It’s not such a small world after all. Many travelers are especially excited this year about the idea of hitting the open road and having some fun.
Looking for some magical fun this summer? Maybe driving to Disney World as a road trip vacation is just the thing for you.
Learn more here about travel tips that could save you some money for those Disney pins to trade!
Travel Tips for Driving to Disney World
Mickey and the crew are just waiting to welcome you. Before you take off on your road trip adventure, follow some of our tips for a safe and memorable travel experience.
Pre-Trip Vehicle Safety
Car maintenance may not be all that glamorous, but it must be done for a safe road trip for you and your passengers. You have a lot invested in this trip and deserve a safe one.
Nothing is worse than planning the perfect trip and then having road trouble.
If you are not experienced with car maintenance, now is not the time to learn. Save yourself some money and worry by taking your vehicle to a certified mechanic.
Ask for the following services to make driving to Disney World a safe and worry-free experience.
Fluids Check and Top Off
Have your oil changed but also make sure other fluids are at their top level, including power steering and transmission fluids.
You may be driving a long distance and you need to make sure that your coolant level is correct and without leaks. This small inspection will save you from a car that overheats.
Don’t forget about wiper fluid. A build-up of insects on your windshield is a common problem when driving long distances. Be prepared with a backup container of windshield wiper fluid.
Inspect Tire Pressure and Tread
A reputable mechanic will inspect your tires for enough tread to grip safely throughout your trip. Everything is riding on your tires. Don’t skimp if you need new ones.
Ask to have your tire pressure checked. Most mechanics are happy to show you how to check your tire pressure throughout your trip. Make sure the tire pressure matches the pressure listed on the manufacturer sticker inside the driver’s door.
Brake Pads and ABS Function
When your mechanic checks fluids, they will also check your brake fluid level. Ask to have your brake pads checked for wear as well. Explain your road trip plans and follow advice about replacing brake pads if needed before you leave.
Having your headlights, signal lights, brake lights, and emergency lights inspected is a must before you begin your travels. You need to see the road and other drivers need to see you.
If you will be towing a vehicle, take your full tow to the mechanic to make sure your brake lights for the tow are also in good working order.
Florida and many southern states are notorious for heavy afternoon rains in the summer.
Be prepared by having your wiper blades inspected. It never hurts to have a backup pair. You will use them eventually anyway.
Plan Your Route
GPS technology is great when it works. You most likely have an app on your smart phone that offers navigation guidance. However, there may be an instance where you don’t have decent cell service, your phone fails to work, or the map information is inaccurate. It’s good to go old school for your back-up plan with a reliable paper map.
Color code your route with a first and second plan if accidents or road blockages occur.
Disney World may be your destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way. Find fun and interesting roadside attractions to visit to keep the family happy.
Download free travel guides to plan for stops along your route and places to visit on your way to Disney World. Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida Tourism Departments offer great online travel brochures that showcase lots of sites to see.
Review State Laws
If you are traveling through multiple states, make sure to get up to date on local traffic local regulations.
Most states have very strict rules about speeding and texting or talking on handheld devices. This may be a perfect opportunity to invest in hands-free phone services and dashboard props for your GPS.
Update Your Driving Skills
Your passengers are depending on you to make smart choices when driving. You can refresh your road knowledge and driving skills by taking an online defensive driving course. Learn key safety techniques to help you anticipate, identify, and avoid potential road hazards.
Taking an online driver safety course can save lives as well as help you save money. That’s right! Many insurance providers offer defensive driving discounts to eligible drivers who complete an online driver improvement course. Check with your agent to see if you qualify. Some drivers can earn up to 10% off their annual premiums for three consecutive years. You can use the extra cash to help pay for your trip!
Make It Fun!
If you’ve got kids, keeping them entertained on a long trip will help you keep your sanity and add to their enjoyment.
A road trip scavenger hunt or I Spy is fun for all age levels. Make a list of items to find along your route. You can keep it simple or add Disney items as prizes for winners.
Feeling a little tech-savvy? Plan ahead and make your family’s favorite Disney movies available to watch with over-the-seat screens or a DVD player.
You and your passengers may not usually sing, but there is something about a road trip that begs for sing-alongs. Take along some favorite Disney songs for driving to Disney World. Relax and let it go!
Here are some more ideas for creative road trip games that even adults enjoy.
Take Care of the Driver
You can’t wait to get there! How many times do you think you will hear, “Are we there yet?”
Plan ahead to battle fatigue. Road safety studies report that tens of thousands of drowsy driving accidents happen each year.
Give yourself plenty of breaks to get out of the car to walk and stretch. This short activity can help bring you out of a drowsy state and reactivate your alertness.
Having a second driver is a great option as well. Choose a front seat passenger that can check in with the driver frequently and observe for any drowsy behavior.
Visit the Florida Welcome Center
Once you reach Florida, take advantage of all that the Florida Welcome Center has to offer. There are four Welcome Centers along Florida interstates.
In addition to information about Disney World, you will find helpful advice about lodging and more entertainment outside of the park. Also, enjoy the tradition of a complimentary cup of fresh citrus juice!
Do you like saving money? Sure you do!
Welcome Centers are a great resource for finding discounts on attractions, lodging, restaurants, and Disney World. Often brochures have coupons that are not normally offered online.
Talk to representatives at the Florida Welcome Center for advice on visiting historical attractions and additional amusement parks.
Children will enjoy visiting one of the Florida Kid’s Corners. This area offers games and educational experiences for kids.
Whether it’s family fun or a great time for friends, take advantage of the professional advice about local entertainment and area attractions.
Grab some brochures and additional maps to make navigating your road trip a fun-filled vacation.
Parking at Disney World Tips
As with any large venue, parking can be a hassle. It doesn’t have to be if you are informed. Check out these services and tips for all your parking needs at Disney World.
Types of Parking and Fees
These fee rates are for an all-day parking pass at all four theme parks.
- Preferred parking: car or motorcycle $45-$50 daily
- Standard parking: car or motorcycle $25 daily
- Oversized Vehicle Parking: $30 daily
A Preferred parking pass will get you the closest parking spots. Many Disney Resort hotels also offer a free daily Standard parking pass included with your hotel reservation.
Disney parking lots are labeled in character sections with row numbers. A day of fun can leave you exhausted and possibly forgetful of where you parked the car. Note your character and number after parking.
Parking for Disabled Visitors
Disney has put a lot of thought into making mobility problems a non-issue for their disabled patrons.
At each Disney theme park, parking spaces are provided very close to the gate for patrons who have wheelchairs or scooters. These parking spaces are available at the Standard parking pass rate and require a valid disability parking tag and permit displayed in the window.
For patrons who are able to walk short distances and do not have a disability tag or permit, courtesy trams are available and stop at multiple locations throughout the theme parks.
Courtesy trams pick up passengers at the end of each parking row. If you or any of your passengers have mobility problems, ask for a parking space nearest to the tram pick-up.
Disney provides a limited number of ChargePoint charging stations for patrons who are driving electric cars. Charging stations are available at all four theme parks and Disney Springs. Parking spaces designated as charging stations cannot be reserved.
Payment for charging services requires a credit card or ChargePoint card.
Make It Real Today
Driving to Disney World is a great opportunity to connect with family and friends while anticipating the excitement that Walt Disney fans crave.
Make the dream of going on vacation a safe reality by following the advice in this guide and updating your driving skills. Check out our defensive driving free demo and start planning your magical road trip today.