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Old 06-16-2013, 09:40 AM   #46
pepe of ohio
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Don't let others scare you.... It's done all the time....and as for motels are cheaper further south... Don't think so... It's the rat hole motels that are cheaper, and that's anywhere..

Hamptons, Fairfield etc are all 100.00 or more per night, I don't know who you are but that's expensive for a few hours !

Our car trip is 1050 miles, now that we're a lot older, hard to do in one shot but we only need about 3 hours to recharge our batteries ( rest/sleep )..we are to excited to sleep but want to just get there as early as possible... We also like a lot of miles the first day and just a few the second to get into WDW at 5-6 am....

We push ourselves 12+ hours, make it to the Florida Welcome Center and crash there for 2-3 hours.... We asked, sleeping no problem and full night time security guard on property... Beautiful place.... We rested, continued on, drove straight thru Jax and Orlando with zero traffic .... Pulled into POFQ, relaxed, raring to go at 6 am, food court opened at 7, we were checked in ( room not ready ) fed, off to EPCOT for last day of the Flower and Garden show and done there by 11 and room ready.... It was like getting a whole extra day in WDW...

Will definitely do that again, and paying for a motel room for 3 hours isn't how we roll... And sleeping 8 hours getting to WDW isn't us either !
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:14 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by kbarrett View Post
Okay been lurking for a bit.... we are in Kalamazoo Michigan and everyone thinks I'm nuts but it looks like it's quite a bit cheaper to drive to Orlando even though we have 4 kids (10,7,2,&4) and we're not gonna be able to go for a year or more but just going to hang out subscribe, read posts and learn for you all.... I'm not nuts to do it right? It seems to be much more economical even though not as convenient, but it's an experience also, right?!
Up in Grand Rapids here. We've been doing it every other year since 2008. First trip was three kids, second was four, and in 2012 we had five. The last two we had nursing children younger than 1 year with us (10, 8, 6, 3, 9 months).

Drove straight through both ways and passed through K'Zoo on our way. US 131, I-94, I-69, I-65, I-24, I-75, Florida Turnpike. It's the most efficient way from our area. Fewest tolls, fewest miles, best speed limits, etc. And if you get a flat tire on the way, Hoss' Tire just south of Ft. Wayne is open until 6:00 pm (life saver!). Mr. Hoss will greet you at the door and work you right in ahead of the locals so you can be on your way.

I've mapped out I-75 all the way and cutting across Ohio to I-77 as alternatives. 77 is a lot farther, but a prettier drive (we took it to Hilton Head, SC one year). Also a lot more tolls. 75 is such a main north south road with all the Eastern Michigan traffic I prefer to avoid.

If you're not night drivers, you still want to try to time your departure to avoid Indianapolis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta rush hours. Tennessee is a beautiful stretch of road heading into Chattanooga. A lot of our marathoners will leave in the afternoon with the intent of going all night. That way, the kids are excited early, fall asleep during the long stretch, and we are nearly to Florida before they wake up so they're excited again!

US-31 is supposed to be updated to freeway grade all the way through to Indianapolis in a couple years. I'm looking forward to that as it will take a good 40 miles off our trip.

Depending on what you're driving, if you can get a hold of a cargo topper before you go, with four (five for us) kids in a car, it's a life saver! Seven people in a mini-van just wouldn't work otherwise with all the luggage and strollers. Had to bring two last time. Hope to be down to just a single stroller for out next trip.

If you plan on getting a room on the way down, you'll need to plan early travelling with six. Not many places can handle your family comfortably. Try to decide where you'll be stopping, then make a reservation early to make sure you have space. We aren't like smaller families that can pull into the first place we see and expect them to have room (without having to get two rooms or pack the three older kids in one bed).

Last edited by justussix; 06-16-2013 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:28 PM   #48
dvczerfs
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got my fathers day present today!!!!!



we spent a few hours this morning till she had to go to work. we have resi's tonight that she will be able to join us!!!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:32 PM   #49
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I can't believe it's been 3 years since our last meet-up. Lauren is doing marching band, chorus, performing arts camp, camp musical (Fame Jr.), and is trying out for a "big" show - Shrek the Musical which will be the entire month of December. If she gets in, then we'll have to postpone our trip to after Christmas. We'd arrive 12/28 if we do that - will you still be there? I'm thinking of making the reservation and then cancelling later if we don't need it. I don't want to get stuck without a room (or should I saw a room we can afford LOL). The prices at Christmas are ridiculous!!
so are the dvc points!!! we are leaving to come home that day.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:37 PM   #50
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got my fathers day present today!!!!!



we spent a few hours this morning till she had to go to work. we have resi's tonight that she will be able to join us!!!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!
What a wonderful picture -- Brianna (sp?) looks so much like you.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:45 PM   #51
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got my fathers day present today!!!!!



we spent a few hours this morning till she had to go to work. we have resi's tonight that she will be able to join us!!!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!
Indeed...a very cool photo! Have a magical Father's Day!

[I'll update the all-time records when you return home.]

All the best.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:13 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvczerfs View Post
got my fathers day present today!!!!!



we spent a few hours this morning till she had to go to work. we have resi's tonight that she will be able to join us!!!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!
Looking good! Is that Adventureland or Tomorrowland or Animal Kingdom?? I can't place the costume.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:40 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvczerfs View Post
got my fathers day present today!!!!!

we spent a few hours this morning till she had to go to work. we have resi's tonight that she will be able to join us!!!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!
How wonderful you both look! A great way to spend Fathers Day, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:15 PM   #54
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We're not planning our first drive to Disney for another 18 months but joining in reading this thread. We will have about 1000 miles each say. Our son will almost be 2.5. Are we crazy?

After airport fiascos and missed flights and shuttles on our trip last month DH and I are looking forward to driving and being in control! Plus we're planning a split stay and being able to go to the market to grab snacks/food and do some outlet shopping. Then we plan on driving again less than 6 months later if it all goes well.

Already going to start looking into planning the drive! We're going to stay overnight and not drive straight through, same for the drive home.

Do you plan stops ahead of time? I was thinking about planning food stops to break the trip up.

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Old 06-16-2013, 04:36 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by dtr_angel View Post
We're not planning our first drive to Disney for another 18 months but joining in reading this thread. We will have about 1000 miles each say. Our son will almost be 2.5. Are we crazy?

After airport fiascos and missed flights and shuttles on our trip last month DH and I are looking forward to driving and being in control! Plus we're planning a split stay and being able to go to the market to grab snacks/food and do some outlet shopping. Then we plan on driving again less than 6 months later if it all goes well.

Already going to start looking into planning the drive! We're going to stay overnight and not drive straight through, same for the drive home.

Do you plan stops ahead of time? I was thinking about planning food stops to break the trip up.

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Yes you're crazy. But in a good way.

In 30 years since I moved back to PA from Florida, We've flown once and driven about 20 times. Stopping for the night will make the trip very doable. There are plenty of places along the way to get a room. We don't plan on one particular hotel due to changes as we drive, but we have a number in mind. If we get tired, weather is bad, or traffic is bad, we'll stop earlier; if not, we'll go farther. I use a garmin GPS and between this and our phones we can find hotels 30 minutes to an hour down the road if needed.

The drive will be about 16 or 17 hours depending on your speed, weather, and how many stops you make, not to mention route (See discussions below). Just take toys, games, books. When ours were little we got activity lap tables for little ones that were nice. When they got older we had these things with pockets that hung on the back of the front seat and held all kinds of stuff within reach. We also would sing and read out loud sometimes. (Not the driver)
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:09 PM   #56
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Thanks everyone!!! She was working by dumbo today. She only works in the magic kingdom.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:14 AM   #57
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Thanks everyone!!! She was working by dumbo today. She only works in the magic kingdom.
That explains the hanging dumbo cups in the picture
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:09 AM   #58
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Thanks everyone!!! She was working by dumbo today. She only works in the magic kingdom.
We hope to pay our respects to that new WDW CM in August!

All the best.
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The 21st Century (40 visits): '01: Yacht Club.....'02: Animal Kingdom Lodge & Grand Floridian.....'03: Wilderness Lodge & Grand Floridian.....'04: Grand Floridian.....'05: Beach Club & Grand Floridian.....'06: (May) Grand Floridian; (Oct.) Beach Club.....'07: (March) Polynesian & Grand Floridian; (Oct.) Beach Club; (Dec.) Coronado Springs & Grand Floridian; '08: (March) Port Orleans Riverside & Polynesian; (May-June) Grand Floridian; (June) Paradise Pier @ Disneyland; (Oct.) Beach Club; (Dec.) Beach Club; '09 (March) Grand Floridian; (June) Grand Floridian; (Oct.) Grand Floridian; (Dec.) Grand Floridian; '10 (March) Grand Floridian; (May-June) Grand Floridian; (Aug.) Grand Floridian; (Oct.) Boardwalk: Garden Suites; (Dec.) Grand Floridian....'11 (April) Grand Floridian; (June) Grand Floridian; (Oct.) Boardwalk: Garden Suites; (Dec.) Grand Floridian....'12 (March-April) Grand Floridian: Presidential Suite; (May) Grand Californian @ Disneyland; (Aug.) Grand Floridian; (Oct.) Boardwalk: Garden Suites; (Dec.) Grand Floridian...'13 (April) Grand Floridian; (Aug.) Grand Floridian: Roy Disney Suite; (Oct.) Boardwalk; (Dec.) Beach Club & Grand Floridian...'14 (April) Grand Floridian: Roy Disney Suite...(Aug.) Grand Floridian; (Oct.) Boardwalk
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:59 AM   #59
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Planning the next odyssey...

We've driven from MA to WDW twice in the past year or so and are currently planning another drive in August. This one is a bit more involved because we need to stop in Atlanta for a couple of nights visiting a family member, and after a quick stop at WDW we are continuing on to Fort Lauderdale for a cruise, after which its another stop at WDW on the way back.

Anyway, my question is about the ATL>WDW segment of the trip. Having never driven that section of road are there things I need to watch out for? We will be staying on the North side of ATL (that's where family is) and I'm suspecting traffic through ATL on a Thursday morning will delay us some.

We do have a SunPass so the tolls on the FL Turnpike aren't an issue. What route from the FL Turnpike to WDW itself are people taking these days?
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:05 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by dtr_angel View Post
We're not planning our first drive to Disney for another 18 months but joining in reading this thread. We will have about 1000 miles each say. Our son will almost be 2.5. Are we crazy?

After airport fiascos and missed flights and shuttles on our trip last month DH and I are looking forward to driving and being in control! Plus we're planning a split stay and being able to go to the market to grab snacks/food and do some outlet shopping. Then we plan on driving again less than 6 months later if it all goes well.

Already going to start looking into planning the drive! We're going to stay overnight and not drive straight through, same for the drive home.

Do you plan stops ahead of time? I was thinking about planning food stops to break the trip up.

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Our drive is about the same as yours and we use the inland route (well, we did the 95 route once and decided never again). We shoot for Orangeburg, SC for our overnight stop. We have never made reservations but we travel on Sunday. There are a lot of hotels to choose from there (it is the St. Matthews Rd. exit). We've picked up the welcome center hotel magazines and gotten fairly decent rates that way.

We have never traveled with a child to Disney but we do stop at every rest stop (unless they seem close together). So, on average, we stop every two hours. With your little one, I would think he will need some get-out-and-run-around breaks. Better time your own potty breaks so that you don't have to stop when he falls asleep!

My daughter and her family make long drives to see her in-laws and they leave around 2:00 a.m. so that their kids sleep for a good bit of the ride.
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