The Stages of Driving From Disney To Pennsylvania In One Day

Disney World is a popular vacation spot for people around the world. When people think of vacation spots, they think of relaxation, no work, possibly warm weather and — well — airplanes. 

 

Airplanes haven’t always been involved in my Disney vacations. 

 

I am an avid Disney lover, having gone almost 10 times in my life. This includes for my sweet sixteen, my high school graduation, and I plan to for my college graduation in 2021. I also would love to go for my honeymoon one day — which means my future husband better learn to love Disney. 

 

Many times, my family has taken a plane to Disney. I am from Easton, Pennsylvania, so it takes about two hours by plane to get to Disney. It’s quick — but expensive. Because of this, we sometimes drive.  

 

It’s about a 14 hour drive — plus stops for food and such — from my hometown to Orlando, so we set aside an extra day in our vacation solely for driving. Gas for the whole trip is much cheaper than a plane tickets for our entire family, especially since my stepdad’s car is very good on gas. 

 

Usually we break up the trip. We used to stop in North Carolina, then do the rest of the trip the next day. Recently, we’ve been driving to Jacksonville in one shot -- which is not as bad as it sounds. We leave at around 7 a.m. and make it to Jacksonville at around 9 or 10 p.m. It’s better because we wake up, and we only have about a two hour drive to Disney. 

 

In December, my mom, stepdad, sister, and I drove to Disney for Christmas. On the way there, we stopped at Jacksonville as usual. We would have stopped somewhere — probably Virginia — on the way back, but all we could think about was our dogs and how they must have missed us. 

 

For this reason, we decided to drive from Orlando to Easton in one day. One shot. From start to finish. 

 

During a long drive like that, there are many stages to the journey on the road. All I can say is...it is quite a time. 

 

The sadness of leaving our Disney hotel and getting on the road

 

We got ready to leave at about 9 a.m. Leaving a Disney vacation is pretty depressing. Going from spending a week in a fantasy land to getting back to reality is hard to do. However, we were excited to get home to our furry babies. Once we were well out of Disney and on the highway, our road trip had once again begun. 

 

Crossing the border into Georgia and seeing hope on the horizon 

 

Pretty early in the morning, we were officially out of Florida and in the state of Georgia. Because Florida goes by so quickly, it almost feels like the trip won’t be so bad. We didn’t stop in Georgia, so we made it out of that state in just a few hours. 

 

And then there were the Carolinas... 

 

It usually takes a while to get through South and North Carolina, but this time it was even worse. We packed lunch to eat in the car, but we planned to stop for dinner in South Carolina. It was around 5 p.m., and we were almost out of South Carolina when we stopped. We were driving around this very small town looking for food. We found a Bojangles, went inside and ordered our food. Then, my mom went to use their bathroom and came out, saying she saw two cockroaches in there. TWO. COCKROACHES. BIG NOPE. 

 

My mom told the cashier and we got our money back. Then we went driving around trying to find a different place to eat, and we eventually found Chick-fil-a in North Carolina. Let me tell you — the Chick-fil-a Mac and cheese in the south is good. 

 

At this point, it was around 8 p.m., so it is getting pretty late. We still had the rest of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania to go. Oh boy. 

 

Alright, this is getting a little long 

 

Because it was getting so late, I was thinking we were going to be home soon. I didn’t realize how much time we wasted looking for food, so we weren’t as close as I thought. 

 

10 p.m. Still in North Carolina. Part of me was considering yeeting myself out of the car and finding a hotel, but the other part was thinking about my dogs laying on the couch wondering if their family is coming back. So, I listened to my music hoping the time would go by faster. 

 

Virginia, A.K.A. bedtime

 

Around 12 a.m., we were still in Virginia, and I was getting tired -- bedtime tired. That’s how you know we’ve been in the car for a while. So I went to sleep, but at this point I was very sure we were gonna stop. It was very hard for me to believe that we would keep driving for much longer. 

 

I woke up, and I heard my mom and step dad blasting Chris Rock comedy skits. I thought, “Wow, they’re really trying to stay awake.” I checked the time and it was about 1 a.m. We were still in Virginia. But, we were gonna keep going. 

 

Basically crawling through Pennsylvania

 

Because, why would we stop in Pennsylvania? That’s our state, our home. We were so close, we just had to keep going. I went back to sleep again and woke up at around 3 a.m. to my mom pumping gas. She came back in the car and told me we were near Quakertown. Woohoo! 30 minutes to go. 

 

Final stop: puppies 

 

Seeing the sign that says “Wilson 25th Street” on the highway and that horribly ugly Dixie Cup Factory (sorry Easton/Wilson friends, but it is) was the most wonderful sight in the world. Seeing my rocky driveway and tiny home was beautiful. The best part was walking through my door, seeing two furry faces and wagging tails. Time of arrival: approximately 3:30 a.m. 

 

Words of advice... 

 

Would I ever do this again? Never. That drive was absolute torture. My legs hurt because I was sitting in the car for so long with barely any time to stretch. 

 

However, if anyone wanted to try a road trip from Orlando to Pennsylvania — or some place of a similar distance — in one shot, there are definitely things we could have done differently. First and foremost, we left too late. We should have left at maybe 6 a.m., because driving at 3 a.m. completely sleep deprived was not fun. Also, if you’re getting ready to stop for dinner, look up locations in advance. We could not have foreseen the roach incident, so have a backup plan just in case. 

 

Lastly, watch the time. Don’t make the trip longer than it needs to be.