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  • [Question] Canadians, The Drive

    We have 2 children, ages 3 and 5, who are very good in the car, used to driving multiple hours, but this is different

    Has anyone made the drive down: advise, tips?
    we are thinking the last 2 weeks of feb next year

  • #2
    Re: Canadians, The Drive

    Deleted. Posted in wrong forum.

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    • #3
      Re: Canadians, The Drive

      We used to drive down from Michigan all the time when I was a kid. Be sure to stop for meals/bathroom breaks & just to stretch your legs every now and then.

      Beware of the Atlanta area at rush hour (morning and evening). It's a MESS. Also beware of the state troopers in Georgia in general. Sometimes 'ole Smokey gets an itchy finger and will look for out of state plates to pull over and give tickets to. Profiling much?

      Gas up in Georgia just before the Florida border. Gas is MUCH cheaper there for some reason.

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      • #4
        Re: Canadians, The Drive

        As someone who has experienced it from the driver, front, and backseats I can honestly say that I have a very good idea about what the drive is all about. We live in the GTA and our drive took approximately 21.5 hours on our best ever time (that happened to be to St Petersburg which is about 2 hours further then Orlando). To start you need to think about these questions, what is your general driving ability, what pace do you want to set, and finally do you have good directional and navigational skills. If you consider yourself a good driver that wants to set a solid pace, and your kids are as good in the car as you say. I would recommend getting up on your travel day at about 5, be pre-packed and ready to go with everything in the car so all you have to do is lock the doors and drive away, then get the kids into their seats and let them sleep as much as they want in the car grab your last Timmies and be on your way. With this method you get to the border before its a madhouse, and theres less stress on the kids because the more they sleep on the ride down the easier it is on them. Next up depends on your navigational ability and your location. If your from the GTA it seems as if it would make more sense to go straight for buffalo however those map quest directions to florida have a lot of different highway changes, can take you through a variety of slow and toll roads, and a higher possibility for construction or a road closure leaving you lost and taking precious hours from your Disney vacation. My recommendation is unless you have GPS and have mapped out a very good fast route, would be to take the extra time to drive up to the Detroit bridge and take I-75. Its one highway, straight shot express route directly to Orlando and you can go at a pretty good clip just watch out for police as you reach the southern states. If you follow this method, as you do have kids so I'm assuming you will make stops to change drivers 1 or 2 times and have breakfast at drive through lunch quick service and have snacks and drinks in a cooler that can be easily accessed while driving, you could make it to Macon GA for about 9-9:30 for a quick dinner and bed for the little ones. You should get a good sleep too and preferably the last driver from yesterday would be the one working with the kids in the morning to allow the driver this morning to be ready to go and everyone to be as refreshed as possible for Disney world and not feel drowsy and tired the whole vacation. As a quick side note the key here is a 2 person team, nobody wants to be fatigued and out of it before they even get to the parks. Then up at 6:30 to leave at 7 and reach your resort for 12. By one o'clock you'll be having lunch at the hotel restaurant, checked in and enjoying disney. I left this pretty general so if you have any more questions about anything related to your vacation feel free to repost and I would be more then happy to help a fellow Canadian out .

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        • #5
          Re: Canadians, The Drive

          I live near the New Brunswick Border. It takes about 2 days going about 12 hours a day.

          It's hellish at first but things like this are make one heck of an adventure.
          DisneyTwins
          Since May 2003

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          • #6
            Re: Canadians, The Drive

            Originally posted by goofy donald View Post
            I would recommend getting up on your travel day at about 5, be pre-packed and ready to go with everything in the car so all you have to do is lock the doors and drive away, then get the kids into their seats and let them sleep as much as they want in the car grab your last Timmies and be on your way.
            I kind of wish they'd open a tiny Tim Hortons kiosk at EPCOT's Canada pavilion...

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            • #7
              Re: Canadians, The Drive

              Originally posted by Kuhio View Post
              I kind of wish they'd open a tiny Tim Hortons kiosk at EPCOT's Canada pavilion...
              mmmmmm that would be incredible, just so they would serve coffee donuts and timbits. however i am 100% against any chain restaurants in the parks so I would be mad at the fact it was there. If they sold cans of tims coffee in the gift shop though i would be more then happy.

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              • #8
                Re: Canadians, The Drive

                The drive is much better done by plane!

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                • #9
                  Re: Canadians, The Drive

                  goofydonald, thanks for the reply

                  we are in london, so it would be going to windsor
                  we cottage in muskoka, and with long weekends the kids are used to 4-5 hours at a time in the car

                  the general plan is to leave at night time, so they can be asleep for the the big leg of the drive
                  or the early morning depart, like you suggest, not in the middle of the day

                  i used to go to school in thunder bay, so driving long stretches for me not a issue
                  and i love my gps

                  the main reason for driving is cost, we have a gas card so i don't pay for gas in canada
                  i would gas up the night before, hit the gas station in windsor, and be 5 hours into the states before i need to fill up again
                  the second reason is comfort my wife and i are larger people, and i'm almost 6 foot tall, so we are at the point to be comfortable we need business or first class
                  and i like the idea of not having to worry about weight of luggage or what i want to bring back from disney

                  this will be our 5th trip in 4 years, so i'm pretty good in other disney aspects

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                  • #10
                    Re: Canadians, The Drive

                    We're in Winnipeg. We always drive - 15 times to DLR and 2 to WDW. Our kids are grown now but in 08 we took the 5 grandkids ages 6 - 15. A van is good. In 08, we stopped overnight in Georgia. We normally leave on a Friday evening. We live above ND & SD. so (not bashing) the scenery isn't as stimulating for the first 10 or so hours and the passengers can rest. Little passengers can sleep to prevent grumpiness the next day. Stop Saturday night and Sunday you're in WDW. Total gas cost in 08 was $450. I doubt you can fly 7 people for that. Rest stops are great for the little ones to get out and play. A cooler with drinks and snacks keeps them from getting too hungry between stops and portable DVD players are really entertaining. Disney movies help them get in the mood. Most of all, relax and enjoy. They are bound to give you their views which will keep you amused for decades.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Canadians, The Drive

                      Originally posted by thehowells View Post
                      goofydonald, thanks for the reply

                      we are in london, so it would be going to windsor
                      we cottage in muskoka, and with long weekends the kids are used to 4-5 hours at a time in the car

                      the general plan is to leave at night time, so they can be asleep for the the big leg of the drive
                      or the early morning depart, like you suggest, not in the middle of the day

                      i used to go to school in thunder bay, so driving long stretches for me not a issue
                      and i love my gps

                      the main reason for driving is cost, we have a gas card so i don't pay for gas in canada
                      i would gas up the night before, hit the gas station in windsor, and be 5 hours into the states before i need to fill up again
                      the second reason is comfort my wife and i are larger people, and i'm almost 6 foot tall, so we are at the point to be comfortable we need business or first class
                      and i like the idea of not having to worry about weight of luggage or what i want to bring back from disney

                      this will be our 5th trip in 4 years, so i'm pretty good in other disney aspects
                      Hey thats great just makes the trip that much easier for you then London to Windsor, Windsor to Detroit, and 75 straight down. there are 4 tips i can give you about going down I-75 that are rather important in getting to Disney as fast as possible:

                      1) its a little tricky actually finding I-75 once you get over the border and one wrong turn can end you up in some rather sketchy neighborhoods and will set you back at least 30 minutes until you find the highway again (especially if your unfamiliar with the area) so be careful to follow signs and your gps carefully.

                      2) there are fairly smooth sailings throughout until you reach Atlanta. here I-75 branches off into two parts around the city itself and traffic can build up rather fast especially during rush hour so be careful to a. pick the right side and b. hopefully get through Atlanta just before rush hour hits. This area is basically the climax of your trip and will define if it went good or bad. If you don't make it through here before rush hour occurs, its almost a guarantee you wont get as far as you wanted to and will have another hour of driving to make up in the morning which is never fun.

                      3) I 75 takes you close but not straight to Disney, my recommendation with the fact that you will be arriving most likely around or just prior to lunch time, would be to take the interstate 4 exit. from here you get easy access to every part of the park and its just the more magical way to go. Also theres rarely traffic during this time but if there is or construction have optional exits prepared for you on gps to sneak in the back way and avoid sitting in traffic so close to your resort.

                      4) the most important point to remember, if your planning on hitting the gas a little bit to make up some extra time (obviously be on cop watch in the distance as there is never a real 'safe place' that there are never cops) but as you go further and further south there are usually more and more traffic cops. So i believe the best places to punch it are just getting past Toledo right through Ohio all the way up until just before Cincinnati, then again in the mountains in Tennessee and maybe as far as just after Chattanooga.

                      Hope that helps!!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Canadians, The Drive

                        You can Drive to America from London?!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Canadians, The Drive

                          goofydonald, once again thank you fine sir!!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Canadians, The Drive

                            Originally posted by thehowells View Post
                            goofydonald, once again thank you fine sir!!
                            Never a problem to help out a fellow Canadian , hope you have a great vacation!

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