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Old 12-29-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
Tara8595
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What is the shortest reasonable time to spend at WDW for a 12 hour drive?

How crazy is it to contemplate leaving VA at 2:30pm on a Friday, arriving at 6:30am (stopping along the way for a 3 hr nap in the wee hours), checking in and hitting DHS for EMH on Saturday morning?

Only to spend 2 nights in a Pirate room, then drive home starting at 2:30pm on Monday.... to get the 5 year old home and back to Kindergarten by 8am Tuesday morning? 2 1/2 days of Disney for 24 hours of driving.... yes? no? Have you done something like this before?

We've never done anything like this. Sad thing is, we were just there for 4 days in December with the family for a holiday celebration trip. I just can't stand it though - I want to be there. Now. This second. But the flight times from Richmond right now are sucky. You burn 2 whole days traveling.

Sometimes I wish I'd never gone to Disney because I'm just a little sadder every day that I'm not there.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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I couldn't do it -- we've never driven to wdw but we've done plenty of driving trips for competitions and family events. To keep everyone from getting cranky I really need to work in at least half a day downtime (chilling poolside at the hotel etc) for each leg of the trip.

We usually spend 8 hours traveling to wdw each way -- so our trips are at least a week, but no more than once a year. You really should try it that way and see if it is more satisfying.

But...you never mentioned whether or not your family enjoys the car rides. Some do (we do) but everyone has their limit -- I guess you just have to know what your family's limit is.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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Is the only reason to head back that quick because of school? If so, I'd sooo take a few extra days...missing a few days of kindergarten is not that big of a deal. Imo, of course!!
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #1DopeyFan View Post
Is the only reason to head back that quick because of school? If so, I'd sooo take a few extra days...missing a few days of kindergarten is not that big of a deal. Imo, of course!!
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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I wouldn't do it and we've driven from MA. We stayed for a week though.

Are you really going to be able to function on Saturday? I know I would just want to sleep, not tour a park. What if it takes you longer to get there or drive home? We had a terrible drive down in August. What was supposed to take 24 hours (one way) took 31 hours.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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Well, we used to take road trips a lot when we were a little younger... like 10 yrs ago, we drove 2 hours to DC to see Brian Setzer concert, then left there and drove directly to Six Flags in GA for a few days in Atlanta and Lilith Faire. But haven't done anything like that with the kiddo. Assuming he'll sleep and be fine. I guess I just always figure I'll sleep when I'm dead. I just hope it isn't this trip that kills me.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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I don't think I would do it. I would wait until I had more time to drive down, take breaks, enjoy WDW, etc. I just did a small road trip with DS5 - only a 3 hour drive - but the hotel we stayed in the night before we drove home was so noisy I wasn't able to sleep. I had to pull over twice on the trip home because I felt like I was going to fall asleep at the wheel. It just wasn't safe.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tara8595 View Post
How crazy is it to contemplate leaving VA at 2:30pm on a Friday, arriving at 6:30am (stopping along the way for a 3 hr nap in the wee hours), checking in and hitting DHS for EMH on Saturday morning?

Only to spend 2 nights in a Pirate room, then drive home starting at 2:30pm on Monday.... to get the 5 year old home and back to Kindergarten by 8am Tuesday morning? 2 1/2 days of Disney for 24 hours of driving.... yes? no? Have you done something like this before?

We've never done anything like this. Sad thing is, we were just there for 4 days in December with the family for a holiday celebration trip. I just can't stand it though - I want to be there. Now. This second. But the flight times from Richmond right now are sucky. You burn 2 whole days traveling.

Sometimes I wish I'd never gone to Disney because I'm just a little sadder every day that I'm not there.
No way it would be worth it to us. We have about the same driving time (about 11 hours) and we go about 9 hours, stop, and finish fresh in the morning. We also would never go for less than a week, usually 10 days. We are in Raleigh, NC now so not far from you. (I-95 is miserable )
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:50 PM   #9
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I couldn't do it. And I wonder how rested your 5 yr old will be to basically get out of a car after a road trip and go to school on Tuesday??
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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I don't think I could...however, if it were me, I would leave Thursday and return Tuesday, having my child miss Fri and Tues. of kindergarten. I know everyone's opinion on this differs, but that is what I would do since my daughter has, "knock on wood" been healthy this year and not had any absences and done well academically.

Keep us posted on what you decide to do!
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:04 PM   #11
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Lessee...

12 hours to get there, 12 hours to get back...
8 hours typical day in the park

(12+12)/8=3

Three days.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:08 PM   #12
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We plan to leave on Thursady at 6pm to drive to Orkando. We will sleep plate and start at MK late morning on Friday. We will come home beginning lunch on Monday. Our trip is with my Dd9 and Ds2 as well as my DH. We ave a 6 hour drive. There is no way I could do it with a 12 hour drive and expect us to go to school and work he next day.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:22 PM   #13
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3 days - we did this recently and we were tired but it was fun.

Decided at 6:30 pm on a Sunday to drive down - left at midnight that night (when DH got off work). Was at WDW by 10 am (10 hour drive for us). Did the parks, checked in had an early night.

2nd day up bright and early for RD (but was tired) did the Halloween Party that night. checked out early the next morning to be at RD (yup we're RD fans). Left the parks around 5 pm and drove home. Took a few days to really get back in the swing of things once we were home but it was a great trip!

Would I do it again - maybe - it was a fun trip but by the time we got home we were beat. Didn't slow us down in the parks probably because I'm used to driving down overnight and being tired that first day but I do like our longer trips (typically we go down for 10 days at a time).

Funny thing was we left WDW after a 12 day trip on Sept 26th - went down for the quick 3 day trip over Halloween! Yes, we have APs.

Love Disney - don't love the drive!
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:54 PM   #14
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We once drove 24 hours each way just for a 3 night cruise. I'm not sure I would do that again, but 12 hours? Probably! But, I likely wouldnt send my 5 year old to school that day. An older child, yes, but for Kindergarten, I would let them take the day off. As my kids get older I am realizing how much easier it as for them to miss school back then.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:15 PM   #15
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If you think about it, 12 hours from door to door isn't really all that bad. Even when we fly down (approx a 3 hr flight), it's 8+ hours from door to door. Between travel to the airport, early arrival for TSA, time in air, then time at MCO til DME, and then travel time on DME. And most people think nothing of marking that flight for a long weekend. So the extra 4 hours isn't terrible. My biggest concern would be driving straight through and then trying to go to the parks all day.
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