East Coast Drivers


OK - My wife SWORE she would never drive to WDW again. Ever.

We are headed to Disney during the spring break week in March. We checked out the SWA airfare. :eek: And they are the “cheapest”. AutoTrain family bedrooms are booked - and the train isn’t exactly cheap now either. So now we are pondering the drive. We are checking in on a Sunday and departing the next Saturday.

We are coming from the Philly area. I have never made it to Disney as a kid (probably resulting in my Disney fascination now!), so I’ve never made the drive.

So how do YOU do it? Mapquest puts it at about a 16.5 hour drive, assuming we don’t stop for gas, food, potty breaks, and the such.

Do you drive straight through? Do you leave during the night?

Do you stop overnight? Where?

Love to hear some tips…


We drive from Rhode Island. We leave about 3-3:30am. We drive till about 6-630pm. Get a room just before So. Carolina. Always stay by the Highway. Holiday Inn & Hamptons are the best and inexpensive. We always stay in a hotel that has a front desk before getting to the rooms. I hate the places with the doors to the outside, just feel better/safe knowing that the person at the front desk greets people as they come in, no matter how late. Out the door the next morning by 5-5:30am and in the resort by 10:30-11am. We love the drive!!!


We usually will drive for 3-4hrs a clip. Than stop for gas and a snack. Lunch is a little longer. We also have E-Z Pass for the tolls.


We have driven from Southern Ohio to WDW in one day a couple times, years ago. We left around 2 am and would get there around 4-4:30pm. When I was a kid we would leave in the evening, drive as long as my dad could keep his eyes open, then stop in Jellico TN. for a little rest. (Highway hotel) Back up the next day for the rest of the trip. To us, Georgia seems like the BIGGEST state to get through… feels like forever.


I forgot about the EZ Pass. We have the PA EZ Pass which I know works through DE, NJ, and MD. I’ll have to check about the rest of the way south.

We also stay almost exclusively at Hampton Inns - very consistant. Some friends here usually push on into Georgia before stopping. I prefer the late night drive too.

The Odyssey is getting worn and temperamental, so we’d probably take the Subaru Tribeca. It won’t hold as much luggage, but it has the GPS and DVD player.


We drive from Va. It takes me about 11 hours not a bad drive at all. I will be stopping over in Daytona this year and did last year as well. So the drive is 10 hours down there. I drive straight through. Only stop for gas, something to eat and the rest area. It’s a beautiful drive you will enjoy it. I love to drive south driving north on the other hand. You tend to have more crowded roads and more tractor trailors.


We drove it last year from Cleveland Ohio- we had a great time. As a matter of fact we prefer to drive over flying!! I believe it was about 16 hours. We left about 3 pm after my husband got out of work and drove until about 9 pm. We got up the next day and arrived in Orlando around dinner time!! We found the Holiday Inn Express to be very nice and affordable-- it seemed like every one that we stopped at were brand new!! Have fun!!


I swore I would never drive again. I did. I think the second time was better than the first. My wife wanted my kids to see what is between NJ and WDW. This was there responce, lots of road, shredded tires, cracker barrels and visitor centers. I must admit I enjoyed it we did alot of family bonding. I preffer to fly but would drive again it wasnt that bad.:redface:


We used to drive all the time from the Philly area. We would leave when my husband got home from work and drive straight through to morning. It took anywhere from 14 1/2 - 16 hours, depending on who was doing the most driving. But it’s exhausting and with gas prices this high it’s much better for us to fly.


We drove it once…after factoring in the cost of getting caught in not one, but TWO speed traps flying looked like one heck of a bargin.

NOBODY runs the speed limit on I-95. Most of the time I’d be in the right hand lane running 20 over and passing nobody.


Wow… we drive from Anderson, SC to WDW. It takes us about 8.5 hours - less if there isn’t traffic and we don’t have to stop much. We leave in the early am and reach WDW around 3:00 (right at check-in… woot!).

How about driving into Atlanta and spending the night? I think that would almost split the difference. Of course, Atlanta could be crowded.

And… if you don’t mind saying, when exactly is your spring break? (We’re considering going to WDW for our break week but not if that’s when everyone else’s spring break is.)


WE are driving this year for our Christmas trip. We are planning to leave after I get out of school on Thursday(early dismissal so I will get out around 11:30) then drive as much as we can with my mom and dad taking turns. I am not looking forward to the drive because none of us enjoy being in the car. We plan on being at Disney world to make our LTT dining reservations at 4 then do MVMCP after dinner.


Our spring break will begin March 16th. Best airfare for SWA was $1800 for 4 of us. :blow: We payed $1500 for 5 of us for the Thanksgiving trip! I tried to play around with the days, but it doesn’t get any better.

We used the AAA Trip Cost calculator and driving looks the cheapest now by far. We’d much rather fly. :crying:


That’s what we do on our trips too. It’s about 17 hours. We take off from work early and leave as soon as the kids are home from school and drive 6-8 hours. Up the next morning and off to Disney. We don’t ever try (intend) to drive all night just so we can get decent sleep and not be exhausted upon arrival.


Our spring break is the same week this year (later than usual), so we’ll be in WDW at the same time!!

Driving is cheapest for us too, so we’ll be driving once again in March.


Its sad that plane tickets are so high that people have to end up driving 17 hours just to get to Disney World.


I’ve seen SWA Ding’s for as low as $29 one way for PHL to MCO - but I think those days are long gone. And you need to be able to fly on those specific days - not what works out for a vacation planned 11 months prior.

We will be watching the airfares - maybe something good will pop up. Otherwise, it will be:

“It’s a hundred and six miles to Chicago (I mean 1000 miles to WDW), we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes (:blow: ), it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.”

“Hit it!”

Or something like that! :laugh:


Yes they are…jet fuel has doubled as has AVGas, I got hit for over $5 a gallon last year in Roanoke for AVGas! And it’s gone up since.

I’m still flying even though it’s more expensive. I’d loose more in 2-3 days away from work. Besides, the SWA full price fare is still less than what we used to pay for the 14 day advanced purchase, stay Saturday night, etc fares!


We have driven twice. The first time, we left at 4pm. The kids and I met DH at work and we left from there. He was up since 5am. We drove until 2am or so (well HE does the driving!) and he couldn’t stay up any longer. So we got a room until 9am and were arriving at WDW at 3pm. He drove straight through on the way home.

The second time, we left at about 12:30am…again, after DH got out of work. This trip, he drove straight through! He got tired a couple of hours in (at the end of New Jersey!) so we pulled into a rest stop and slept 2 hours. Then he was good to go! He drove straight through on the way home.

We have two kids and had to make potty stops a few times, had to gas up and get something quick to eat. We just wanted to GET to Orlando! We booked our first night off site using hotel points, just so we would wake up and be there to enjoy our first full day!

The drive was MUCH MUCH cheaper than flying for us. It cost us about $320 round trip using our SUV including gas and tolls. Flights were $200 per person, plus another $400 for a rentacar…we were there for 18 days! So we saved a NICE chunk of change.

Personally, I love the drive. But we MIGHT be flying next year because I might have Southwest Rapid Rewards to use. But we’ll see…if we drive again, I think I would like to leave at about 5am after a nice full nights sleep! This way, we can do the whole trip and not feel like crap!



D’Nut just drove it a little bit ago. It depends on your tolerance. I drove to Hilton head w/DW once. ONCE. She almost didn’t make it the whole way.

My point is I would enjoy it, but Den wouldn’t. So it becomes a personal choice.