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Old 03-25-2012, 10:16 PM   #16
Disney Mommy 3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinefirW View Post
Hey neighbors! I'm in Beaumont and planning a June Disney trip.

My hubby was getting irritated of all the little stuff I bought, but then I pulled out my old rubbermaid and showed him all the goodies that are going to keep up sane on the trip.

Hubby is former Navy, now reserves and says that he can handle all the driving in one day. He has done it before. The one big thing that I suggest is headphones, dvd's, books and music players not only for the kids, but for me and hubby. It saves our sanity.

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Old 03-25-2012, 11:45 PM   #17
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Just wanted to add that if you child gets motion sickness, an audio book is a nice alternative to a DVD.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:28 AM   #18
ChristyG
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When is your trip?
We are leaving June 1...stopping in Pensacola...arriving in Orlando June 3. June 3, after driving and being in the car, we have reservations at House of Blues at Downtown Disney and then tickets to Cirques. We are staying at Coronado Springs Resort. Our trip home will be June 9. June 8 we are at Universal...will try to turn in early"ish" and get up early on June 9 and drive all the way home. Seems we always drive straight home....ready to be home by that time!

It is us...dh 52, me 48, dd 23, dd 11. We will have ipads with movies and games, ipods with music...HEADPHONES....pillows and blankets. We have always driven in a SUV but this year we have a little, but comfy, car. Nervous about that! I looked into renting a van but it was big $$$ so we are opting for being comfy and cozy with each other and toughing it out!
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:25 PM   #19
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Howdy...We're driving from Baytown. Leaving June 9 around 10:30 PM...Son is graduating from HS that night, so we're going to leave right after. Of course he is older...We have driven several times, and when he was younger we would stop on the way, and back. Pensacola is a good option for trip there. We often stayed a bit further. Sometimes way further...ie, Ocala. On the way back we try to make it to Louisiana, and stay off of I 12 just north of New Orleans. Have stopped in Biloxi/Gulfport area as well.

One thing we do when driving is leave a day early, and stay off site the day before check in...Then we check into our Disney resort early on our first day.

Have a great trip
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:23 PM   #20
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Katy, TX here. Last year we left on the last day of school and drove straight through. We were on the road by noon and arrived in Orlando at 6 AM. The kids (5, 7, 13, 15) were asleep by 11 and slept all the way to Orlando.

We will be doing the same thing this year but trying to take some steps to make it a little quicker just by making better use of stops and avoiding some of the traffic headaches like Baton Rouge at 4:30 PM. We are leaving on May 31st and coming back on June 9th. On the 9th we'll do a park until around 4 or 5 and drive to Pensacola or Mobile then drive the rest of the way the next day.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #21
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Laredo Transplant (originally from central Illinois) here. My wife and I are driving from Laredo with our 2 year old daughter to Houston on June 7. June 8 we pick up my 6 year old neice flying in from Illinois about 10:30 A.M. and plan on driving to pennsecola or destin. We plan on spending June 9 at the Beach before tackling the rest of the trip to Orlando June 10. Our preferred method of travel is driving unless for time will not allow it. We have a Dodge Grand Caravan though so it makes it nice.

For a beach day on the way down there, are there any other good locations along the panhandle that might be a little cheaper than destin? Seems that area is a little high for lodging.

Flying to Disney with two children might save a little time and hassle, but will eat a better part of a GRAND of cash. Thats just to much money for the small hassle as far as I am concerned. At least when the total trip is only 15-18 hours total.

Last edited by dspud; 03-29-2012 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:39 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by dspud View Post
Laredo Transplant (originally from central Illinois) here. My wife and I are driving from Laredo with our 2 year old daughter to Houston on June 7. June 8 we pick up my 6 year old neice flying in from Illinois about 10:30 A.M. and plan on driving to pennsecola or destin. We plan on spending June 9 at the Beach before tackling the rest of the trip to Orlando June 10. Our preferred method of travel is driving unless for time will not allow it. We have a Dodge Grand Caravan though so it makes it nice.

For a beach day on the way down there, are there any other good locations along the panhandle that might be a little cheaper than destin? Seems that area is a little high for lodging.

Flying to Disney with two children might save a little time and hassle, but will eat a better part of a GRAND of cash. Thats just to much money for the small hassle as far as I am concerned. At least when the total trip is only 15-18 hours total.
Check out Gulf Shores, Alabama...I have lots of friends who take their vacations here and don't bother with Destin anymore,...they say it's the same great beaches, but without all the hoopla and expense of Destin,..I am sure there are more activities in Destin, but if it's a great beach experience you are looking for--and headed to WDW that's the highlight!!-I think you would enjoy GS!!! In fact, we are looking into taking a vaca there this summer... I know Destin is 'more thrill's" but I would really just like a vaca where the kids play in the sand and I don't do anything!!!
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:05 PM   #23
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We go to

the Gulf coast at least once a year and have tried to mix up our vacation spots.

Gulf Shores/Orange Beach is calmer than Destin by far. There are a couple of decent restaurants there. This is our most common excursion since it is closest to our house. We're probably heading down there over Memorial Day weekend.

Pensacola is easy access. I-10 runs very close to the beach and there is a spur that runs withing a couple of miles of Santa Rosa Island.

Destin/Ft Walton is just too crowded for me. I have had to sit through two and three lights on 98 during late afternoon. We avoid if possible.

98 A - there are a number of small towns along 98A between Destin and Panama City. There are more houses and condos than hotels.

Panama City - A couple of years ago we spent three nights in Panama City Beach after our Disney trip. We stayed at the Sunspree which is a Holiday Inn hotel. It's great with kids. They have activities for kids during the day and movies by the pool at night. There is a miniature golf place next to it. That trip we only left the property for dinner. The rates are not cheap but they usually give you kids eat free coupons and ocassionally free drink coupons.

The Forgotten Coast - east of Panama City. There is a hotel on St George's Island (I think the Bucanner). That is a really relaxing area. I would love to go back. My wife isn't of the same mind. We were there when a hurrican came through and the beaches were pretty messed up.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #24
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First Family Trip 1997 !!!

We get about a 4 hour head start on y'all. The last time we drove to WDW was 1997 !!! Myself DW DS DD, DBNL DSNL DN in our Ford Aerostar !!! We drove it straight through, that van was so overloaded it was not funny. I10 @ 90 miles per hour with the gas pedal to the floor. It was a trip I will never forget. We usually fly now. But with the airfair for our May trip costing $308 each we may drive next time.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:08 AM   #25
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Thank you all for your advice.... for our way down to Orlando, I did some research and checked reviews and I have a list of good hotels (all under $95 a night with a pool and free hot breakfast!) starting from Biloxi all the way to Tallahassee (didnt book anything, just going to call on the road). We will see how far we can get before we stop. On the way back we booked 2 nights at the Days Inn Panama city beach for a little beach rest before heading home. We are leaving Friday 4th May, around 7am when we check the dogs in for boarding, coming back 14th May. We have hired a mini van for the trip so it should give us more room and be a little more comfy. We will see how it goes...Im sure the trip will be fine..having said that we may be flying again next year no matter what the cost!! We could have flown for the same money but the vacation would have only been 6 days long in total. Driving definitely gave us more nights and allowed us to stay in the CBR as opposed to last year when we stayed in POP. My 9yrs olds birthday is coming up next week so we are getting him an Ipod and filling it with games. We have the little tv for the car, new DVD's, games for the DS, hubbys has put stuff on the Ipad and I am buying little games and stuff and putting them in a box. Again thank you all for your advice...if you can think of anything else, please let me know. I will be sure to tell you guys how the trip went.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:56 AM   #26
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We have driven a few times but prefer to fly. On the last trip that we drove, we stopped in Pensacola on the way down and then I think it was Biloxi on the way back. We have also driven straight through before, but I have trouble staying awake all night driving, so we only did that twice. The next two times we drove, stopping around half way. One other trip, we took some extra time and spent a few days in PCB (nice beach) before heading to WDW. Since then we have flown each time, but if airfare continues to get crazy like it has been, we may need to drive more often.


Good Luck and have a great trip!
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:48 PM   #27
dspud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney Mommy 3 View Post
Check out Gulf Shores, Alabama...I have lots of friends who take their vacations here and don't bother with Destin anymore,...they say it's the same great beaches, but without all the hoopla and expense of Destin,..I am sure there are more activities in Destin, but if it's a great beach experience you are looking for--and headed to WDW that's the highlight!!-I think you would enjoy GS!!! In fact, we are looking into taking a vaca there this summer... I know Destin is 'more thrill's" but I would really just like a vaca where the kids play in the sand and I don't do anything!!!
I think I may take your advice, we are JUST looking for a beach day, so that sound great!
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:12 PM   #28
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Hi neighbors! We drive from Orange. We usually leave early in the morning and will get to Pensacola early afternoon. We check into a hotel on I10 and then drive down to the beach until sunset. That lets the kids get out some energy and play at the beach! Have a nice supper and then head out the next morning and arrive in Orlando in the afternoon. I think I already have a reservation for when we go in June if you would like the name of the hotel.

Christy
I live in Pensacola. Pensacola is the place on the Panhandle where I-10 gets closest to the beach. That's a pretty good idea.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:54 PM   #29
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I loved reading all the driving tips. Personally, we love to drive vs. flying as we like to have our own mini van while at Disney World. We make set stops along the way and pack a picnic lunch which we eat at a neighborhood park. This way the kids get to run around and play while getting something better than McDonald's.

I also love audio books as mentioned in another post. Check you local library as ours has a number of them on little MP3 players that you can check out like a normal book. We also get them on CD that the whole family can enjoy listening too.

Enjoy!
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:28 PM   #30
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Our kids are 11 and 15, and on the last day of school at early release we're high-tailing it to New Orleans (should check in to a hotel at 9ish, just in time to go enjoy a little nightlife!). We plan on seeing the morning sights until after lunch the next day and then driving and spending the night at a HoJo in....wait for it...... Midway, Florida. Looks nice, decent reviews, less than $100 per night.

On the way back we've found we JUST WANT TO GET HOME so we'll probably try to switch out drivers and do it all in one day. We have two days, just in case.
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