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  1. Default Seattle -> Anaheim

    Hello folks.

    Planning a trip, starting mid september from seattle to anaheim to check out disneyland and drive back to reality a few days later. this will be a straight-shot, no sight seeing (shucks :(), none of that good stuff. so it's at least a good 15 hour drive. since i haven't seen 99.9 percent of the road between seattle and there, i wonder how easy of a drive it is? i assume I-5 is pretty well taken care of, but then again i dont really know. any advice or thoughts you guys have would be appreciated..

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

    Default straight shot

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I-5 is a very easy, heavily used highway. You really shouldn't have any trouble with it.

    Just one bit of warning, the trip will almost certainly take 20+ hours when you factor in just quick stops for fuel and the like. If you hit traffic, which is a virtual lock as you drive through the LA area, and still possible in other areas like Sacramento and Portland, your trip will take even more time.

  3. Default Figure 2 days each way...

    Hi uscgps

    I did the i-5 both ways from north of Seattle to near Disneyland this summer. I-5 is a very good road, and moves really well -- except the the usual areas you can get traffic as you go through major cities like Seattle, Portland, and LA. And of course construction: for example, they are working on the main bridge over Lake Shasta north of Redding, which is down to 1 lane in either direction, and can be stopped if they're moving equipment or material across the road. Most of the time you'll be traveling at 60+ mph.

    You can do the trip in 2 longish days each way -- the half way point is somewhere between Redding and Yreka in California, and there are a number of hotels or campgrounds in this area, with the largest number of hotels in Redding.

    There are a number of places along the way you can stop, even if you just have a few minutes to an hour to get out of the car and look at something. These include a number of historical and interesting sites through Oregon (Oregon trail, Applegate trail, Rogue River, Oregon's Capital in Salem, etc.), and through California (Mt Shasta Caverns, Turtle Bay in Redding, Old Sacramento, Sacramento Rail Musuem, Olives in Corning, Sutter's Fort in Sacramento, California's Capital in Sacramento, Kern County Oilfield Musuem in Taft, Tule Elk Refuge, Fort Tejon coming into LA, etc.) including wildlife refuges, naturual sites, and etc.

    If I had to pick one spot to be careful about on the trip, it's the traffic through LA. If you're arriving in the evening, you may be coming into the city right at rush hour. I-5 goes straight through the heart of LA and doesn't have carpool lanes, and if you're getting into LA right at rush hour taking the I-5 through the heart of the city is going to be very frustrating. Depending upon when you arrive, and specifically where you are heading you might consider avoiding the heart of the metropolitan area and skirting around it on the 405 Freeway (which has carpool lanes most of the way, but is very commuter clogged at rush hour), or the 210 to the 605 or 210 to 57 north- eastern loops (both with carpool lanes most of the way, and not quite as busy at rush hour).

    If you're interested, my roadtrip report is at link, and while its not 100% what you're doing, I did drive I-5 both ways.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Medford & Buttonwillow

    Great stops to break this trip up!

    We live out on the WA coast and we're only about 30 miles closer to Disneyland than Seattle is. When the kids were little, we did this trip as a mad dash several times. Drawing on the experience of friends who had been doing the trip for years, we would do it like this: We would be ready to leave the second my husband got home from work at about 5:10pm. I would feed the kids before we left and then make him up a couple sandwiches. We would then drive with only quick stretch/bio breaks to Medford, OR. (About 400 miles and usually around 6.5 hours. Of course, I don't have Seattle traffic to contend with so you'll have to adjust for that.)

    Roseburg to Anaheim is about 700 miles. Figure about 12 hours with short stretch/fuel/bio/food breaks. Now, I tend to be one who gets up at the crack of dawn and will hit the road no later than 6am. However, this will get you into LA during rush hour. So, we would sleep in a bit and plan on hitting the road at about 8-9am. This would get us into Anaheim about 8-9pm. At the time, this would get us into LA when traffic was winding down making it easier to get to our destination. (Of course, this was a few years back so rush hour may be different.)

    Even when the kids were little, this would give us enough time to get enough sleep to get up at the crack of dawn to be in Main Street an hour before the park opened. (You do know that you can go into Main Street one hour prior right? And then stand at the rope in the area closest to one of the more popular rides and run like heck to it once they drop the rope. This will get you one ride on a popular ride like Space Mountain, maybe even two, before the crowds really start rolling in. My son just got back from there and this trick still works.)

    For the return trip, we would check out of the hotel in the morning, enjoy our last day in the park and then drive the 2-2.5 hours to Buttonwillow for the night. This would get out us out LA traffic at night when it's not a problem. Buttonwillow is just short of 1000 miles to home. Figure about 15-15.5 hours. We would typically drive this a straight shot, again with short breaks as needed. If we were out the door by 6am, with the kids still sleeping in their carseats, we would get home at about 9pm giving us a decent enough night's sleep for work the next day.

    Anyway, that's how we did it. It may or may not work for you.

    ETA: I don't know if you have kids or not. If you do, I typically advocate for slower travel with kids so that they can work the wiggles out. However, my kids understood that for us to have more time in Disneyland, that we would have to do a speed run like this. And they usually cooperated pretty good so it worked out.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 09-11-2007 at 08:50 AM. Reason: more info

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