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Old 03-26-2014, 02:07 PM   #16
beachgirl2000
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This year will be our 4th time driving from Philly. We leave around 7-8 p.m. and are usually there around 2:00 the next afternoon. I guess you would have to add an additional 2 hours. We look forward to the drive there - -the drive home, not so much but that is because vacation is over. We have fun watching the temperature on the car go up the closer we get. Good luck -- It's really not a bad drive -- Just know that its gonna take awhile but in the end, you save a ton of money and you will also have your car there with you!
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:14 PM   #17
jen19806
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We've done this drive a couple of times from Delaware. There are tolls on I-95 in Delaware. And I would try to tailor your drive to try and to skip rush hour around NYC, Philly & DC. We found an ap called I-95 exit guide really helpful, it's not very interactive, it just has list of all exits on I-95 in each state and what is located at each exit. It helped us pick where to stop and figure out which exits might have one gas station and which would have several restaurants, hotels, gas stations etc. From past experience you can find super cheap hotels in Rocky Mount NC, I think we got a couples rooms at a no-name, no chain hotel for $37 a night, but you definitely get what you pay for, and had a better nights sleep paying a bit more for something like a Holiday Inn Express on another trip. Not fun to start a disney vacation lacking sleep, better to hit the ground running. We also found on one trip, that some hotels seem to put up a no vacancy sign once you pass midnight b/c the person on duty likes to go to sleep (if you check online they would still show vacancy) so don't push until 2 am if you haven't called ahead to reserve a room.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:15 PM   #18
Adam H
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We are driving from PA for the 2nd time this year. We can get to Jacksonville in about 13 hours and then finish the trip in the morning.

We leave about noon and roll into Disney about 10:30 am the next day.

I agree, the ride home sucks. Lol
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:52 PM   #19
Physics Guy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedfam
Thank you all Any specific hotels you recommend to stay on the way At savannah??
We're Hilton Honors members so we always just find a Hampton Inn wherever we are. They're everywhere. We've never been disappointed and they've always been clean and there's free breakfast. Although this time we're staying at the Hyatt Regency right on the Riverwalk just for the experience.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:53 PM   #20
dpswift
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We have driven from central NY several times. We pack sodas, water chips, sandwitches, and cookies for the first meal. We have found that leaving in the early afternoon driving strait through works best for us.

We pack movies or television series that everyone can enjoy. We also pack a few video games and books. Let the kids pick what they want and then go through it and take some things out. Kids tend to pack too much and things end up all over the van. I like Disney movies because it gets everyone in the mood. I also pack books on tape but we never seem to listen to them.

Coming back we usually stop around six or so for the night.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:20 PM   #21
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Wow! Thank you! So much great info!
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:37 PM   #22
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When my husband and I drove, we had 3 kids, and left Massachusetts around 4pm. Stopped around 8:30, got kids dressed for bed, got them all comfy in their carseats, they slept through the night, up at about 6:30am. DH and I switch on and off. This is when we drove to "just north of Tampa".

We got to our destination around 3:30pm the next day. Kids had blankets, pillows, dvd players, headphones, we had a small cooler for drinks, a beach bag of clothes, a bag of snacks lots of them, a trash bag for trash, lots of wipes.

The next time, I drove to Florida by myself first with 4 kids in 2008 then with 5 kids, last June. Obviously with me being the only driver, we had to stop. We left around 7am, got to just south of Dunn, NC around 6:30pm. Got a hotel, ate dinner and swam a bit. In bed by 9pm, up and out of there after the continental breakfast by 7am. Made to "just north of tampa" around 7pm. Obviously me just driving we stopped a lot, and hit some pretty bad rain storms, so slow driving too. Same deal with snacks, cooler, beach bag of clothes, dvd's, kindles, headphones, laptops, ipods etc.

On the way home, made it to Virginia and once I stopped off in DC for a bit of site seeing on our 2008 trip.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:04 AM   #23
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We live just outside (to the northeast) of Atlanta so we're close and get surprised looks from our friends when we say we are driving, not flying.

With driving, good points are that you get to be able to take things "just in case". Not sure if you need that jacket? Throw it into the car anyway. You can take whatever food and drink you want/need. Case of beer? In the car, not a problem. Need your favorite shampoo? Throw the bottle in the car, no problem with restrictions on size.

As for things to do on that drive, I grew up years ago before the internet and video games existed so we had to entertain ourselves with games that didn't depend on batteries. On our last drive to Disney World, I rediscovered the one that occupies your mind and gets you to look at your surroundings a bit as well. The Alphabet Game. You start with A and look at billboards and other signs along the road for something that starts with an A. Find something, call it out (or just mentally know you found an A), then move onto B. Proceed all the way through to Z. Q's are difficult so hope for a Quality Inn or a Quik-Trip gas station. The further south you are makes it easy for a Z - Zaxby's!

You can also keep a list of the different license plates you see along the way. For a huge variation now, check not only the state but the different themes. For example, license plates in Georgia have different counties on them. So a Gwinnett plate is different from a Fulton plate.

Yeah, long car rides can be a lot of fun.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:04 PM   #24
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We drove from Long Island for the first time last month. It was a last minute trip since DH was starting a new job so we decided to try the drive. I was nervous since our DD is only 2 but it really worked out great. We left NY 5am and drove to Savannah. Stayed overnight and then only had about another 4hours to WDW.

As others have said they drive back wasn't nearly as fun. Our plan was to stop in Fayetteville, NC and stay overnight. But there wasn't a hotel room to be had so we continued north to Smithville, stayed overnight, and then got home the next day.

Would I do it again? Maybe. As a family of 3 it doesn't save us any money. Although it was definitely great having our car with us. We did a lot of resort hopping that we don't normally do.
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