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Old 02-19-2008, 06:13 PM   #1
Catrinabeach
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Driving from Seattle to Disneyland

How long did it take you ? How many nights do you spend ?

We are going in Sept and again in Jan and we plan to drive both times. Wondering how long it will take us.

We were told it was a 24 hr drive from Vancouver BC where we will be leaving from. So we thought we could spend 1 night on the way and drive 12 hrs each day.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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We have drove only once to DL from Seattle with a few friends and it took roughly less than 18 hours with all of us changing drivers. I think if you do stops at night it may take you 2 days? Just remember in January that you will be going over a few mountains so there may be snow and may take a little longer.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:32 PM   #3
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We've done that road trip 3 times from Seattle-Disneyland. Dh and I take turns driving and prefer to drive through the night. Our best time was 18 hours. Our worst time was 22 1/2 hours. We've driven in late March, July and August, with late March being the 22 1/2 hours. That said, we prefer doing the drive during the summer time because we hate driving with rain and snow.

We had awesome AP rates one January and thought about doing the drive since it was a last minute trip. We ended up canceling it since most advised not to do the drive in the winter months. We've only spent the night once and we stopped at Redding, CA.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:36 PM   #4
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I think that in January you would most definitely have snow. I live in WAY NORTHERN California (about a half and hour south of the Oregon border) and we have lots of snow on the ground right now. If the roads get to bad, they will be occasionally be closed until the weather improves. That could take a couple of hours or a day or two. However, the drive is beautiful during the spring/summer/fall. From the top border of California it will take you about 10 hours to get to DLR. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catrinabeach View Post
How long did it take you ? How many nights do you spend ?

We are going in Sept and again in Jan and we plan to drive both times. Wondering how long it will take us.

We were told it was a 24 hr drive from Vancouver BC where we will be leaving from. So we thought we could spend 1 night on the way and drive 12 hrs each day.
Done it 5 times with a youth group, almost every year. From Vancouver to Anaheim. This year we're taking a 1-day rest though when we go in March with our youth group. We're driving from Vancouver to Redding area then Redding area to Anaheim.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:02 PM   #6
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We did it in 2006 with 2 small kids, and I don't know exactly how long it took, but we did spend 2 nights on the road. We will be driving in June, and plan to do roughly the same. We will also be stopping at the American Girl store in Los Angeles, so not sure what that will do for our schedule.

I agree that mountain weather makes it rough in the winter months. BC (before kids) dh and I drove to Arizona and New Mexico. I remember somewhere in the mountains somewhere (don't even remember which state) we decided to take a shortcut on the map, between one state highway and another. It was about 30 miles. Well, it started snowing. We didn't get scared until we were about halfway through it, and it started getting really treacherous. Whether we turned around or kept going, though, we'd still be in the middle of it, so we kept going. By the time we finished the shortcut, it had stopped snowing, and we were fine the rest of the trip.

Did I mention that it was July? We were driving a Porsche, which doesn't really handle well in the snow. But who expected it in July? In January though, you can count on snow in the passes. And lots of it!
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:30 PM   #7
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We just made this trek - granted it was to MOVE down here and came with a big moving truck, but took us 2 1/2 days. It was leasurely driving (partially due to the fact that part of I-5 was damaged in OR). But still made good time.

My sister & BIL just did this too with their 13 month old and 3 year old (moving to follow us ). It too took them 2 1/2 days with a big truck and stopping often for breaks. Think it really depends on when you are willing to head out and how many breaks you will need. Oh, and traffic!
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:19 AM   #8
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We drove down in Dec. from Seattle, and it took us about 16 driving hours. That stretch in Northern California really let's you fly! Also, no adverse weather. We did break out trip in two, staying in Redding, but next time we will drive straight through.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trodrigue View Post
We drove down in Dec. from Seattle, and it took us about 16 driving hours. That stretch in Northern California really let's you fly! Also, no adverse weather. We did break out trip in two, staying in Redding, but next time we will drive straight through.
16 hours, that's great time. What time did you leave and what day of the week? How far over the speed limit did you go? We tend to travel 5 over speed limit. Dh once got a 20 mph over speeding ticket one rode trip and boy was I mad. That speeding fine was almost the cost of our gas expense.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:18 PM   #10
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Cool

We drove from Longview, WA and it took us 17 hours. That was during a mass rain storm just crossing over into Oregon on the way home. I wouldn't drive straight through. Keep checking for cheaper airfare. Or do like you said and stay somewhere on the way. Usually Stockton or that area. If you know it will take you that long, you can prepare yourself.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:32 PM   #11
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We've done it many times with our 2DDs. Doing it again in July. Here's how it works for us:

SATURDAY
5:30am...Leave Richmond, B.C. (usually a 15 to 20 minute border wait)

11:45am...Arrive in Portland, OR, and grab lunch to go from the downtown Whole Foods.

6:00pm...Arrive in Redding, CA, and stay at the really nice new Hampton Inn Redding (includes free breakfast in the morning).

SUNDAY
7:30am...Check out of Redding and get on the road.

6:30pm...Arrive in Anaheim.

We usually take quick bathroom breaks in Target stores (hubby usually has to herd us girls back into the car as we love Target way too much). We all get to stretch our legs a bit, take a few minutes to pick up inexpensive treats for our kids and then hop back in the car.

The DDs don't really mind the long car ride. They get to really relax -- after a hectic school/extracurricular activities year, it's nice to just sit there, have conversations with each other, and give the mind/body a rest.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:37 PM   #12
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Wow you guys are fast!

I've driven on two family road trips (three if you count moving from SoCal to Wa going the other way) from Seattle down to Disneyland.

Both times it took us three days switching off, stopping for meal breaks and staying at hotels. Granted both times were with infants and I myself was really young (7 the first time and 11 the second), but I remember that it was a LONG drive. Maybe we were just going extra leisurely.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:07 PM   #13
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Honestly, that drive freaks me out nowadays.

In college I used to go from Tacoma to Santa Cruz in 12 hours, no problem, despite the continual construction in the Siskyous.

But we did that same drive in September, and I was just freaked out the whole way, no matter who was driving. I'm not saying I won't do it anymore, but I won't do it on a time schedule anymore! And I highly highly doubt I'll ever do it when the chance of snow is there.

Dukland's post reminded me of that horrible incident in the '06/'07 winter season where the family was going from Seattle to SF, took a road going east/west to get from the coast to I-5 or the reverse, got lost and stuck, and the husband ended up dying. If you're going when there's any chance of snow, don't take shortcuts unless you KNOW them, and carry emergency provisions with you.

As for getting from the Bay Area to Anaheim, that drive took us SO long. We were told by multiple intelligent people that it would take 5 or 7 hours (I can't remember which one it was, but either one, it was consistent from *everyone*), going on either 101 or 5. Well I don't know what time-space vortex we went through, but with one bathroom break and stopping for lunch at Andersen's split pea soup restaurant, it took us 12. Checked in at PP after 7pm. So depressing. And SO weird.

On the way back up to the bay area, we had to stop at a hotel (Travel Lodge in Coalinga, which, by the way, is near a feed lot and therefore stinks to high heaven as the sun comes up and there are huge flies everywhere) b/c it was so dark by the time we got there and we were so tired.

So beware the vortices that suck away time, when on that very long trip.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:37 PM   #14
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I have made this trip LOTS of times. About twice a year actually. We leave around 10AM (sometimes later as DH is not a morning person), arrive in either Weed, Redding, or Sacromento, depending on the time of day and how awake we feel. Usually we Stop in Weed (love the small town). Next day up and out around 8AM and arrive in anaheim around 6pm.

My boys are now 10 and 5(will be 6 on our next trip down/Aug). I must say it is so much easier with them at this age then as toddlers. My boys have been raised traveling in the car (We love road trips). Off topic- we drove from Lynnwood to South Carolina in 2005 and then back again. Not once did they ask if we were there yet (and no we do not have a tv/dvd in our car). They stayed busy with activities I pack and the different stops we made. It was on of the best road trips I have taken.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:08 PM   #15
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We have done the drive in 18 hours. Like an earlier poster said, we really like Weed, and it is well placed for an overnighter.

But I absolutely would not drive in January. January is the snowiest month--you can have looooong delays--a couple of years ago, as I recall, people were stranded for two days or something like that. The Grapevine can be closed for hours. The pass over the Siskyous is absolutely treacherous.

If I had to choose between not going and driving in January, I would stay home.
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