Driving to Disney World

Discussion in 'Welcome to the DIS' started by Lizab609, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest


    Wondering why you all choose to drive instead of fly? We're not sure which way we're getting there yet from NJ.........depends on the airfare price.

    thank you in advance
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  3. A&CsMom

    A&CsMom Mouseketeer

    Nov 8, 2006
    My DH doesn't like to fly, plus the drive has become part of our vacation, and I think for 4 people it is cheaper, especially because we would have to rent a vehicle if we didn't drive down because we can't handle not being able to go where we want when we want.
  4. MindyLuvsMickey

    MindyLuvsMickey DIS Veteran

    Oct 6, 2006
    We drove from PA last June. I definitely agree that you should avoid DC rush hours. We timed our drive to coincide with DS's bed time. He slept most of the way down. We took a portable DVD player, books, toys and plenty of snacks.

    Have a great time!
  5. DisneyObsession

    DisneyObsession DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2006
    One of the tricks we learned was having a "Surprise Bag" with new toys, snacks, books, DVD...whatever they are interested in. Every few hours, when the kids grew restless, they would get a "surprise"! It worked great and we didn't have any problems.

    As others have mentioned, we travelled at night as well, as the kids slept a good portion of the time.
  6. Mari annie

    Mari annie <font color=deepink>I've been tagged, and I don't

    Jan 26, 2004
    Our 17th year by rental van........
    we just did the trip almost non stop via a couple stops....... from MA-St Augustine in 21 hours, in Feb, two weeks of FL yes!!
    We go 3 times yearly, Spring break another trip for 2 weeks 4/10-2 weeks
    van again..........then probably again in the Summer, my ds is going to college right outside Orlando and guess who is going to have to go again and again?! Have to use all those AP's right?!!!

    We do MA-to Savannah, stop over for Lunch, then off to St Augustine for 2-3 days depending on getting our favorite hotel, hang around the Historic District there a couple days.........ride around sight see.....off to Edgewater, FL for lunch at our favorite pizza place then on to MCO for 1o days, it's boring.......but someone has to do it!!!:thumbsup2 lol!

    We love to drive, we usually stop over in VA overnight, but in Feb we drove straight through to get to FL :drive: lol!

    We enjoy it alot!
    Just don't enjoy the van rentals are now like double..............:crazy2:
    or when the gas prices sinch up right after we get on the road..........and when we are getting closer to Orlando.......school breaks will do that.........
    oh well..............:scratchin

    4/10 cannot come soon enough! I my FL Fix now!!!!:joker: Madri Gras too!

    Stopping at the Crackerbarrels for a breakfast/lunch is good, you always know what you are getting vs the greasy dives.............:rolleyes2
    they do have clean bathrooms...............:thumbsup2
    must haves case of water/snacks/wet ones/supplies/activities/cards/cd's/tapes/pillows/blankets/make the kids as comfy as possible. Our kids are now 18 and 13 and believe me they still go with me to get the snacks....and make sure we have all their "supplies' packed, lots of dvd's/dvd player, just in case the van one dies.......which has before.......

    everyone enjoy your driving, there's so much to see, and it's great family time!!!
    Love it!
    pixiedust: to everyone!

    :moped: :drive: lead foot..........here...................:wave2: YOU ARE SO RIGHT< I FORGOT< DON"T FORGET THE EASY PASS!!!!!

    PSPS I hate to fly, and guess what I was a travel agent...........for over 10 years.................:rolleyes2
    only fly when I have to!!!!:crazy2: :duck:
  7. Mischa

    Mischa Disney Dreamin'

    Aug 3, 2006
    We're planning on driving from VA this June. It'll just be DH & myself. We plan on stopping somewhere, just not sure where yet. Any ideas?

    We decided to drive because overall it is cheaper for us and the only real expense would be if we got a hotel somewhere along the way to spend the night.

    We'll take the typical I-95 route...any good places to stop along and check out? Like for sightseeing, food, hotels...etc.

    Drive safe everyone!
  8. MariaEllerºoº

    MariaEllerºoº DIS Veteran

    Aug 1, 2006
    We always drive straight through to Disney either down 95 or I-81. Depends on the scenery we want. I-81 is a beautiful drive, but 95 seems just a tad bit quicker. Any time you stop for gas make everyone get out to use the restroom whether they have to go or not, at least make them try. 9 times out of 10 they'll end up using the restroom which will cut down on bathroom breaks. Bring lots of snacks, drinks, books, games, toys for the kids to play. Definitely DVD player if you have one! Make up games...A,B, C game where you name something Disney by each letter, license plate game, etc.... Helps make the time go by faster. We normally leave the house after having an early dinner. The roads are less congested and you don't have to stop for meals. We normally don't stop to sight see until the drive home. Helps make the drive home a little easier.
  9. Mickey'sfriend

    Mickey'sfriend DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2006
    We always drive from PA. My best tip: 100 mile packs! Every 100 miles I have a wrapped gift for each of my 3 kids. They are puzzle books, books, colorforms, silly putty, pezz... cheap stuff I find throughout the year at the dollar store, etc. Disney themed books, obviously, are a hit. This really breaks up the trip and they don't have to pack anything initially except game boys and DVD player. We also play the license plate game. I must admit, I limit drinks in the car..... that could cause too many potty stops!!:rotfl2:
  10. Cinderaven

    Cinderaven Mouseketeer

    Jan 23, 2007
    Hi. We drive all the time. When our son was 7 yrs. old his 1st time, one thing taht made his riding time more fun was things like Game Boy, a portable DVD player with his favorite movies, a few of my wifes also, see how many different car plates etc... The best was to give him a map and highlight the route that we were taking, when we would get to certain larger cities, we would let him open up small gifts, coloring books, colors, favorite new games, music cd's etc... this kept him a lot quiter that the usual "are we there yet". It made the trip much more enjoyable, and let him keep up with our progress.
  11. summerlandjeff

    summerlandjeff Friend of Mankind

    Nov 28, 2006
    We've driven to WDW twice, 2003 & 2004. A few points;

    It takes 19-21 hours to get to Disney from So. Jersey. If you intend on driving straight through, you should time it so you arrive around check in time at your resort. If you want to arrive at 2:00 - 3:00 PM you should leave Jersey around 7:00 - 8:00 PM the night before. You definitely DO NOT want to be anywhere near DC at rush hour:scared: ! This departure time will put you in DC around 10:00 PM and you should breeze through!

    If you want to break up the trip, again you want to avoid DC at rush hour. In 2004 we left So. Jersey at 2:00 AM and were on the south side of DC @ 5:00 AM. NO hassles, one stop for gas :thumbsup2 ! There is a town in called Santee, SC (exit 98 on I-95 in SC) that is about a 12 hour drive from Jersey. There is a nice little motel called the Clark's Inn that gives you a room and breakfast special. Call ahead for reservations though, we almost got left out one year (luckily they had two rooms left!). The next morning it's about an 8 hour ride to Disney. Here again you want to be on the road early! Traffic around Daytona, where I-95 and I-4 meet can be brutal :scared1: . If you leave Santee around 5:00 AM that will put you in WDW around 1:00 - 2:00 PM.

    Remember gas stations along I-95 outside of NJ allow self service (I know everyone is saying HUH?, it's a Jersey thing) so have a credit or gas card for quick in and out service! If there are flashing signs warning of traffic or detours, PAY HEED! They are usually right and this can save you some real grief. If a sign suggests taking one of the alternates (395, 495, 695) take it. I took the alternate around Richmond, VA (695 I think) and avoided what the radio said was a 10 mile back up from a tanker truck accident!

    Good luck, be careful, have fun! :yay:
  12. pooh2007

    pooh2007 Mouseketeer

    Feb 18, 2007
    My husband and I are riding a motorcycle from Amarillo TX to WDW in July. We are going to ride approx. 500 miles per day. Just want to take our time and relax and take lots of breaks because it sure will be hot! :eek:
  13. smidgy

    smidgy dimples

    Aug 27, 2006
    It is just the 2 of us. we have flown twice, in sept. for free dining. wotherwise we drive beccause even tho we buy the dining plan sometimes for a few days (split stay at 2 dif. resorts) we still need our cooler with pop, beer, lunchmeat, cheese, mac salad, coleslaw, etc. and our bags with paper plates, bread, condiments, donuts, snacks etc. (and don't forget DH Nebo's manhattan mix!)
    we try to go twice a year, so we do cut corners somewhere:goodvibes
    this may!! 3 nights at hard rock, 4 at CBR with dining, 6 at CS!:yay:
  14. pixistix

    pixistix Mouseketeer

    Aug 13, 2005
    Driving down June 22 from PA. (straight thru!) Will leave at 3 a.m. and expect to arrive in Disney at 9 to 10 p.m. Took us 18 hours from Philadelphia airport when our flight was cancelled in 2004 after hurricane Charlie damaged the terminal at MCO. That was an unplanned driving trip but we had a great time. Now we're driving to save money. Plus, DH and I love car trips!
    Not sure when South of the Border became shady. We stopped there in 2004 and 2005 (during the day) and it was tacky but cute.
  15. DreAnna Clayton

    DreAnna Clayton Mouseketeer

    Jun 27, 2003

    When you drive down, indeed you will find cheap gas in Ga on I-95. The Cheapest place will be in Kingsland/St. Marys. Take Ga-Hiway 40 exit (#6 I think it is) and there are several good places to get gas and food.
    If you drive about 1 mile east of I-95 you can get gas at the Wal-Mart which will be even cheaper (if you have a Wal-Mart gift card with value on it).

    There is also a Sam's at the second Pooler Exit (Savannah/Hilton Head Internation Airport) when you first get into Georgia. If you are a Sam's member, they have very cheap gas. Bring your Sam's card.

    If you are driving I-95 to I-4: do NOT drive through Orlando. Take the 417 toll road and go around. It will cost you $5.00 to take the road, but, the traffic is light and you only have to stop at the toll boths. You pick up the 417 at Sanford and take exit 6 on the other side. This road becomes World Ceter/Epcot Center drive. Stay straight to get to MK resorts. You can then get on Buena Vista Blvd and get to the EPCOT Resorts. Take exit 3 to get to the Osceola and the AK resorts.

    We leave between 2 and 4 am to miss the traffic in Jax and Orlando the best we can.
  16. kate2961

    kate2961 In Happily Ever After

    Jul 5, 2005
    We like having the car available for side trips outside WDW. It also helps to have a place for all the souvenirs. ;)

    We like to stop overnight in Florence, SC both ways. It's the half-way point for us. There is a Holiday Inn Express there that is nice and it includes breakfast.

    Having a new, never-before-seen DVD is key for us. It keeps our DS amused for the trip. We bring one for the return trip too.

    We checked out restaurants and gas stations before we left via the Drive I-95 website which lists all the stops. From there I checked out gas prices before I left and found the stations with the best prices.

    We took the Auto Train once and liked it very much, but it is too expensive for us to do it every time.

    I've never stopped at South of the Border, but it is a great sight for tired eyes when it's all lit up at night.

    GoofTroop3 = Me, DH and DS(6)
  17. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

    Jun 2, 2003

    We drove last year from Sicklerville NJ (outside of Philly). My tip is to calculate your trip so that you miss rush hour around the Washington/baltimore beltway. Don't get stuck in that. After we got past there the trip was very smooth, mid way into Virginia 95 opens up and the speed limit goes up to 70mph. We made it all the way to the Georgia/Florida border. Stopped and spent the night at a motel. very nice drive.
  18. muse_ginny

    muse_ginny Earning My Ears

    Mar 12, 2007
    My parents and my boyfriend and I are driving down next week from Raleigh, NC. We figured it'd be cheaper than the 4 of us flying (esp. since BF & I are broke college kids). Plus we'll have a car if we want to split up, stay in the parks later, etc.

    I think we're planning on leaving at about 3am-4am in the morning so there's not as much traffic. It's about a 11-12 hour trip, we're planning to switch off on driving, and we'd like to get there in time for dinner.

    BF and I are bringing a portable DVD player and some old disney movies to get us pumped on the way down! :)
  19. cdhheidi

    cdhheidi DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2007
    in just over a month! My son has medical issues requiring lots of medical equipment (mainly for at night, but also uses a wheelchair as he tires easily) and flying is a pain in the neck. Not to mention pricey as we have to pay $100 per leg of flight for the oxygen... takes 2-3 legs each way plus another $200 for O2 in the airport if we have a flight that lands in Denver.

    Since we homeschool, we figured that we would use the drive back to follow the Oregon Trail and make this an educational trip as well. What a great way to see this beautiful country of ours... we tend to drive as much as possible when we travel (have 3 different hospitals we have to go to for my son's medical issues), just try to avoid winter due to the nasty weather.

    My kids love books or stories on CD, so I always stock up on LOTS of them. They keep me alert as well. I also collect travel games for them to play that are ONLY used in the car, as well as the portable DVD/game dual console. Since we stay in several hotels along the way, I try to pack smaller bags with a day or twos worth of clothing for all, so I can minimize the amount of stuff having to be carried in and out of the hotels. (we have enough with the medical gear to make 2-3 trips easily!).

    34 days till we leave... and counting!

  20. is_it_oct_yet?

    is_it_oct_yet? Mouseketeer

    Mar 2, 2007
    i am really excited to stop at all the state borders and take photos of my kids for the their scrapbooks!! i want to do something about the trip to disney, but it looks like we will have to do it on the way home since we are leaving at night also!!
  21. dizneedrmr

    dizneedrmr Mouseketeer

    Nov 19, 2006
    I haven't looked through all of the posts, but thought I would mention something we ran into on our drive from NC. We drove all through the night and got to Orlando around 5:30-6:00am ish -- just in time for the morning rush hour there! Time it so you're not on I-4 for the morning rush, too, because that wasn't much fun. We were so close, but so far away!

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