"For 2,000+ Mile Round-Trip Drivers Only!" (Part V)

TheHamm

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
I am excited to join the 2K+ mile club next week! Heading down from SE Michigan with two 6 year olds in a small car seemed like a fantastic idea 6 months ago, As I wanted to toss them out the door on the way to school this morning I am questioning my sanity :)

I have a map of children's museums included with our home museum membership so that we have some ideas of places to stop along the way, but I was wondering if anyone can suggest parks or other low cost places south of Lexington KY (where my knowledge ends) to stop and let the kids blow off some steam. The current plan is to drive down on I-75 and decide toward the end of the trip if we take a different, longer route home.
 

pwdebbie

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
I am excited to join the 2K+ mile club next week! Heading down from SE Michigan with two 6 year olds in a small car seemed like a fantastic idea 6 months ago, As I wanted to toss them out the door on the way to school this morning I am questioning my sanity :)

I have a map of children's museums included with our home museum membership so that we have some ideas of places to stop along the way, but I was wondering if anyone can suggest parks or other low cost places south of Lexington KY (where my knowledge ends) to stop and let the kids blow off some steam. The current plan is to drive down on I-75 and decide toward the end of the trip if we take a different, longer route home.
How far south of Lexington do you mean? My dd lives there and is very kid-oriented, so might be able to offer suggestions if you are just meaning "local to Lexington but south."
 

TheHamm

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
How far south of Lexington do you mean? My dd lives there and is very kid-oriented, so might be able to offer suggestions if you are just meaning "local to Lexington but south."
The entire route south of Cincinnati is uncharted territory to me so any information is helpful. Weather permitting, I think we will get to the Lexington area in time for a late breakfast but I have no clear plan as my knowledge is limited to the children's museum. My hope is to finish up breakfast and let the kids run around somewhere for about an hour to an hour and a half, and then drive for the length of two animated feature films before we stop again.
 
  • pwdebbie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2007
    The entire route south of Cincinnati is uncharted territory to me so any information is helpful. Weather permitting, I think we will get to the Lexington area in time for a late breakfast but I have no clear plan as my knowledge is limited to the children's museum. My hope is to finish up breakfast and let the kids run around somewhere for about an hour to an hour and a half, and then drive for the length of two animated feature films before we stop again.
    I sent your message to my daughter. She is involved in ministry in Lexington and specifically is geared toward generational ministry, bringing young and old together. I'm sure she knows the good spots!
     

    pwdebbie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2007
    I am excited to join the 2K+ mile club next week! Heading down from SE Michigan with two 6 year olds in a small car seemed like a fantastic idea 6 months ago, As I wanted to toss them out the door on the way to school this morning I am questioning my sanity :)

    I have a map of children's museums included with our home museum membership so that we have some ideas of places to stop along the way, but I was wondering if anyone can suggest parks or other low cost places south of Lexington KY (where my knowledge ends) to stop and let the kids blow off some steam. The current plan is to drive down on I-75 and decide toward the end of the trip if we take a different, longer route home.

    Here is my dd's response:

    Here's my thoughts depending on the dates and the weather (it's supposed to be pretty warm over Christmas):

    1. There are a ton of parks.
    Shillito is a personal favorite with a great playground and walking path. https://www.lexingtonky.gov/shillito-park-map .
    Another nice park is McConnell Springs; primarly walking but cool hot springs. https://www.lexingtonky.gov/mcconnell-springs-park .
    Jacobson Park has a huge playground and if she's traveling south towards Knoxville, it's on the way. https://www.lexingtonky.gov/jacobson-park

    2. The Fayette Mall has a play area for kids and a food court

    3. Depending on how late breakfast is and if she comes through on a Saturday, the ice rink at Triangle Park opens at 10 am and that is SO MUCH FUN! https://lexfun4kids.com/downtown-lexington-triangle-park-ice-skating/

    4. There are two jump parks (Sky Zone and Get Air) so if she really wants to get the wiggles out, both of those are crazy fun.

    5. There's always Keeneland and Kentucky Horse Park but they aren't really "kids run around" places.

    6. She mentioned the children's museum; I'm assuming she means the Explorium. It is open over the holidays depending on which day she is planning to come through. http://explorium.com/
     

    TheHamm

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2017
    Here is my dd's response:

    Here's my thoughts depending on the dates and the weather (it's supposed to be pretty warm over Christmas):

    1. There are a ton of parks.
    Shillito is a personal favorite with a great playground and walking path. https://www.lexingtonky.gov/shillito-park-map .
    Another nice park is McConnell Springs; primarly walking but cool hot springs. https://www.lexingtonky.gov/mcconnell-springs-park .
    Jacobson Park has a huge playground and if she's traveling south towards Knoxville, it's on the way. https://www.lexingtonky.gov/jacobson-park

    2. The Fayette Mall has a play area for kids and a food court

    3. Depending on how late breakfast is and if she comes through on a Saturday, the ice rink at Triangle Park opens at 10 am and that is SO MUCH FUN! https://lexfun4kids.com/downtown-lexington-triangle-park-ice-skating/

    4. There are two jump parks (Sky Zone and Get Air) so if she really wants to get the wiggles out, both of those are crazy fun.

    5. There's always Keeneland and Kentucky Horse Park but they aren't really "kids run around" places.

    6. She mentioned the children's museum; I'm assuming she means the Explorium. It is open over the holidays depending on which day she is planning to come through. http://explorium.com/
    Thank you, all of these are very helpful!
     

    BC1836

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 20, 2006
    Major pothole problem on I-4 westbound (near mm 95) recently caused damage to two dozen vehicles.

    Imagine having car damage on your way to WDW; checking into the new Riviera Resort and having a bed collapse on you; riding the Skyliner and it gets stuck; and then arriving at Hollywood Studios where the new Stars Wars attraction breaks down!

    All the best! :thumbsup2
     
  • disneysteve

    DIS meet junkie
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2002
    Major pothole problem on I-4 westbound (near mm 95) recently caused damage to two dozen vehicles.

    Imagine having car damage on your way to WDW; checking into the new Riviera Resort and having a bed collapse on you; riding the Skyliner and it gets stuck; and then arriving at Hollywood Studios where the new Stars Wars attraction breaks down!

    All the best! :thumbsup2
    You're quite the optimist, aren't you? :jester:
     

    Tanooki

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 18, 2009
    Hi there!
    We are planning our 11th drive down from Montreal and I have a question for the experts here :)
    Our previous trips have mostly been done using the 81-77-26-95 route (mainly in the summer time) and the last time we tried coming back using 95 all the way (on an August Sunday), we ended up waisting a lot of time stuck in traffic.
    I was talking about the drive with a seasoned driver a few days ago and he was telling me that he now only uses the 95 all the way and he resolved the traffic issues by enrolling in ez-pass.
    It made me wonder if this could be an option. I never paid enough attention to the ez-pass lanes to notice if they made THAT much of a difference.
    We’ll be traveling in early March and only on weekends (back and forth). The weather is always a factor as it’s still very much winter up here and those VA mountains on the 81 can be quite the gamble...
    What would you do?
    Thanks!
     

    pwdebbie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2007
    Hi there!
    We are planning our 11th drive down from Montreal and I have a question for the experts here :)
    Our previous trips have mostly been done using the 81-77-26-95 route (mainly in the summer time) and the last time we tried coming back using 95 all the way (on an August Sunday), we ended up waisting a lot of time stuck in traffic.
    I was talking about the drive with a seasoned driver a few days ago and he was telling me that he now only uses the 95 all the way and he resolved the traffic issues by enrolling in ez-pass.
    It made me wonder if this could be an option. I never paid enough attention to the ez-pass lanes to notice if they made THAT much of a difference.
    We’ll be traveling in early March and only on weekends (back and forth). The weather is always a factor as it’s still very much winter up here and those VA mountains on the 81 can be quite the gamble...
    What would you do?
    Thanks!
    In August on a Sunday, you were traveling with all the traffic heading home from the beaches. You won't run into that in March.
     

    Sunelis

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2018
    Hi there!
    We are planning our 11th drive down from Montreal and I have a question for the experts here :)
    Our previous trips have mostly been done using the 81-77-26-95 route (mainly in the summer time) and the last time we tried coming back using 95 all the way (on an August Sunday), we ended up waisting a lot of time stuck in traffic.
    I was talking about the drive with a seasoned driver a few days ago and he was telling me that he now only uses the 95 all the way and he resolved the traffic issues by enrolling in ez-pass.
    It made me wonder if this could be an option. I never paid enough attention to the ez-pass lanes to notice if they made THAT much of a difference.
    We’ll be traveling in early March and only on weekends (back and forth). The weather is always a factor as it’s still very much winter up here and those VA mountains on the 81 can be quite the gamble...
    What would you do?
    Thanks!
    Hi,

    I travel from Montreal too and honestly EZ-PASS is a game changer. I've only ever used the I87/I95 route and got stuck in horrible traffic more than once before I discovered that we(as Canadians) could use EZ-PASS tags. All the tolls from NY through DC are EZ-PASS so no more stop and go and some spots along I95 have EZ-PASS dedicated lanes that you can use for a fee... Those can be a life saver during rush hour.
     
  • Tanooki

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 18, 2009
    Hi,

    I travel from Montreal too and honestly EZ-PASS is a game changer. I've only ever used the I87/I95 route and got stuck in horrible traffic more than once before I discovered that we(as Canadians) could use EZ-PASS tags. All the tolls from NY through DC are EZ-PASS so no more stop and go and some spots along I95 have EZ-PASS dedicated lanes that you can use for a fee... Those can be a life saver during rush hour.
    Glad to learn about the dedicated lanes! I didn’t even know they existed and that must really be a game changer.
    Thanks for this!
     

    bluezy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2008
    Glad to learn about the dedicated lanes! I didn’t even know they existed and that must really be a game changer.
    Thanks for this!
    They *can* be a game changer. They can also be expensive. Those dedicated lanes allowed us to get out of traffic that was literally inching along last year in Washington DC. But it cost us almost $20 for the few miles we traveled on those dedicated lanes (demand pricing -- you have to watch the overhead signs for the current pricing -- and there's a toll every few miles). It also saved us about 30-40 minutes of sitting in heavy traffic so it was worth it to us...but it's still expensive.
     

    Tanooki

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 18, 2009
    They *can* be a game changer. They can also be expensive. Those dedicated lanes allowed us to get out of traffic that was literally inching along last year in Washington DC. But it cost us almost $20 for the few miles we traveled on those dedicated lanes (demand pricing -- you have to watch the overhead signs for the current pricing -- and there's a toll every few miles). It also saved us about 30-40 minutes of sitting in heavy traffic so it was worth it to us...but it's still expensive.
    Thanks for the information. I do believe this is worth the price if it helps to avoid traffic. We’re going to go down on the 95 all the way with the e-z pass. I’ve opened an account on the Virginia ez-pass site to get a flex transponder that can be put in the HOV mode. That way, you can use the express lanes without fees (in VA of course) 8-)
    Thanks again for your help everyone!
     

    A&CsMom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2006
    Travelling from the Hamilton, Ontario area to Orlando in late January. Which routes does everyone take during the winter? Or should we decide based on the weather?
     
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    Dugette

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 26, 2009
    Happy to find this thread, as we are planning our first ever road trip to Disney (we've been many times, but have always flown). Any feedback/guidance is welcome. We live in MN (Twin Cities area) and it looks to be about 22 hours or so each way. Our daughter has a long Spring Break from 3/6-3/16, so we figured this was our chance to drive to WDW. We did a long road trip to a wedding in TX a few months ago and that went pretty well, so hoping this is a good decision. :) DH and I took many long road trips in our younger days, so we're comfortable with the time on the road, but DD is very spoiled by all the flights she's taken - however, she did great on our TX trip, thanks to her friend the iPad - and says she's excited for this!

    Plan is to leave after she gets out of school on 3/5 and drive to Madison, WI for a very brief visit with my Grandma there (we've done this drive many times). Overnight in Madison to rest up for a long next couple days. 3/6 we'll drive from Madison, WI to Nashville, TN - no real reason except it seemed like a good stopping point and we were able to use Hyatt points for a free hotel. 3/7 we'll drive from Nashville, TN to our first hotel (split stay), the DoubleTree in Disney Springs. Excited to have my car there, as we have a triple-split stay to use up hotel points, so the car will help with moving around and transportation since we'll be offsite.

    Will head back in the same manner as arriving - leave 3/14 to Nashville, 3/15 to Madison, 3/16 the short 4 hour drive back home to rest up before school/work resumes.

    I am not clear exactly how many tolls we'll hit, but I know that part of our route in IL and in FL will have tolls, most likely. I was looking for options and came across EPassXtra, which covers both states (and others). Was thinking of doing this to save time/trouble with tolls. And could use for future trips, including moving to a rental car if we fly to WDW again. Anyone use this?

    Open to any advice on the long trip, we've only just started planning. Thanks!
     

    A&CsMom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2006
    Do any of you use the Waze app instead of an old school GPS for the whole drive (for us it would be about 20 hours each way)? My husband and I have quite a good data plan, but I'm worried about using a lot of data this way. However it seems like a good idea to have up to date traffic and other road information.
     

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