- Driving distances between major cities and Orlando These are the distances between what we feel are Major Cities that are with-in a realistic driving distance to Orlando.
- Disney property driving distances - Find the driving distances between Walt Disney World locations.
- Disney Property driving directions - Find Directions on Disney Property.
- Walt Disney World Gas Stations
- Orlando Airport Transportation
A vacation that involves driving the family to Florida requires more than getting a map and piling the kids in the car. Taking time to attend to a few things before you pack can insure that you get to your destination safely.
The most important thing is to have your car checked and have any necessary repairs made before you venture on your trip.
Be sure you have an emergency kit with you. It should include:
- Emergency flares
- Car jack
- Tool kit with the basic tools
- Jumper cables
- Work gloves
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Paper towels
The thought of the price of gas keeping you awake at nights? Check on www.gasbuddy.com for the best spots to fill the tank along the way.
A cell phone is a necessity. Keep it properly charged. If you don't have a car adaptor for your phone, now is the time to invest in one as well as a hands free headset. Make yourself familiar with the laws of each state that you're traveling through regarding its use. The same holds true of radar detectors. Some states prohibit them.
If you can splurge a bit, consider investing in a mobile GPS system. This is especially helpful if you run into traffic and want to find the best way around it. it can also help you to locate area restaurants, gas stations and hotels. You can also get a GPS app for most smartphones.
Consider joining an Auto Club. They can provide roadside assistance as well as help with planning your route.
It's smart to bring spare keys that are kept separate from the ones you are using. Important documents to bring includes your driver's license, insurance cards (auto and medical), emergency phone numbers, travel itinerary (including your hotel confirmation numbers), maps, and trip directions.
If you purchased tires at a chain store, bring the paperwork. We bought ours from Sam's Club and we had a tire go flat while spending the night at a hotel. It saved us from having to purchase a new tire at full price. The same holds true for any repairs that come with guarantees. Bring the proof with you.
Summer driving in Florida offers some unique challenges. Many breakdowns are caused by the intense heat. The sudden rainstorms create road hazards that can cause an accident.
Keeping one eye on the weather as you drive is very important to safe travel. Thunderstorms come up suddenly and while often brief, can be intense. I'll never forget the time we drove to Orlando and saw a bolt of lightning set the ground around a tree on fire. If you lose visibility, slow down, head for the nearest exit ramp and find a place to park and wait out the storm.
If you are considering bringing a pet with you, think twice. Leaving your pet at home with a pet sitter or boarding it in a kennel is the kindest thing you can do. Florida heat can be deadly, and a pet left in a car for only a few minutes could suffer. If you can't leave the pooch behind, bring its inoculation records and a current photo.
Are we there yet?? The words that every parent dreads. With a little planning you can help make the drive as enjoyable as possible. The secret is to get the kids involved in planning what to do during the trip, plus you can plan a few extra surprises to spring on them.
Whoever invented the portable DVD player must have driven with a little one. These units are godsends and well worth purchasing. Naturally, you'll want to bring your collection of Disney DVDs.
There's no end to handheld electronic games you can bring. Just be sure to have adaptors and/or spare batteries. You can get a car cigarette lighter adaptor that can accommodate two plug-ins.
If you want to involve the family in a game, there's always the fun of looking for out of state license plates or the "Disney Guessing Game." You think of something associated with Disney World and the others each take a turn asking one question until they correctly guess what it is.
A few other ideas:
1. You should pack a goody bag for each child. Include small surprises, easy to eat snacks, stickers, etc.
2. Bring lots of water
3. Lock the doors of the car at all times when traveling
4. Bring pillows for the kids and their favorite stuffed toy
5. Keep an umbrella in the car
6. Carry a notebook and jot down where a favorite roadside restaurant was located or where you found a restroom when those immortal words were uttered "I'VE GOTTA GO NOW!!"
7. Keep a trash bag in the car
8. Get a container of wet wipes and keep it handy
9. Take breaks. Sure, you want to get to Mickey, but everyone needs a chance to stop and stretch their legs
10. Reserve hotel rooms in advance for stops along the route
Planning ahead is the most important element of a fun and stress free auto trip.
- Disney World for College Students: The Spring Break Alternative - When one thinks of Walt Disney World they often think of a place fit for families and little kids and while that is true the allure is for many more. It is certainly not a Spring Breakers-esque destination for college kids but, it can be a great time for all who want to go.
- 4 Reasons Why Tomorrowland Needs Change
- Traveling with kids Part 2 - Bites - Anyone who has traveled with kids knows how important it is to keep them well-fed and hydrated. Actually, that's just a good rule in general...
- Registration now open for the 2015 Expedition Everest Challenge - This event will be held 5/1-5/2/15.
- How Magically Sluggish WiFi Made My Disney Experience Perfect
- Woman dead after car collides with Disney bus - A Windermere, FL, woman is dead after her car collided with a Disney bus.
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party sold out on December 16 - The only available date remaining is December 18.
- Do You Remember the First Time? - I still have very clear memories about my first visit all those years ago. It was 1980, and even though I only spent two days in the Magic Kingdom, as that was the only park to visit, something about the experience clearly resonated deeply with me.
- Information and artist renderings of new Polynesian DVC property - There will be 20 Bungalows and 360 Deluxe Studios.
- Beginning 3/8/15, characters will be at Tusker House dinners - Reservations are now available.
- Aulani plans Christmas festivities - There will be seasonal crafts, movie nights, Christmas dinner and a Holiday Starlit Hui.
- Traveling With Kids Part 1 - Boredom - In this article, I’ll specifically talk about Boredom and some ways to keep the kids entertained while you travel.
- Itinerary change for 12/19/15 Disney Fantasy sailing - This sailing will visit Tortola instead of St. Maarten.
- One Band's Dream | Why Walt would have loved the idea of Magic Bands and FastPass+ - I tend to give Disney the benefit of the doubt in most cases. I want to think that Walt's grand idea of a magical place for families to come and enjoy is still the driving force behind the company. When listening to responses to Fast Pass+ and Magic Bands however, that doesn't seem to be a popular viewpoint. So I am going to come to the defense of these programs and try and offer a slightly more optimistic point of view.
- Purchase tickets directly through My Disney Experience app - Guests can now purchase tickets directly through My Disney Experience. Tickets can be 1-10 days, either one-park or park hoppers. Tickets can be assigned to existing Family and Friends and then Fastpass+ reservations can be made.
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party sold out on December 12 - There are still other dates available.
- What to Expect When You're Expecting... at Disney - There are many reasons a woman might find herself on a Disney parks vacation while pregnant. Maybe an older child is celebrating a big birthday. Maybe it’s a family reunion. Maybe this trip was planned well in advance and now you’re facing it with a happy bundle of joy on the way.
- 8:15pm Spirit of Aloha dinner show cancelled on 12/10 and 12/11 - The early show has not been cancelled.
- Blog - Frozen Welcomes the Hour of Code
- "The Taste of Hollywood Winter Holiday Grab n Go" boxed meals offered at Hollywood Studios - These are available from 12/24-12/31 and include reserved seating for Fantasmic.
- Update on check-in times for Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party - If your reservation is between 6:00 and 6:20pm, you should check in one hour before the fireworks.
- Exposition Park, home to the Disney food trucks, opens at Downtown Disney - This area is located between Bongo's Cuban Cafe and Starbucks.
- Memory Maker pre-purchase price raised to $169 - The price was previously $149.
- Character meals planned for Star Wars Weekends - The Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Dine and the Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast are back for the second year.
- The Paul McKenna Band joins entertainment at United Kingdom Pavilion - The 4-piece acoustic folk band will perform several times daily.
- Dates announced for 2015 Star Wars Weekends - The event will be held Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, May 15 - June 14, 2015
- December merchandise events at Walt Disney World - Meet Disney artists for signings and appearances around Walt Disney World.
- runDisney reveals medals for Princess Half Marathon Weekend - This event will be held 2/19/15 - 2/22/15.
- Blog - Peter Pan's Flight's new queue opens at Magic Kingdom
- Tangled Tributes - Kingdom Crossing at the Magic Kingdom - I've been through here many times, but after watching the movie so many times recently, I was really struck by all the details here in the theming. There are so many little nods to the film that most guests probably just walk right by.
- Candlelight Processional begins tonight with narrator Jodi Benson - The Candlelight Processional takes place November 28 - December 30, 2014.
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party sold out on December 19 - Other dates are still available.
- Blog - Vintage Christmas Merchandise at Walt Disney World
- VIDEO: 2014 Walt Disney World Holiday Showcase - Join JeniLynn Knopp of the DIS Unplugged as she speaks with Steven Miller about holiday merchandise and shopping, Robert Hargrove and Santa Stitch about holiday entertainment, and Flash, Garland and The Boss about decorating Walt Disney World!
- 3 Surprising Things About Working at Mission: SPACE - Here’s a few of the things I learned about the attraction and about being a cast member at Mission: SPACE.
- Blog - A Weekend at Give Kids the World Village
- Christmas Eve dinner available for Disney Vacation Club members - The dinner will include a buffet, Christmas carolers and photo ops with Mickey and Minnie.
- Walt Disney World New Year's Eve dining information - Many of the restaurants will offer special meals or dining events to celebrate the holiday.
- Discounts and payment plans available at Walt Disney World Speedway - Several of the driving experiences are available with a discount through the holidays.
- Epcot's Canadian Lumberjack show on hiatus - The show will resume 1/4/15.
- Play nine holes of golf at Disney for just $29 - Play 9 holes at the Disney golf courses starting anytime between 7:00 and 8:30am for just $29.
- Details for 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Anna and Elsa topiaries will be on display at World Showcase Plaza.
- Epcot's Spice Road Table now accepts reservations - Reservations are available beginning December 2.
- The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special to return to Hollywood Studios - This improvisational comedy show will return to the Premier Theater at Hollywood Studios from December 21, 2014 - January 4, 2015.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Magic Kingdom Hub - Cinderella Castle - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Magic Kingdom Hub - Cinderella Castle
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - The Diamond Horseshoe Balcony - The Diamond Horseshoe - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at The Diamond Horseshoe Balcony - The Diamond Horseshoe
- Save up to 30% on a stay at Aulani - Discount is available most nights 4/6 - 6/15/15.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Bay Lake Tower 15th Floor - Magic Kingdom - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Bay Lake Tower 15th Floor - Magic Kingdom
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party sold out on November 20 - There are still many MVMCP dates available.
- Plan B Character Dining at Walt Disney World - If you’re looking to make a reservation for a character meal and can’t get one, we’ve got a couple of suggestions for places you may not have thought of.
- Blizzard Beach to be closed November 17 due to cold temperatures - Typhoon Lagoon is already closed for its annual refurbishment.
- Top 5(+) things that are better at Walt Disney World than at Disneyland - Bigger may not always be better, but isn't always worse either. I can't resist countering with an article that lists, in my view, the things that are better at Walt Disney World.
- Guests meeting Santa at Downtown Disney have new notification option - Guests will get pagers if the wait exceeds 30 minutes (or they can choose to receive a text message instead). When their pager goes off and they return to Santa's Chalet, they will have about a 20 minute wait.
- Disney Visa cardholders get a special gift when taking advantage of Aulani discount - When booking the 4th night free offer, Disney Visa cardholders will also receive a special Welcome Gift at check-in with specialty items and signature Aulani merchandise ($98 value).
- Disney restaurants that kids will love, but parents would rather avoid - When you’re a parent traveling with your kids, you often need to put your own desires aside and head to the more kid-friendly establishments. Of course, there are exceptions to everything, but here’s a list of three restaurants that most kids will love, but many parents would rather avoid.
- Top 5 things that are better at Disneyland than at Walt Disney World - Bigger isn't always better and while Walt Disney's original theme park is smaller, it still has the advantage over its East-coast counterpart in a few key areas.
- Rehabs planned for several resort pools - Several of the resorts have rehabs scheduled for their pools and water slides in the upcoming months.
- Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom now opening an hour early Thanksgiving week - Both parks will now open at 8:00am instead of 9:00am. Extra Magic Hours for those parks will move one hour earlier as well.
- 3 Surprising Things About Working at Expedition Everest - I want to bring you some surprising facts from the perspective of a cast member working there on a daily basis.
- Rehabs planned for Art of Animation pools - The closure dates are: Big Blue Pool 11/17 - 11/19, Little Mermaid Flippin' Fins Pool 11/20 - 11/21, and the Cozy Cone Pool 11/24 - 11/26.
- Second seating added to Frozen Holiday Premium Packages - These packages include reserved seating for the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration and access to a Frozen-themed dessert party with reserved viewing for Osborne Lights.
- All-Star Music food court to open early after refurbishment - Instead of being closed until December 20 like originally planned, the Intermission Food Court will reopen on December 3.
- The Great 'Throwaway Room' Debate - For those not familiar with the issue – a ‘throwaway room’ is a Disney resort room that is booked for one night just to get the perks associated with it.
- Seasonal food and drink offered at Epcot for the holidays - Each pavilion will have a special offering for the holidays.
- Ticket specials available for Cirque du Soleil - Discounted tickets available through December 19, 2014.
- VIDEO: Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade - Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
- Blog - Reduce Theme Park Lines? Invest in New Attractions
- Free breakfast offer for length of stay at Aulani - This offer must be booked by December 18.
- Jingle Cruise returns to Magic Kingdom for the holidays - The attraction will receive a new storyline, just for the holidays. This will be open throughout the holiday season, as well as during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade Photos - Photos from Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, including the new addition of characters from Frozen and Wreck-It-Ralph.
- VIDEO: Anna and Elsa join Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade - Frozen's Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff join Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
- Memory Maker now available for purchase after your vacation - Memory Maker can now be purchased after your trip. Previously it had only been available in advance or on-site.
- Animated Magic Shots added at select Memory Maker locations - These shots will put an animated video overlay on one of your photos.
- Christmas Day parade taping to take place at Magic Kingdom December 6-9 - The parade that airs Christmas morning on ABC is filmed at the Magic Kingdom. Park guests can attend the taping with their regular park tickets. No special tickets will be needed.
- Big Hero 6 meet and greet now open at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Hiro and Baymax are now greeting guests in the Magic of Disney Animation building.
- Blog - Frozen Ice Palace Debuts at Malls Across the Country
- PANDORA Jewelry Showcase will debut Disney Parks line - The event will take place November 7-8, 2014 at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney.
- Last day for the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at Hollywood Studios - The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is an interactive experience where guests can join forces with other pirates to battle Davy Jones, the Krakken and even mermaids.
- VIDEO: 'A Frozen Holiday Wish' Cinderella Castle Lighting Show at Magic Kingdom - This year, Elsa uses her magical powers to transform Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom into an icy palace with the help of Anna, Kristoff and Olaf.
- Blog - A Frozen Holiday Wish debuts at Magic Kingdom
- Special "Elsa" Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card available at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - "Elsa's Icy Shield" lets game players use Elsa's ice powers to defeat villains.
- The Best Resorts at Walt Disney World - We asked the listeners to our DIS Unplugged podcast/video show to vote on their favorites, and we uncovered a few surprises along the way. We received more than 3200 votes in total, and we asked people to rate their favorite resort by category – best Value resort, vest moderate, best deluxe and best home away from home.
- Thanksgiving dining information for Walt Disney World - All the restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving, but some have special menus available.
- Aulani plans Thanksgiving feast - Celebrate the holiday in the Kaiona Ballroom. The menu will include traditional Thanksgiving favorites with an island twist.
- Cirque du Soleil ticket discounts available for Annual Passholders - Offer good on performances November 6-December 19, 2014.
- Annual passholders can save up to 35% at select Walt Disney World hotels - Valid for stays most nights 1/5/15 - 3/28/15.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Entrance 2 Parking lots A-G closed 12/1/2014-8/1/2016 to make way for the Town Center and the East Garage.
- 4 Reasons Why Disney's Hollywood Studios Needs To (And Will) Change - I want the current Disney's Hollywood Studios to succeed. I want to see it grow into something great. Here are some of the reasons I think Disney's Hollywood Studios needs to change for the better.
- Richard Petty "Jr. Ride-Along Experience" - free souvenir photo for Disney Visa cardholders - Get a free souvenir photo ($17.50 value) when you use your Disney Visa card to pay for the Jr. Ride-Along experience. Offer ends June 30, 2015.
- November Merchandise Events and Artist Appearances/Signings at Walt Disney World - All month long, Disney artists can be found at signings across property.
- Blizzard Beach to be closed November 1 due to cold temperatures - Typhoon Lagoon is also closed, but due to its annual rehab.
- Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic to be held this weekend - This event features wine and beer seminars, tasting stations and live music.
- Blog - Mickey's Halloween Party vs. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
- How To Coach Someone Onto Thrill Rides - There is no fail-proof formula, but over the years I have found a few coaching techniques that I use with thrill-phobic personalities. With them I have coaxed quite a few of the most stubborn people in my life onto attractions they never imagined they would test.
- MagicBands will automatically add ride photos to your account - If guests are wearing an active MagicBand when they ride on select attractions, the photos will automatically be added to their My Disney Experience account.
- Blog - 'Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!' Street Party debuts at Magic Kingdom
- Top 5 Disney Bucket List Items - You know those things you always wanted to do but haven't had the time or money to do them?
- First night of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is sold out - Tickets are still available on the other nights.
- Planning a Disney Halloween Party in 10 Steps - A few ideas and 10 steps for planning a Disney Halloween party in your own neighborhood.
- A new flag waving act has opened in the Italy Pavilion - Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro performs 12-minute shows several times daily.
- Walt Disney World's Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid plans month-long rehab - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed from 2/2/2015 - 3/6/2015.
- Island Supply store in Magic Kingdom's Adventureland closing - The shop will be closing 10/22/14 and will be replaced later this year.
- LeVar Burton and Edward James Olmos added to Candlelight Processional narrators - The Candlelight Processional takes place at Epcot from 11/28-12/30/14.
- Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets sold out on 10/28/14 - Tickets are also sold out on the 30th and 31st.
- Club 33 members upset about more changes to benefits
- Iger says future Star Wars attractions to be based on new films
- SeaWorld's CEO steps down
- Man sues SeaWorld for automatically renewing his annual pass
- Retirement date set for Disney's Meg Crofton
- Woman sues Disney, claiming disability after falling from carousel horse
- Hotel leadership changes at Walt Disney World
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer released
- Star Wars teaser to be released on iTunes
- Turner Classic Movies partnering with Disney and the Great Movie Ride