Houston to WDW driving solo. One day?

Discussion in 'DIS Dads' started by Q-man, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    I've asked this on the transportation board figure it will get more eyes here from guys. Kids had school obligations come up after the trip was booked and will fly out with mom and we'll all drive back together.

    Am I crazy to consider driving Houston to Orlando solo in a day? It would be around 13-14 hours(965mi) actually at the wheel. I'd leave shortly after 6am to beat Houston morning rush and hit Baton Rouge after morning rush. Is late 40s me still thinking(trying to prove?) I can do what mid 20s me could do(other than mid 20s me would just call it a day at Biloxi for a night in the casinos)? Is the allure of not stopping every couple of hours for potty breaks, no refereeing fights, complete control over the music and temperature, and general peace and quiet going to my head? Or is this idea just a guy thing to do to to have done it?

    If I do it, I can get to EP WS around 10-11am for food and beverages around the world on my own. Then RD at MK the next morning leaving around 3 pm to pick up the family at the airport. Also, I'll be hauling 5 peoples stuff for an 8 day stay so if I stop I have to unload and reload all that for overnight.
     
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  3. Wherem I Now

    Wherem I Now DIS Dad #30

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    That is a REALLY LONG drive, especially by yourself. Like you, I can make much better time on the road when I'm traveling alone but I typically only drive about 8 hours by myself for work stuff. I have driven up to 10 hours by myself and 12 hours several times, but with DW there to keep me company. 14 hours would push me to my limit but I know some truck drivers that do it (although illegally) on a regular basis.

    That being said, you know you and the boundaries that you can push to. Don't push past those boundaries. Make sure that you are stopping regularly and walking around just to keep the blood flowing and keeping yourself well hydrated. If you do get to that point where you can't keep going, have the good sense to get off the road and somewhere to rest. Remember that your family will be very happy to see you there once everyone has arrived SAFELY.

    As a side note, the chance to do Food & Wine at EPCOT sounds great! Have a good trip!
     
  4. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    I'm aware I might not be able to make it in a day. I've got a few hotels along the way plugged into my phone.

    It would be like summer harvest time, on my grandparents farm, growing up. At the wheel at the field's edge ready to roll at first light with no stopping until the sun goes down 15 hours later. But, without the brutality of being beat up by the tractor in the Texas summer heat.
     
  5. GreatBiscuit

    GreatBiscuit Golden but never flaky

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    I'd certainly give it a shot. I haven't done a long solo trip since college, but the thought is intriguing. Particularly after last Julys 2815 mile road trip with 2 children and a dog. The thought of making my own time, not having to stop, being able to get right back on the road when I DO stop and enjoying full control over all vehicular knobs, dials and switches actually sounds pretty nifty. Add in a couple of solo days at an adult walking pace and you have the makings of a fine little outing!
     
  6. AirGoofy

    AirGoofy DIS Dad#341

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    Are you any good at night driving? I did the trip from KY to WDW in 12 hours on the way down there, non stop, except for bathroom, food (eat in car), and gas breaks, preferably at the same time.

    It was a 13 hour drive on the way home. DW gave me an hour nap, and we stopped at ate at Wendy's 30 miles outside Atlanta, as traffic was backing up around 6:00 PM. It worked and was clear after a 30 minute stop.

    I left my house at 3:00 PM ct and arrived at WDW at 4:00 AM ET. On the way home, we left at 12:00 PM ET and arrived home at 12:00 AM ET.

    If I had my preferences and was driving solo, I would nap during the day, leave at 7:00 PM and arrive at 7:00 AM the following day, and I would completely miss all the Nashville, Atlanta traffic at night, and I take toll roads once I get to Orlando to avoid that traffic as well. If you get tired, pull over into rest stop and take a 30 minute nap.
     
  7. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    ^^^

    Nope. I'm a morning person. But unfortunately, I'd need to leave between 3:00-3:30am to get past Baton Rouge before morning rush. Baton Rouge is a real cluster during rush hour from limited bridge options over the Mississippi. Haven't told DW I'm contemplating a one day drive. I can leave before morning rush without any explanation of goals but I cannot get up at 2:30a and brew a thermos of coffee and leave without having to explain.
     
  8. wasnotafan

    wasnotafan All that fresh air over the years has done me good

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    When I was in my 20's a 12-14 hour drive was doable. Now that I am twice that age, it isn't worth it unless it qualifies as an emergency. Takes too long to recover.
     
  9. RodBelding

    RodBelding <font color=red>DIS Dad #589<br><font color=royalb

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    Long trip, but I think it's worth it.:moped: I would plan a couple good breaks for lunch and dinner just to get a break from the car. Food and Wine that night might be a little aggressive though!!!
     
  10. Tigger's ally

    Tigger's ally Segway test dummy

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    I always make the 15 hour trip from central Illinois in one day down and a day and a half back.

    I always leave at around 4 a.m on a Sunday morning, cruise through Nashville around 9, Chatanooga before noon and atlanta around 2 then its all downhill. It does help me that the first 5 hours are city free as are the last 5 hours (since the new backdoor way takes me around Orlando and right to WDW). Believe it or not, I am so wired into getting there, the hardest part is relaxing and resting that first night.
     
  11. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    Not that ambitious. Trying to be in WS at 11am next morning. ~13 hours at the wheel, a couple of long breaks, and losing an hour to time zone change is still a 6am to ~11pm trip with everything going right. Then a looong shower or tub soak and 9-10 hours sleep.

    Wife commented that unpacking and repacking solo was going to suck. I told her I had already realized that and if everything falls right I'll go all the way in a day but will likely knock off for the day at Tallahassee and get up an go at 4-5 am. Other than the unloading and reloading time that comes close to accomplishing the same thing.

    The reason I'm hauling their stuff is cheap tickets on an airline with baggage fees.
     
  12. Urugami

    Urugami DISdad #690

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    As others have said, I think it's do-able, but somewhat ambitious, especially if you want to actually DO something at the tail end of that drive. Your profile sounds similar to my own, and I used to drive between Tampa and New Orleans a dozen or so times, before Southwest had that as a route. The best I ever did was 10.5 hours, which is what Google Maps says now, and this was a single, 20-something guy in a Firebird pirate::drive: I've also done that drive and almost wound up in Mobile Bay after running up on the guard rail; GF was with me on that trip and groggily said "What was that?" "Uhhh.. Nothing, honey.. go back to sleep, I'm pulling over once we get off this bridge.":coffee: That's what I get for leaving Friday after work.:sad2: Sounds like most of your trip will be in daylight, though, so you may not have THAT problem, but I'm sure you realize you should start out VERY well rested, fortify with coffee, and stretch your legs when you can.
    Oh, and a tip you may not need: Take I-12 from Baton Rouge to Slidell, LA. It's a straight shot over the top of Lake Pontchartrain, and you cut out the traffic mess of New Orleans. There are speed traps along that route, though, so be sensible :cool2:. Oh, and that stretch between Lafayette and Baton Rouge is about the most boring drive imaginable. Almost as hypnotizing as West Texas.
    I don't want to sound preachy and all, but HOU-MCO in one shot is right about the limit of what I'd want to try in a day, and I probably wouldn't try it unless I had a really good sleep beforehand. But it does sound like you have a good plan.
    Have a great trip!:beach:
     
  13. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    Haha! I was about to say you've never done I 10 though West Texas but you covered it.

    Pretty much decided to be smarter and knock off for the day on the east side of Trailerhassee and do the last 3-4 hours the next morning. I can accomplish the about the same goal w/o putting all the rigor on a single day.

    Now where are those speed traps? :rolleyes1 Wonder if they do as much between Hammond and the MS border now that the speed limit is 75 on that stretch?
     
  14. Urugami

    Urugami DISdad #690

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    I did that once.. took I-40 through Amarillo the second time I had to drive from San Diego to New Orleans. Didn't want to go through that again :rotfl:
    As for the traps, I couldn't tell you; I haven't had to take that route for quite a while now, but I still hear people complain about them.
    Take Care, and enjoy the ride.:drive:
     
  15. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    I hit the road at 5am, Central, this morning. 995 miles later I pulled into Pop Century at 6:40pm, Central. Stopped 3 times for ~25 minutes total. I'll be at EP RD in the morning. Goodnight.
     
  16. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    The return drive in holiday traffic took 2.5 hours longer but was spread over 2 days. Orlando to the I-75 and I-10 split was absolutely horrible.
     
  17. AirGoofy

    AirGoofy DIS Dad#341

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    Bravo.
     
  18. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    It was such a crazy busy trip I forgot I was the 4th one through my gate at EP that next morning, in the first 20 people pulling Soarin FPs, plus made the first Soarin flight that morning. With that and a 9:40 FP I rode Soarin 3 times before 10am. Walked right on to Nemo, hit SoAT and Mission Space(walked straight on), and was at the WS about 15 minutes before it opened. Went back to the hotel around 1:30pm, hitting SE on the way out, and took a 3 hours nap. I was toast and never made it back Epcot that night. I did hit MK RD the following morning and did all the headline rides except Splash by 11am. They opened the FLE AP holder preview to all by that time so I explored that too.
     
  19. AirGoofy

    AirGoofy DIS Dad#341

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    Yeah, it wipes you out. We usually spend the first day at the resort and I'll sleep by the pool. Sounds like you got some really cool rides in in a short amount of time.
     
  20. GreatBiscuit

    GreatBiscuit Golden but never flaky

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    Well done! LOVE making good time. And it is so much easier to do when I am by myself.

    I don't blam you for skipping out on the evening activities. I would have been done as well.
     
  21. Maroonag1

    Maroonag1 DisDad #730

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    For our August trip we are planning a marathon drive. Austin TX to Orlando, 17hrs. I am going to knock off work a little early on Friday come home load the car and grab a 3 hour nap. Hit the road about 6pm and I will drive thru the night (I am a night owl) The girls have portable DVD's to keep themselves busytill they fall asleep, (along with wife). I hope to get to Tallahassee around dawn (6am Central) where my wife can take over if I start geting tired. Our first afternoon is a resort pool day so we can recover and get a good nights sleep before our first day in the park.
    2 years ago we did 2500 miles in 3 days during the holidays with the kids and they traveled well (there were presents at the end of each leg of the trip that may have helped) and we didnt even have to leave the state.
    I used to make long drives all the time when I was hauling horses, I could do 16-18 hours at a time only stopping for gas and restrooms but that was 2 kids ago.

    I know I will be so excited going there that I wont be able to sleep anyway, but the return trip is going to be horrible.
     

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