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Old 06-26-2012, 11:10 PM   #16
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We seem to go down 101 instead of 5. Pretty.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:16 PM   #17
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Pretty yes, but longer.
I say it LOUD I say it PROUD.....I AM A DISNEY FREAK!
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:20 PM   #18
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Moving this so more people can benefit from the info
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:34 PM   #19
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I'm in San Jose. I make the trip broken into 1.5 hr segments. From San Jose, over 152 to 5 to the Firebaugh rest stop. Then to Kettleman City. We eat at In & Out, but there are other options, McD's and Quiznos and a few others. Dh gets a Starbucks and we fill up the tank. Then we stop again just before the Grapevine, it's Laval Road but I don't know the official name lol. Lots of food options including another Starbucks lol. Or, when the Lebec/Ft. Tejon rest area is open we stop there instead. Then over the hill and through the traffic to Disneyland.

Other good stopping points (depending on food and restroom needs and how often you like to stop) are Coalinga, Lost Hills and Buttonwillow. I don't know about play areas in the restaurants, but most of the areas have some grass where my kids run around.

We made the drive home up 101 once and had a terrible time finding places to stop between San Luis Obispo and San Jose, but probably because it was late at night.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:48 PM   #20
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Mickeyflower got it right. The Grapevine goes from sea level to 4000 ft and back down, is hilly and a bit twisty, and will take you roughly an hour to traverse. It's the name for the section that goes from approximately where I-5 and 99 meet, south until roughly Santa Clarita.

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Old 06-27-2012, 01:54 AM   #21
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[QUOTE=DarthMole;45300327]. In the old days cars would overheat but unless you're driving your 73 Buick Station Wagon you'll probably be okay. :

This really Brings back memories! 30plus years ago our family was in two cars going over the Grapevine when one of them started to overheat! Since we all could not fit in one car and someone had to drive the car with the heater on 3 of us were left in the station wagon to drive over with the heater going full last. So to stay cool we took our clothes and put them in ice water from the ice chest. they didn't stay dry for long so I got to take cups full of ice water and dump them over us. it must of been a 100 plus that day but we survived and it didn't stop us from going back!
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:03 PM   #22
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So many helpful tips - Thanks so much! This gives me a much better idea of what to expect from that leg of our trip, we are coming from washington state so that will be the last leg of an already really long road trip. We have a van, and I do worry about it overheating, but I guess we will just turn off the A/C and hope for the best!

After reading all the replies it occurs to me that my need to know where the play area's are is purely a washingtonian's issue, lol, I forget that the weather will be much nicer down there and the kids can play OUTSIDE!

Thanks again for all the helpful responses -this is why I love the DIS!
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:17 AM   #23
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Also if anyone with you is prone to motion sickness, be aware that going over the grapevine can bring that on and be prepared! We've had that happen a couple times, and after the first time we were ready with lots of doubled up plastic bags, air freshener, wipes, change of clothes, etc. We also turn off the DVD player, put away books and things and make everyone look out the windows before we head into the Grapevine.

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Old 07-08-2012, 08:47 PM   #24
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I don't know where you get onto I5 from the bay area but here is a list I did to keep my busy last year when someone else drove: (as you can see, even though it is a boring drive, about every 30 minutes there is another stop that can be made, most times within 15 minutes)

I-5 stops Eateries, gas stations and hotels/motels


I-5 Reststops from Sacramento to Anaheim
I probably missed some signs for eateries as I was doing the first 240 miles driving and writing.

Just past the Sacramento airport
Del Paso Rd
Eateries-In/Out Burger, Der Weinerschnitzel (?sp), Taco Bell, Sizzler
Safeway Grocery Store
Hotels-Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, Homewood Suites

Arena Blvd
Bel Air Grocery Store, StarBucks, Credit Union ATM, BelAir Gas Station
Walmart and Target are close by
I fall asleep here until around Stockton....I know there are Elk Grove people on here who can give hotels/eateries just past Sacramento to Lodi as I usually start falling asleep after I wave bye (ok, see ya, I'm off to DL wave) to my work downtown.

Starting at Lodi, Flag City

Flag City, Lodi 50 miles south of Sacramento
Eateries-McD's, Burger King, Taco Bell Gas Stations-Shell, Am/Pm

Exit 463 Lathrop (just south of Stockton) *Stop 1
Eateries-Subway, Carl's Jr, McD's, Taco Bell, Dennys, A&W, KFC
Gas Stations-Chevron,
Grocery Store chain (can't remember which one),Target
Hotels-Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn

Rest stop at approximate mile marker 450 Just past Modesto exit

Exit 441
Eateries-McD's, Subway, Carls Jr, truck stop
Gas Stations-Chevron, Am/Pm, Shell, Union 76
Hotels-Holiday Inn Express, Days Inn

Exit 434 Patterson Exit
Eateries-Dennys, Carl's Jr, KFC, Starbucks
Gas Stations-Union 76, Chevron
Hotels-Best Western

Exit 407 Santa Nella Anderson's Pea Soup Exit
Eateries-Anderson Pea Soup, Taco Bell, Dennys, Jack In the Box, Starbucks, McD's, Quiznos, Wendys
Hotels-Motel 6, Holiday Inn, Best Western, The Tower of Pisa Hotel--don't know the name.
Gas Stations-Am/Pm, Chevron, TA Travel Center, Rotten Robbie

Mercy Sprngs Rd (did not indicate mile marker) 156 miles from Sacramento
Shell gas station, fruit stand. No other services

Exit 385 Firebaugh Exit
Chevron gas station, Subway-no other services

Exit 368 Panoche Rd
Eateries-McD's, Taco Bell, Apricot Tree Restraunt, Foster's Freeze
Hotels-Best Western
Gas Stations-Shell, Union 76, Chevron, Mobil

Exit 334 Harris Ranch Coalinga/Lemore exit
Eateries-Harris Ranch, Burger King, Dennys, Carl's Jr,Taco Bell, Chinese Restraunt, McD's
Gas Stations-Chevron, Shell,
Hotels-Motel 6, Best Western

Exit 325 Coalinga exit Very few services
Eateries-Baja Fresh
Gas Stations-Am/Pm, Shell

Rest Stop area past Coalinga Road closed

Exit 319 Avenal-Lemoore NAS
76 Truck Stop

Exit 309 (just happened to be where we got gas going down and coming back--tank lasted to Anaheim and back here)
240 miles from Sacramento
Eateries-McD's, Jack In the Box, Starbucks (at Mobil station), Carls' Jr, Subway, Taco Bell, Quiznos, In/Out
Gas Stations-Shell, Chevron, Mobile, Union 76, Velero

Exit 278 Lost Hills ***171 miles from DL on the way back
Eateries-McD's, Dennys, Wendys Arbys
Gas Stations-Chevron, Union 76, Shell, Arco, Pilot Truck Stop, Loves Truck Stop

Rest Stop 286 miles from Sacramento--Buttonwillow ***152 miles from Anaheim on the way back

Exit 257 Hwy 58 to Bakersfield
Eateries-Carl's Jr, McD's, Taco Bell, Dennys, Subway, Starbucks
Gas Stations-TA Truck Stop, Am/Pm
Hotels-Motel 6, EconoLodge

Exit 253 Stockdale Hwy
Eateries-IHOP, Jack In the Box
Hotels-Best Western
Gas Stations-Shell, Chevron

Exit 244 Lamont-Taft Hwy
Gas Stations-Chevron, Mobil no other services

***note 325 miles from Sacramento to the merge 5/99 (left home just north of Sac at 7am, arrived here at 12:30pm)

Exit 219 A&B Laval Rd
Eateries-Popeyes, McD's, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Panda Express
Gas Stations-TA Truck Stop, Petro Truck Stop, Chevron, Mobil
Hotels-Best Western

Exit 215 Grapevine Exit
Eateries-Jack In the Box, Dennys, Mexican Restraunt
Gas Stations-Shell, Union 76, Mobil
Hotels-Ramada Inn

Rest Stop Exit 206 Grapevine

Exit 205 Elevation 4144
Eateries-Jack In the Box, Subway,Dennys
Gas Stations-Am/Pm, Flying J Truck Stop, Shell
Hotels-Holiday Inn

No exit number Gorman exit
Eateries-McD's, Carls Jr, Ranch House Restraunt
Gas Stations-Union 76, Chevron

No exit number Castaic Exit (where we stopped-370 miles from Sacramento arrived at 1:30pm)
Eateries-McD's, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, Carl's Jr
Gas Stations-Union 76, Mobil, Shell
Hotel-Rodeway Inn

Below are times and exits to DL as the stops usually quit here. All the years I have been going, I forgot (or probably erase from my mind)
just how much farther it is from the grapevine to Anaheim so thought I'd write down the cities along the way so next time, I'd
know when I was getting closer. Plus, my daughter was driving so I was having a slight panic attack in the car and had to keep
The following numbers are miles from Sacramento and arrival times (we left Sacramento at 7am--2 extra stops due to too much

373 Magic Mountain/Valencia 1:49pm
389 Mission Hills 2:01pm
395 North Hollywood 2:06pm
397 Bob Hope Airport 2:08 pm
398 Burbank 2:09 pm
406 Griffith Park 2:15pm (Glendale)
412 San Bernardino Fwy (LA to the right) 2:20pm
413 traffic came to a dead stop 2:22 pm
416 Commerce Exit 2:31pm
418 Citadel Outlet 2:33pm
422 Downey 2:40pm
425 Norwalk 2:45pm
427 La Mirada
432 Fullerton 2:56pm (we are actually going 70mpg here)
433 Anaheim 2:57pm
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:26 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by DarthMole
BORING is an understatement and your kids will love driving past the Harris Ranch stockyards.

No idea on a kids play area. Sorry.
Just make sure your a/c is on recirculate before you get there! It's a stinky place!

I think there's a decent sized grassy area in Buttonwillow that we've made our kids have races on to burn some energy. And I'm pretty sure Santa Nella has grass as well. Otherwise nothing. But IMHO, even if the ff places on I5 had play areas, I don't think I'd let my kids play on them...they're not the cleanest establishments!

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Old 08-01-2012, 07:36 PM   #26
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There are a number of lane closures on I-5 right now, not that you would necessarily save time taking an alternate route, but be prepared for more traffic than normal.
The 25 September 2004 Western -- missed it by that much!
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:13 AM   #27
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Kettleman City is a good place to stop, lots and lots of food to eat there. I do find gas there a bit more expensive...

So we usually stop at Lost Hills, 30 miles south of Kettleman City...
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:39 AM   #28
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We have made that drive often as DD is currently in Davis. We sometimes prefer the 99 to the 5. It is a nice alternative and you dont lose any time by taking that route.

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Carnival Ecstacy to Ensenada - Summer 2004
Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas NB Pacific Coast - April 2007
Disney Wonder to Alaska - August 2011
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Western Caribbean - June 2012
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:03 PM   #29
Sweet!!! Totally!!!!!
YAY for good weather!
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We always stop in Lost Hills for gas and a bathroom break, sometimes we grab a bite to eat as well. In our experience Lost Hills has the best gas prices, we always go to Love's, they also have pretty clean bathrooms and a large selection of drinks and snacks if you want something. We also stop in Santa Nella sometimes, not for gas but the Denny's is pretty decent and they tend to get you back on the road quickly. We've stopped in Buttonwillow, we weren't impressed, we've stopped at Grapevine and in Castiac, we prefer Lost Hills.
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