For those folks driving!

Tracilyn

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
I am coming down I 95 from Charleston. It would normally take around 6 hours, but my biggest worry is that I am traveling to WDW on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Your suggestion of 417 seems like it may help, unless someone has a better idea. It looks like 417 runs right into the WDW property. Any other suggestions would be appreciated
I've drove south from Raleigh to WDW on the Sunday after Thanksgiving three years ago and the worst traffic by far was the final 50ish miles in South Carolina before the Georgia border. There were no accidents, just too much traffic for those two lanes to handle and added over an hour to our journey. Traffic was immediately better after reaching Georgia where 95 is 3-laned. I'm unfamiliar with the route out of Charleston but would definitely recommend one that joins I-95 further south in Georgia! Other than the heavy traffic in South Carolina, that Sunday drive was normal.
 

jimmytammy

<font color=purple>Swivel, it's a hard habit to br
Joined
May 27, 2002
Tracilyn
I agree, the SC portion of 95 is the worst part of 95, just because its 2 lanes.
 

Mikey15

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Tracilyn
I am actually looking for roads that get me off of 95 sooner than 4. I realize the 95/4 route is faster but I am looking for the road less traveled, less traffic. Im getting and so are my eyes its getting tougher to drive, see at night, dealing with rainy roads, etc. So before I totally give in to flying from Central NC, just weighing options.

We have driven at least 30 times. One route I will suggest, 417 toll then take exit 3. Will get you off I 4 sooner
If your issue is focusing at night / rainy times, I'm not sure I'd want to take a route where you have to make a bunch of little turns in small towns you're unfamiliar with. Maybe go PAST I-4 on 95 and then head west on something less-trafficked like the Beachline (SR-528) or road 415?

If you do want backroads, one option I see is taking US-17 from Jacksonville (or later) which gets you to the 417 in Sanford. Crossing over to Florida SR-19 at Palatka would take you farther west through the Ocala National Forest and be even less traveled. From the northwest side of town you could take 429 to the Flamingo Crossing / Western Way entrance of Disney.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_State_Road_19
 
  • deedeew80

    Dreaming of My Prince
    Joined
    May 28, 2004
    Looking for hotel recommendations for area about an hour away from Disney. We will be driving down from NJ so we will be coming from I-95 to I-4. Nothing too expensive. Thanks!
     

    monica9

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2011
    Thinking of driving from Ct this year. DH's ears can't handle the plane rides and it ruins his vacations every year.

    Do you suggest a different route than i95? We are going in October and older DD will be in 6th grade so trying not to take more time out than needed and don't want to deduct days from our vacation. We are originally scheduled to so Sunday Sept 29 through Monday Oct 7. If we drive, we will leave Saturday around 4am and get there for Monday morning. But do you think if we take a day off of our vacation and leave that Sunday, October 6 late afternoon that we can get back by Monday evening with a 10 year old and a 2 year old?

    Thanks for the help
     

    monica9

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2011
    After looking at google maps it looks like if we left at 4am Saturday from ct and drove to savannah Georgia it would take us about 13 1/2 hours. With a couple quick stops including south of the border, we can get to savannah to grab a hotel around 9pm. Then we can hit the road sunday morning around 7am, we can make it to Disney by 1 pm. This of course is without traffic.
    What does everyone think? We are considering just taking i95 the whole way since we are going on the weekend but definitely avoiding George Washington bridge.
     
  • monica9

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2011
    We are driving for our 3rd time in the last few years, so I thought I would share our plan.

    Leaving from south of Hartford, CT at about 8:00 pm Friday night after a full day of work & camp (2 adults & 2 kids – ages 2 & 10). The plan is to drive about 4-5 hours the first leg and stay the night in Aberdeen, MD.
    Leg 2 - Start reasonably early on Saturday and drive to Hardeeville, SC – just north of the GA border.
    Leg 3 - Start reasonably early again on Sunday and arrive in WDW by mid day/ early afternoon.

    We have done the “drive straight through” technique and it left my hubby exhausted for the first couple of Disney days. Even though I drove on occasion, DH didn't sleep!

    We have also done the “drive until you need to stop” routine and it took an additional couple of hours to find a vacant hotel room at 2AM. This was during a snowstorm in February, too. So we are thinking we are being safe this time.

    Coming home we plan on leaving Saturday AM and drive to Chester, VA and then on day 2 get back to Hartford CT by the end of the day.

    Any thoughts or comments? Let me know!

    S
    I know this is a while back but how did it work out? We are leaving from CT too and have a 2yr and 10yr old. We were hoping to leave 4am and only sleep over one night but wondering if we should break it into a 3 day event on the way there and 2 days on the way back. Let me know how it went for you if you remember !
     

    deedeew80

    Dreaming of My Prince
    Joined
    May 28, 2004
    Hi everyone! What are the odds of getting a hotel for the night without reserving ahead of time? We are driving from NJ and are hoping to make it all the way, however, if we decide we need to stop for the night we will. Any thoughts? Experience? Thanks!
     

    Dawn68PA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 12, 2007
    Hi everyone! What are the odds of getting a hotel for the night without reserving ahead of time? We are driving from NJ and are hoping to make it all the way, however, if we decide we need to stop for the night we will. Any thoughts? Experience? Thanks!
    We stopped without a plan in NC once. Had no issue finding a room. We stopped at the local Ruby Tuesday’s and asked for a reference on a hotel. They sent us to some no name place that was the bomb!
     

    Laz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    With the I-4 construction in Orlando, Should I consider an alternate route south when heading to WDW? I will be traveling near there Sunday afternoon. If I should, is 417 the suggested route? I do not mind paying tolls. Thanks
     
  • monica9

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2011
    I’m actually getting excited even considering driving for the first time. I feel like it’s an adventure in itself. My 10 year old does not want to. Thinks she will be bored.
    I’m thinking it will end up costing us more driving from ct in the fall than flying but think I still want to give it a go. We most likely will have to knock a day off from our trip and I’m not happy about the $25/ day deluxe parking fee. Do they happen to have a discount if you stay a certain amount of days?
     

    Tracilyn

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2018
    With the I-4 construction in Orlando, Should I consider an alternate route south when heading to WDW? I will be traveling near there Sunday afternoon. If I should, is 417 the suggested route? I do not mind paying tolls. Thanks
    We skipped the I-4 construction last month on a Saturday afternoon by taking 429 around the north and west side of Orlando. HIGHLY recommend! We exited I-4 at route 46 north of Orlando to 429. There was NO traffic and tolls were about $5.
     

    monica9

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2011
    For those from New England area who have started driving late afternoon (3pm) and also tried leaving early morning (4am), which is better?
    Our goal is to do it in 2 days but get to Orlando at least early evening. I don't want to waste too much of our vacation driving. We have a 2 year old and 10 year old.
    If this was the perfect scenario with no traffic:
    Do we leave Friday when our daughter gets out of school around 3pm, drive for about 7 hours and sleep over around Richmond VA, wake up and head to south of the border for an hour and then drive the rest to Orlando probably getting us there Saturday night around 8pm if there isn't any traffic.
    Or
    Leave Saturday 4am, drive with little bathroom breaks until we get to south of the border around 4pm, stay for an hour, drive to santee sc or if we can push savannah Georgia and then wake up sunday and get to Orlando around 1pm.
     

    deedeew80

    Dreaming of My Prince
    Joined
    May 28, 2004
    Hi everyone! Heading back to NJ today. Taking our time and stopping about halfway. We plan on stopping in Fayetteville, NC. Can anyone recommend a good hotel there? Not too pricey, but not a dump! Lol! Thank you!
     

    mrsap

    Mrs. Annual Passholder
    Joined
    Apr 30, 2012
    We are on our way back to NJ as we speak! Just passed Fayetteville! lol We’re driving straight through, though. Checkout Trip Advisor. Should give you hotel ratings and prices. Good luck!
     

    Jennasis

    DIS life goes on
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2000
    Oh shoot...we are driving down as usual from NC to Orlando this coming Saturday and the forecast locally here looks terrible (3-5" snow). We typically leave at 6am and arrive at WDW at 3:30, but with this weather forecast it looks like we are going to leave Friday evening and drive halfway-ish (at least far enough to get out of the "snow" zone and into the rain zone). We've never done this before so hoping to find something inexpensive but clean right off 95 in either lower SC or near the coastal part of 95 in GA.

    Any recommendations?
     

    Ds4angels

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Anyone else plan their driving time so they can hit Daytona Beach Flea Market? Hubby loves a good flea market, so we make sure we are driving through Daytona in the AM on a Saturday or Sunday. We've gotten great local produce since we always go in Jan or Feb. Florida oranges are the best.
    And of course we always stop at the FL welcome center to get our free Florida orange juice
     

    monica9

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2011
    Anyone else plan their driving time so they can hit Daytona Beach Flea Market? Hubby loves a good flea market, so we make sure we are driving through Daytona in the AM on a Saturday or Sunday. We've gotten great local produce since we always go in Jan or Feb. Florida oranges are the best.
    And of course we always stop at the FL welcome center to get our free Florida orange juice
    See, there are so many things you can do to enjoy driving. I want to make so many stops and not make the drive dreadful and rushed but I also don't want to take any days out of our actual Disney trip so I'm struggling to decide if the drive is worth it. We are going in the fall and our oldest will be in 6th grade. I think I can talk my husband into her taking 5 school days off but I don't think he will agree to more. we are going first week of October and her school is off for Rash Hashanah so that's one less day we have to worry about her missing. If I can talk him into one more day then we can drive early Friday at 4am, get to Disney by saturday night and be able to at least stop at south of the border and then leave Disney sunday afternoon and get back home Monday night. Our drive is from ct. She'd miss Friday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday and we'd still be rushing home without many stops. Or we can just fly and do Friday night to Sunday and she will only miss 5 days and we'd have an extra day at Disney. Decisions, decisions.
     

    Ds4angels

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Could you do 1/2 day Friday and leave around noon? That way she'd only miss 1/2 of Friday? We're from PA so I don't know where that would put you time wise for a big city w/ rush hour
     

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