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Pre-Trip Riding in a Car with Boys - A June Pre-Trip Report

MeeskaMooska0714

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello humans! We are back and ready to roll - literally!

For those of you who do not know me and my family, here we are:
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SJ, Tim, myself (Kelli) and H

This will be our second time as a family of 4 in Disney World. The boys had a great time when we visited last January. Here is a link to that trip report if you feel like reading about our adventure (The Colds Didn't Bother Us Anyway). This trip will be a little different - we are driving. Yep, that's right, 18+ hours in the car to get to Florida...with 2 (3 if you count Tim) crazy boys. I'm not sure I will survive, but knowing that Disney World is our destination will get me through.

Here are our tentative plans:
When: June 11-17 (we plan to leave either late on June 9 or early morning June 10)
Where: Disney's Art of Animation Resort - we always stay at Pop Century, so this will be a new experience for all of us! We got a really good deal on the Little Mermaid rooms, so we snatched that. H is OBSESSED with Cars right now. When I ask him who he wants to meet when we get to Disney World he says "McQueen and Mater!!". Even though we aren't staying in the Cars section, I'm sure we will be spending a lot of time over there.
Why: I personally don't need a "why" to go to Disney World. We decided that because H is still under 3 and "free" we might as well take advantage. We also wanted to go before Galaxy's Edge is opened, and most likely won't be able to make a trip back for another couple of years.

We have made a few ADR selections, but those are still up in the air as the boys are pretty hit or miss with how they do in restaurants. So far I have Crystal Palace breakfast (Tim said to cancel), Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' for Father's Day (most likely keeping this one), and also Ohana for early Father's Day dinner. I think I am going to cancel Ohana based on price and recent reviews. I would rather keep Homecomin' and then spend our last evening in the parks.

We have about 2 more weeks before we make FP selections. I am really excited for this as SJ has hit the 40" mark, so there will be a lot of new things he gets to try. I especially can't wait to ride Test Track with him. He is going to love it!

So, who else has driven? I know @LisaBelle drove a similar distance and didn't have the best of luck. Any pointers??? Especially with young kids who aren't easily entertained? Also, thoughts on driving to the parks vs. Disney buses? I'm leaning towards driving just because having a stroller is such a pain. Tim is trying to convince me that we don't need a stroller, but I would rather have one and park it all day then get caught carrying two boys around.

Also, who else will be there in June? I know I am hoping to get my @Tuvalu card, but would love to have some other WDWMagic meet ups!

Thank you for reading! I will post our FP selections once I have them made.
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
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You guys are brave for taking on the drive with the two little ones! Good luck :)
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
My family has driven down to Florida from New Jersey thirteen times, several of which were when I was little. Now, I'm an only child, so that probably helped my parents' sanity. My mom always made up little activity packs to keep me occupied: new books, coloring books, crayons, activity books, little toys, non-messy crafts. I know you said that your boys are hard to entertain, so I don't know if that would work, but it worked for me!

If you're driving down on I-95, suggest they count South of the Border signs in the Carolinas! That's always fun!!

I hope you have a great trip!
 

Rista1313

Well-Known Member
I'm here... So many people make the drive from Michigan (not me!) I'm sure you will be fine. I don't know what your preference is on screen time.... but maybe consider getting some kindles for them to watch movies on, or a back of the seat DVD player if you don't have that in your vehicle already.

I wish I could avoid the Star Wars opening....I booked for September 16-24th, thinking the kids will be back in school, and the crowds would be low.... and bam.... they change the opening to a couple weeks before we go. I could change the dates, but I don't really want to... we already have our southwest tickets, and we got in on the free dining stuff and I don't want to give that up.
 

krisri18

Well-Known Member
Best of luck with your road trip! I suggested we drive for our trip in August but E despises his car seat so a 20+ hour drive with him sounds like a nightmare, so we're flying. I second the activity pack idea, maybe make up baggies with different toys/coloring pages/snacks and the boys could get a new one at each state lane or every few hours?
 

Megbutnotmegan

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a great trip! We do road trips every summer. We’ve driven from CT to Chicago and CT to North Carolina and I promise you’ll survive! My best tips are special snacks. I make snack packs for my kids that they get to be in charge of. They can pick what to snack on and when. Then at each rest stop (as long as they’ve been good and actually try to use the bathroom at the stop 😂) they get a small prize. I pick up tons of blind bags, coloring books, junk from the dollar spot at Target throughout the year so I usually pack an entire tote of prizes. I also refill their snack packs at every stop so they always have options. Good luck! I hope your kids travel well for you but either way Disney at the end of the journey will be worth it!
 

MeeskaMooska0714

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My mom always made up little activity packs to keep me occupied: new books, coloring books, crayons, activity books, little toys, non-messy crafts. I know you said that your boys are hard to entertain, so I don't know if that would work, but it worked for me!
Thanks for the ideas! We tried a few little things when we flew last year, but they weren't too interested. Now that they are older, I think I will try the craft-type things again! 🤞
 

MeeskaMooska0714

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm here... So many people make the drive from Michigan (not me!) I'm sure you will be fine. I don't know what your preference is on screen time.... but maybe consider getting some kindles for them to watch movies on, or a back of the seat DVD player if you don't have that in your vehicle already.

I wish I could avoid the Star Wars opening....I booked for September 16-24th, thinking the kids will be back in school, and the crowds would be low.... and bam.... they change the opening to a couple weeks before we go. I could change the dates, but I don't really want to... we already have our southwest tickets, and we got in on the free dining stuff and I don't want to give that up.
My family drove from Michigan when I was younger, but not this young! Both boys have a Kindle so we will be sure to bring those. I was also thinking about bringing an iPad with movies and rigging it to hang in the backseat.

Sorry about the Star Wars opening. I've been reading a lot of other blogs, and they are actually predicting that mid-late September shouldn't be too bad. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that they are right!
 

MeeskaMooska0714

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Best of luck with your road trip! I suggested we drive for our trip in August but E despises his car seat so a 20+ hour drive with him sounds like a nightmare, so we're flying. I second the activity pack idea, maybe make up baggies with different toys/coloring pages/snacks and the boys could get a new one at each state lane or every few hours?
Thanks! I need all the luck I can get!

Bummer that E doesn't like his car seat. Hopefully it's just a phase. H is going through that right now - we just made him forward facing so now he thinks he's a big boy and can just protest when we put him in the car. 🙄

I like the idea of getting something new at each state! We even thought that we might have to find some local parks and stop at a playground for a bit.
 

MeeskaMooska0714

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sounds like a great trip! We do road trips every summer. We’ve driven from CT to Chicago and CT to North Carolina and I promise you’ll survive! My best tips are special snacks. I make snack packs for my kids that they get to be in charge of. They can pick what to snack on and when. Then at each rest stop (as long as they’ve been good and actually try to use the bathroom at the stop 😂) they get a small prize. I pick up tons of blind bags, coloring books, junk from the dollar spot at Target throughout the year so I usually pack an entire tote of prizes. I also refill their snack packs at every stop so they always have options. Good luck! I hope your kids travel well for you but either way Disney at the end of the journey will be worth it!
Thanks for the boost of confidence! Good idea about the prize for going to the bathroom - I will definitely be stealing that idea! And, I love the Target dollar spot! Tim always gets mad at me when I go through there because "it's just a bunch of junk". :p
 

fractal

Well-Known Member
We drove down in 2015 from Pennsylvania. It was a bit rough. On the way back we stayed overnight in Savannah which made it easier. Young boys are going to make it hard if not maddening. Maybe have some special treat or prize to give them every hour to turn into a sort of a game for them.

I enjoyed driving to each park. I felt that it saved us a lot of time.

One thing for sure, it will be memorable!
 

MeeskaMooska0714

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We drove down in 2015 from Pennsylvania. It was a bit rough. On the way back we stayed overnight in Savannah which made it easier. Young boys are going to make it hard if not maddening. Maybe have some special treat or prize to give them every hour to turn into a sort of a game for them.

I enjoyed driving to each park. I felt that it saved us a lot of time.

One thing for sure, it will be memorable!
Haha! Thank you for being real! :) I think they may like the idea of some sort of game. And thank you for the insight about driving to the parks. I was thinking it would save time, but wasn't positive. And yes, it will be memorable (good or bad)!
 

Janir

Well-Known Member
I'll do 18-24 hours with my wife to go to Disney, but I applaud you for doing it with 2 little boys! Heck, it only works with my wife as we tag team driving and sleeping in the back seat. Have fun on the trip and looking to your trip report when its over!
 

MeeskaMooska0714

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Plans look great.... and wow.. drive... impossible for us..... enjoy the pre feelings!!
Thank you! We really are enjoying the planning part this time around!
We always drive and it’s 18 hours from Arkansas to Disney. With kids tablets for games and movies is great as well as plenty of leg stretch/running around stops at travel centers. Have fun we will be driving down and back the week before you.
Good luck with your trip! Sorry we will be missing each other by a week.
I'll do 18-24 hours with my wife to go to Disney, but I applaud you for doing it with 2 little boys! Heck, it only works with my wife as we tag team driving and sleeping in the back seat. Have fun on the trip and looking to your trip report when its over!
Thank you! We originally discussed leaving around bedtime and driving through the night, but changed plans just in case neither of us could sleep or if the boys wouldn't sleep.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
We have driven lots of times from Long Island. It is about 18 hours. When our three boys were little we would leave at bed time. When they woke up we would be half way there. And then it was dvd’s and junk food. Vacay mode!!!
The drive down is the easy part. The drive home can be brutal. One time we stopped halfway to sleep...in a hotel...life changing!!!
 
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