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Old 10-11-2003, 12:05 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: ohio
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driving from ohio to disney

next time we go to disney(and there will be a next time), i will probably drive. my husband doesn't get vacation like i do and may not be able to go. what do you all think about me driving down with just myself and 3 kids(13,11,4). how long does it realistically take(since i will do all the driving)? we live in the cleveland vicinity. i,m sure we would stop somewhere for the night, but would really like to get down there the quickest and smoothest way possible. how do you feel about the safety issue? i'd also really like to hear from some of you women who have actually done this. thanks for all the great info!
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Old 10-11-2003, 06:26 PM   #2
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I can't help you as far as driving with young children, but I have driven with my adult daughter. We still concern ourselves with the safty issue. We never stop at a rest stop after dark, instead will stop at a well light gas station or McDonalds. I would leave about 3am so while its dark you are driving in a familiar area. I would find somewhere to stop the first night while it's still daylight. Leave about 6am the next morning and you will be at WDW by early afternoon. We live about 2hrs north of Ohio and leave about 3:30am, stop in Perry Ga. for the night. The next morning we fill the gas tank and head out about 5:30am. We stop at the Ocala Disney welcome center(we always arrive before they open at 9am). After leaving the welcome center we get breakfast nearby at the Bob Evans. Aterwards we arrive at Disney about 12p-1p. During our trip when we stop for lunch and dinner we allways stop somwhere we can get out and relax. When we get back in the car we are refreshed and ready for the remainder of the drive. Susan
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Old 10-11-2003, 09:32 PM   #3
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Hey there! I live in Cleveland, too! Anyways, my fiance and I drove back from Disney in mid-Sept. It took us about 20 hours, stopping for gas and bathroom breaks only. We took I-75 instead of I-95 because it was a few days after the hurricane, so we didn't know if the highway would possibly be shut down anywhere. It wasn't a bad drive, but really, really foggy in the mountains. There are plenty of well-lit places to stop for gas at night.

As far as kids, I've never had to drive with kids. But if you are doing the drive yourself, find a hotel to stop off for the night that is in or very close to a big city.

Hope this helps you some!
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Old 10-12-2003, 10:21 AM   #4
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been there, done that!

i've driven the ohio-florida trip many times, many ways!

i took my gram several times, my mom a few, and my mom and my kids (now 14 and 4yo). we always drive straight through, because i can't wait to get there, and i always do all of the driving.

it has taken us anywhere from 18-21 hours, depending on who is traveling. obviously, the kids lengthen the trip, because no one ever has to go to the bathroom at the same time, lol! i have traveled I75 (i think it was) through ky, tn, etc, and I95 route (through va, nc, sc, etc), and much prefer the latter. it doesn't seem as mountainous and you don't have to travel through the entire state of georgia, which seems to take forever! also, there are more frequent exits, for those bathroom stops!

we usually leave at 3am, so the kids can sleep, and make our first stop at beckley wv, which we're familiar with. after nightfall, we only stop at busy exits or travel centers and we stick together like glue. we have accidentally stopped at some pretty rough looking areas, but as long as you follow usual traveling safety tips (keep the car locked, stay together, stay in lighted areas, etc), you should be as safe as you would be traveling in your own area.

overall, i would say that it is a long trip (especially coming home), but it is better than not going at all! just keep your family together and your eyes and ears open!
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Old 10-12-2003, 11:29 AM   #5
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22 hrs of driving time over 2 days. Drove back from Fla. drove 75. I hear 95 is a better route. I agree Georgia seemed very long. Stopped in central ga. the first day. Left ga. at 8:30am Got to Cle around 9:30pm. THis was with 3 children 7,10,13. I would try and do it in shorter time and with my husband to split driving time. Go for it.
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Old 10-12-2003, 06:27 PM   #6
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thank you all so much for the input. you have all been very helpful as usual. would getting a trip tik from aaa be the best way to have my route mapped out or are there better options. i would really need good directions. also, what would be the shortest amount of days to spend in florida when you are driving. for example, how many days would make the drive worth it?
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Old 10-13-2003, 07:46 AM   #7
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I got AAA Trip tiks. They were helpful.

We drove last year. I drove with DH and DD (4). WE left at 10 pm.

DD slept the whole (so did DH). I drove listening to books on CD. I agree with only stopping in very well lite busy areas.
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