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  1. Default First Roadtrip with 2 kids (12 & 6) from TX to CA

    This will be my first roadtrip with my two boys. We are going from Texas to California (Disneyland). I am planning it for the first week of June. I am taking eight days -- is that enough time? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default round trip?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    A few things to ask you to start, Texas is a pretty huge area. Where exactly are you starting this trip? Is the 8 days for a round trip or to make it there one way? How long are you planning on staying at Disney?

    If you're starting in eastern Texas, you're looking at a 3 day trip each direction, so that only give you two days in Disney before you'd have to head home.

  3. Default

    I'm coming from Houston TX. I want 8 days round trip but am open to adding at least 3 more days. We are planning to only visit Disney for two days, I heard it wasn't very big and two days is enough for it. I would like to take my sons to other spots. Any suggestions would be great. I want to make this trip memorable.

  4. Default Time Issues

    With only 8 days, you don't really have a lot of time for side trips. I travel with my kids (4, 7 & 12) and between bathroom breaks and having to stop and stretch your legs, you're going to go a little slower than you would probably like. I've never done Disneyland, I'm in FL so we've done Orlando plenty of times, but that's only an 8 hour drive for us and there's more than just Disneyworld in Orlando! It would be great if you could do the Grand Canyon, but that will take you at least half a day.

    We like to stop off and do weird roadside things like the Largest Ball of Barbed Wire (all I can think of is, "you mean there are OTHER balls or barbed wire?") Those are good 20 minute lunch time stops where you don't really have to do a whole lot but you get to see something interesting...more interesting than a Cracker Barrel anyway!

    If you can add the other three days you'll be able to make more side trips. If you're leaving from Houston, you'll be going through West Texas (flat!) New Mexico, Arizona and both NM and AZ have some interesting things to see. Of course there's the Grand Canyon, but there's also going to be some other non-Disney fun stuff to see in Anaheim I'm sure. I've never been, but I would look and see what else there is to do and see that your kids would enjoy.

    When I've done Disney in FL, I like to go early one day and late the next day. Staying all day in the park can be a little too much fun for the little one. Your older child should be fine, but your 6 year old is just going to run out of steam. I have also gone to the park in the morning and then gone back to the hotel for lunch and a swim in the pool and then gone back later in the afternoon and stayed for the fireworks. That's worked out pretty well too.

    They are going to be so excited that they're going to Disney that you might want to save any side trips until after you've gone to the parks and just spend a little extra time going home. Otherwise all you're going to hear is, "when are we going to get to Disney?"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Lots of Possibilities, Little Time

    Well, as has been said if you're spending 2 days in Disney and you only use 8 days total you really won't have much time for anything else. I also don't know that I've ever heard anyone say "disney isn't very big" before, but regardless, there is so much more to SoCal than just Disney.

    If you take a slightly longer route back home, then the Grand Canyon would be an obvious stop. Although between the extra distance and spending a little time at the park, you'll have to use at least an extra day to fit that in.

    If you stick to I-10, there are a ton of things to do all along your route. One stop I would particularly recommend with kids in Tucson is the Desert Museum, which is more like a zoo than a typical museum and could be a nice break from the road for a couple hours.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default 2 days for Disney?

    Well, I've never been able to get my own fill in less than three days myself. When my kids were that age, we would typically hit the park 1 hour before opening...Main Street opens earlier...then positions ourselves at the rope to run like heck and be amongst the first to be in line for either Space Mountain or Splash Mountain (or two favorites) and then go like heck until closing. The first day, anyway. The adrenaline rush of just being there kept us all going the first day even when my kids were only 4 and 6.

    Second day, up early to repeat the same morning race to be first in line but then back to the hotel for part of the afternoon for a swim and a nap before going back until closing. Repeat for day 3.

    This actually helped make our speed run home easier because the kids would sleep like rocks. ;)

    As I said, going early gets you on the most popular rides with the longest lines quickly when you can be close to the first in line. And staying late is great, too. Typically, the park clears out a bunch after the last showing of Fantasmic so that's prime ride time! We once rode Splash Mountain four, or was it five?, times in the last 1/2 hour the park was open without even seeing another person in line. We would hop out of the canoe, run like heck around to the boarding area, and hop back in. The last time we begged the attendant not to make us get out and run around. She looked at her watch and saw it was something like 8 minutes to closing, smiled and said "I don't see a thing" and we got to just stay on for another ride. Such fun!

    OK, enough hints...I agree that you will want extra days, between the other parks that are all worth seeing and the stuff Michael suggested, it's really worth more time to get there, to enjoy your time in LA, and to get home again than you're giving it.

    BTW, I totally agree with Nahomama in that you need more time to drive there and back with kids. They need to get out and get the wiggles out. That's when we first started eating most meals out of our cooler as we could take meal breaks in parks, etc. and let the kids run around instead of sitting in a restaurant. This really helps with that, too.

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