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Old 01-26-2012, 01:14 PM   #1831
pixeegrl
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Originally Posted by billlaurie View Post
Glad to hear that you would do it again! How long did it take you? Did they let you check in your resort room early?
We've looked at mapquest and the disney site and have found times ranging from 14.5 hours to 17.5 hours. A big difference!
Although we are hesitant about driving all night, we figured the boys would sleep most of it and that would make our trip easier.
Did you go to the parks on the day of arrival or were you too wiped out?
Not sure of your exact location but if I were you I would definitely take Rt 13 down the Eastern Shore of VA vs going through DC, Richmond, Williamsburg. Traffic gets soooo backed up at times on I95 and I64. It can easily turn a 2 hour drive into 5 hours or more. This has happened to us on more than one occasion when going to Busch Gardens or Kings Dominion. The $12 toll on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is more than worth it in our opinion.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:51 PM   #1832
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Originally Posted by billlaurie View Post
Glad to hear that you would do it again! How long did it take you? Did they let you check in your resort room early?
We've looked at mapquest and the disney site and have found times ranging from 14.5 hours to 17.5 hours. A big difference!
Although we are hesitant about driving all night, we figured the boys would sleep most of it and that would make our trip easier.
Did you go to the parks on the day of arrival or were you too wiped out?
Hah! this brings back some great (ha ha) memories. My husband was always the type for 3 trips drive straight thru. from MA. We've left anywhere from 4 pm to 8 pm. One time we made it by lunch the next day (4 pm leave). One time made it by 4:30 (that was the 8 pm leave time). We stay at a cheap place on Int'l drive (maybe comfort inn, it's next to Friendly's - no res. they have room) eat supper, crash about 7:30. Wake up early and check in between 7:30 and 8 am. Room is not ready but they give you your tickets and will even call your cell when it's ready and head out to a park.
Well, our last trip, we had a snag, all of this was really enough for him, and although we planned on either staying over one night (as we always do) or going straight through (which is what really happens), we actually had to stay over 2 nights because of his anxiety at one point and then some really really bad weather on day 2. I think we're done with that. Good luck to you, it was fine for awhile. By the way, our trip was alot longer and I wouldn't hesitate from just MD . The boys were fine, they really do sleep thru the night and love the road trip. Bring the DS's and a portable CD player and you're good to go!
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:15 PM   #1833
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Hi all and thank you for keeping this thread active! We are driving downfrom near Hartford, CT April 14. It me, DH, DS 3 and DS 5. They are used to car trips, as we take trips to PA all the time, and last year to VA to jump on the Autotrain (which was fun, but stressful at the same time, a lot of waiting, waiting and more waiting!)

Anyway, we HAVE to get to a beach for one night on the way to WDW, my DS 3 has been begging to go to the "dessert" for months now. Our plan was to try to make it straight through to Daytona... but as I am reading, I am losing confidence we can do this.

So, is anyone aware of a website that will help me plot times of when we will be in what cities? Departure time on Friday is somewhat flexible, but I would love to be able to play around with a mapping program to help decide when to leave.

Thanks!!
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #1834
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Sorry, another quick question, there is a lot of talk in the beginning of this thread about many from the Northeast taking this route to 95:

Route 84, then to Rt. 81, to 77 to 26 and get on 95 way down near South Carolina.

Is this still the best? That was posted way back in 2004... I know roads have changed since then.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #1835
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Anyway, we HAVE to get to a beach for one night on the way to WDW, my DS 3 has been begging to go to the "dessert" for months now. Our plan was to try to make it straight through to Daytona... but as I am reading, I am losing confidence we can do this.

With no traffic and no stops, best case is it is 17 hrs. 7 min to Daytona Beach from Canton, CT, according to www.bing.com/maps. I might try to think of a place further north on your ride to get you to wear you want to go. Maybe someplace like Myrtle Beach? Yes, you have to make a detour towards the coast, but if this travel site is to be believed, the temps look good and even the water temp is almost bearable in April!
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:37 AM   #1836
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Originally Posted by scooffer View Post
Hi all and thank you for keeping this thread active! We are driving downfrom near Hartford, CT April 14. It me, DH, DS 3 and DS 5. They are used to car trips, as we take trips to PA all the time, and last year to VA to jump on the Autotrain (which was fun, but stressful at the same time, a lot of waiting, waiting and more waiting!)

Anyway, we HAVE to get to a beach for one night on the way to WDW, my DS 3 has been begging to go to the "dessert" for months now. Our plan was to try to make it straight through to Daytona... but as I am reading, I am losing confidence we can do this.

So, is anyone aware of a website that will help me plot times of when we will be in what cities? Departure time on Friday is somewhat flexible, but I would love to be able to play around with a mapping program to help decide when to leave.

Thanks!!
Hi Scooffer, I'm driving from Mass the same time as you. I'd love to hear more about your Autotrain experience. I have a reservation on it, but haven't fully decided about taking it & might cancel. It does sound like a lot of waiting around to get going, and then a long night in coach (not getting sleepers) for about $200 more than just driving. But the alternative is making the whole drive solo. DH can't come on this trip.

Did you ever get an answer on a good mapping program? I've used AAA's TripTik and just good ole GoogleMaps, but I'm also looking for something better.

Happy travels!
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:20 PM   #1837
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Hi Scooffer, I'm driving from Mass the same time as you. I'd love to hear more about your Autotrain experience. I have a reservation on it, but haven't fully decided about taking it & might cancel. It does sound like a lot of waiting around to get going, and then a long night in coach (not getting sleepers) for about $200 more than just driving. But the alternative is making the whole drive solo. DH can't come on this trip.

Did you ever get an answer on a good mapping program? I've used AAA's TripTik and just good ole GoogleMaps, but I'm also looking for something better.

Happy travels!
Hi neighbor! The auto train was an easy way to get there, but you have to consider your start date (boarding date) a wash... we drove down the night before as we were afraid to run into traffic on the way to VA and miss the train. We got on the train 2:30pm, ate dinner early I think like 5:00pm, watched a movie in the lounge car (people are so nice on the train)! Chatted with some folks, went to bed at 8pm (kids time since we had a family suite, woke up at 7am for breakfast and we were in FL by 9am! we had the sleeper, but it was small. We have traveled it 3 times (2 with kids and sleeper, once just adults and coach), I can say, all 3 times the coach seats were empty and families could really stretch out. The biggest concern about coach, for us, would be kids wandering off while we were sleeping, so I feel that one adult would have to be awake at all times... but thats just me. There is an entire Autotrain thread which gives good info. I considered it again for the way down this year, but I don't think we can squeeze into the family suite again, and coach is out with them being so young (hard to keep quiet)

I don't think I could make the drive on my own... unless I was breaking the drive into only 7-8 hours limit a day. But, the most I have ever driven on my own with our kids is 6 hours.

As far as the mapping program, we are going to use our GPS, but I did find www.freetrip.com that maps out the hour markers, which is nice for hotel planning.

As far as cheaper flying, I don't remember what your party size is, but I found cheap flights out of Newark and Philadelphia... under $200 a person. Only a 3 hour drive for us, but DH hates to fly. I asked again and he said we are driving or not going.

Good luck to you, tough decisions!
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:05 AM   #1838
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This will be the second time driving to Disney in years. The first was with one child, now with 4! They are 13, 10, 6, and 4.

We'll come down I95 from Maryland and not sure if we are gonna make it straight thru in one shot.

Any recommendations for kids these ages? I see good ideas on here and wanna make this a great drive for them... its Disney but the drive will be an adventure as well. Oh and we are holding out on telling them until the day before we leave... the oldest 2 will probably figure where we're going but the younger will be in the dark. Hopefully we can keep a lid on it until we get close...

As far as they know, we are going to a beach in FL and to visit my brother in Talahassee!

Ideas? They all get along pretty well and we'll have a mini van so it wont be TOO cramped.

Looking for good ideas for activities as we drive, places to stop for running around or anything... just not too far off I-95.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:22 PM   #1839
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Car Games & Activities

Welcome DisneyPhT

My kids are 16 and 11 now and are pretty good at entertaining themselves & each other in the car. Some of our favorites include:

books on tape
games like yahtzee and backgammon
word games like The Minister's Cat
Guess Who (like 20Q but about people & we don't limit to 20)
Guess Who/What/Where at DisneyWorld (a themed version of Guess Who)
Wikki Stix
Dvds on the laptop

When they were younger, I would stock up ahead of time on activity books and puzzle books, but now they like the words games best. Also, they have games and apps on their phones & iPods that entertain them for a while.

I hope others chime in--I'd love to hear how other families pass the time on long drives!

Have a great trip!
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:47 PM   #1840
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Hi neighbor! The auto train was an easy way to get there, but you have to consider your start date (boarding date) a wash... we drove down the night before as we were afraid to run into traffic on the way to VA and miss the train. We got on the train 2:30pm, ate dinner early I think like 5:00pm, watched a movie in the lounge car (people are so nice on the train)! Chatted with some folks, went to bed at 8pm (kids time since we had a family suite, woke up at 7am for breakfast and we were in FL by 9am! we had the sleeper, but it was small. We have traveled it 3 times (2 with kids and sleeper, once just adults and coach), I can say, all 3 times the coach seats were empty and families could really stretch out. The biggest concern about coach, for us, would be kids wandering off while we were sleeping, so I feel that one adult would have to be awake at all times... but thats just me. There is an entire Autotrain thread which gives good info. I considered it again for the way down this year, but I don't think we can squeeze into the family suite again, and coach is out with them being so young (hard to keep quiet)

I don't think I could make the drive on my own... unless I was breaking the drive into only 7-8 hours limit a day. But, the most I have ever driven on my own with our kids is 6 hours.

As far as the mapping program, we are going to use our GPS, but I did find www.freetrip.com that maps out the hour markers, which is nice for hotel planning.

As far as cheaper flying, I don't remember what your party size is, but I found cheap flights out of Newark and Philadelphia... under $200 a person. Only a 3 hour drive for us, but DH hates to fly. I asked again and he said we are driving or not going.

Good luck to you, tough decisions!
Thanks for all the good info, Scooffer! My kids are older (16 & 11 & possibly a 16 yo friend) so I don't have the same concern about needing to stay awake in coach, but I can totally understand that difficulty with young kids. My concern is more about ME not getting enough sleep to be a happy camper the next day, when the rest of my relatives fly in and join us in Orlando. I'm playing the role of Vacation Wizard for a party of 7. Picture me herding cats. That's another reason I want to drive--I can bring our Expedition which will seat all of us. The AutoTrain does sound like the best alternative.

If I do drive the whole way, I'll do it in 3 chunks: About 5 hours Friday after school, 12 hours on Saturday and about 5 hours on Sunday morning. That puts me in Orlando around 1:00 on the 15th, so I can check into our house, unpack the car and get some groceries before my relatives' flights land at 4 & 4:30. Then we'll relax at the house and get a good night's sleep in preparation for seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the next morning!
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #1841
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Having a fabulous time in the world. We drove straight through from Maryland. Left 3:30 pm on Friday afternoon and got here about 6 am on Saturday. We made minimal stops. The kids slept most of the time and hubby and I took turns driving/napping. We went straight to HS after checking in at CBR. Our room was ready so we were able to take showers etc. We stayed at the park til the end, despite minimal sleep the night before After you get through the Maryland/DC/ Northern VA mess, the drive is fairly easy.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:41 PM   #1842
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This will be the second time driving to Disney in years. The first was with one child, now with 4! They are 13, 10, 6, and 4.

We'll come down I95 from Maryland and not sure if we are gonna make it straight thru in one shot.

Any recommendations for kids these ages? I see good ideas on here and wanna make this a great drive for them... its Disney but the drive will be an adventure as well. Oh and we are holding out on telling them until the day before we leave... the oldest 2 will probably figure where we're going but the younger will be in the dark. Hopefully we can keep a lid on it until we get close...

As far as they know, we are going to a beach in FL and to visit my brother in Talahassee!

Ideas? They all get along pretty well and we'll have a mini van so it wont be TOO cramped.

Looking for good ideas for activities as we drive, places to stop for running around or anything... just not too far off I-95.
Just saw this link in another thread "Find coloring pages, Puzzles..." http://www.momsminivan.com/printables.html

The section on Travel Tickets is SO great. One mom said she handed them to each kid at every half hour and then the kids could turn them in for prizes... read on, awesome idea! I am definately adding this to our car trip!
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April 2014 - Family Gathering Lake Buena Vista Village and Spa 7 adults 5 kids
April 2013 - Wilderness Lodge
April 2012 - Port Of Orleans French Quarter (perfect in every way!)
May 2011 - Cypress Pointe Grande Villas (loved it!)
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:59 AM   #1843
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Ok, gathering ideas now!! thanks everyone!!

I am trying to find stops on the way down to break up the endless miles and let them have activities along the way.

We are hoping that we can make it to the VA/NC border before they start to wake up from their early morning departure... so, can anyone think of notable stops on the way thru NC and even SC that are worthy of seeing. We are hoping to find free or minimal costs at these stops as we are on a super fixed budget! We drove to Ocean City / Chintateague Island last year and made stops at a free zoo and some other places the kids loved.

Ideas? This board is great for picking people's brains!

And, our plans have changed slightly in that they will know we are going on a road trip but they are going to be lead to believe its a beach or something in GA. The older two will know the full truth as we enter Florida so they can help keep things under wraps; otherwise I think they will figure it out and the game will be up. I can only image 4 excited kids on the road for the last 4-5 hours driving us crazy with the unending "are we there yet?"
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:07 AM   #1844
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And the travel tickets idea is a good one... we were thinking about games for quarters, and then they can cash in for shopping money when we get there. Tickets are better I think!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:15 AM   #1845
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Hi Everyone!!

We drove from MA last May and this board was a wealth of info for me! Planning our next trip - potentially sometime in April 2013, but this time I've talked my sister & her family into driving with us and potentially my parents too.

Can't wait - it'll be our own little convoy!

Last year we left around 8pm on a Thurs, drove 95 straight through, hitting Santee, SC around noon Friday. We stopped there for the day/night and then hit Disney around 1(?) I think on Friday. Overnight was rough, since DH and I both worked a full day before we left.

Next year, I think we're going to leave at like 4am and take the route around NY/NJ/MD/DC.
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