Driving to WDW from NJ....tips/suggestions?

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Aunt_Soozaay's picture
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Driving to WDW from NJ....tips/suggestions?

Next May we're planning on driving to WDW (instead of flying like we normally do) from NJ. We're dropping off our dog at my in-laws in NC and continuing onto WDW.....anyhoo....

Any tips, suggestions, etc. for 2 45 year olds drivin this long trip?

Thanks!
Susie

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MrHub's picture
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Hey Susie and welcome to WDWforGrownups! Well 2 50 year olds here and we drive it 3 times a year. Love it!. We no leave around noon on a Friday, drive past Washington and stop somewhere around Va/NC boarder, then drive the rest od the way the next day, get into WDW sometime between 4 & 6 pm. It's not a bad ride at all. awesome

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Watch your speed in GA. There is a part of 95 that they patrol and it is one of the top 10 speed traps in the whole US for interstates, read that some place, but be careful I read that on my own speeding ticket. sarcastic

Enjoy the sights. Make time for a small side trip to South of the Border, it is a fun place to stretch your legs. Have a safe trip.

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MrHub's picture
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Very true about GA, but if your keeping with the general flow of traffic, they usually won't bother you.

Aunt_Soozaay's picture
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Thanks! We're really looking forward to driving and being on our own schedule! We know that own only problem will be the DC traffic and trying to plan on leaving/returning accordingly to avoid getting stuck. Normally we choose flying because of time restraints, but this trip will be for our 10 year anniversary and we're budgeting more time to just relax.

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My husband and I are from NJ, too! We drove down a few years ago and my family and I have driven 5 times when I was younger. Last time my husband and I borrowed a book on tape from the local library so when we got bored of music, we listened. We love Harry Potter so we got the last Harry Potter book out- it was fun to listen to and passed time! We also stopped in NC to visit his college roommates which broke up the trip nicely. To help, we also stopped and spent a night in Charleston after that- it was beautiful and definitely on my list of places to go back to! We stayed at French Quarter Inn which was gorgeous. From there we drove to Disney. On the way home we broke up the trip by stopping for two days in Hilton Head and then we stopped for a day in Baltimore and enjoyed the harbor attractions. We loves just stopping when we saw a scenic pull off and taking our time! Definitely pack good snacks and tunes! We also asked a bunch of friends to burn CDs for us so that as we popped them in all the music would be a surprise. When we came back we gave them each a CD, but not the one they made so they all got some new tunes, too! The drive is long so entertainment is key!

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I have been driving back and forth between Connecticut and Florida for 7 years and if you have time to spare I highly recommend taking rt 1 most of the way... 95 can get extremely boring whereas if you take rt 1 you drive along the east coast line most of the time... Passing through small beach towns... My husband and I travelled the coast a few years ago... And when we would get tired we would stop at the beach and nap for a few hours during the day while the beaches were nice and warm. It takes a bit longer but it's well worth it! You take the cape may/Lewes ferry where you'll possibly see dolphins! Then you'll see ocean beach in Maryland, Virginia beach, and myrtle beach... Now that I know this way exists I won't drive down any other way... 95 is terribly boring and you definitely need to stop about half way through the trip and stay at a motel or something... If you drive along the coast at least you have unique inns. Highly highly recommend rt 1!! You will start your vacation early that way... Who wants to look at the same thing for 20 hrs?

I've also heard that traveling trough the blue ridge mountains is beautiful but have not done that yet... I will be trying this on my next trip...

Just an FYI if you do wind up taking rt 1. Try to get back on 95 for the duration of North Carolina... Otherwise you will spend half of the day traveling through that state... Then when you can.. Hop back on rt 1!

I always drive to Florida... It's so not worth the hassle of flying... You go at your own pace... It's costly... And you can bring whatever you want!

Have fun!!!

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Oh I love books on CD. I listen to them every day just driving around town. I get mine from the library but Cracker Barrel has a program too. They charge something like 3.99 a book. They charge you for the audiobook but when you return it they refund all but the 3.99. You can return it to any cracker barrel and get a new one. The only problem is you never know exactly what they have in the store. They try to keep the most current books in the stores but if you are looking for a certain book library is the way to go.

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ChipnDaleFan wrote:
My husband and I are from NJ, too! We drove down a few years ago and my family and I have driven 5 times when I was younger. Last time my husband and I borrowed a book on tape from the local library so when we got bored of music, we listened. We love Harry Potter so we got the last Harry Potter book out- it was fun to listen to and passed time! We also stopped in NC to visit his college roommates which broke up the trip nicely. To help, we also stopped and spent a night in Charleston after that- it was beautiful and definitely on my list of places to go back to! We stayed at French Quarter Inn which was gorgeous. From there we drove to Disney. On the way home we broke up the trip by stopping for two days in Hilton Head and then we stopped for a day in Baltimore and enjoyed the harbor attractions. We loves just stopping when we saw a scenic pull off and taking our time! Definitely pack good snacks and tunes! We also asked a bunch of friends to burn CDs for us so that as we popped them in all the music would be a surprise. When we came back we gave them each a CD, but not the one they made so they all got some new tunes, too! The drive is long so entertainment is key!

Awesome idea about audio books!!! SO going to do that! Whereabouts in NJ are you from? We're from Toms River.

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Karlipants wrote:
I have been driving back and forth between Connecticut and Florida for 7 years and if you have time to spare I highly recommend taking rt 1 most of the way... 95 can get extremely boring whereas if you take rt 1 you drive along the east coast line most of the time... Passing through small beach towns... My husband and I travelled the coast a few years ago... And when we would get tired we would stop at the beach and nap for a few hours during the day while the beaches were nice and warm. It takes a bit longer but it's well worth it! You take the cape may/Lewes ferry where you'll possibly see dolphins! Then you'll see ocean beach in Maryland, Virginia beach, and myrtle beach... Now that I know this way exists I won't drive down any other way... 95 is terribly boring and you definitely need to stop about half way through the trip and stay at a motel or something... If you drive along the coast at least you have unique inns. Highly highly recommend rt 1!! You will start your vacation early that way... Who wants to look at the same thing for 20 hrs?

I've also heard that traveling trough the blue ridge mountains is beautiful but have not done that yet... I will be trying this on my next trip...

Just an FYI if you do wind up taking rt 1. Try to get back on 95 for the duration of North Carolina... Otherwise you will spend half of the day traveling through that state... Then when you can.. Hop back on rt 1!

I always drive to Florida... It's so not worth the hassle of flying... You go at your own pace... It's costly... And you can bring whatever you want!

Have fun!!!

Great idea! Will definitely check Rt 1 out!

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I usually get on Rt 1 a little south of Rte 18, go thru trenton ( saves a few miles from getting on 95 near Quakerbridge Mall) and get on 95 near Sesame Place. And keep going south on 95, till I get to Florence SC. Then I stay at the Thunderbird Motel for a night. The rooms are serviceable, and they have a great all you can eat hot / cold breakfast buffet. From there it's only about 7-8 hours to WDW ( I found 65-70 MPH, an average speed, more in SC, and FL if you don't see the police). They also have a bunch of discounts ( AAA, EMS, others...at the Thunderbird). We'll be drivng down in January from near Princeton, if we see any long term type of constructions, I'll let you know.

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Well since your doing a long trip dont forget to get out and stretch it helps reduce fatigue and you need to maintain the circulation. take audio books and I would look for a few fun places to stretch your legs the air museum in va beach is a good place but Peg wont go with me I go in with my camera and dont leave to eat or anything until they turn the lights off. If your going to drive by something why not take a quick look.

Some pics I took on a recent trip and a slideshow of my pics


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Coming down I-95 gives you the perfect opportunity for a stop off at Paula Deen's restaurant in Savannah. Great way to break up a drive.

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I need to map out all the places from Drive-ins, Diners, and Dives, and hit them on my next trip south. Was gonna do it last year with my son, on motorcycles, on th eway to Disney, but he decided to make the "mature" decision, and asked for a car for graduation instead of a motorcycle,so he could drive it to college... kids,... go figure....

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WOW! Thanks guys!!!! Gettin my list together!

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That all take to much time away from Disney for me.

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Hi! Aunt_Soozaay and welcome to our group. May I suggest that before you leave go to these 2 websites and study the info on them, they can be invaluable to the I95 traveler.
http://www.mascon.net/
http://www.i95exitguide.com/index.php

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I think one of these days were gonna have to actually drive it just to drive it. Possibly get a few extra days of vacation by doing that.

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My personal recommendation would be drive to Lorton, Virginia (right off of I-95), put your car and yourselves on the Auto Train, sit back and relax.

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Vettelover wrote:
Hi! Aunt_Soozaay and welcome to our group. May I suggest that before you leave go to these 2 websites and study the info on them, they can be invaluable to the I95 traveler.
http://www.mascon.net/
http://www.i95exitguide.com/index.php

Awesome! Thank you!

crazycatperson wrote:
My personal recommendation would be drive to Lorton, Virginia (right off of I-95), put your car and yourselves on the Auto Train, sit back and relax.

Thanks for the suggestion but we have to stop in Charlotte on the way & back from WDW....my in-laws are watching our dog.

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Bloomfield- up by Newark. I've visited Tom's River many times!

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We drive from southwestern ontario every time we go. We use this great book called along I75. It is a fantastic book! It has tips for dining, hotels, historical trivia and great places to stop and take in the scenery! I looked it up and there is a book for along I95 as well and pretty much any interstate highway you can take. Even though we have driven down many times we always reference the map in the book as it tells us all the stores and gas stations at each exit so if we are looking for a particular place to eat we know which exit to take. We also love it for the reviews and interesting facts. I highly recommend purchasing such a book as it helps pass the time and provides something to talk about. Oh and also it highlights all the bypasses which saves us a lot of hassle and stress.

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nikamel wrote:
We drive from southwestern ontario every time we go. We use this great book called along I75. It is a fantastic book! It has tips for dining, hotels, historical trivia and great places to stop and take in the scenery! I looked it up and there is a book for along I95 as well and pretty much any interstate highway you can take. Even though we have driven down many times we always reference the map in the book as it tells us all the stores and gas stations at each exit so if we are looking for a particular place to eat we know which exit to take. We also love it for the reviews and interesting facts. I highly recommend purchasing such a book as it helps pass the time and provides something to talk about. Oh and also it highlights all the bypasses which saves us a lot of hassle and stress.

Great! Thanks!!!!

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Nice to see two of you are from NJ! I lived in Union City, NJ for 3 years, and Denville, NJ for 2 years... My husband is from Nutley!! cool

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Nutley is the next town over! I'm originally from Jersey City.

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micron220

First trip in August with 2 drivers and 4 kids. North Jersey(Bergen County). Now i am confused, Was planning on 78 to 81 to 77, 26 and back to 95 in SC. According to Google it adds and extra 90 minutes, but not as many headaches from commuter traffic.

My goal is to leave at 4:00 am. Visit Luray caverns in VA at about 10 and make it to Brunswick GA by 9pm. Am I insane? I know, I have 4 kids which puts me pretty close. But as far as driving, is 95 really that bad?

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We drive 95 to Disney 3 times a year from Blue Bell PA. Only bad place is DC and just south of DC, other than that, its clear sailing, but with 4 kids it will be a little slower with bathroom stops and eating. We just drove down in June, 5 adults, 4 kids ages 6 4 3 & 2, 2 cars. Left at 7am saturday, got to SC/Georgia border by 9pm. Drove the rest sunday morning.

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Mr Hub is correct I've even hit a bit of traffic by DC in the middle of the night. The rest of 95 is smooth sailing. We go with 2 kids who only need to stop when we get gas. I'm lucky they are a bit older. With kids DVDs, hand held video games, coloring books etc. are a must. My kids know if they don't behave in the car we'll stop at the nearest airport and ship them to grandma's house! That threat works every time!

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micron220 wrote:
First trip in August with 2 drivers and 4 kids. North Jersey(Bergen County). Now i am confused, Was planning on 78 to 81 to 77, 26 and back to 95 in SC. According to Google it adds and extra 90 minutes, but not as many headaches from commuter traffic.

My goal is to leave at 4:00 am. Visit Luray caverns in VA at about 10 and make it to Brunswick GA by 9pm. Am I insane? I know, I have 4 kids which puts me pretty close. But as far as driving, is 95 really that bad?

When I drive to WDW instead of flying I travel from NH to I90 to 84 then hit 81 and the hit the way you go and find that it adds a some mileage BUT it is a trade off on commuter traffic and a big savings on the every twelve mile toll booths in NY and NJ. I muchlove that route. OH! and welcome to WDWFG

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micron220 wrote:
First trip in August with 2 drivers and 4 kids. North Jersey(Bergen County). Now i am confused, Was planning on 78 to 81 to 77, 26 and back to 95 in SC. According to Google it adds and extra 90 minutes, but not as many headaches from commuter traffic.

My goal is to leave at 4:00 am. Visit Luray caverns in VA at about 10 and make it to Brunswick GA by 9pm. Am I insane? I know, I have 4 kids which puts me pretty close. But as far as driving, is 95 really that bad?

Last trip we stopped in Brunswick Ga. and I'm just NW of you and it's a bit of a push it can be done but with 4 little ones I'd think about somewhere a bit farther north.

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micron220, this is the area which we usually have to most trouble if we have any. Between Springfield & Stafford. It's the entire area where they have the HOV lanes and it's usually just southbound I95. Coming home is not that bad. We take 476 to I96 south. From there I95 south to I495 around Wilmington DE, to I95 south to Jacksonville, I295 West around Jacksonville back to I95 South down to I4 West to WDW.

https://goo.gl/maps/2ZvBS

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