Driving to Disney World is a money-saving option for a lot of people. If you prepare ahead of time, the journey can just a magical as Disney World. Between packing road trip essentials, planning ahead, and being prepared you can have a great drive!
Here are some quick and easy tips for making your drive to Disney World a fun and safe one.
What to Pack for The Drive to Disney
While you may have all your items checked off from my Ultimate Disney World Packing list, if you are driving you may want to pack a few more items.
Prepare a checklist of items you will need. This will include a first aid kit, snacks, and drinks. If you are traveling with kids include some toys, coloring books, paper and crayons, and a tablet or portable DVD player so your kids can watch their favorite movies.
If you are looking for a great Road Trip Notebook for kids, check out this one I created on Etsy!
Tip. Make sure if pack crayons that they end up in the hotel room once you arrive or they will melt and create a mess in the Florida heat. For experience, it is not fun to clean up melted crayons.
Ensure that the snacks are healthy in nature. Too many sugary snacks can have the kids bouncing off the car seats. Remember, this is a relaxing family vacation and you want to avoid the kids getting bored or repeatedly asking you when you are going to arrive.
In addition, if you have very young children you will need to take the diaper bag. Wipes for the occasional spills, a favorite item or stuffed animal for the young ones is a good idea as well.
Create Disney Excitement
Make a Disney Playlist. Create a playlist of Disney songs that will get your whole family is a Disney mood!
Have Kids Make a Character or Ride Wish List. If your kids didn’t take an active role in planning the vacation, use this time to ask them what characters or rides that would want to do.
Create a Tinker Bell Gift for Good Behavior. Ahead of time, go to the Dollar Tree and pack a gift bag of Dollar Tree Disney items and at the end of the drive give them a reward from Tinker Bell. If you haven’t given them their Magic Bands, that would be a great item to add to gift bag.
Plan Out Stops
It is recommended stopping every two hours or 100 miles, even if it’s just to stretch your legs.
As you check out the planned route you may want to the Gas Buddy App to find gas stations along the way that offer the cheapest gas. Also if there are any points of interest along the route mark them on the map and plan to stop at these sites.
While on the road ensure that you make pit stops regularly. This will allow the kids to run around and let off some steam while allowing the adults to stretch and reenergize. Bring along a football or soccer ball so that the entire family can have some fun while exercising at the same time.
If you are planning on stopping overnight along the way, figure out where and make reservations ahead of time so you are not without a room when you are tired.
Prepare the Car for the Trip
It is very important that safety concerns are met. This includes having the car checked at your local mechanic or gas station. Ensure that the oil and filter are changed; the tires are well inflated (don’t forget the spare tire, too); the windshield wipers are replaced (if needed), and the car is in great condition before you head out.
In addition, you may want to place the following items in your trunk: an extra blanket, emergency road kit, umbrellas, water, flashlight and batteries, a battery-powered radio, and windshield wiper cleaner. In the glove compartment include a first aid kit and cell phone charger. Keep all medications in a Ziploc bag in the glove compartment as well.
Another good idea is to take a list of telephone numbers including the hotel or motel where you are staying as well as those of family and friends you may need to contact. Something may happen to your phone and a hard copy will save you a lot of trouble.
If you enjoy scrapbooking, this road trip may be a perfect opportunity to add new treasures to the book. As you make stops at some scenic sites, ask the kids to find an item they would like to include in the scrapbook. Or if the kids point out something along the way that they find fascinating, take a picture of it to include in the scrapbook as well.
Engage the kids in decision making, if age-appropriate, and allow them to decide what they would like to bring. Have them pack their clothes (check the suitcases afterward) so they feel part of the overall experience. Planning ahead of time for a family road trip will save you time, stress, and money. And the kids will enjoy this adventure, too!
When You Arrive at Disney
The Walt Disney World exits are located along I-4. You will know you are on Disney property once you start seeing purple signs with yellow and red on them. Please be warned that stopping for a picture of the famous Disney World entrance is illegal. Plan on having the person in the passenger seat take the picture while you drive through.
If you are staying on Disney property, follow the signs to your resort. Once you get to your resort you will need your ID to the guard at the entrance so he can check your reservation.
If you are driving directly to one of the parks follow the signs for the park you are going to. You will need your Magic band if you are a resort guest to qualify for free parking.