To drive or not to Drive?? We played with airfare costs for about a year pre-cruise and just couldn't find a deal. It would of been between $2,500-3,500 to fly for the six of us + Rental Car. We went to Disney World, February Vacation Week 2013, and had similar trouble finding affordable flights so we drove to Florida for the first time ever. It went pretty smooth, and the family seemed to enjoy it, so we thought, lets try it again this year! Our last Disney Cruise was in 2008, when we did the East-bound Panama Canal Cruise. (Trip report link in my signature) We had been meaning to get back, and originally had the Eastern cruise on the Fantasy booked for August 2013, but we pushed it back after never making any payments on it as we intended. The Cast: DW, age 36 loves all things Regarding Travel! Especially Disney Cruises! DH, age 36 loves Disney as much as me and worked extra hard this year to get us here! DS, 15 Lucky to get him on one more Disney Cruise, before he is too old to want to hang out with his parents! DD, 14 Disney obsessed and read everything about our Disney Cruise for the last year leading up to it and was super excited! DS, 11 excited to experience the cruise and actually remember it this time. DD, 8 Totally immersed in Disney Magic and has had a count down for 2years waiting for this! We left at noon to start off on our long drive to Florida from the Northeast. We stopped to fill up on our discounted gas using our Stop and Shop card, stopped by the bank, and hit a couple stores for a couple last minute forgotten items. We really hit the road at 1 pm. We hadn't had lunch yet, so within the hour, we stopped through the McDonalds drive through. I hate fast food, and I swore we wouldn't be stopping there again this trip. We made a couple gas/bathroom/stretch stops and had dinner at Applebee's on the NJ/PA border. Our plan originally was to stop at our hotel, The Drury Inn in NC around midnite, but due to our late start and a NY traffic jam (due to an accident that took hours to clear), we were late. Very, very late! We pulled into our hotel at 630 am. We asked for a late checkout for noon and we literally crashed! I set my alarm for 9 as they stopped serving Breakfast at 930. The two younger kids wanted to eat as soon as we arrived, but I promised to bring them before it closed. We were all out cold within minutes of getting into bed. The alarm for breakfast came all to quick, and I really wanted to ignore it, but I had promised the younger kids. My hubby wanted to be left to sleep, as he was the driver and needed as much rest as possible. I quietly woke up the younger kids who slid into their flip flops and we were out the door. I gently woke the older two kids and asked if they wanted to come, but they wanted to be left to sleep. We had a quick breakfast, grabbed 3 bagels and cream cheese for the sleepers, and went back to the room by 930. I Set the alarm for 11am, and fell quickly back to sleep. We had late checkout for noon, so as the alarm went off, we took turns at showers and got dressed for the day. We felt human again! We had a quick nap 3-4 hours each and felt refreshed for what it was. Disappointed our timing was off and we didn't get a full night, but what could we do? We were back on the road again at noon. We were booked for Residence Inn at Cocoa Beach. Because our timing was off, we were not going to make it to the hotel early enough to enjoy pool time, and dinner to watch the Magic leave port like we had hoped. Disappointed, we drove on. We stopped half way, for dinner around 5pm, in SC at a place we had dinner at, on our last trip to Disney World, and our first time driving, back Feb vacation week 2013. We remembered how good the food was, and it did not disappoint. We filled up on gas at this point as well. We drove on. And on, and on. It Poured! And I mean POURED!! All the way from SC through Georgia and into Florida. The roads were a mess and it was taking longer to get to our destination. We stopped shortly after getting into Fla. for gas, Starbucks for the hubby, and chocolate shakes for the rest of us at McDonalds as we all wanted something sweet. We pulled into Residence Inn around 1020pm. We had a suite for the 6 of us, everything looked nice. We wished we had time to enjoy the hotel but arriving so late, we did not. We pulled up all our luggage to the room and got into pj's. The kids enjoyed some WiFi and the hubby went to the gas station for some drinks. Then it was time for some sleep as Cruise Day was almost, ( Finally! ) Here.