Driving from Toronto - Many questions

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by baby_tran, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. baby_tran

    baby_tran Earning My Ears

    Jul 17, 2006
    What time did you start off on your journey?

    How many hours per day do you drive?

    Whats the location of your first overnight stop?

    We'll be driving from Toronto in the middle of August with 2 kids (6 and 8). We're planning on using the Pennsylvania-West Virginia-North and South Carolina-Georgia to Florida route.

    Did you pre-book your enroute hotel accomodations? Any problems with not pre-booking (i.e., would we find hotels are all fully booked)?

    How often and for how long are pitstops?

    Any interesting places along this route that we shouldn't miss?

  2. cslittle999

    cslittle999 DIS Veteran

    Dec 26, 2002
    Welcome to the DIS.

    We like to leave early in the morning, around 5 am. The first day we like to reach Charlotte, NC. That's around 13 hours of travel time and we're just north of Toronto. The second day is shorter. We typically reach Orlando around 5 pm. In the past we have stayed off-site that night and toured DTD but now that we own DVC we'll stay on-site.

    We have two kids too (DD9 and DS7 now but they were 7 and 5 on the first trip). We try to stop at the welcome centers. They have enough open space that the kids can run around. We pack breakfast and lunch for the first day. We eat breakfast while driving and lunch at a welcome center. We try to minimize all of the other stops.

    We do pre-book a hotel. Others stop at the welcome center and make a reservation there or try their luck with coupons. If you aren't confident about where you will reach then make a pair of reservations about one or two hours apart and cancel one of them when you get close to the first. Most hotels don't charge if you cancel by 6 pm.

    The mountains through Virginia and West Virginia are amazing. There are a number of lookouts that you can stop at and take pictures. As well you will go through two tunnels. We're still trying to get that perfect driving into the tunnel picture. The rest of the drive isn't all that scenic but there are places to stop along the way. The exception is Georgia. I95 seems to miss everything through Georgia.

    The trip back is different. We leave WDW around noon and drive to SC/GA border. The next day we drive to Morgantown, WV. That leaves around a six hour drive home. We have often thought of planning a day trip on the way home but nothing seems interesting after WDW.

    One neat thing about this route is how many states you pass through. We always put together a small surprise for each border crossing. This lets us dole out treats for the kids and have them looking forward to the journey. The surprises are all small (glow sticks, disposable cameras, books on cd, travel games, ...). We make up a copy of the route for the kids to mark up and track where we are.

    Here are some links to other driving threads:

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  4. F4disneyfan

    F4disneyfan <font color=deeppink>It all depended on my mood in

    May 4, 2006
    We start our drive around 4 in the afternoon the kids eat an early meal and we load them up in their PJ's and we are off. We drive till we hit the Georgia welcome centre in the AM then get them dressed and have breakfast we have a nice electric cooler for milk etc it is a lifesaver. Then we drive till macon for lunch and stop for the night in Valdosta about 3 in the afternoon. So we drive for about 18 hours but take 24 to reach Valdosta with stops etc so the kids can get out and eat and run around.
  5. fraser

    fraser Earning My Ears

    May 25, 2006
    We just got back on Saturday night and took the exact same route.
    Stopped in Charlotte on the way down -we thought we might make it to Savannah GA, but made reservations at the days inn Charlotte and Savanna (they let you cancell up till 4pm no charge) We paid $55/night at the days Inn Charlotte, not the greatest hotel but they do have a pool and you get what you pay for. we went for dinner to a nice restaurant down the street (Harpers great food) and we left the next morning at 4 am got to disney and were eating at the food court in our hotel by noonish

    on the way back we stopped in south carolina at the econolodge in Richburg ($45./night rooms were better than the days inn, plus FREE LONG DISTANCE CALLS! and high speed internet ) we took advantage of the phone to call family and let them know we were on our way home.

    The road trip seems to be complicated and scary at first but overall it was great
    also if the map you get is from CAA or AAA they try to bypass the rte 19 (I think it was aroung charleston? )because of high police presence we took the #19 anyways and saw 1 cop the whole way through and it saves about an hour off the trip.

    Good luck with the drive!
  6. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite <font color=blue>Did it 20 times in a row back in

    Feb 26, 2005
    Hi there, welcome to the dis. We took the I77/79/81/95 route last year for the 1st time and will never take it again. I found that there was little open late for people who drive straight through like we do. We live almost 2 hours east of Toronto and prefer the I75 route to Florida. There are alot more shops and gas stations open as well as 24 hour walmarts and other stores for those things you know you will forget to pack!!!! :lmao: We usually leave here around 3 and get to Disney by 4-5pm the next day. It isn't as pretty as the 77/79/81/95 route but much more practical and convienient for us. There seemed to be alot of construction in the 77/81 area as well and I don't think we made very good time. I have never had much of a problem with I75. We just always seem to hit the major cities just before or just after rush hour. :banana:

    Just my two cents, best of luck either way and keep the sunny side up and the shady side down.............

    Rob (Snowwhite's DH)
  7. cslittle999

    cslittle999 DIS Veteran

    Dec 26, 2002
    I agree with Rob I75 being a better over night route than I90/79/77/26/95. The exits are spaced farther apart and there are quite a few that aren't near a town. Not a big deal during the day time with even a small amount of pre-planning. The I75 route is about 3 hours driving time longer based on distance. We aren't hard core enough yet to try driving straight through so we'll likely always go the 70/77 route. I can see us getting farther the first day as the kids get older an we don't have to take as many breaks.

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