carriers, but I'll check out that site. Thanks!
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:31 AM   #1001
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. im going this way in 2 weeks from today.
Have fun! Can you let us know what kind of construction you hit? Last summer we hit traffic in the mountains on the way home (Virginia or West Virginia maybe) and sat for a very long time. I'm not sure if that was because of the blasting I saw people talking about.

We're leaving on Saturday, June 30th and checking in Sunday, July 1st. I'm going to leave around 3 a.m. again and drive as long as possible on Saturday so we can get there earlier on Sunday. We stopped in Mooresville NC for the night which was about a 12 hour drive.

Have fun!
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:11 PM   #1002
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Have fun! Can you let us know what kind of construction you hit? Last summer we hit traffic in the mountains on the way home (Virginia or West Virginia maybe) and sat for a very long time. I'm not sure if that was because of the blasting I saw people talking about.

We're leaving on Saturday, June 30th and checking in Sunday, July 1st. I'm going to leave around 3 a.m. again and drive as long as possible on Saturday so we can get there earlier on Sunday. We stopped in Mooresville NC for the night which was about a 12 hour drive.

Have fun!
will do. my wife is going to try to keep track of times from state to state also. ill post it when we get back. i will be hitting the blasting area around 4am on a saturday so hopefully they wont be working.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:22 PM   #1003
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will do. my wife is going to try to keep track of times from state to state also. ill post it when we get back. i will be hitting the blasting area around 4am on a saturday so hopefully they wont be working.
Have a great safe trip. I love being co-pilot.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:37 PM   #1004
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Got back from FL this past Sunday and figured I would give a quick travel report. First off, our plans changed considerably. It was originally supposed to be myself, along with the 3 kids and a friend of mine. We were planning on leaving Friday the 13th after school and driving straight through. Well, DS16 decided he didn't want to go. He had lots of reasons, but we all think it was really the girlfriend. Fine, more room in the car then. Well, two days before we were supposed to leave, my friend ended up in the hospital with a crazy arm infection! She actually ended up staying there for 5 days. So, needless to say, she couldn't go. That left myself, DS13 and DD9. The thought of driving both ways was a bit intimidating, not to mention I knew it would eat into vacation time as I can't stay awake to drive overnight. I ended up booking us a flight down and we rented a car to drive back. Alamo was actually looking for drivers to drive the FL rentals north, so that part was easy. If you are still with me, her are our travel times:

Friday, April 20th
Left my granparents' house in Cape Coral, FL and went to Fort Myers airport to get rental car.

8:45 AM - Left Fort Myers airport
12:15 PM - Arrived at DTD where we stopped and had lunch at T-Rex and did some shopping
3:30 PM - Left DTD, hit some traffic in Orlando, but not bad; it started raining right as we got in the car at DTD, but we drove out of it pretty quickly; we hit some very heavy rain just outside Daytona, but luckily were only in it for about 15 minutes
7:30 PM Arrived at the Georgia state line
8:45 PM - Stopped for the night at a hotel just outside of Savannah (Exit 87)

Saturday, April 21st
9:10 AM - left hotel
9:33 AM - arrive in South Carolina
12:40 PM - Arrive in North Carolina (We actually stopped for about 15 minutes at South of the Border; I hadn't been there in 27 years; it has grown! The kids were amused by its tackiness. We then stopped at the North Carolina welcome center where we had a lovely picnic lunch in sunny, gorgeous weather.
1:37 - left NC welcome center
4:14 PM - Arrive in Virginia
Up to this point the weather was beautiful and there was no traffic. However, around about Fredericksburg our luck with the weather ran out and a huge storm blew in. There was rain, lightning, wind etc.... I had been hoping to drive well into the night, but found that driving in the storm really unnerved me, particularly in the Alexandria region.
7:50 PM - Arrive in Maryland
By now, my nerves were shot. We made a stop at the Maryland welcome center so I could talk to my husband and we decided on a what to do. I decided to stop for the night. We arrived at the hotel in the Columbia/ Jessup area just outside of Baltimore at 8:35 PM.

Sunday, April 22nd
This was the driving day from Hades. After 2 days of great driving (up until Saturday night), we had a terrible day. It was raining when we woke up in Maryland and never let up the rest of the way home. It alternated between rain and torrential downpours. What we estimated would take less than 8 hours, took about 10 1/2.
9:14 AM - Leave hotel
10:26 AM - arrive in Delaware
10:43 AM - Arrive in New Jersey
1:44 PM - Arrive New York - the second we crossed over the state line from NJ to NY, we hit the first traffic of the trip
2:38PM - Arrive in Connecticut - we also hit some bad traffic the first 20 or so miles into CT; we ended up passing a terrible accident with an overturned vehicle
5:38 - Arrive in Rhode Island
6:20 - Arrive in Massachusetts
We arrived home around 7:30 / 8:00 PM.
Total trip was about 1550 miles.
I returned to car to Logan Airport the next afternoon.

We took 95 most of the way with a few exceptions. We did take 295 through part of Virginia and then we took the NJ Turnpike to Garden State Parkway and went over the Tappan Zee Bridge in NY. I followed the route from AAA. Other than NY and CT we had no traffic issues, including at the tolls. Our biggest problem was the weather on that third day.

As far as driving it again: I'm proud of myself and can now say I've done it, but I will never do it again by myself. It just takes too long. With another adult you can drive straight through which makes a world of difference.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:18 PM   #1005
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Booked our hotel for the drive home from WDW! We are stopping in Rocky Mount NC on our way back to PA.

I was really hoping to fly but rates are sky high. The nice part about driving is we can stop to visit my cousin in VA then take the kids over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge before heading home! I think they'll love it!

Has anyone seen the book Drive I-95? I got an old copy from 2005 from my library, but plan to buy the new one. It's pretty amazing! It has half mile sections of 95 north and south. It has tons of info and even shows where cops are known to sit along the roadside!
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