How we turned an 8 hour drive into a 12 hour road trip

A ‘don’t do what we did’ story

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It was the day before the big trip. A Friday.

I picked up the kids from school and we hurried home. Luggage filled our living room.

And the kids were still skeptical if we were really going. 

Sadly our family seems to have this tradition of planning trips and fun weekend get-aways and then never actually going on them. The car breaks down and needs a costly repair or some other financial problem arises and we have to cancel. It’s become kind of a running joke to tease about planning a great vacation so we can not go on it. 

This trip was no exception. Two and a half weeks before the trip Dad comes home from work sick. It was Valentine’s Day. There would be no celebrating this year for sure. So Valentine’s Day plans cancelled he was off to bed. Long story short it was the flu which he was kind enough to share with all but the two oldest boys ( thankfully after several trips to the doctor and the fourth sick kid she gave me a flu preventative antibiotic for the last two kids) and then to make matters worse we were down to one week before the big trip and Dad gets diagnosed with pneumonia. Was this really happening!? The trip was paid for all we had to do was get there….healthy!

Thanks to modern medicine we did recover in the nick of time! We packed the car up on Friday night and I let the kids stay up late so they would sleep in the car. Dad and I turned in early so we could get up at 4:15 in the morning and be out the door by 5.

Well, we were out the door about 5:20, but close considering there’s 8 of us. 

I can’t believe how much littles have to pee. It’s mind boggling. You think well, it’s because they don’t have a large bladder. But that logic falls apart when you think well they also don’t have a large bladder to fill. But anyways yeah it seemed like once an hour there was a kid who needed a restroom visit. And I’m thinking I really don’t see these kids going this much even when they’re home! We got a pretty good tour of all the rest stops between here and Orlando! 

There is one hour of our twelve hour journey that can be accounted for. It was well spent having lunch with my best friend from high school and her family in my home town of Jacksonville, FL. Well worth adding another hour to our time to get from point a to point b. 

So here comes the advice… do not use the address that is online for the all star resorts. I cannot stress that enough. It’ll say, depending on which one you google the address for, 1701,1801,or 1901 buena vista drive Orlando,FL and if you gps this address it will get you to the middle of nowhere on Disney property. Somewhere near Disney springs. Then you’ll spend about an hour driving around Disney property with kids who have to pee, yet again, and you’ll be on the phone with lots of different Disney people all giving you different ways to turn, all of which, also don’t get you to the resort you’re trying to find. You’ll become desperate to not stop again and, in a moment of sheer mental exhaustion, hand your young son a bottle to pee in….You’ll have several blankets and a small pillow to wash pee out of when you finally do make it to the resort. You’ll find yourself on the same road over and over in a twilight-zone like state, trying to convince the kids ( who have never been before) that Disney really is great. Just save yourself the headache and go in the MAIN disney entrance and FOLLOW THE SIGNS. Simple as that. And so, 12 hours later, we had finally arrived.

Well, it was something to laugh about later anyways….much later.

Author: Heather Snyder

I'm a stay at home mom of six kids (ages: under 1,2,4,7,8,and 14). I love helping out with the local children's theater. I live on coffee (and when I say coffee I mean milk and sugar with a shot of espresso). I love writing. I grew up in Jacksonville,Florida but I now reside with my husband of 10 years in Greer, SC just outside of Greenville. I miss Florida and miss seeing the ocean. I am a huge fan of Disney! Some of my fondest memories of growing up are days spent at the Magic Kingdom with my family and so I decided to share that love of all things Disney and add a pinch of my knowledge of what's it's like to have a big family on vacation and a dash of living on a one-income budget and write it all out to help as you plan your own magical Disney vacation for you and your big family.

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