How Exhausted are you after Driving to WDW?


Ok, we are planning on driving straight through to WDW. The plan is to pick up DS from school and leave around 3:00-3:30, by the time we get our act together. Estimated drive is 16-18 hours depending on how many stops and switching drivers (3). Plan of arrival is mid-morning, if I calculated correctly.

Being we will arrive mid morning, our room most likely will not be ready so we’ll probably head to a park or something. So how exhausted should we expect to be upon arrival, or will pure excitement prevail???

Also, what suggestions do you have for us to do on our arrival day being we “might” be completely exhausted?


we only drove straight thru once and that was coming home… we stop overnight in usually georgia… … good luck. id be numb.


When we leave after school we always drive until midnight, stay the night at a hotel, wake up and hit the road around 8 or 9 and then arrive at WDW around 8 at night. Honestly, my hubby usually drives 100% of the trip, I would be pooped if we drove it straight thru and then went straight to the parks.


I have a feeling you will be pretty close to being “pooped” on arrival day. I would suggest staying at the resort, swimming in the pool, etc. But if you are like me, you can’t stay away from the MK. So, perhaps, go take a quick stroll down Main Street, peek at the castle, then head back to your resort. :slight_smile: Make it an early night, then head to the parks for rope drop!


We’ve driven a few times, only once through the night. We were fine driving until about 4 am when we both got pretty tired. We rebounded about 7 am after a stop for breakfast and some daylight. We checked in well before noon, had lunch, and swam the rest of the day. We were totally beat that night but it didn’t ruin the rest of our trip.

We went to Downtown Disney for lunch that day and then just played in Stormalong Bay the rest of the day. We didn’t try a park day that day but we could have done it with pure excitement getting us through.


We drove straight through (about 18-20 hours) twice now. We leave about noon or so. I drive the daytime hours and my DH drives the night time hours(he works nights so he is good to go!). We usually stop for about 2 or 3 hours at a rest stop and snooze in the car, well minivan while our kids are still asleep. That is usually all it takes and then we will stop and eat and once we get close to WDW and see the signs it gets us excited! Last time we arrived at POR at 830am and of course our room was not ready so we walked around the resort a bit and then we headed over to MK and rode a couple rides, walked around got a snack and then called and our room was ready. We went back and showered and rested and then went to our ADR at O’Hana. I think we went to MK for a couple hours after, but I have to say we were BEAT and I slept good, but I think the excitement of being at Disney took over. I do have to say, I felt it driving home. I kept pulling over every 15 minutes or so because I could not keep my eyes open.
Next year when we go, I told my DH we are staying in a hotel halfway through. I was reading elsewhere that stopping in Valdosta, GA was a good place because then your about 3 1/2 hours away from Disney. So, if we leave at about 8 or 9 we’ll get there refreshed and ready to hit the parks longer.


We’ve driven straight through…NEVER AGAIN!!


DBF did it twice to meet up with me and DD at WDW. He was totally wiped out after that drive and they stopped for the night. He was the only driver though, so having multiple drivers may help with the fatigue.

I would think you should not make plans for the first day. Play it by ear and see what you are up to when you get there.


I the last 2 times Ive gone Ive driven straight thru. Detroit to Orlando. I leave at 4pm and arive at the fla border at 8AM. Just try and calculate that you dont hit any mojor cities at rush hour. Its about 20 hours and I drive to the fla rest station then the wife drives till the first rest stop on the fla turnpike. The 2 ladies sleep and it goes by pretty fast. no washroom no food and no coffee stops till they wake up. it works out prestty good. I dive straight home as well with no one else driving. I book a hotel on Internation drive so I have a day to recover so I dont wast a day at disney.


We have driven straight thru on the way home but I think if you have 3 drivers and were able to sleep some through the drive you should be good to go on adreniline for awhile.


We drove all day on a Sunday and by the time we reached Orlando I felt like I was hung over. So if you ever went out drinking with your friends and may have had a little too much, what you feel like the next morning is pretty much a good calculation.


We drive straight through (or should I say DH). We go to bed early the night before, leave at 4am and drive, only stopping for gas fillup/bathroom breaks. We arrive at Disney around 11:00pm that night. That way, you get in the room and go straight to sleep, not messing up your schedule. So, you wake up totally rested the next moring.


We decided not to make an ADR for that day or night thinking we would be too beat from the drive. I was planning on packing a bag with our bathing suits in case we just wanted to hang by the pool until our room was available. Once we get into our room, I thought we could nap, shower and maybe head to a park or DTD. We are the type that decide on what park we are going to in the morning the night before, so I think majority will rule this one after we have all rested a bit.

DS will probably be the only one raring to go when we get there!!


Our room was ready in about 3 hours after our check in. We gave them our cell number so they can call us when it was ready. To our surprise it was ready by about 11:00-we checked in at 8:30a.m. Staying by the pool is a good option, especially if you can get a little cat nap in.


Its around 16 hours to WDW. Last year we left around 3 am the day before our check in. We drove straightn through, got to Orlando around 9 pm, checked into a hotel then went to WDW first thing in the morning. We were lucky in that our room was ready and we had a full day at the parks at full rest…


We have driven straight through for our last 3 trips (approx 16-17 hours). Well, DH drives 99% of the way! Like PrincessJill said, we stop for an hour or two at a rest stop for a nap and then he is good to go again.

Depending on the time we arrive, we will usually check in and then go to Walmart to get supplies and then go eat dinner somewhere…most likely DTD. We are ALWAYS beat the first day! But like DT said, it did not affect the rest of our trip in ANY way. I think going to the parks the first day will be REALLY tiring. I’d just plan to enjoy your resort and just relax the first day.


It’s an 8 hour drive to WDW from here. We usually leave at 6 or 7 am. By the time we get there, we’re all pumped and ready to get out of the car and head to the parks.