For those who drive to WDW

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by NorthernON_MOM, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. NorthernON_MOM

    NorthernON_MOM DIS Lover

    Jan 27, 2004
    1. Where are you driving from?

    2. How Long does it take?

    3. How many days in total of holidays (including driving time) do you take to do it this way?

    4. Roughly how much do you figure it costs you in gas?

    5. Do you stay in hotels along the way?

    We are considering driving the next time we go as it was just over $2500 for the 4 of us to fly, but are not sure if we would really save enough to make it worth it. Thanks.
  2. NancyK

    NancyK DIS Veteran

    Sep 4, 1999
    We drive from the Niagara Falls area.

    It takes about 20 hours driving time give or take an hour.
    We usually make it to WDW by early afternoon on the second day. We drive 12-16 hours the first day with the 2nd day being much shorter. We often register at the hotel and head over to the parks for the rest of the day. Tiring yes - but we love it!

    You need to count on 4 travel days in total (2 each way). If you're coming from up north, you might need more.

    We drive small cars - a Ford Escort and a Pontiac Sunfire. The return trip is about $130 U.S. Last year I went with my sister in her minivan and it was closer to $200 U.S. return.

    The hotels run about $75 U.S. per night on the interstates, but they almost always include a continental breakfast - cereal, muffins, fruit, juice, coffee, etc.

    Even with just two of us, driving saves us money. We stay in a hotel one night each way for a total of $150, plus gas of $130 equals less than $300 for the return trip. I pack a lot of snacks and a lunch for the first day. We only have a couple meals on the trip - generally one fast-food meal and usually once at Cracker Barrel (very reasonable meals). But we actually like the drive - we consider it a part of the vacation. (I think we're in the minority on that - most people would rather fly).

    Good luck with your decision.

  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. kellyla

    kellyla <font color=6666CC>Pooh Beanie-aholic<br><font col

    Apr 25, 2000
    WE are driving from Hamilton

    It took us about 21 hours to the I77/I79 way.We stopped in Mooresville,North Carolina so we could do the NASCAR thing for my son.The first day drive was about 13 hours.We hit Orlando about 9pm the next night(left NC about 1pm)so we jsut decided to stay offsite for the on night before checking into our resort

    So we took two days to get there and we drove straight through on the way home.

    We spent approximately $130US in gas.We drive a 4-cylinder Grand-Am.This also included a trip to Daytona(another NASCAR thing)

    We spent $79 the first night on the road and that included breakfast in the morning.The second night we paid $49 at the hotel right behind the big McD's.

    We also packed alot of snacks and drinks which I bought before we left and I spent about $40(that includes cereal)So driving makes alot of sense to me.
  5. hockey mom

    hockey mom <font color=coral>Loves to do the Napkin Dance at

    Oct 2, 2000
    We drive from Peterborough and it takes around 24 hours. We drive straight through so no hotel rooms to pay for. Gas total about $300 for the entire vacation and about $100 eating on the road.
  6. DSNY FN

    DSNY FN <font color=darkcoral>DVC is the place for me<br><

    Sep 18, 2000
    We drive from London it takes us approximateley 20 hours of driving time. We leave London at night after dinner usually and stop the next day around 4 in Valdosta Georgia for the night. We have a plug in electric cooler for food and drinks along the way so we do not have to eat at restaurants during the drive. We usually vacation for 2 weeks or more
    We usually pay about :
    150 US for gas return trip
    45 US for the hotel in Valdosta
    5-10 dollars at Timmies in Dayton Ohio
    15 dollars US for dinner at the hotel in Valdosta
    So roughly 220 -250 I would say for the drive there and back
    We found it to be way more cost effective this way and the kids are great in the car so driving is really no problem for us.
  7. jaysue

    jaysue DIS Veteran

    Nov 24, 2002
    1) Drive from Aurora, Ontario

    2) It took 23 hours of driving time - this was down across Fort Erie down to PA and across through MD and Washington DC bypass and then onto I-95 and then I-4 - went this way to avoid mountain snows

    3) Left at 0900 on a Saturday and arrived at AKL at 1500 (3pm) on the Sunday - way back left DAK at 1830 on a Friday bought some groceries headed onto I-4 around 1915 - made it to North Georgia just after midnight - then left 0645 Saturday and arrived home around 0100 on Sunday - that was too much for one day!

    4) Geez, did not track that - probably too scared to do so - Pontiac Montana mini-van

    5) Yes - one night each way

  8. DSNY FN

    DSNY FN <font color=darkcoral>DVC is the place for me<br><

    Sep 18, 2000
    Jaysue we also drove a montana minivan we borrowed my mothers and found the gas mileage was quite good we would get 500K out of a half tan of gas then stop to fill it up much easier this way. Our stops were in West Lorne to top up before we left Canada. We would then stop in Kentuky then in Ringold in Georgia and in Macon after lunch. We always top up in Valdosta before we leave the place in the morning so we don't have to pay the ridiculous prices in Fla seems to be about 30 cents a gallon higher in Florida than Georgia. Well when we went through anyhow
  9. cdnmickeylover

    cdnmickeylover <font color=CC99CC>Anyone want to pay off my stude

    Apr 30, 2002
    We drive from Thornhill, Ontario and it takes about 24 hours of driving time. We do the drive down in 2.5 days with 2 nights of hotels on the way down and one on the way back.

    We live usually a Friday afternoon around 4pm (always try to aim for earlier but never succeed as I have to go into work in the morning) and drive til we get to Ohio -- exit 197 where the Timmies is. We drive the I-75 route with the "Along the I-75" book by Dave Hunter -- well worth the $.

    The next day we leave somewhere around 8-9am and drive til we get south of Altanta -- the distance has varied depending on the weather -- one trip it rained most of Saturday and we didn't get as far because of the rain and accidents. The third day we get into Orlando around 1-2pm and hit the Character Warehouse before checking in.

    On the way home we do it in two days with one night in a hotel.

    Cost -- hotels are usually 45-50US a night for $150
    Food - neglible as we have an electric cooler and take our own food except for Timmies $10
    Gas - not sure but guessing around $200US for a Montana which gets great gas mileage on the highway.
    Books on CD -- we always stop at a Cracker Barrel and pick up their books on CD to listen too. You buy one and then return it down the road and get all your money back except $3 rental. Since we do two books on the way down and two on the way home it's $12 for the trip.

    We could do the drive in two days down and cut out a hotel but we like to arrive in Orlando in the early afternoon. We also don't do the drive down (or back) straight through as we've found that it takes way too long for us to recover.

    Sorry this is so long.
  10. PhotobearSam

    PhotobearSam <font color=red><img src=

    May 3, 2001
    First trip we drove from Ottawa.

    We drove to Hershey Penn. to see chocolate world. We stopped for the night south of DC. We then stopped at South of the Border on the second day and were supposed to stop in North Florida for 2nd night but kept going and arrived in Kissimmee at 11pm on day 2. About 2400 KM X 2 round trip.

    It was not too bad on Gas...Maybe $120 US...Prices were lower and we drove a Cavalier .

    We were on the road 2 days going, 11 days there, 2 days coming back.

    Each night in a hotel on the way cost $58 US one way and $40 US the other (would have liked to spend more but that was the only place that had room...It was called the Budget Hotel...VERY budget it was)

    Remeber to factor in the $$$ you save from not having to rent a car...

    This trip in Feb we left from Moncton New Brunswick.

    3200 km each way.

    We stopped in Middletown NY to stay with friends the first night after driving for 11 hours. No $$$ there. They made breakfast for us and there was a snow storm and we could only leave at 11am. We drove to North Carolina from there. Stayed at the only Motel without whool blankets. (I am VERY allergic to whool) It was called the Luxury Motel...Luxury it was not...$45 a night.

    We arrived in Orlando (after stopping in Hilton Head, SC for a look) at 6 pm on day 3. Same route on the way home. About $200 in gas the whole trip includig time there.

    We were gone 22 days in total.

    I love the drive and having my own car...I love the scenery and stopping somewhere different each day. We make plans to stop and see different things as it breaks up the drive.

    Hope this helps

  11. soupy11

    soupy11 Cast Member Wannabe

    Feb 9, 2004
    1. We live in Kitchener.

    2. The drive covers 2056 kilometers and usually takes 21 hours of driving. We take I 75.

    3. We leave on a friday night about 10PM and drive straight down. We return on the following sunday leaving at 10AM and stopping later that night at a hotel. We get home the next day around 6PM.

    4. We drive a VW Golf and gas cost us $150 USD there and back.

    5. Hotel on the way back cost us $38.

    We love driving and feel the savings are exceptional.
  12. pauld2

    pauld2 Earning My Ears

    Feb 18, 2003
    I am from Pickering and would recommend the I77/79 route over the I75 route if you are driving from the Toronto area. Less trucks and not as boring. BTW, 2150 kms from Pickering, drove straight through on the Friday/Saturday before March break, leaving at noon and getting to WDW at 10 the next morning.
  13. peigirl

    peigirl Mouseketeer

    Oct 23, 2003
    We drive from Stratford (just east of Charlottetown). PEI.

    It takes 37 hours which includes breaks and meals going I95 down. Took 43 hours I75/I80?/I88? on way back. Meals were cheap as we are all addicted to fast food. 3 days of hard driving each way but we would not hesitate to do it again in a heartbeat. I have tons of vacation time so do not mind using the days for the drive

    We get 2 hotels each way @100. USD each night.

    We spent $120. USD each way for gas (rented a brand new Malibu from National which cost $735. CAD for 21 days. Used the insurance from our own insurance company).


  14. MommaBear

    MommaBear Mouseketeer

    Apr 7, 2004
    We drive from Mississauga, Ontario.

    Last trip we left at 5 a.m. and stayed in London, Kentucky the first night. Comfort Inns are the best as they serve a free continental breakfast in the morning. Second night we stayed at another Comfort Inn in Valdosta, Georgia. Next morning we slept in and drove the final 4 hours into Orlando. Stayed at the Comfort Inn Maingate just outside of Downtown Disney for 3 nights.

    It was our first driving trip for our boys so we paced ourselves taking 2 1/2 days down. We spent the afternoon doing laundry (onsite at hotel) and relaxing by the pool. Early night so we could hit the parks for the next 3 days.

    On the way home we did it in 2 days with a one night stay over at a Comfort inn.

    The trip is usually about 24 hours. We did 10 hours each day and 4 hours the last day on the way down and then 2 - 12 hr days on the way back.

    Overall I think the total for driving/sleeping/eating was about $300.00 US. We drove a Pontiac Montana filling up the night before we left and only stopping 3 times on the way down at approx. $20 to 25 each stop for gas.

    Flying is wonderful but the price is a killer. We actually took $2500.00 US for the entire 2 week trip. 3 days at Disney and the rest of the vacation at a condo on St. Petes Beach. So you can see that the price of your flight down was actually our spending money for the entire trip!
  15. rxs148

    rxs148 Earning My Ears

    Apr 10, 2004
    Hi PEI Girl I'm from Stratford too, it's a small world after all, pun intended.

    Driving makes sense for many people especially when its 4 or more people. I have helped several people with vacations to WDW from here and flying can be economical if you have some patience and shop around. The last person I helped we found a charter for including hotel $550 CDN per person taxes and fees incl. from Halifax. The hotel turned out to be very nice 3 stars, clean and enjoyable.

    This Charter company flies out of Ottawa too. you just have to keep checking for the right price.

    For Canadians going to WDW you have to use every trick to save $$$ because we are already 30 % behind with the exchange. :earseek:
  16. Canadian Connection

    Canadian Connection Earning My Ears

    Feb 22, 2004
    We drive from Newmarket, Ontario

    21 hours

    Going down, we leave @ 4:00 a.m. on Friday to beat rush hour across the border. Drive through until 8:00 p.m. Stay in Orangeburg, South Carolina on I26 (approx. $75 U.S.) Continue on the Sat. a.m. via I26 to I95. This leaves only 5-6 hours to drive on the Saturday - arrive in time to grocery shop and check-in at OKW. Coming back, same plan but leave 4:00 a.m. Sat. Stop 8:00 p.m. Pennsylvania. Back to Newmarket early Sun. afternoon.

    Gas = approx. $150.00 U.S.
  17. canucktyke

    canucktyke Mouseketeer

    Feb 16, 2004
    Hey Canadian connection! Holland Landing DISer here! Have never been able to persuade my DW to drive down, but did drive the family to Virginia last summer - just a little further, for big savings. We should continure to wear the lime green things around town so we could recognize each other!
  18. snoopyandpooh

    snoopyandpooh Mouseketeer

    May 1, 2004
    I flew down to WDW last month with my mon and daughter, loved it so much that I have find an excuse to go again this summer. Flying is too expensive and since my vacation is not too flexible, I find it hard to book aeroplan miles(timing problems).
    I am planning to rent a car (I don't trust my 8 years old Chevy Venture) and take the 22 hour drive from downtown Toronto right after work. If the "plan" works out, me and my daughter will take turn driving, leaving Toronto at 2pm on Friday, we should arrive Orlando at around 2 pm Saturday.
    I am so excited! Can't wait to be there again! I am acutally checking out the Disney Vacation Club. Can anyone tell me if its really worth it? Thanks.
    :Pinkbounc :bounce:
  19. DSNY FN

    DSNY FN <font color=darkcoral>DVC is the place for me<br><

    Sep 18, 2000
    DVC is well worth the money if for nothing else other than knowing you have a room @ WDW any time you want for the next 50 years.
  20. Lezah

    Lezah <font color=9999CC>There is definitely something t

    Jun 13, 2000
    We have done it both ways, driving and flying and driving is so much cheaper especially since we can bring food down with us. Cases of water, pop, cereal, snacks for the parks and for the drive down. We borrowed a plug in fridge/cooler which worked great both in the car and at ASMu as well as we could have snacks, breakfast etc in the room!
    We drove from Mississauga, Ontario and left at around 1pm on Friday afternoon. We drove tons that day and didn't stop until after 1am and stopped in London KY. We got a great room with a full breakfast included the next am for $49 per night. Make sure you stop and get the coupon books for the hotels at each state you cross over to!! They save you a ton of money. We made it to Orlando by 8pm the next day, took longer than normal because of the heavy heavy T-storms all through half of Georgia and Florida. We drove a Dodge Caravan and it cost about $300 total there and back. It took us about 24 hours going and 22 hours coming home. We took I75 using Dave Hunters book the whole way. We spent 13 days at WDW including 4 days total of driving time. We, too consider the drive down the start of the holiday and always stop at Cracker Barrel for meals and the books on CD! Enjoy the drive!!
  21. OntFamily

    OntFamily DIS Veteran

    Jul 6, 2003
    We just returned (yesterday) from driving to WDW and back. We drove the I-79/77 route from Toronto, and found it a very easy drive. Very little traffic (until we hit I-95 in SC), and next to no truck traffic.

Share This Page