For those who drive to Disneyland- road trip traditions

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by rentayenta, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. DisneyJewel

    DisneyJewel Mouseketeer

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    I'm from LA and now live in the Bay Area -- we've been driving down since the kids were very young. Our biggest tradition is that we leave at 4am, and I do all the driving! Otherwise, I get carsick. The kids go in the car in PJs and with a blanket and they all (inc. DH) sleep while I drive. It's tiring for me, but I love leaving so early, missing traffic, and getting to So.Cal. early! We don't watch movies or anything, since my kids also get carsick.

    I drive until the rest of the family wakes up (usually around 8am) and needs breakfast or a bathroom break. Recently, I've been packing some breakfast (cut-up fruit, etc.) so we only stop for bathroom and gas. Our other big tradition is that we always listen to audiobooks once everyone is awake -- we get them from the library and always enjoy them. It really helps pass the time.

    We usually go every year, but we didn't go last year so our last road trip was Nov. 2011. This year we are going in April and July, but we are flying (for the first time!) in April, because we only have 2 nights and it would be too much driving for me (and not enough time in the parks). That will be a big change as I am used to having a car and also used to being able to pack lots of food -- a full cooler and lots of non-perishable snacks. We won't have room since we will be flying. Another big change is that kids will be 11 and 14 -- our first year they both have to have adult tickets. Ouch!
     
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  3. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    :thumbsup2 Lots of us Utah drivers. Does the name Scipio make any of you say it in the most squeaky voice feasible? It does me and it drives my kids insane. :cool1: It's the little things. DH joins me and we have a Scipio fest for a good 5 minutes past it.


    I want the Beaver Liquor hat. :rotfl:


    I also like to tell the kids I see Mountain Goats in that Arizona pass. I never see them but it makes them search really hard. :p I'd love to see one but figure they've got a better chance of pointing one out with their young eyes. ;)
     
  4. luulu1999

    luulu1999 DIS Veteran

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    HAHA we drove from MO and thats how my BF is we didn't get to stop and see anything!!! And I wanted to stop and see all kinds of stuff lol
     
  5. VandVsmama

    VandVsmama DIS Veteran

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    Like another poster, we, too, live in Tucson and will be doing the drive along I-8 between Arizona and San Diego on our way out to Disneyland. This is our 1st Disneyland trip, but we’ve done the I-8-to-San Diego trek many times because we have close relatives who live in the San Diego area. Usually our traditions include:

    Just after we’ve left Gila Bend (shortly after you see a road sign that says “No services for 60 miles”), either ODD or YDD announces that she has to go to the bathroom. I mean, seriously, you can set your watch by it. This leads me to another tradition…

    ….Mommy packing the kiddie port-a-potty in the trunk of the car! When we went a year ago, first it was YDD who had to go. Then while watching YDD do her thing on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, ODD announced that she had to go, too. Good thing Mommy also packs flushable wipes & ziplock bags to store it all in (don’t want to litter in the desert, ya know).

    Then 30 min after that, another tradition is that DH has to use the facilities (whatever creosote bush or Palo Verde tree happens to be nearby off the shoulder of the road). At this point, we have yet another tradition…

    …Mommy announcing, “Holy cow, can we please just get there already? Does ANYONE ELSE have to pee?” ROFL!:rotfl2:

    We usually hit up Dateland for another potty stop (you can get date shakes there; it's a small restaurant/gas station literally in the middle of nowhere).

    Then we stop on the AZ-side of Yuma to fill up the gas tank (since gas is usually about $0.75/gallon cheaper).

    Then we stop on CA-side of Yuma to fill up our bellies at Dave’s BBQ. DH likes to time our departure to get to Yuma around 11am and it’s usually 3 hr from our house in Marana to Yuma.

    Then drive drive drive to La Mesa (BIL/SIL’s house). Although we never quite make it without another pit stop. TWO TIMES now we have had to stop at the ONE exit in California that has no services because ODD or YDD has to pee like a racehorse. The port-a-potty really gets a workout, doesn’t it?

    Oh yeah, and we pass time with lots of Disney movies in the backseat. :)
     
  6. smiles33

    smiles33 DIS Veteran

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    We have only made the drive from the SF Bay Area to DLR once but we're doing it again in April! On the first trip, my girls were surprisingly well-behaved (at ages 2 and 5). We just talked or they slept. No audio books, no DVDs. We left early so that helped immensely.

    This time around, I hope to leave early again and bring audio books and DVDs (new-to-us car has built-in DVD player).

    We stopped at Harris Ranch that first morning on the drive down, but we got there at 10:30 and it was a bit early for such a heavy breakfast. This time around, I think we'll pack snacks and hold out longer to stop at Tita's Pupuseria in Button Willow. We ate there on our drive home last time and it was a hit! I love pupusas, my girls liked them well enough, and the wait wasn't as long as Harris (but longer than In-N-Out).
     
  7. mamaCta

    mamaCta DIS Veteran

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    I'm going to have to go through this post in detail later to figure out some good stops to make on our trip. We are driving down from Vancouver, BC and then heading towards Vegas and Denver after we are done in Anaheim.

    Thanks for all the info!
     
  8. EmmersIsTheMommy

    EmmersIsTheMommy DIS Veteran

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    No but Scipio will from now on ROFL.

    We do, however, get a super immature giggle out of the Fillmore Beaver area sign. *giggle*
     
  9. Spwhoney

    Spwhoney Mouseketeer

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    Ok, I have traveled to southern Utah all my life and it has never registered about the Fillmore Beaver thing. Never look at those towns the same again.
     
  10. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    You're welcome! ;)


    To the PP who posted that whoever is driving gets control over the radio...my DH is the same. My car turns into the 1950's on road trips and he practically refuses to *let me* drive. Now I'm thinking he's more of a radio control freak than a women, namely this woman, are worse drivers freak...hmmm....I may be on to something. :lmao:
     
  11. merrysmom

    merrysmom Mouseketeer

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    My DH is always torn- he likes me to drive so he can read the newspaper, but he feels like my refusal to speed is a failure on my part, so after awhile he decides to drive (and I proceed to pester him to slow down, for Pete's sake.)

    Really, we should probably fly.
     
  12. disneydreamerbelle

    disneydreamerbelle We love Buzz LaLa

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    We travel from SLC too! We like to play the alphabet game and have to be to W by the time we get to the Xxyzz exit - which I think is the desert somewhere between Vegas and Bakersfield? We always stay off the strip in Vegas and hit a breakfast buffet. I try to listen to Disney music, but since I drive to keep my nerves in check DH usually hijacks the radio to rate his music on the ipod:rolleyes: I guess he deserves it though because he is the one who has to keep the little ones occupied, once I start driving I check out of mom mode and he gets a taste of it;) My kids love to check the GPS and see how accurate the ETA is from when we head out to when we arrive to see if we came in ahead or behind schedule. We always bring Disney movies, but the kids never seem to want to watch them though :confused3

    And, I too will never look at the Fillmore / Beaver sign the same again :rotfl:
     
  13. disneydreamerbelle

    disneydreamerbelle We love Buzz LaLa

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    Sad to admit, but our training toilet also gets a regular work out on our trips. I don't understand why they only need them when there are no services around :confused3 I have all boys though so maybe when they older we can teach them the bottle trick ;)
     
  14. EmmersIsTheMommy

    EmmersIsTheMommy DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl:

    :angel:
     
  15. lucky1

    lucky1 Face Character

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    From Tucson as well and until recently we have always taken the I-10 route. Disney movies playing on the IPad. Stopping in Quartzsite for gas and bathroom break at Cheveron. Then stopping at In-N-Out burger in Indio, CA. By the time we get to DLR, the movies are off and we are playing Disney music and complaining about our full bellies and burping onions.

    Now that In-N-Out have come to Arizona and we have stopped eating like that.. we don't do that any more.

    Recently we have started taking i-8. Stopping in Dateland for a date shake and a bathroom break. DH will get a supply of dates for the trip. Maybe Stopping for Gas in Yuma, AZ and then no more stopping until we get to DLR.


    On our way home we always have have to stop at the Gas Station/Starbucks at Ball and Harbor. Refueling and getting caffeine for the trip home.
     
  16. beachdreamr1229

    beachdreamr1229 Mouseketeer

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    We only have a 1 hr. 30 min. drive, but our favorite traditions are listening to Disney music and singing along the whole way and eating bagels and marinated steak for breakfast in the car. It's the little things that make the trip fun, especially when most of the trip is through morning rush hour traffic.
     
  17. torene03

    torene03 Earning My Ears

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    When we did family trips as a kid, we followed the same pattern. Leave San Jose at 5 or 6 AM, stop in King City for McDonalds for breakfast (egg mcmuffin meal), then lunch at Pea Soup Andersen's. And at least once I needed to get the Mango Madness Snapple at one of our pit stops. We'd usually get there early evening and I always remember looking for the Matterhorn.

    Now it's just my sister and I who go, and we fly now (no time to spare driving 7 hours). But we're still creatures of habit so its Jamba Juice at the airport if we fly at night or Starbucks in the morning. And now we see the Tower of Terror first instead of the Matterhorn since we fly into SNA.

    But still every time I drink a mango madness snapple I still think of those long hours in the hot car on the way to Disneyland!!
     
  18. MommyLove

    MommyLove <font color=magenta>The sleep-deprivation is causi

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    Thanks for that. I just looked it up. So cool! We usually go I-5, but we may have to try this!

    This is a great thread. For us, when being in the car starts to get really old, we pop in the Disneyland soundtrack. It has songs and sounds from the rides and stuff. It definitely puts us in the Disneyland mood immediately!
     
  19. MommyLove

    MommyLove <font color=magenta>The sleep-deprivation is causi

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    :rotfl:

    Love this!

    TOTALLY!
     
  20. coaches24

    coaches24 DIS Veteran

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    we usually leave around 2 or 3 in the morning from Sacramento (DW hates it) so DD will sleep most of the way and limit our stops. McDs usually for breakfast about half way there. And we always have movies for DD and DW to watch since I'm usually driving.

    We don't have any must stops we just stop when we need to for food or bathroom. I also am a drive through till we get there but I temper my expectations knowing that wont happen with a 4 yo girl and a wife who pees every hour when in the car regardless of what fluids she does or doesn't drink. So is life.
     
  21. Andromeda9mm

    Andromeda9mm Mouseketeer

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    Another family from Utah.

    DH says we like to look for the 'landmark' Zzyxx Road... of I15. We know we're getting close.

    Mer
     

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