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  1. #1
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    Default Do you drive to WDW?

    If you drive to WDW, how long does it take you?

    We are in MD and drive to ME every years (a 12 hr trip). We are trying to decide if it's worth driving the 14-15hrs to WDW. Or pay $1,000 in airline tickets for DH and I and our 2 kids.
    DVC MEMBER since 2009
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Ajax, ON (1,325 miles from Disneyworld)
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    We drive from Toronto with our two sons almost every time we visit WDW. It's about a 20 hour trip, we do it with one overnight stop. We've been doing the drive since our youngest was 6mos old.

    It's a fraction of the airfare, and we enjoy the freedom that having our car down at Disney provides. We enjoy the drive, and it becomes part of our holiday.
    Jennifer (aka Mickey'sGirl)
    INTERCOT Staff: Guests with Special Needs, Dining and Disney Characters

    Last trip: March 2016 - Fantasy
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  4. #3
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    Apr 2008
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    Millville, NJ - 1,020 miles to WDW
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    We drive from NJ. Last trip we drove straight through, takes about 18 hours with stops.
    We, too, think of it as part of the vaction. And it costs typically half of the cost of airfare.
    Bern

    WDW - 85,88,89,96,08,10,12,13,16,18,19
    Universal - Cabana Bay, May 2019

    August 2020 - Port Orleans Riverside

  5. #4
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    Apr 2007
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    Central Ohio
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    We drive straight through from Columbus, Ohio. Depending on traffic (and how many stops we make), it's about a 15-16 hour drive. We try to leave around 4am, so that puts us in WDW right about 8pm. We go the coastal route (I-77 to I-26 to I-95 to I-4) and love the fact that the major cities are very easy to get through (compated to Atlanta going I-75). We budget around $350 round trip, and that covers food, fuel, and tolls.

    ~Michelle~
    1980, 1983-1986, 1988, 1992, 1993
    1995 -Disneyland
    July 2001 -POFQ
    May 2006, May 2008, May 2010 -Wilderness Lodge
    Dec. 2011-Port Orleans Riverside
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  6. #5
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    Feb 2010
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    PA
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    We are driving for the first time this year because of airline prices and it is supposed to take us 17-18 hours from Philadelphia. It's going to me my wife, brother-in-law, & wife's cousin and we plan to leave Friday night in July and drive straight through and arrive on Saturday. Shouldn't be too bad with 4 people who can drive, or at least I hope not.
    Recent:
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  7. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Mustang, Oklahoma
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    It's a little better than 20 hours from my place.

    With the exception of one trip we have driven every time; we love the journey. In our younger years we would drive hard to get there as fast as possible, nowadays we take our time, stop and see the sights on the way. I think last time it took us three days to get there.

    Our trips were with 3 children (all adults now), and we always had things (gameboys, books, tv's, nyquil, etc.) to keep them occupied for the trip. Of course, our kids were always good travelers, so we never had any painful journeys.

    We were going to fly for our September trip, until I priced airfare.
    I can rent a car and fuel it for one-third the cost to fly 3 of us.
    JR
    '86 Ramada Inn somewhere in Orlando :P
    '95 All Star Sports
    '00 All Star Music
    '03 Fort Wilderness
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  8. #7
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    Our oldest will be 3 and he's terrific in the car. Our youngest will be 1.5yrs and he screams just during a 4 hour ride to VA!
    DVC MEMBER since 2009
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    athens, tn
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    We drive every year from TN. It's a 10 hour drive. We pack pillow pets, blankets, movies, games,snacks, and coloring books for the kids.
    1994 POFQ
    2003 ALL STARS SPORTS
    2007 OFF SITE
    Sept. 2009 POP
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  10. #9
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    Aug 2007
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    Holyoke, Ma
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    Default Driving to Disney

    We have driven the 2 times we have gone. We leave the day before around 4pm and arrive by the next morning. The trip is approx. 21 hours from Massachusetts.
    Survival Items:
    DVD Player with Disney DVD's of course
    Plenty of Snacks and Drinks
    Pillows
    Favorite Stuffed Animal
    Dramamine for those that can get Car Sick

    Leaving at 4, the kids are usually asleep at 9:30-10:00 and sleep through the night. This way, it doesn't seem like lots of driving for the kids.
    Jen
    Massachusetts


    October 1995 - Carribean Beach

    November 2007 - All Star Movies


    August 2016 - All Star Music/Port Orleans Riverside

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  11. #10
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    Because I live in Eastern NC - I've never flown down....always driven. But because we don't like to be completely exhausted when we arrive, we break the 11 hr drive up and spend the night at a hotel in Brunswick, GA.

    We then get up bright and early the next morning to make the 4 hr drive in to WDW.
    Katherine
    6/2015 POP Celebrating Youngest Son's HS graduation and my birthday.
    6/2012 POFQ Celebrating Daughter's HS graduation and my birthday
    01/2009 ASMu 20th anniversary
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  12. #11
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    We always drive. It's 12 hours for us. We've been driving, not only to WDW, but pretty much everywhere we go since my kids were babies. I guess we've been really lucky with them because they have always been excellent travelers!!!

    We drive because we like the freedom it gives us. We can decide at the last moment to leave a day or so earlier if DH is not busy at work. We can also decide, which we always do, to stay on vacation for another night if we are having fun. We also like to have our own car while on vacation. As much as we love Disney transportation we like to know our car is in the parking lot should we need it for something. And I also like to be able to pack whatever I want. I am an overpacker and I don't even know how I'd manage to pack us for a flight! It just works for us, and like someone else mentioned, we can still drive for a fraction of what it would cost us to fly.
    Denise

    Resorts we've stayed at in 20+ trips: ASMo, ASMu, ASSp, PC, CSR, CBR, POR, POFQ, WL, AKL Jambo, AKL Kidani, Poly, Contemporary, BC, YC, BWV, OKW, SSR, Swan, Shades of Green, Vero Beach, Disneyland Resort

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  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    TN - 600 miles from the Magic
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    We drive from east TN. It's about 9-10 hrs and like the rest have said, the freedom you have to go where and when you want to makes up for the long drive. I see and hear people all the time trying to rush through their last day at Disney trying to do this and thatand then trying to make sure they don't miss their flight. The price to fly isn't worth it IMO.
    16 trips to "The World"

    Last trip - April 2018 - Polynesian
    Next trip to WDW - December 2018 - Beach club


    "Disneyworld will never be complete. It will continue to grow as long as there's imagination left in the world."

  14. #13
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    May 2007
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    We drive down, too, from just west of Nashville. I'd rather have the short flight with a three year old and baby, but it's twice as expensive as driving, and I'd rather have that money for souvenirs.
    We're changing the drive up a bit this year. Leaving two days early, driving halfway, spending the day at PCB, driving another 3ish hours, spending the night, driving to Clearwater, spending the day, then heading to WDW to check in that night.
    Driving gives us the freedom to spends those two days at the beach, plus head to IOA for a day in he middle of our trip. We're hoping that by doing most of our traveling at night, the kids will sleep most of the trip.
    Susan o

    You cheated.
    Pirate.


    8/98 CBR; 10/00 ASM; 11/01 POR; 7/07 POR; 10/09 ASM; 10/10 Pop; 6/12 ASM; 12/13 ASM; 6/14 FWC; 7/15 FWC; 12/16 2 weeks at FWC!

  15. #14
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    Mar 2005
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    Too far away!
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    While it is not MY preferred method to arrive there -- we drove to FL in December for our family's first time (I have driven as a teenager with my mom, dad and siblings and it was not fun that I remember).

    We live near Pittsburgh and we left home at 4 pm Christmas day and arrived in Daytona (our destination) the next morning around 11 (we stopped in SC for a brief nap and again right outside FL for breakfast). We traveled with a 9 and 3 year old. The 3 yo fell asleep around 9 and slept until the next morning (THANK YOU BIG MAN ABOVE) as he is not a good traveller. The 9 yo had plenty to keep him busy.....dvd player, DS, books, new iPod, and he also slept -- just not as long. DH and I shared driving duties and when he decided in SC he was still too tired to drive I drove while he continued to sleep.

    If you go at this trip with a strategy you WILL make it and it won't be a terrible drive/trip. I think knowing that your little one is not a very good traveller is what you obviously need to plan for. I'm not sure how/what time of day you travel to VA, but leaving at night was our saving grace! We left Daytona at noon and it was a rough several hours until night time with our 3yo on the way back.....he got REALLY punchy and was a little ugly until he finally fell asleep! We arrived home the next morning at 5 a.m. and everyone was happy to be in their own beds after the return trip.

    I suggest making a plan, prepare for the worst, expect the worst (and I mean travelling with a not so gung ho traveller) and when (hopefully) it turns out no so bad you will have a very nice trip!

    One more thing......if the 1.5 yo is not totally potty trained I suggest taking your potty chair with you.......that is something we did on car trips when DS#2 was in that time period.
    *May '92 Day trip fr. Daytona
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  16. #15
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    Mar 2012
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    Cincinnati, Ohio
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    We always drive because DH hates to fly (fear). From Cincinnati, OH to WDW, it takes us 13-14 hours. We don't have kids and we always drive straight through.
    WDW visits . . .
    April 2013 - Yacht Club
    May 2012 - Grand Floridian
    May 2011 - Grand Floridian
    March 2006 - Offsite
    2000 - 2004 Numerous trips while in college in FL
    January 1989 - First Visit! Polynesian

    Next visit:
    September - Disneyland (First trip with son!)

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    There's always a balance between flying or driving. If you save $300 but spend lose 3 days in traveling time is that worth it? Maybe, maybe not depending upon things like your job or employment situation, fears of flying, etc.

    One thing to keep in mind, is that the cost of driving is not just the cost of gas. Most studies that I've seen peg the actual cost of driving (includes gas, oil changes, wear & tear, new tires every XX,000 miles, new wiper blades and everything else) at about 50 cents per mile. That's an average of course, not applicable to all driving situations, but it can be a useful rule of thumb when weighing the choice between driving or flying.

  18. #17
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Driving From MD

    We are in MoCo and drive to WDW 4-5 times a year. It is 900 miles door to door, we stop for gas/bathrooms/food twice and set the cruise control at 10 over the speed limit. Unless there is DC traffic (always clear past Fredricksburg) it regularly takes 12.5 hours. We started doing this with a 6mo old and 5 yr old (they are now 20 & 24). We like the flexibility and it is certainly cheaper. Hope this helps

  19. #18
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    We always drive, but we only live 5 hours away by car, so it's a no-brainer for us. It's convenient because we can take food and drinks with us( for snacks and breakfasts in our resort room), and all the luggage we want. We should go more often than we do.
    1971 (age 15) MK was new!
    1974 off-site (Senior Trip)
    1982 off-site
    1988 off-site
    May 2002 AS-Sports, with DW & kids
    May 2004 Pop Century
    Feb 2005 Wilderness Lodge
    Oct 2006 Pop Century
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    Feb 2010 Cruise on the Wonder
    Dec 2014 POFQ for Christmas!

  20. #19
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    We are in Northern IL, so it's about a 21 hour drive for us. We have driven 3, maybe 4 times. It really depends on air prices and how much time we have. If we drive, we need the entire week.

    We don't drive straight through. We usually leave Sat morning and drive 12 hours then stop for the night. We get there Sunday evening. Sometimes we've left Fri night to get there Sunday morning, but if we do that then we have to pay for 2 hotel stays on the way down.

    I really prefer to fly but the drive isn't too bad if it's spring, summer, or fall. I would not drive in winter because it can get pretty treacherous where we live and then down through Tennessee with ice storms, etc.
    Trips: Too Many to Count! Last Trips: April 2013 CSR; July 2013 Aloha Aulani, The Sequel, Hawaii. Multiple trips to WDW, DL, DCL!

    Coming up: September 2013 "Scary September" at Disneyland/DCA/Universal Hollywood.

    Proud DVC Members since 2004!

  21. #20
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    If we drove, my family would have to stop at night. Unless we started at like 3am. I can't sleep well in a car.

    I envy people who can just drive thru the night.
    DVC MEMBER since 2009
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