Driving from New Jersey

e_yerger

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2019
We're looking to drive to WDW from New Jersey. The furthest we've ever driven is to Myrtle Beach, SC. Is it possible to do the drive in one shot? How tiring is that? It would be two young adults alternating the driving.

Our tentative plan right now would be to do it overnight, leaving NJ around 7pm. We're aware of the big traffic issues around DC, so we want to try to avoid that.

Any advice would be great!
 
  • amcnj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 1999
    I have done it many times. Most trips I was starting about an hour and ten minutes from the DE Memorial Bridge. My strategy to avoid DC was to leave around 2:30 AM. I then passed DC around 5:30 AM, and arrived in the Orlando area between 6:30 and 8:30 PM, depending on weather, traffic and meal stops (quick versus sit down meals).

    While I would have gladly tried it, I knew I was not a candidate for driving thorough the night, due to my tendency to fall asleep! But I was used to getting up by 5 AM for work so a few hours earlier didn’t affect me at all. I did all the driving, and went to bed normal time upon arrival and was rested and ready to go the next day.
     

    Dis703

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2010
    It's definitely doable, but it's not for everyone. We tried doing the overnight drive and the exhaustion hit me to the point it made me feel sick. Just be careful if you aren't used to driving late night hours.

    We prefer to stay somewhere overnight and not be as wiped out when we arrive if we drive.
     

    a1tinkfans

    Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2006
    Doable, yes but I too wouldn’t suggest it. It’s very tiring, boring, and Nite/dark driving takes a toll on u both mentally and physically. Dc and Atlanta both have ways around, just try to avoid normal rush hours n ur fine. Have you considered Amtrak? Drive to Lortonnn Va, , and your off.....you ll rest, eat and wake up in Sanford, fla Easier on ur body and less wear/tear on your vehicle. Friends and family do it and all says it’s easier. wanna ADF.. is not do it during this Covid time regardless.
    good luck and safe travels!
     

    CarolMN

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    Assume you are aware of the 14 day quarantine requirement that Florida has for those arriving from several states. NJ is one of them. FWIW, I wouldn't go at all until that is lifted. No idea how or if Florida is enforcing it, though.
     
  • e_yerger

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2019
    Assume you are aware of the 14 day quarantine requirement that Florida has for those arriving from several states. NJ is one of them. FWIW, I wouldn't go at all until that is lifted. No idea how or if Florida is enforcing it, though.
    Yes - we're aware of the quarantine. Our trip will not be happening if it's not lifted. It's currently set to expire July 8th.
     

    bookwormde

    <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2008
    I always left early enough to clear Richmond by 6 which leaves the next urban congestion at Jacksonville

    I also learned to stop and take a 1 to 2 hour nap/break mid trip
     

    disneydreamer1980

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2017
    We live in MD which isn’t too far from NJ and we drive (with 5 kids in the car, your experience should be much better, lol) each year. It’s about a 14 hour trip for us with bathroom stops. We eat while driving. We leave 6 am, get to Orlando around 8 and check into a cheap hotel. The next morning we wake up and check into our Disney resort, so we’re refreshed on our first day. We always drive straight through, we have 3 drivers between me, DH and my oldest DD.
     

    Ides315

    OKW member since 2010
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2019
    We're looking to drive to WDW from New Jersey. The furthest we've ever driven is to Myrtle Beach, SC. Is it possible to do the drive in one shot? How tiring is that? It would be two young adults alternating the driving.

    Our tentative plan right now would be to do it overnight, leaving NJ around 7pm. We're aware of the big traffic issues around DC, so we want to try to avoid that.

    Any advice would be great!
    It totally doable. We drive from the Philly area multiple times a year. I go to bed about 6-630 the night before and wake up and shower around 130am. We leave around 2-230. My wife and kids 7 and 12 sleep in the car while I drive. I usually make to close to NC before they wake. We stop for gas and bathroom break then my wife will drive while I take a nap. Then we switch off and one. Thanks us 15-16 hours. DC can be a bear but in the early morning it’s fine. We have run into issues with traffic in SC quite a bit too. But it is definitely a doable one shot trip
     
  • disneymom06

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 15, 2006
    We have done the trip countless times with 2 drivers from NY. It is exhausting. We have found that if we leave early and drive until about 9pm, stay overnite somewhere along I95 and then finish the drive the next day, there is not much difference it time. Driving straight through, we have found that the drivers are spent and need to get some sleep anyway. This way the drivers are not exhausted and are ready for Disney upon arrival.
     

    persimmondeb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2009
    We do it straight through from just north of Philadelphia with one driver frequently. Our best strategy if we're not planning to stop is to leave around 2 or 3 am, having gone to bed very early the previous evening, which gets us through DC before anyone else is awake, and most times of the year gets us most of the drive in daylight, including hopefully that last wild stretch on 4.
     

    dd316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 23, 2006
    Doable, yes but I too wouldn’t suggest it. It’s very tiring, boring, and Nite/dark driving takes a toll on u both Have you considered Amtrak? Drive to Lortonnn Va, , and your off.....you ll rest, eat and wake up in Sanford, fla Easier on ur body and less wear/tear on your vehicle. Friends and family do it and all says it’s easier. wanna ADF.. is not do it during this Covid time regardless.
    good luck and safe travels!
    We've taken the Auto Train a few times, and while what you said is all true for most, if you can't sleep on the train it's murder. I have such a hard time falling asleep that by the time we arrive I'm REALLY worn out.
     

    Leigh L

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2019
    I always left early enough to clear Richmond by 6 which leaves the next urban congestion at Jacksonville

    I also learned to stop and take a 1 to 2 hour nap/break mid trip
    I echo this. I live in the DC area. Right now with things shut down, traffic isn't nearly as bad as usual, but if everything else in the DC area is open by your July trip, I'd recommend you try to clear DC and points south up to Richmond early. I always find traffic a pain between Quantico - Fredericksburg. For whatever reason anytime we go through there things come to a standstill no matter what day or time! Fredericksburg is about an hour north of Richmond. If you leave at 7 pm., you should easily get straight through to Richmond before it gets chaotic.
     

    gatour

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2002
    I always left early enough to clear Richmond by 6 which leaves the next urban congestion at Jacksonville

    I also learned to stop and take a 1 to 2 hour nap/break mid trip
    For Jacksonville take I-295, Eastern beltway, then 9B (It will eventually be relabeled as an interstate highway but needs some approvals.) 9B will take you back to I-95
     

    Eastern

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2006
    It's doable but tiring. From central NJ you are talking about 17 hours and you have to keep up a good pace. I think it's easier driving in the daytime. The second half of the trip is really boring when you are driving through SC and it's all flat and nothing to see, but it's fairly easy driving.

    And then once you hit Florida you think you're home free but you have about 4 more hours of driving to go.
     

    gatour

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2002
    It's doable but tiring. From central NJ you are talking about 17 hours and you have to keep up a good pace. I think it's easier driving in the daytime. The second half of the trip is really boring when you are driving through SC and it's all flat and nothing to see, but it's fairly easy driving.

    And then once you hit Florida you think you're home free but you have about 4 more hours of driving to go.
    There was a time when I lived near I-95 in Jacksonville. There were a few times when I was filling up my car at a gar station near one set of ramps, I would hear kids in an out of state car say something along the lines of "We are almost at Walt Disney World" with excitement. I look at the Dad and just shook my head. He returned with the look of "I know"
     




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