1st time driving from Eastern PA to Disney....

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by magicalmoments, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. magicalmoments

    magicalmoments Mouseketeer

    Sep 25, 2001
    We will be driving for the first time to Disney. I am looking for advice on best route and what time to leave. We plan to get a hotel somewhere along the way. Any advice on where to stop and hotels to look into?
    I wish we could fly like always but with Airfare being up and needing 8 seats....driving wins this time. We are to check into Saratogo on Dec 27. My daughter is getting married at Shades of Green Dec 29. Thank You, Stacy
  2. Swissdog2010

    Swissdog2010 DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2010
    We live in NW NJ so similar location. The last time we drove we took 78 out to Harrisburg and then dropped south on 83 to the DC beltway. From there we took the Baltimore-Washington Turnpike (295?) to pick up I95 South just below DC. We left at six in the morning and got to that point in four hours and a bit. We may be driving again in Oct '13, and we are looking to take 81 past Harrisburg and farther south until we pick up 64 east to link up with I95 around Richmond and bypass the whole DC corridor. Then it's I95 all the way to Daytona beach. We have stopped in Rocky Mount, sort of a natural half way point once, and the last time we stayed just outside Savannah Ga. That was 12 hours of driving.
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  4. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    If taking 295 around DC I would only go through there in the wee hours of the morning. The traffic is horrid most other times. We lived in Gaithersburg and traveled south a lot.
  5. Muhlenberg

    Muhlenberg <font color=blue>Clues! We want clues! <br><font c

    Sep 13, 2006
    Contemplate taking 81 - 77 - 26 - 95. It avoids DC and Richmond completely. There are hills on 81 in VA, but we find the drive to be nice, albeit long.

    According to the map sites, it's supposedly about an hour longer than 95. HOWEVER, it's EASY to lose an hour's driving time by taking 95 through DE, MD, DC, and VA.
  6. dsneprincess

    dsneprincess DIS Veteran

    Feb 3, 2009
    This!! It is exactly how we travel from upstate NY to SC. We broke down in Rocky Mount, NC on the way home & it is a nice safe area to stop. I would highly recommend the hotel we stayed at there just off 95. PM if you want the name.

    Unfortunately, because we are farther north starting out, we don't make it quite so far our first day. We avoid DC, friends didn't & sat in traffic for hours!!
  7. MulanMom

    MulanMom DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2002
    Don't know where you are at in Eastern PA. There are a few routes we take. I'm sure you are very familiar with 95. When traveling south to either FL or beaches, we take 78W, 81S, 581E, 15S, to 270 E in Frederick MD. We then take 495 to 95S. By going this route, we only deal with a small portion of the DC Beltway. Timing through here is critical.

    Another way to get further south on 95 in VA is to take Route 81S to 66E to rt 17S. That will intersect with I95 in Fredericksburg VA.

    To totally avoid the midatlantic I95 corridor, then it's best to do the other route mentioned by a PP where you take 81, 77, 26 to I95 in South Carolina.

    The drive isn't bad when timed right. A fun way to avoid 95 is to take the Autotrain. You pick it up in Lorton VA, which is just south of the DC beltway. If you book early enough, fares are very reasonable. You won't make better time, but it's a fun way to avoid 95.
  8. ItsNotMuchofaTail

    ItsNotMuchofaTail but I'm sort of attached to it

    May 30, 2012
    I live near Allentown, and have driven from here to FL quite a few times. I have done both the I-95 most of the way, and the 78-83-way. The non I-95 way is much more scenic, especially if you like mountains. The best time to hit DC if you go that way is at night. Traffic is terrible.

    We have stopped near Rocky Mount and Savannah, like a PP. We always tried to go further on the first day, so the second day was easier. Once we went all the way to Charleston to see family, but that was too far (out of the way), we were going crazy.

    The last time I did it, we drove I-95 down, stopping at South of the Border, and then 30 minutes from Orlando the 2nd night. We got up early, drove the rest of the way, checked in at 8:00 am and hit a park.

    Then, driving home we went the scenic route, straight through. Approaching Harrisburg, we almost gave up, but we were so close we kept going. My XH and I had a hard time keeping each other awake. Don't do that.

    My parents did the drive a lot when we were kids (grandparents near Ft. Myers) and my mom said leaving in the evening is best for driving straight through. You are freshest at night then.
  9. GranddadTom

    GranddadTom Mouseketeer

    Nov 16, 2006
    Im assuming that you are leaving home on the 26th  which will be a Wednesday. Although its a workday the traffic in Washington will be light, especially if you can get there by mid-day (Im not sure where Eastern PA is). A lot of government employees take leave that week so the beltway will not be a problem. Im not a big fan of I-81 any time of the year but Im especially not a big fan in the wintertime. Its in the mountains. Its colder than on I-95 (which is more toward the coast ands less cold). We like the Comfort Suites Gateway in Brunswick, GA (3+ hours from Disney World) but that may be a little far for you to drive the first day.
  10. magicalmoments

    magicalmoments Mouseketeer

    Sep 25, 2001
    Thank You!
    We live just north of Allentown. I appreciate all your advice. I printed them out to take along. Im a little nervous....especially with the weather but I am, hoping it will be gone til we get that far south as long as we arent going straight into it :(
    Thank You all! I truly appreciate the help from those who have done it :)

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