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Are We There Yet? ..or, driving to Disney World by "Wickeysfriend"

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Wait.. before you answer those people who ask, "Are you crazy," there is a method to this madness! With a little planning, driving long distances to the House of Mouse can be pleasurable and interesting -- no matter the ages of those riding with you.

For the little ones, there are several things you can bring along to keep them occupied. One of the best items is a TV/VCR combination. While television reception may be limited, especially when driving out in the middle of nowhere, having the VCR is great! You can bring along your Disney movies to help introduce -- or reinforce -- the characters and make them familiar to little ones who might otherwise be a little afraid to run up and give them a hug. Break out a few new things for them -- pipe cleaners (for making animals, shapes, letters and numbers), small "Magna Doodle" games, stickers, books, sunglasses and of course, snacks. Goldfish, gummy bears and Cheerios are bit hits! Don't forget the hand wipes!

Older children may like hand-held games, drawing pencils with sketchpad, CDs with player (don't forget the headphones!) and maybe a crossword puzzle book or two.

One fun family game is trying to spot the different states' license plates. It's fun to see how many you can find while on the road. You get extra points for spotting Florida license plates in your own state! Drivers are NOT allowed to play!

In addition to the little ones' snacks, think of small portion snacks such as cereal bars, trail mix, nuts, Pop Tarts (no toasters -- sorry!) and individually wrapped hard candies. Also, make sure you keep a cooler handy with water, juice and soft drinks. Just don't to forget to gauge how far the next rest stop is down the road!

And speaking of rest stops, make sure you take advantage of them. The bigger ones that are frequented by the large 18-wheeler trucks are often patrolled, have rest rooms that are cleaned frequently and have room to walk around and stretch tired legs. The Welcome Center in Ocala even has fresh orange and grapefruit juice -- a refreshing introduction to the Sunshine State!

A good thing to have is either the baby shades that stick on the windows, or something that can be placed on the window to block out sun. My littlest does not like Mr. Sun to shine in his eyes. As a last resort, I have it on good authority that a sweatshirt tied around the seat belt and placed "just so" works wonders!

One last tip -- from someone who learned the hard way -- make sure you take large enough trash bags to hold all your car trash. It is amazing to find out the amount of things that need to be thrown away and stack up if you don't have somewhere to put them.

An added bonus to driving to Disney World, is all the interesting things and places you'll see along the way. Driving from Texas, we travel on and on and on the bridge over Louisiana's Atchafalaya river swamp, the USS Alabama in Mobile Bay and the Don Garlitz Museum of Drag Racing, just to name a few.

So go ahead. Hop in the car and take off. Nothing is better than everyone in the car bouncing up and down is when you finally drive under the Mickey sign that welcomes you to Walt Disney World.

article edtor

Member Reviews of "Are We There Yet? ..or, driving to Disney World by "Wickeysfriend"":
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Write on your car!
9/16/2005 by mom23crzykds
One of the best things we did to keep the kids occupied was writing on our car with car chalk (found at party stores) We wrote, Disney or Bust, Mickey ear, Mickey here we come! It was so much fun to hear all the honks we got and lots of waves! All truck drivers looked over at us and our little boy was able to signal the truck driver horn sign, which led to lots of claps in our car. Another added bonus for the parents, it was easy to find our car in the very large parking lots late at night!

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