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Thread: OKC to Orlando

  1. Default OKC to Orlando

    we are driving from OKC to DisneyWorld. would take one route there and one route back. allowing 2 days for travel each way. myself, husband and 14 year old son. what's great to see? we have never traveled this way so everything will be new for us except I40 through Ark and Tenn. would love to travel the Gulf coast one direction or the other. Appreciate tips!
    thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default First and Foremost

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Before you do any other planning, you have to realize that Oklahoma City to Orlando can not be driven safely in just two days. Even if you pushed yourselves to the edge of exhaustion to do it, there would be no time for any stops other than the bare minimum of gas/bathroom breaks and to order a 'happy' meal from a freeway exit drive through. If you plan to make any stops en route or to detour along the Gulf you need to schedule three full days each way.

    If you do so, then a host of possibilities open up for an enjoyable drive that you'll remember for all the right reasons. Assuming you want to take the more direct route on the leg to Orlando and enjoy the Gulf on the way home, one possible itinerary would look something like this. Take I-40 to Memphis and check out the Mississippi (all of it in a scale model!) at Mud Island, then use US-78 southeastward through Mississippi and Alabama to Birmingham AL. If you're an Elvis Fan and don't have time for Graceland, you can stop at his birthplace in Tupelo MS. From Birmingham, US-231/US-280 will take you down into west central Georgia where there are a number of possible historic stops including FRD's Little White House and the Andersonville Prison site. I-75 would then provide the final highway segment into the Orlando area.

    A return along the Gulf would look something like this. In order to save time, use I-75/I-10 at the start but plan on a major stop at Gulf Islands National Seashore, either the Florida or Mississippi unit. You could then possibly make a detour through New Orleans to at least walk through the French Quarter and perhaps drive the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway back up to I-12/I-10. I-49 would then bring you up to Shreveport and I-20. In Dallas you might want to tour Dealey Plaza and take in the Sixth Floor Museum. And of course I-35 would get you back home to OKC.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    By the shortest route, this is a 1250 mile trip. Two days would be two VERY long days on the road, of 625 miles each, which would (as AZBuck suggested) leave no time to see anything. If you want to see something, plan an extra day or two in each direction, depending on what sounds interesting to you.

    The last thing you want to do is arrive at WDW exhausted, because you won't enjoy it as much! I speak from experience here -- we had two 600 mile drives in a row before arriving in Orlando. We pushed ourselves to jump into the parks that evening because of the type of tickets we held, but we were too tired to stay very late (and MK was open late for Magic Evening that first night). It made us get a later start the next morning, sadly.


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Time to Drive, but nothing else.

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you're only giving yourself 2 days for this trip, then you just don't have time to really worry about any extra stops or things to see. You're looking at needing to cover almost 650 miles each day, which is more than we generally recommend. You might be able to do it safely, but it is very much a speed run, and it simply doesn't leave any time to make any stops at the many great things you could see.

    The best you could do is take two different routes - perhaps going via Memphis and Birmingham one direction, and along I-10, heading up to Dallas the other. But all you will be doing is looking at slightly different views as you drive by them at 70 mph. If you actually want to think about making this a fun roadtrip, rather than 4 long hard days driving, you really need to give yourself more time.

  5. Default

    HAHA! I had to laugh because my husband just wants to get there. He'd drive straight through if he could. Thanks so much for the advice about taking longer than 2 days. I'd love to go to Savannah and then down to Orlando on the Atlantic coast. Looks like there are several Civil War fort/museums on the way. By my estimation that adds at least 2 hours of drive time. If I can slow the man down, is it worth the 2 hours to go that route?
    Thanks! Nancy

  6. Default

    thank you so much Donna! My husband wants to "maximize the time and money" with little regard for the journey and our fatigue :) Appreciated your input.
    Nancy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default more than 2 hours

    Distance wise, yes, it would require about 2 extra hours on the road to get to Savannah.

    However, keep in mind, you're already at a point where you are close to needing 3 full days to make this drive if you want to stop and see things along the way on a direct route. If you actually want to see some of Savannah and other things in that area, then you would really need to think about spending 4 days on the road just getting to Orlando. It's a great city to explore, don't get me wrong, but you need time to do it.

    Of course, there will be a ton of potential Civil War sites to consider even if you don't go all the way to Savannah. Shiloh, Tupelo, and Vicksburg, along with Andersonville Prison would all be pretty close to routes you could take to Orlando.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default On your way there....

    If you are considering driving the Gulf Coast, may I suggest that you do it heading east, rather than west. Having driven it both ways, I find that being on the side of the beach was a much more pleasant drive. Bonus was that there were actually spots to pull into to stop and admire the view, take a photo or just absorb the atmosphere.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    A couple of summers ago, we stopped at Vicksburg for a short look-see. We were there longer than we expected, and still had another 150 miles to drive when we were done. I think we used 3 hours there and could have used another few. How long you spend at Vicksburg, of course, will depend on how keenly interested you are in Civil War history/sites.


    Donna

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