Driving to WDW


So how do you make the drive bearable for kids and adults alike? We have the obvious: iPods, movie players, satellite radio, etc. What other activities do you plan?

Last trip, we made our own Disney version of the “Cash Cab” game show. We used several Disney trivia books and the kids played for Disney Dollars. They talk more about the Cash Cab game than the actual trip. :dry:

We also packed several small treats for the kids: a new American Girl book, coloring book, small game, etc. Some new and shiny for the ride down.

We have small dry erase boards for the kids too. They draw/erase/draw again. Crayola now has dry erase crayons which will help - the trip down with the dry erase marker fumes was interesting. :wacko:


Sleep. We leave EARLY EARLY morning, DH drives while the rest of us sleep. After waking the girls may pop in a movie or spend countless hours texting. They have to get that in before we arrive since texting is a no-no once there. We’re only 15hrs away though and if we take it easy and do it in 2 days by the time we wake up our 1st day is already 1/2 over. 2nd day is a breeze with only 5 hrs left and all the things you have on your list already are plenty.


you could always drive thru the night. less traffic and kids always sleep when there is nothing to look at


Quite honestly, short of letting them have a pony - I think you’ve got it covered…

I don’t know how many state lines you have to cross - coming from Canada there was ALOT - so I would wrap up “gifts” from the Dollar Store and everytime we crossed a state line, they would get to choose a gift.

This may sound hooky in this day and age, but I would choose a bunch of audio books from the library. I’d sneak in classics like Tom Sawyer - and they loved it! Roald Dahl books are also really entertaining for the whole family.


When my boys were younger, we got them each a childrens atlas with highlighters and pens. They loved tracking where they were going, writing down different things they saw and mapping it out on the atlas. Also agree with Llama, we use to check out audio books from the library and listen on the way down.


Swing by and pick me up. I am 5 minutes off the interstate. I can get you through Atlanta… and I can carry my own luggage.


Coming from Philly, we will definitely be doing a good bit of driving in the dark.

We did download some audiobook for the iPods, but the movies are so tempting. What actually worked better than the movies were some TV shows for the kids. We let them each download a few from iTunes for the roadtrip.

We tried travel versions of the board games (Trouble, Connect Four, etc) but that wasn’t really a winner. We might try our own version of Roadtrip Bingo.

Just looking for something cool and out of the ordinary.


so far in the past we always left at about 6pm in the night and drove straight thru and by the time they wake up we are almost there. that help out a lot.


DH likes to play the license plate game. You try to find license plates from different states. Once someone finds a state that state is done and cannot be used again. Whoever has the most at the end wins. DH always wins. The girls and I can hardly get on the board, but they enjoy looking.


We did that once when we lived in SC. Before we even left the base we were almost 1/2 done with the list :laugh:

You know, they could just enjoy the scenery. No thrills, frills, bells or whistles. Just nature at it’s best. Let them use their imagination, maybe cloud watch and see what they can spot. :wink:


I think that’s why my boys loved the atlas’ so much. They would see a historical marker or the mountains coming up, and then try to find it on the map. It definitely encouraged them to enjoy the views.



This may sound hooky in this day and age, but I would choose a bunch of audio books from the library. I’d sneak in classics like Tom Sawyer - and they loved it! Roald Dahl books are also really entertaining for the whole family.[/QUOTE]

I’m with Llama…We LOVE audio books for long car rides!!! The last time we did The Worst Witch…anyone remember Mildred Hubble. Anyhoo…it was a blast and the girls really got into it.


We leave at 5pm after work on Fridays. We start by watching a movie and then by the time that is over we stop for supper (McDonalds), then 2 more movies and then I will up with gas and by that time kids are getting tired. Usually, everyone falls asleep about 11pm and it is just me and the road until 6am to 7am when we arrive. The drive there is usually VERY smooth.


we have 15 hours and I think we’ll leave when DH gets home from work around 6 p.m. Then we’ll just drive while the girls sleep most of the time.

But, on the trip home, we’ll leave in the afternoon (assuming I can convince DH to go to a park for a few hours in the morning). So I have to have things to keep them happy on the long trip home (why does it always seem longer on the drive home)!

we’ll take movies, ipod, ds, books, paper/pens of course. The new thing this year - DH downloaded disney trivia to his iphone so we will play lots of that! I think an audio book on the ipod will be cool to try too!


I just did the long drive (from NJ) in August. I left at 2:30am and made it in about 16 hours. My DD had all sorts of stuff with her, but ended up being my navigator instead. At the suggestion of another member here, we bought the “Drive I95” book and used it for the trip. It was AWESOME! This book tells you how many exits till the next state, the speed limits, police trap spots, and what is off each and every exit. The book served as a mini trip countdown within each state and made the drive a little easier on me. We stopped in each state’s welcome center to use the bathroom and walk around, but didn’t stay long. I packed drinks and Lunchables and we just grazed off what we had rather than waste time stopping to eat.

I suggest a portable DVD player with a disney movie for each state. Let the kids choose which movie for each state. Drive as much as you can in the early morning and hopefully will still be sleepy enough to pass out for the first few hours. Do the movies starting at VA. We averaged around 2hours per state at that point and a movie would be a good time passer for that. Once the movie is done, play a game for the rest of the drive time for the next rest center. Bring books and other stuff, but I think the movies are the best time killer.


For the past couple of years I have ripped every single Disney movie in the house to the Mac and iPad (Mac last year, iPad this year) so my daughter can watch movies on the way down. The drive downs are easy with this, it is the trip home that is a problem… Post Disney, boredom is more prevalent.


We have the I95 Exit Guide app on the phone - so that should be helpful.

The kids are GREAT car riders - just looking for some fun new things to pass the time. With the movies, I just hope the kids can use the headphones this year :wacko:. I like listening to the movies and I’ve heard way more than I’ve ever seen - but I feel much more alert when I can listen to MY music. The DVD player is built-in with the van plus they have their own iPod Touches - hopefult that resolves the headphone issues.

The kids are allowed a backpack each (kid sized) for all their travel toys and gear.

We have a stop in Savannah on the way down - nonstop for the trip home. I know this is generally counter-intuitive but it works. We’d rather push through and jump into bed when we get home. We tried the nonstop down and I was wrecked for 2 days. I’d rather recover at home than risk being grump in WDW.


I drove from MA to SC this summer with 7 adults/teenager. We played the license game which actually kept me entertained as I really can’t do anything in the car but look out a window. (car sickness). My daughter and niece listened or read their summer reading.
I also had maps for each state so we could see how far we were getting as we drove.
We stopped at almost all the state welcome centers…West Virginia and Georgia (we went to Savannah for a day) were favorites.


We are driving to Disney - leaving approximately 3 am from New Jersey Saturday, November 5th - I am wondering if anyone has any advice about the best places to stop on way - places to eat - especially a place to grab a room on Saturday night (hopefully making it to Florida) - comparison for anyone else who recently drove??? We have a 7 passenger van full of 3 adults and 4 kids - so will definitely be entertained - ideas welcome!!!


Tequila. It makes EVERYTHING enjoyable.