two day driving with toddler
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  1. #1

    Question two day driving with toddler

    My husband and I are driving from NC to Orlando for a family reunion vacation in April 06. Our Disney vacation is planned out as we are "pros" and have visited Disney many, many times. This trip is extra special because we now have a 2 1/2 year old son "Jake" and we can't wait to see the "magic" through his eyes. We are driving from NC to Orlando which should take about 10 hours but with a toddler I expect it will take more like 12 hours. I would like to drive about halfway and enjoy a nice hotel midway and drive the other half of the way the next day. Any suggestions on touristy things to do with a toddler halfway to orlando?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    North Dakota
    I have a 27 month old and a 13 month old and we tend to drive long distances of about 6-7 just to get to a decent city to do things cheaper like flying out, shopping, etc. (A drawback of being stationed in a small town). Anyway the one thing that I've always found is that they really don't care if you stop at an interesting historical spot or a park or what have you. As long as there is an area for then to run and stretch their legs for a little while they are happy. Otherwise I've experienced melt-downs, bloodcurdling screaming, whining, kicking, etc.
    Other things I've tried that worked were portable DVD for favorite shows, new (cheap) toy that may keep them quiet and occupied for a while, a book that they haven't read in a while. I did have to sit in the back with them during these times to keep them company.
    I hope that helps!
    Two drifters off to see the world.
    There's such a lot of world to see.
    - Moon River

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Back in Rochester NY for a while
    When my cousins and I were toddlers, we were driven down to Disney. We're all from Ohio, so it takes a good full two days' drive to get down there. And actually, I can't say any of us ever hated being stuck in the car that long. Like Tiggerluv said, as long as you let them out of the car to stretch their legs every so often, I don't see why you couldn't make the trip in one day if you started early (however this is very tiring so by all means, take two days if you need to!). But a portable DVD player, a good sing-a-long Disney CD, and a new game or toy all help the ride! Good luck with your trip and have a wonderful time!

    *_-_Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly what a day!_-_*

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Hanging Out With The FSU Possum
    I dunno what this is going to say about my family but we always were given the usual things to keep us occupied and then bribed to be quiet and we'd get something special. Usually it would be Disney Dollars or we'd get to pick where to eat for lunch that day or the next. It seemed to work as my mom says we were always easy to deal with.
    Go Noles! Ryan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    San Antonio, Texas GO SPURS GO!
    My toddler was quiet with her portable DVD player and some Disney movies, her Crayola coloring books with the special markers that cannot color on anything else.
    We stopped every few hours to let her run around a nice rest area. It helped us too.

    Kids dont care if it is a historical park or touristy type thing. My 2 girls are ages 2 and 10 and loved running around the rest area parks, looking for pine cones and any other thing they could find.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Northeast U.S.
    You're all better than I am -- no WAY would I drive my guys to FL.! We are from Massachusetts - it is a bit of a haul - when my brother & I went some years ago with friends, we made the trip in 22 hours, a straight shot. Definitely not an option with toddlers in tow! After a couple hours in the car, they are fussy and antsy and ugh! I can't imagine. We barely survived the 3 hour flight! But to that end, let me reiterate - stretching, new novelty toys and anything to provide a good distraction can work wonders. We bought those magnetic drawing tablets - my son would ask me to draw this thing or that thing and then we'd see how untalented his mother is as an artist...haha... and the toddler would guess what I was drawing...that worked for a while... good luck!!!

    WDW Jan. 2000
    WDW Dec. 6-12 2005
    Next Trip....When???????

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Maryland, USA
    We drove down from MD when my kids were 2, 5 and 7. We had a DVD player which kept the older ones occupied but it didn't keep the 2 yo interested for very long. I took some new toys with lights and sounds which kept him occupied. Every once in a while I put Teletubbies in for him and it kept him quiet for 30 minutes or so. Mainly, find out what you child loves the most and make it extra special. Also, sitting in the back with him will really help.

    As far as hotels - we stayed a Holiday Inn Express in Savanah, GA. It's right off of I95 and about 4 hours from Disney. They have suites (which I highly recommend) which has a bedroom with 2 double beds and a separate sitting room with a pull out couch. This enables you to put your child to bed while you and your partner can have a little down time together. It makes for a nice evening without having to go to bed with your child. They have a really nice continental breakfast to get you going the next day.

    I, too, wouldn't recommend spending the time at a historical place. Most toddlers do fine with a big place to run. You can visit downtown Savanah if you and you partner really want something to do but it's about 30 minutes from I95 so it will put you way off schedule.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    North Carolina
    We just drove from NC at New Years this year. We drove at night and there wasn't much traffic at all, so things went very smoothly. If you left at night, maybe he would sleep during the trip and it wouldn't be so bad? I'm sure if you stopped at rest areas, just to let him run around a bit, he would be great. That's how my parents did our trip when we drove from New York way back when...
    "We share a magic day, we share enchanted nights, in a never ending story that together we all write. It's been a part of me, it's been a part of you, a part of growing up together and sharing a dream come true"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I'm right there with Tinksmyid I couldnt do it .. even if i was closer, my guys dont like being in the car more than an hour at the most. They are 18 months old. We are planning a trip in May, but I'm having second thoughts, they will be 22 months by then, but I still cant see them sitting on a plane for 3 hours. I suppose though a Veggie Tales or Baby Einstein DVD might keep them occupied for awhile. Running around rest stops would be great if I wasnt worried about them getting run over. South of the Border is fun, but i dont see it as something little kids would enjoy.
    "To the youngsters of today, I say Believe In The Future ..." - Walt Disney


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