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  • [Question] Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

    A group of my friends along with the wife and I are planning a trip to WDW in November. We started talking about which airline we would fly when one of my friends jokingly said "We should just drive there". We all laughed it off, but then we did start considering it. I started wondering if anyone here on Micechat had ever made the cross country trip by car. Whats it like? How long does it take? We probably wouldnt try it, but it does sound like it would be fun to take the "ultimate road trip" and would like to hear some thoughts or experiences on the matter before completly dismissing the idea.
    Out of the NIGHT....
    When the full moon is BRIGHT!!
    Comes a horseman known as ZORRO!!!
    ---------------------------------------

  • #2
    Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

    I made it from Vegas to Orlando with two kids a car and a pickup pulling a Uhaul in 4 days. But with no kids and no Uhaul I think I could widdle that down to 2.
    He felt like his life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.
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    • #3
      Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

      We did it when I was a kid. We drove from central California to WDW. We took a leisurely trip via the painted desert, Grand Canyon, Pueblo, and several other tourist traps, the Alamo, New Orleans, and then we zoomed through the deep south in fear.

      It started great, but my family wished we never did. It was certainly an education.

      I would say either or. WDW takes 2 weeks to do properly on it's own. I think you would be too tired to enjoy it after a road trip. Remember, WDW is not DL.
      Let's put the Walt back in Disney!




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      • #4
        Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

        Originally posted by Coastierox View Post
        I made it from Vegas to Orlando with two kids a car and a pickup pulling a Uhaul in 4 days. But with no kids and no Uhaul I think I could widdle that down to 2.
        That sounds like driving at least 80mph the entire time, driving from sunup to sundown and no stopping to pee/eat.

        Back in 1985 my family & I drove from Michigan to LA and it took about a week. Then again we made numerous stops.

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        • #5
          Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

          It would be fun if renting a small RV and you all take turns driving.

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          • #6
            Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

            In March 2001 I drove from Massachusetts to San Diego, in 3 and half days. I made several short stops along the way when I wanted, St Lois Arch among one of them. But mostly that was nonstop driving and only spent as much time as I thought I needed to take in the sights and quick pit stops. I was also 21 and traveling alone so I didn't have others to listen to or answer to. On the return trip I took an alternate route and gave myself somemore time hitting different stops, like Graceland, also because I was dreading teh return home I spent 5 days coming back.

            So if there are several of you taking turns it is definatly possible to do and it will be an expience you won't forget. I love driving so I didn't mind not being able to drive in shifts. Just one word of advice pay close attention to the "next gas station 75 miles" road signs, So you don't run out of gas seemingly in the middle of no where. I learn the hard way (and the costly way) just outside of Kingman, AZ on I-40.

            Less than 6 months after that trip I packed up the car again and drove down to WDW from Boston in 18 hours!! That time I left about 4 PM and drove straight through the night to avoid traffic on I-95 and arrived in Orlando around 9 AM. I've made the Orlando trip by car twice since then.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwwdFhJWDK0

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            • #7
              Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

              Twice, I have been part of a group that entertained the idea of driving from Chicago to Orlando. Twice, we changed our minds in favor of the 2 1/2 hour flight. Now I don't drive, but I was willing in both cases to contribute instead to the cost of gasoline.

              It all boils down to the time lost, which could be spent at Disney World instead. My up and coming August trip will be for 9 nights, and includes a never before plan to spend a few days at Sea World and Universal. We might not have planned that had we kept to the original plan to drive.

              A friend of mine just made the trip from Chicago in about 20 hours. I can't imagine being in a car that long.
              BarbaraAnn

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              • #8
                Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

                Driving as part of the trip great, a speed run coast to coast and back not fun.

                If you have the time to take it easy and see some of the country by all means drive.
                "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

                -Mark Twain

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                • #9
                  Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

                  Thank you all for your responses!! According to Mapquest it takes about 36 hours to get there from where we live (San Fernando Valley). Still I would assume that means non stop driving.

                  The wife and I went last November but we flew there. This would be our 2nd time going, but for our friends their first and I would hate for them to miss out on something because we decided to drive and got somehow delayed.

                  Still the more I think about it, the more I think it would be fun. Although I think that after spending THAT much time together we would probably be sick of each other for a bit. haha
                  Out of the NIGHT....
                  When the full moon is BRIGHT!!
                  Comes a horseman known as ZORRO!!!
                  ---------------------------------------

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                  • #10
                    Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

                    I made a speed trip from Ft. Lauderdale to southern Utah in 48 hours. It was nonstop except for 6 hours in a hotel. At the time it seemed like a great idea. But it made me physically sick and I would never want to do it again nor wish it on anyone.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

                      Originally posted by aimster View Post
                      That sounds like driving at least 80mph the entire time, driving from sunup to sundown and no stopping to pee/eat.

                      Back in 1985 my family & I drove from Michigan to LA and it took about a week. Then again we made numerous stops.
                      Yeah I'm not one for stopping much, in case you want proof see below (or above if you must) to see how I tortured my little brother.

                      Originally posted by Pizzapants View Post
                      I made a speed trip from Ft. Lauderdale to southern Utah in 48 hours. It was nonstop except for 6 hours in a hotel. At the time it seemed like a great idea. But it made me physically sick and I would never want to do it again nor wish it on anyone.
                      Hey we had a tranked dog too remember! Yeah and the food I made to bring along seemed like a good idea too... There was that one point at the end where we weren't sure if we were going up or down and I was yelling at the cruise control because it was kicking off. Not one of my best ideas...
                      He felt like his life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.
                      follow us on Twitter! @MickeyMutineers
                      DisregardListen to our podcast on iTunes!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

                        Originally posted by Barbaraann View Post
                        Twice, I have been part of a group that entertained the idea of driving from Chicago to Orlando. Twice, we changed our minds in favor of the 2 1/2 hour flight. Now I don't drive, but I was willing in both cases to contribute instead to the cost of gasoline.
                        It takes my parents about 3 days to drive from Grand Rapids, MI to their winter home in Lakeland. That's driving from around 8am until around 5pm every day, with a few stops for food/bathroom and sometimes a stop at a Target or Wal-Mart near the highway to stretch the legs a little.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

                          I've not made a coast to coast road trip (yet), but I have gone from Durango t Washington DC via I-40, and from DC back to Colorado via I-70, some of the things we saw along the way:
                          In no particular order

                          The Enterprise


                          Elvis


                          "Foamhedge"


                          A lot of art


                          Dumbo


                          Dead Elvis


                          The Mississippi


                          Rider's in the Sky





                          The Muppets


                          Tigers


                          Library of Congress (and yes this is my photo)


                          Emmet Otter


                          The Grand Ole Opry


                          The St. Louis Arch


                          Where else but in the Bible belt would you see a street sign like this?


                          Hanging out by the Potomac


                          Rode Subways


                          Visited Plantations


                          Went to Zoos


                          Were eaten by dinosaurs



                          and basically had the time of our lives


                          The year before we towed Herbie from Colorado to California.


                          A couple of years before that I drove Herbie from Lansing Michigan to Durango, then Durango to El Paso and back. Twice with all six of us in the 1963 VW bug. No A/C, no power steering, no radio.


                          ....so as you can see, we drive a lot. It's been a great family adventure. In the truest sence of the phrase "getting there is half the fun"

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                          • #14
                            Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

                            Originally posted by Coastierox View Post
                            Hey we had a tranked dog too remember! Yeah and the food I made to bring along seemed like a good idea too... There was that one point at the end where we weren't sure if we were going up or down and I was yelling at the cruise control because it was kicking off. Not one of my best ideas...
                            ugh. The tranked dog. Forgot about that one. And the whole idea of "you drive and I'll sleep." Except no one slept. And the rest area Butterfinger coffee... *shudder*

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                            • #15
                              Re: Has anyone ever driven from SoCal to WDW?

                              Originally posted by Pizzapants View Post
                              ugh. The tranked dog. Forgot about that one. And the whole idea of "you drive and I'll sleep." Except no one slept. And the rest area Butterfinger coffee... *shudder*
                              Wait now the Butterfinger coffee actually sounds good to me... there has to be more to it....

                              If you have the time and your car is in good shape you can try to drive it, We've done the Baltimore to Orlando drive a couple times, it's a long trip (ok did it once and took the auto train the second time) and quite frankly I prefer to fly as your not as tired when you get there, and lets face is a WDW trip can be exhausting, it's the drive home that I worry about more than down always seems to take twice as long and without the excitement of Disney waiting for you on the other end... Just give yourself a day or two more on the return trip you may need to stop and sleep on the way back where you didn't on the way down...

                              The big question is do you have the extra 2-4 days off work to do the drive? I would rather fly and spend those days in the parks and enjoy myself rather than the car if you plan to drive straight through. The only way I would drive it again would be if we where stopping to see the sights along the way.
                              Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

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