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Old 07-30-2013, 06:02 AM   #2011
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Originally Posted by dizzycrazy View Post
We are leaving in 2 days to drive from DC to Disney! Any good spots to stop at along the way? Anything fun? A possible nice place to stay overnight? Any other tips? I would appreciate any advice. We will have 6 of us in the car (parents, grandparents, DS 10, DD 6) so any relief along the way will be awesome! I bow down to all you Disney experts! Thanks!
Well, maybe you can leave early in the morning and make Savannah by the afternoon? Stay there and have a nice dinner and in the morning it's just a few hours to WDW... If you leave by 6 a.m., and stop for a quick break every 3 hours, you'll be in Savannah by 3 p.m....perfect check in time...and still time to walk around etc...
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:27 PM   #2012
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Very cool thread here. We are looking at taking our kids for their first WDW trip this Spring Break (early March). We will be driving from the Houston area. We will probably be leaving around dinner time in hopes of missing the rush hour traffic in Baton Rouge, LA. Anyone have any tips on the drive from Houston?
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:42 PM   #2013
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Very cool thread here. We are looking at taking our kids for their first WDW trip this Spring Break (early March). We will be driving from the Houston area. We will probably be leaving around dinner time in hopes of missing the rush hour traffic in Baton Rouge, LA. Anyone have any tips on the drive from Houston?
Looking for similar advice!!

We are driving to WDW from the Austin area in 3 weeks. We did this same drive in 2009 and hit the ugly traffic in Baton Rouge on the way there. Slowed us to near-standstill and added 2 hours to our commute.

This time around we are leaving 1/2 day earlier so we miss the Houston evening commute traffic and stopping somewhere near Beaumont for the first overnight on the road. We are hoping to make it somewhere near Tallahassee for our second overnight. But, if anyone has any other tips, we're listening
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:47 PM   #2014
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We're making the drive on Friday from San Antonio, but spending one night in Gulfport before continuing on to check into Shades of Green for two weeks on Saturday. So excited!
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:08 PM   #2015
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So Mom and I will be driving down October 31st of 2014. Our route is from central Connecticut to Jessup, Maryland (picking up the Aunties) and then from Jessup down to WDW.

I had planned on taking 1-95 (I'm a highway lover) all the way down.

Anyone know of an inexpensive but decent hotel somewhere around Florence or Manning, SC? Or even a bit further south?
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:38 PM   #2016
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Attention long-distance drivers: Go to the "For 2,000+ Mile Round-Trip Drivers Only!" thread for answers from fellow drivers who live 1,000+ miles away fom WDW.

All the best.
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:29 PM   #2017
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Originally Posted by CynJ View Post
So Mom and I will be driving down October 31st of 2014. Our route is from central Connecticut to Jessup, Maryland (picking up the Aunties) and then from Jessup down to WDW.

I had planned on taking 1-95 (I'm a highway lover) all the way down.

Anyone know of an inexpensive but decent hotel somewhere around Florence or Manning, SC? Or even a bit further south?
If you can make it to Savannah,there is a Best Western right off the highway. Can't remember which exact exit. It also has a Denny's there. From that point, I think you only have like 5 1/2 hours to go. It is just a basic drive your car up to your door type of place, but the rate was good and it came with a free breakfast from the Denny's right there. The Denny's was 24 hours, so when we arrived at 8:30 pm at night, we promptly turned it in to eat. We knew we would be leaving by 3 am to miss some traffic and get in bright and early at Dis!
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:07 PM   #2018
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If you can make it to Savannah,there is a Best Western right off the highway. Can't remember which exact exit. It also has a Denny's there. From that point, I think you only have like 5 1/2 hours to go. It is just a basic drive your car up to your door type of place, but the rate was good and it came with a free breakfast from the Denny's right there. The Denny's was 24 hours, so when we arrived at 8:30 pm at night, we promptly turned it in to eat. We knew we would be leaving by 3 am to miss some traffic and get in bright and early at Dis!
Savannah's a little long for them but I'm thinking St. George, SC is doable. And looking at the map there is a Days Inn and a Comfort Inn right off highway (as well as a truck stop) - that should work for us.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:39 AM   #2019
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Originally Posted by CynJ View Post
So Mom and I will be driving down October 31st of 2014. Our route is from central Connecticut to Jessup, Maryland (picking up the Aunties) and then from Jessup down to WDW.

I had planned on taking 1-95 (I'm a highway lover) all the way down.

Anyone know of an inexpensive but decent hotel somewhere around Florence or Manning, SC? Or even a bit further south?
We've driven 2x now from Western MA and stopped both times at the Holiday Inn in Santee, SC.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:49 AM   #2020
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I don't remember where we stayed each time we drove, but I know we were on the South Carolina/Georgia border. What we did was stop at a rest stop and pick up one of the vacation books they have at the doors and look through for a hotel with a great deal.

When the kids were little a hotel with an indoor pool was a necessity for them to but off energy after a long day in the car.

No pre-planning, but we always had a great hotel at a great rate.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:20 PM   #2021
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No pre-planning, but we always had a great hotel at a great rate.
I agree, we have never preplanned our hotels to and from and have never had a problem. This way we can see how it goes.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:17 PM   #2022
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Florida fog and rain on the highway

I wanted to give a head's up about inclimate weather you may encounter on your drive.

Fog: There have been tragic deadly pile ups due to fog in Florida ( google it to see just how bad and how many cars) These happen when drivers encounter fog very suddenly, and find they can't see a foot in front of their car. Not a situation you want to be in when you're going 70 mph.

Rain: It's hard to describe how hard rain can fall to people who live in dry areas. It can be VERY scary to hit a sudden rainpour and not even know where you are.

The second situation happened to me while traveling with my then 16 yo daughter. I've been in rain this bad before, but not on so long a trip. I knew the thing to do was:

1) Slow down to a crawl and put on your emergency flashers, and dont take them off until the rain stops.

2) look for places to pull off to wait out the rain. Easier said than done on freeways, but Florida has WONDERFUL and frequent rest stops.

3) put any deadline, desires to get 'there' desires to get to ahotel, etc. out of your mind and just focus on the safest thing to do here and now. In Floriday, this can be a lot easier and more pleasnt than you'd think - as this experience will illustrate:

DD and I were headed to Daytona. Somewhere near St Augustine, we pulled off onto a rest stop. Our plan was to go to the restroom and hopefully be able to get a snack that could suffice for dinner, while we waited out the rain. We now call that place the Bed and Breakfast, because of the extraordinary selection of food in the snack machines. Pasta, soups, fresh popcorn, dippin' dots, milkshakes, Starbucks, you name it - everything but a chicken dinner was available. We ended up having a filling, and decent, if not 5 star meal, after which we slept in the car until the sun came up and the rain finally let up.

Moral to the story - nobody likes a weather problem on their vacation, but it's better than a tragedy, and Florida has spotless, safe, and well designed rest stops, so there's no excuse to keep driving if your visability is impaired ( or you're sleepy). Make a map of stops, and time your stops to take full advantage.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:43 PM   #2023
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If you can make it to Savannah,there is a Best Western right off the highway. Can't remember which exact exit. It also has a Denny's there. From that point, I think you only have like 5 1/2 hours to go. It is just a basic drive your car up to your door type of place, but the rate was good and it came with a free breakfast from the Denny's right there. The Denny's was 24 hours, so when we arrived at 8:30 pm at night, we promptly turned it in to eat. We knew we would be leaving by 3 am to miss some traffic and get in bright and early at Dis!
I live in Atlanta, so I don't frequent the same route, but I have stayed at the Best Western in the Historic District and it was the nicest hotel or Bed & Breakfast I've ever stayed in. We couldn't get over it - and was a great price ( 98.00 a night, as I recall, with a decent breakfast). It was in a refubished historic building and now has the feel of a boutique hotel. The conceirge directed us to some terrific restaurants a short walk away.

If you want to indulge in a fun dinner spot in the area, I've been going to the Pirate's House for 50 years (I was taken for my 10th - and my 50th birthdays!). The menu is almost identical - same early Americana fare, same pirate mask take home children's menu, same desert with sparklers, same dumdums lollipops at the end of the meal - and in the lap of the skeleton in the dungeon that were there in 1963, and some of the waitresses have been there almost that long. But that's nothing. it's been a travelers rest for over 250 years. Is it corney? A little, but it's also authentic - you can see the original tavern as well as the early 1700's work shed for the US's first experimental gardens, which were located next door. On Saturday nights, they have what, according to the foodie grapevine, is the best deal on all you can eat crab legs on all the East Coast. Or, you coud drop by Cape May and use the dining paln if you're at Disney ;-)

Last edited by Lulululu; 09-16-2013 at 05:50 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:51 PM   #2024
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Originally Posted by DJFan88 View Post
If you can make it to Savannah,there is a Best Western right off the highway. Can't remember which exact exit. It also has a Denny's there. From that point, I think you only have like 5 1/2 hours to go. It is just a basic drive your car up to your door type of place, but the rate was good and it came with a free breakfast from the Denny's right there. The Denny's was 24 hours, so when we arrived at 8:30 pm at night, we promptly turned it in to eat. We knew we would be leaving by 3 am to miss some traffic and get in bright and early at Dis!
I live in Atlanta, so I don't frequent the same route, but I have stayed at the Best Western in the Historic District and it was the nicest hotel or Bed & Breakfast I've ever stayed in. We could n - and it was ot get over it - and was a great price ( 98.00 a night, as I recall, with a decent breakfast). It was in a refubished historic building and now has the feel of a boutique hotel.

If you want to indulge in a fun dinner spot in the area, I've been going to the Pirate's House for 50 years (I was taken for my 10th - and my 50th birthdays!). The menu is almost identical - same early Americana fare, same pirate mask take home children's menu, same desert with sparklers, same dumdums lollipops at the end of the meal - and in the lap of the skeleton in the dungeon that were there in 1963, and some of the waitresses have been there almost that long. But that's nothing. it's been a travelers rest for over 250 years. Is it corney? A little, but it's also authentic - you can see the original tavern as well as the early 1700's work shed for the US's first experimental gardens, which were located next door. On Saturday nights, they have what, according to the grapevine, is the best deal on all you can eat crab legs on all the East Coast. We plan to test this out at Cape May at Disney World soon, using the dining plan
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:50 AM   #2025
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Originally Posted by CynJ View Post
So Mom and I will be driving down October 31st of 2014. Our route is from central Connecticut to Jessup, Maryland (picking up the Aunties) and then from Jessup down to WDW.

I had planned on taking 1-95 (I'm a highway lover) all the way down.

Anyone know of an inexpensive but decent hotel somewhere around Florence or Manning, SC? Or even a bit further south?
We are also leaving on October 31st from NJ. I am picking kids up from school at noon and hitting the road. Hoping to hit DC around 3-4pm and I know it will be crazy. My kids are a little upset about no trick or treating but I have surprise tickets for MNSSHP at MK on Friday.

As for staying overnight, we usually do a straight run to WDW but this time we are staying overnight in Savannah at the LA Quinta off I95. I got an online refundable rate for $56 so if we make it further I will find something else. I like the LaQuinta hotels for a night. They are clean, comfortable and offer a nice free breakfast.

The trip home we have LaQuinta in Richmond VA, Kings Dominion area. They are only $69 but I may decide to continue straight home like before.

Happy & Safe Travels.....
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