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Old 12-13-2014, 01:15 AM   #1
danielhavard
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Traveling from Texas

We are leaving the day after Christmas to head out on our Disney trip with our 4yr old daughter (5 in January). We are traveling from East Texas and it will be about a 14 hour drive so that is why we decided to leave a day before check-in. We are wanting to stay somewhere the night before our arrival and just wanted to get some suggestions of where. Several people mentioned they stay in Ocala. I don't want to over extend ourselves and be workout from the drive. Would also like to get ideas of "must stops" along the way. Wear excited and can't wait to see our daughters face when we walk through the gates.
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:22 AM   #2
jenthern
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I don't have advice on where to stay because I'm from the NE, but I've always found 10 hours is a good doable trip in one day. 10 hours of driving, not including breaks. That puts you an easy 4 hours from disney on your second day.

Honestly if I was only 14 hours from disney, I'd leave early in the morning and make the trip in one day. Last time we drove (we've made the drive twice), we did something like 16 hours on day 1 so we'd only have a few hours left (4-5) on day 2.
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:40 AM   #3
danielhavard
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Originally Posted by jenthern View Post
I don't have advice on where to stay because I'm from the NE, but I've always found 10 hours is a good doable trip in one day. 10 hours of driving, not including breaks. That puts you an easy 4 hours from disney on your second day.

Honestly if I was only 14 hours from disney, I'd leave early in the morning and make the trip in one day. Last time we drove (we've made the drive twice), we did something like 16 hours on day 1 so we'd only have a few hours left (4-5) on day 2.
We considered it driving the full trip in one day. I'm just trying to make sure I can keep my sanity. Lol my wife and DD aren't the most patient riders. Lol
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:20 AM   #4
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We considered it driving the full trip in one day. I'm just trying to make sure I can keep my sanity. Lol my wife and DD aren't the most patient riders. Lol
I would say you are very wise to make it two days instead of straight through. With rest/eating breaks, that would be a 'long' day. We made the trip from Lafayette, LA a few times and always stopped. Can't remember 'where' now.

Not worth being stressed and worn out when you can arrive refreshed. Too many people take chances of driving too many hours, and I hate to think of them being too sleepy/tired without realizing it.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:26 AM   #5
danielhavard
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I would say you are very wise to make it two days instead of straight through. With rest/eating breaks, that would be a 'long' day. We made the trip from Lafayette, LA a few times and always stopped. Can't remember 'where' now.

Not worth being stressed and worn out when you can arrive refreshed. Too many people take chances of driving too many hours, and I hate to think of them being too sleepy/tired without realizing it.

So true. Definitely don't want to be tired our first day. Lafayette huh? We used go to Mardi Gras there alot. My sister lives in Eunice. I'm a HUGE LSU fan so we thought about going through Baton Rouge and hopefully getting to see Mike the Tiger. My daughter wants to see him too. Although I hope to get through there early because I know how bad traffic can get.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:57 AM   #6
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we drive from Southwest side of Houston area all the time.. matter of fact, just got back a couple days ago it was a blast!

I drive straight thru. we leave at 3:00pm the day before check in and pull into the WDW resort at 5:30am. This includes 5 stops for restroom, fuel and some chickfila (the one in Covington, LA at about 8pm)

I can tell you I-10 is real touchy on where you should and shouldn't exit. I would hate to try to figure out where to stay. Over many trips I've pulled into bad situations with drug deals and straight up gangster stuff going down. Luckily I was able to pump my gas and do my thing without them getting injured but it could of been bad lol..

So we get to Disney with the kids fully rested and the wifey and I wide awake because we drove all night and are now at DISNEY!! We check-in and miraculously we almost always get our room (we fax confirmation with requests and noting we will be arriving at 5am). We unload into the room and hit rope drop every time. We also schedule a midmorning ADR at Crystal Palace so we ride for a couple hours getting most of the rides out of the way then we eat and then head back to the resort for a nap, then go to downtown or just chill in the heated pool

To make the drive easier I make short goals..

out of TX by 5pm
out of LA by 9:30pm
out of MS in under an hour
try to do AL in 45 minutes
then the tough stretch is from Pensacola to Tallahassee and then from Tal to Lake City..

PAY ATTENTION!!!

by this time for us its about 2-3am.. we are up chatting about stuff to entertain each other and there has been times when I have flown right through Lake City passing the exit for 75. It was a costly one hour mistake too.. Apparently, Florida doesn't believe in U-turns or exits and they want everyone to just go to Jacksonville.
I finally gave up and u-turned after 30 minutes of wrong travel. I never saw the no traffic u-turn sign..

So once you get on 75, you make short goals of Gainsville, Ocala, then the turnpike.. you get through the turnpike and BOOM WDW!!!


so must stop.... Covington, LA exit is nice.
any Bu-cee's you see in TX.
thats about it. I guess if you are not wanting to get to Disney you could go off the beaten path and hit some cool spots like the battle ship in Mobile...
oh in Mobile you get to drive in a tunnel!!

One trip I wasted an hour in Mobile because I'm a food lover at heart and wanted to eat at the city's top burger joint.. We drove to 2-3 of them and wasn't impress at all with the whole situation so we bailed..
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:13 PM   #7
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So true. Definitely don't want to be tired our first day. Lafayette huh? We used go to Mardi Gras there alot. My sister lives in Eunice. I'm a HUGE LSU fan so we thought about going through Baton Rouge and hopefully getting to see Mike the Tiger. My daughter wants to see him too. Although I hope to get through there early because I know how bad traffic can get.
Yep, know Eunice too! The traffic in BR now is 'horrific' since Hurricane Katrina pushed a lot of people out of NOLA to neighboring towns/cities - We just got back from there (from Hammond, family still there) and there isn't an easy way/time to pass through (except maybe middle of night - that might still work!!). Good luck!! Used to be a nice city.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:50 PM   #8
rideswithchrist
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yay! I'll follow this thread for any extra tips. We are driving from Austin. I don't think we will try straight through with 3 kids though- most likely leave around 6AM- try to skim Houston Traffic (yeah right) and drive a good 12 hours. We have to stop on average every 2-3 hours, so that 8 stops alone will add another 2 hours to the 16 hour trip...so add another hour just because we will get out to eat dinner...it is a 19 hour trip for us. . My husband can drive 12 hours no problem, let the kids sleep and get up early again for the remaining 5-6 hours and then hang out at the resort and DTD sounds like a plan for to us.

- we tried driving straight from MN to TX- we stopped TWICE both ways to sleep.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:58 PM   #9
Tigerlulu
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We are in Lake Charles so not much shorter for us to get there. We stop in Tallahassee. There is a Marriott Residence Inn right off the interstate that we stay at since there are 6 of us. Without traffic it's about an 8 hr drive for us to get that far. Beware Baton Rouge traffic! Especially on a Friday between 2-7 in the afternoon. Avoid that like the plague!

Our normal stops are Gulfport, MS at Raisin Canes. Clean restrooms and fantastic lemonade and Niceville, FL at McDonalds. Not that those are the best but they seem to be where we always end up. From Tallahassee it's only 4 hrs to WDW so we hop up and hit the road early and check in around 11.

Good luck!!!
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Old 12-19-2014, 02:15 PM   #10
BreeCan2
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My family is in Tyler!

We like to drive straight through but after that Wills Point family's accident I think in the future we'll break it up.

When we drive anywhere I like to keep the priceline app on my phone and when we've had enough I can typically find something with decent reviews and get a good price.

Either way be safe!
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Old 12-19-2014, 03:47 PM   #11
Barry Browning
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I would add a humble request that you not drive all night.The risk is too great of a tragedy.I personally have had a friend that died exactly this way.I know people think they can do this but those green signs and the long night are a bad combination not to mention the amount of drunk drivers after midnight.

I live in Texas and know how long a drive this can be.I would personally urge you to fly and I also know how expensive that can be.But your family and their safety are priceless.

I agree that Wills point wreck was avoidable--these folks were teachers no less and they above all should know how to act responsibly here.Driving all night is just flat out dangerous and unsafe.No one can do that safely in my opinion.Stay safe and have a happy holiday.I mean its a room and a few $$$ for your family safety.
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