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Old 04-14-2012, 09:44 PM
lovedisneymagic lovedisneymagic is offline
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Default Driving from PA to Fl..Need a good hotel half way..

Hello! I'm looking for a nice hotel half way to stay at. We are traveling from PA to Disney and looking for something off of I-95. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:09 PM
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When you say halfway, do you have an idea of what general area you plan on stopping at? I suggest you use Trip Advisor to get honest reviews of hotels -choose an area and it will show you what reliable options would be available to you.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:12 AM
lovedisneymagic lovedisneymagic is offline
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Hi, Sorry I was a little tired when I wrote this last night ... I'm looking to stop in either North or South Carolina. I looked into Trip Advisor but there wasn't any current information on the topic. Thanks! Hopefully Someone can recommend a good place!

Last edited by lovedisneymagic; 04-15-2012 at 07:13 AM. Reason: spelled a word wrong
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:47 AM
bunkyg bunkyg is offline
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You don't say where in PA you are coming from, or what route you will be taking. I26 on the western side or I95 on the eastern and how far you want to drive each day. And how much do you want to spend?
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:48 AM
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Ok, so you will be on I-95 by the time you are in the Carolina's... Well, we started our trip on Thursday April 5th and considered a few places:
  • Best Western, Emporia, VA (exit 11)
  • Hamton Inn, Fayetteville, NC (exit 49)
  • Best Western, Lumberton, NC (exit 22)

We left on the 2:30 pm Cape May ferry since the kids had a 1/2 day and didn't feel like taking them out when it was only a short day. Usually it's the 7:30 am ferry for us. And then we'd stop in GA. So since we left later we figured we'd get close to South of the Border by midnight if we hurried. Hence stopping in lower NC. We were about right. We had stayed at the Emporia Best Western going home in 2002 and it was nice. The other two looked okay from reviews.

Turns out that the two NC hotels above were booked up by the time we reached the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel - I started calling. I meant to pre book but my credit cards renewed 3/31 and my wife misplaced the new ones and the stupid Internet sites wouldn't let me book with cards that would be expired by the time we checked in

So... I found the Comfort Suites in Lumberton, NC at exit 22 and it was good. Now, if you can push it to the GA border then there is an amazing Comfort Suites at the first exit (exit 109 Port Wentworth). Been there 3 times.

Good luck
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:19 AM
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The Hampton Inn in Fayetteville gets pretty good reviews. The only negatives have to do with the surprise that it is a "motel"-style Inn. It's right off 95 and could be had for around $70 or less.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:26 AM
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We usually stay at the Hampton Inn in Fayetteville, NC. But the past two trips we made it as far as Florence, SC (stayed at Mariott Fairfield Inn).
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:00 PM
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Since the question is about lodging on the way down to WDW, I'm going to move this thread to Vacation Planning.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:41 PM
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Well, we live in Cresson, PA (between Altoona and Johnstown) and my first inclination would be to tell you not to do it all - to take the Auto Train, but that wasn't what you were asking.

We've done what you are doing and what worked for us was to try and go as much as we could (with a small child) on the first day. Then, you can always grab one of those travel magazines that are free at rest stops and start calling ahead to see if there are rooms available. I like to get as much of the trip out of the way the 1st day to make things easier.

Then, if I could, I would recommend coming home on the auto-train - we have done it both ways, and if we can only afford to go one way or the other, coming home is so much better than facing that long drive while being depressed about leaving WDW.

Have a safe trip!!

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Old 04-15-2012, 05:45 PM
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We actually just got back from Disney a few days ago. On the way down, we stopped at the Hampton Inn in Fayetteville, NC. We have stayed at this same hotel for the past 3 years and were very satisfied. I think with the AAA rate, it was around $80. They also have refrigerators in the room if you are taking anything down in a cooler which makes it convenient. Be sure to request first floor, though, because there are no elevators to the second floor (we ended up on the 2nd floor last year). They offer a nice little breakfast at 6:00 a.m., too. They are very friendly and welcoming to all their travelers. It is right off I-95 so you don't have to drive far to get to it from the highway.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 'Guest' of the MasterControlProgram View Post
  • Best Western, Emporia, VA (exit 11)
  • Hamton Inn, Fayetteville, NC (exit 49)
  • Best Western, Lumberton, NC (exit 22)

Good luck
We drive to Jacksonville at least once a year and stay at the Hampton Inn in Fayetteville. I recommend it.

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Old 04-18-2012, 01:39 PM
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We have driven before and we stopped in SC. I can't give you the hotel because it wasn't very nice. I didn't have a definate place we were going to stop. My suggestions would be to know exactly were you want to stop and research the hotels in that area. I also suggest going further than VA & NC on the first day if you can. We stopped in SC near the GA border and still had quite a few hours drive the next day.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:17 AM
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We drove from Central PA on our last two trips (in 2010 and 2011). Both times we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Walterboro, SC. It's located just off of I-95. The street address is 1834 Sniders Highway. The area seems safe and we were pleased with the hotel on both stays. We will be driving again next year and plan to stay at this hotel again.

For what it's worth, we take I-81 to I-77 to I-26 and then pick up I-95 in South Carolina. So, I don't know if Walterboro, SC will be halfway for you or not. For the route we took, it was slightly more than halfway.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:22 AM
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We come from just north of Baltimore, MD and usually stop at the Hampton Inn in Santee, SC. There isn't too much in the area but they provide complimentary hot breakfast (eggs, waffles, sometimes biscuits and gravy) along with the normal bagels and pastries. It normally ends up being about 8 hours for us to get there, and then another 6 hours to get to WDW. It works out well for us.

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Old 04-20-2012, 12:31 PM
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Its a little more then halfway, but on our trip in 2008 we stayed at the Days Inn in Port Wentworth (Savannah, Exit 109), GA. It was clean, had a free breakfast, and had the usual gas stations and restaurants nearby. We bought duct tape at the gas station nearby to hold our front headlight in place that had come loose during our travels.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:16 PM
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When also stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites. It was very clean and we got a continental breakfast.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:46 PM
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On our last trip my husband and I stopped in SC on the way to Disney from NJ and NC on the way back to NJ from Disney.

In SC we stayed at the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Florence, SC.
In NC we stayed at the Hampton Inn Fayetteville-Cross Creek Mall.

Both places were well priced and nice experiences. If we weren't driving straight thru this time we'd be doing the same thing.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:06 PM
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Plan on where you are stopping. Motels on I-95 are not that pleasant. We leave from Raleigh NC around 4PM and make it about half way near Port Wentworth GA. Lots of nice places there because it is so close to Savannah.

The Days Inn was actually a hotel, very clean and nice. However, the bed was hard as a rock, the floor was more comfortable, I wound up sleeping 2 hours of restless sleep. I threw my DD and DW into the car at 1AM and pulled up to US at 6:45AM Long stop for breakfast and hit morning rush hour traffic).
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:36 PM
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Just to follow up, we checked out on Monday the 16th. So where did we stay? That Best Western in Emporia, Va at exit 11 off of I-95 that I'd mentioned and stayed at in 2002 (where does a decade go?). It was okay. Good price (iirc $63-68 before tax with AAA). Two queen beds - an improvement over All Stars for sure. But they were a tad too firm. All Stars seem so too but have mattress pads. This might have been better with a nice pad. But I slept fine. I know the feeling of the floor being better than the bed and this was far from it. I will say that the beds "squeak" so that made for a few laughs.

If you leave WDW at breakfast time and don't dilly dally on the way back then this is doable. If you do as we did and leave closer to lunch than breakfast and then have a 2hr+ dinner then you will probably want to consider stopping sooner else your eyeballs will feel close to falling out of your head. To be fair we stopped at exit 36 in GA (Brunswick) to visit my wife's cousin and daughter over dinner (and they live an a good hour to the west). What would've been a late lunch became an early dinner. Sonny's BBQ Pit great BBQ and great service - very understanding of the two 5yo cousins meeting for the first time and doing as kids that age will do.

The Best Western at exit 36 Brunswick was something else. Stayed there in 2006. I asked at the BBQ and they said that a newer bigger one was built at exit 38.

I noticed Port Wentworth brought up (okay I briefly mentioned it too). Those Comfort Suites were really good - better than some others. Also at GA exit 109 was the Savannah Inn which although is found by Google Maps it is redirected to a site called the Inn at Mulberry somethingoranother. That motel was new in 2002 and may well be a consideration.

There something psychological about reaching the Georgia border and then stopping for the night. Then it's only 6ish hours to WDW depending on your stops and traffic. I concede that it may be a bit much for those who are further from WDW and like to drive (and do it in 2 days). For those a little closer or without kids or younger with more energy (the last two are kinda the same ) then it's wonderful to push it to the FL border. Like I mentioned, we stayed at GA exit 36 in 2006. In 2003 we made it to exit 3 in as much time. The Ramada there was full so we stayed at the gloomy HoJo that I'd bet was built around 1971 (i.e. for the purpose of snagging WDW traffic). I don't feel bad about saying it was bad because I can't even find it now. Either it is totally gone or whatever replaced it looks newer and nicer. I said gloomy because of how it looked in the dark, considering that it didn't seem lit well back in 2003. I honestly don't remember where sit was except exit 3 off I-95 in GA and kinda across from a Ramada. Now the exit has seen some new construction in the years in between.

In fact we stayed at the Microtel off that same exit 3 in 2009. Instead of getting there (well, the exit) by midnight, as my future wife and I did in 2003 when it was just us two, the three of us (a 2.75yo) got to Port Wentworth (exit 109) by midnight. I have a picture to prove it as there is a big electronic sign at one of the hotels or gas stations at exit 109 and I took a shot of it saying it was midnight. So do the math. I was tired when I reached exit 3 wishing that I had not reserved ahead. Worse, the Microtel had no water pressure in the morning If I drank coffee I would likely have found my prospects better by sticking my head under the coffee machine.

Funny how there doesn't seem to be anything in FL until you've driven a little bit. Perhaps by design so you enter during the day and see the Welcome signs and can stop at the welcome center for some free OJ?
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:09 PM
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We have been driving to WDW from Pittsburgh for the past several years. We travel I-79 south, to I-19, to I-77, to I-26, to I-95, then exit 94 in Savannah, GA to the Marriott Spring Hill Suites. Typically $100/night AAA rate in the summer months. It takes 12 hours from Pittsburgh to Savannah, then 4 more hours to Disney the next morning traveling I-95 to I-4. On the way home we split the trip in half by stopping along I-77 north of Charlotte at exit 18, and stay at the Marriott Fairfield Inn. Rate is usually $90/night during the summer. It's only 8 hours from Disney to Charlotte, then another 8 to Pittsburgh.
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