Driving Down

Norm The Skull

New Member
Original Poster
Well we are finaly starting in planing our trip to the World.

We want to arrive at Pop Century on Monday December 8th 2008.

We will be driving down from Ottawa Canada.
With some research I found out it should take 23 hrs of driving.
Since I don't drive my wife will be doing all the driving.

I tought about leaving on Friday December 5th in the afternoon.

Has anywone out there done a long road trip to the happiest place on Earth..

Any ideas on how to pass the time on the way there?
Good area's to stop to sleep?

I would love to hear yout ideas

Thanks again
 

MichWolv

Born Modest. Wore Off.
Premium Member
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I've done the long drive several times from Detroit, Chicago, and Washington DC. Not quite as far as Ottawa, but still quite a long way. From Ottawa, I'm not sure exactly what route you'll take, but you'll probably be heading down 77 or 95 eventually. I have generally found that a stop in North Carolina or so makes the final days drive bearable, with arrival in WDW around 8 pm or so with normal stops. I wouldn't want to arrive much later than that to be ready for the parks the next day.

As for what to do on the way, depends how much time you have. When driving from DC, I'd just put the pedal to the metal and go. From Detroit or Chicago, I always took a half day or so somewhere in the middle and did something to break up the driving.
 

doop

Well-Known Member
We drive everytime we go from Pennsylvania, about an 18 hour drive. The whole trip is basically just a straight shot down I-95, so it is pretty boring. We usually bring along our portable DVD player and that tends to keep us occupied. We always stop in either Rocky Mount, North Carolina, or Lumberton, North Carolina, depending on how tired we are feeling. Both of those exits have a LOT of hotel rooms.
 

Hrudey3032

Well-Known Member
It is almost a 16 hour drive from Indianapolis to the Orlando area.The worst area we have found when driving was Georgia as that states seems to never end and dont get me started on Valdosta and Macon GA, :hurl: Those areas smell so bad when dring thru you almost want to find alternate route.The best part of driving tho is the scenic view...thats why I fly now so I can see all of the Disney scenery sooner!
 
I'm from Jersey which is bout a 17 hour drive. When we drove down we leave at night and drove straight through and arrive in Disney around late afternoon. If we felt like we had to stop we usually stop in the Hilton Head area in South Carolina and leave early. But we usually always drive straight through.
 

PrincessMagic

New Member
We drive from Ohio, it takes us roughly 14 hrs maybe a little more. It's a straight shot down I-75 for us. We always stop in Valdosta, GA. Like the previous poster Valdosta can be a little dicey, but we found a newer Country Inn and Suites that is really nice and clean and a Starbucks across the street to boot! We like staying in the area because once we get up in the morning we're only 3 short hours away. It makes the trip seem so much quicker.

Although coming from Ottowa I can't even imagine driving that far into Georgia, it seems like it takes forever to get through Georgia.

It really depends on what route you take but in my experience just take your time and not get too stressed out on the way down and you can really enjoy Disney World when you get there.
 

tigsmom

Well-Known Member
22 hours from here in NY so I'm not sure how you would make it in 23...they must have plotted a secret route for you. :lol: I also know that it takes longer than that because of traffic and the usual road construction. :lookaroun And in December you never know where you will lose time because of snow/ice.

If you can get thru the major cities off hour then that would be your best bet and try to take the routes around the cities instead of thru them whenever possible. Getting caught up in commuting and business traffic is a nightmare.

We found that a good way to pass the time is with books on tape since the driver can't watch movies on a DVD. :lookaroun Getting out and stretching every few hours makes a big difference too. We usually stop in Woodbridge, VA, Fayetteville, NC or Santee, SC depending on how the traffic is. Any Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express is usually a good bet for a nice clean room (free breakfast too) and Cracker Barrell is always a good stop for good, quick food.

:wave:
 

Kristamouse

Well-Known Member
The books on tape are great. DH and I love them, I would recommend The Kingdom Keepers about MK. It is for teens but is a fun read. Also the same author Ridely Person wrote with Dave Berry a couple of books about Peter Pan that are wonderful. I think there is a third coming as well. Peter and the Starcatchers and Peter and the Shadow Theif. The best books for car listening are fast paced and/or funny. We had already read the DaVince Code but it was fun to hear it on tape same with dective novels. Have a safe drive. :wave:
 

mandiemoon

New Member
We drove down from London, Ontario and it took us about 24 hours. We just drove straight there, just stopping for gas and quick bites of food. I brought my Nintendo DS, read alot and we took turns listening to our ipods. I put an audio book on my ipod, and that was fun to listen to. My fiance drove the whole way, as I don't drive, and he said it wasn't bad at all. He was expecting the drive to be alot worse. We also stopped in Kentucky to visit the original Kentucky Fried Chicken...just because. ;)
 

sbkline

Well-Known Member
We drive from Central Illinois down, taking I-57, then catching I-24 in Southern Illinois and taking it all the way down to Chattanooga, then catch I-75 all the way down to the Florida Turnpike.

I generally enjoy just chatting with my wife, enjoying the scenery and putting in some good road tripping music, such as Lynn Anderson or the Carpenters.

I agree about Southern Georgia, although for a different reason. I never have noticed the bad smells that some of you referenced (except for the bad smells emitted by me in the van :D), though. For me, it seems that no matter what year we go, we run into construction on the interstate, resulting in either slower speed limits and one lane driving, or all out gridlock on the road as the roadwork brings traffic to a screeching halt. If we are going through there later at night, we may luck out and just have the slower speed limits. If we are going through in the afternoon, we may have to endure the gridlock.

Either way, I think the governor of Georgia knows when we have a vacation planned and he makes sure to send his people out to work on the roads when we are coming through.

I do all the driving, so there isn't too much else that *I* can do to keep occupied other than enjoying the roadtrip, music and chit chat with my wife.
 

TheKeeler7

New Member
We just got home last night from driving down there. We found a great Red Roof Inn in Fayetteville NC that is right off the highway and all but shares a parking lot with a Cracker Barrel.From fayetteville it took us about 9 hours and that included a stops for lunch (we packed a cooler and ate at a rest area) Bathrooms (5 kids!) and grocery shopping.

Plan on stopping in NJ for gas along the way, not only are the service areas very clean on convienent but the gas prices are the cheapest on the east coast ( no gas tax).

Jacksonville is awful on I-95 with exits on the left and right and lots of awful turns. Very easy to get lost. I took I-295 around it and it was a nice smooth ride.

Depending on your day and time , Orlando can be tough on I-4. Consider taking I-417 aroung it. The approx. $5.00 in tolls is well worth it.
 

KAY823

New Member
Driving

We drive from Watertown NY. Depending on traffic, construction and weather, it has taken us anywhere from 21 hours to 23 hours. We have left at all different times of day. What usually works best for us is to leave at about 5 pm and drive all through the night. The traffic is much lighter and we don't get into the heavy rush hours for morning or evening in the larger cities. My husband does the majority of the driving but when he gets tired, usually around South Carolina, I take a turn. We don't stay overnight. One sleeps while the other drives. It obviously won't work for you if you don't drive. My suggestion would be to get to at least NC before stopping. That way, your drive will be a little shorter the following day.
 

tigsmom

Well-Known Member
We just got home last night from driving down there. We found a great Red Roof Inn in Fayetteville NC that is right off the highway and all but shares a parking lot with a Cracker Barrel.From fayetteville it took us about 9 hours and that included a stops for lunch (we packed a cooler and ate at a rest area) Bathrooms (5 kids!) and grocery shopping.

Plan on stopping in NJ for gas along the way, not only are the service areas very clean on convienent but the gas prices are the cheapest on the east coast ( no gas tax).

Jacksonville is awful on I-95 with exits on the left and right and lots of awful turns. Very easy to get lost. I took I-295 around it and it was a nice smooth ride.

Depending on your day and time , Orlando can be tough on I-4. Consider taking I-417 aroung it. The approx. $5.00 in tolls is well worth it.
The DH & DD stopped there 2 weeks ago on the way back to school in Tampa. :lol: Its a bit worn, but still clean. We have been staying there over the years as have my in laws. :cool:
 

eroyee

Active Member
If we drive we stop and hit all the flea markets on the way for some out of the car time. believe me, it helps. We have stayed at Valdosta, GA. many times.
 

rosie.ca

Member
we drive from just north of toronto and it takes slightly longer than that .We always try to get to about Statesville north Carolina on the first day if we are planning to stop for the night... we usually leave at about 4-5 am
 

AlishaMisha

Member
Yeah it's going to take you longer than that to get to FL. From here in Maine it takes 27 hours.

Here is what we use to do...
Leave in the morning, fast food during the day and a resturant (usually Cracker Barrel) for dinner and then stay somewhere overnight. Then do the same thing the next day and arrive in Orlando at night.

Now we do it this way and man does it seem quicker (and less stress on the body and mind)...
Leave between 3 and 6 pm and drive until 10, 11 or 12pm. Stay the night somewhere then drive the whole day the next day. This will take us to about South Carolina/Georgia border or Georgia/FL border. Then we drive the next day and are there by noon (and thats with a 2 hour stop in Saint Augustine for food and exploring).

As for entertainment, we do the DVD player thing but we pick movies that we know well so we can visualize it in our heads (if we are the driver). Visualizing it also helps for people who are prone to car sickness.

We also like to make CD's with lots of Disney Movie/ Park music on it to listen to or to sing-a-long with.

A tradition is to put a sign up in one of the windows saying "HONK YOUR HORN!". Then when we see a Truck Driver we give him the jesture to honk his. We always get a smile from the "honkers" and you can tell it brightens the Truck driver's day.

We do more than that but my brain isn't thinking well right now.


BTW we will be doing the trek in 1 week and 2 days. (12th)

:king:~Leash
 

Eyekimore

New Member
We have the 18 hour drive to WDW down to a science! We also have 3 adult drivers. This helps as one person is always sleeping. The other is keeping the driver awake. We drive straight through. There is a site that lists all the exits off of I-95 and what food, hotels, and gas they have. This is a must have. We have found an increased number of panhandlers at rest stops in GA and SC. They come right up to the windows and knock scaring the heck out of us! Be vigilant- lock doors- walk in twos- you'll be fine. Have a great trip!
 

summergirl32

New Member
I live in Lumberton, NC and a lot of Disney bound travelers stop here. We have several chain motels and a few good restaurants. Everything is visible from the interstate. It takes about 7.5 to 8 hours to get to Disney from here.
 

WTBAD

Active Member
Our drive is only 9 hrs, but here are some things we've done over the years. We use to "play" Trival Pursuit. We didn't keep track of how many or which pies we needed, we just took turns answering the questions. Some of our answers would get the rest laughing & help keep me alert while I drove. The last trip we switche to "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader". We tried the audio books, but I found I still got tired after listening for a hour or so. I find the interaction with the wife & kids works better & I don't have to listen to them snoring while you drive.
 
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