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  1. #1

    Default Driving from Grande Prairie, AB. to disneyland

    We were thinking about driving to disneyland instead of flying as flights seem so expensive. We are a family of 6 the kids ages right now are 10,8,6 and 20 months.
    The route we will be taking is through Edmonton, Calgary, then into Montana, Idaho and then all the way to las vegas and then anaheim california , there is some between idaho and las vegas but of hand not sure what they are .
    I checked out map quest and it says 30 hours and 19 minutes how accurate would this be?
    I checked out gas prices and figured gas out already but what about the hotels which ones are good and cheap for a family of 6 and where is the best places to stay?
    We will probably drive straight through and then look at stuff on the way back so what should we see?
    Any other info would be great help

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

    Default Thinking Days, not hours

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Mapquest's estimates are usually on the low side, but its kind of irrelevant since you need to be thinking in terms of days and not hours. Realistically, you need to plan to drive 4 days each way for this trip, and thats if you are limiting your stops to some pretty basic stopping to see things that are right along your route. There are a ton of fabulous national parks along this route that could take up weeks in their own right, but if you are going to stop to check them out, you'll need to add time to your trip.

    As far as motels go, you might want to check into policies for 6 people. Many places have a "kids sleep free" option, and you'll probably be fine, but some places don't like it when more than 4 people are in a standard room. Check out this thread for ideas and thoughts about various motel chains, and be sure to check out the traveling with kids area of our planning section.

  3. #3


    Thank you for the welcome and info , we are thinking about driving about 10 hours a day and look at nothing on the way down and a couple things on the way back we are planning on making it to Calgary at least, we were hoping to just spend 3 and a half days driving there . I will check out the links
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-31-2008 at 06:47 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Mix It Up a Bit

    Actually, it's slightly shorter to come south on I-5. To do this, you'd cut west over the Rockies on AB-16 from Hinton through Jasper National Park (nothing wrong with that!) and then south on BC-5, west on BC-1 and south on WA-9 to join I-5 around Burlington, WA. That saves you a few miles, but it's still going to be a long 4 day drive, doing 500 miles a day, with maybe an hour or two to spare each day to see some sights along the way.

    That would also leave the I-15 route for the drive home, allowing you to 'discover' Mojave National Preserve, Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the Great Salt Lake. Now, not that there's anything wrong with eastern Idaho, but if you are really going to take your time on the homeward leg, consider using US-89 from Salt Lake City up through Wyoming into Montana.

    As for motels, the lower cost chains include Red Roof Inn, Super 8, Motel 6, Econo Lodge, Microtel, and Travelodge. Each of their websites will tell you where their locations are along your way. I would think that for at least a few nights, you'd want to get two rooms rather than just one. No matter how kid friendly the motels are, your children will eventually get tired of sleeping three to a bed.


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

    Default getting there vs getting there in one piece

    Buck's idea of using I-5 is a really good one. I suspect it would take a little bit longer, even though its about 100 miles shorter, but it is close enough that I certainly would take one route down and the other route back.

    You might be able to cover the miles in 3.5 days, but I really wouldn't recommend it. Even at 4 full days, you'll just barely have enough time to get out of the car and move enough for your kids to have a decent time. If you try to go any shorter, you're only going to be able to focus on covering as many miles as you can, and that kind of trip plus kids usually doesn't make for a very good time.

    You haven't said what time you do have for this trip, but I really would recommend taking a couple extra days both ways, so you can stop and see things, and so the start or end of the trip isn't just about driving.

  6. #6


    Thanks everyone for you thoughts and ideas
    I would love to go the vancouver way but all those steep mountains lol
    We would have a max of 2 weeks and i want 5 of those days for disneyland maybe 5 and a half.
    We would probably be leaving early morning
    My question is with flights it costs anywhere from 2000 to more realistically 3500 for the six of us , do you think driving including gas, hotel, and food( we will be bringing snacks and probably only one sit down restaurant ) do you think this is doable ? This does not include the 5 to 5 and a half days in disneyland that will be seperate

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default time vs money

    I'd say $2000 would be a pretty good ballpark for how much your drive would cost you. $1000 for gas, $700 for rooms, and $300 for food seem like pretty good but rough estimates.

    If you spend 5 days in Disney, that would give you 4 days to drive one way and 5 to drive back. Its not going to give you a ton of time to get off the road, but you should at least be able to get in a couple of good stops going back. However, if it was me, I'd cut down the time at Disney to 4 days and spend at least 5 days going each direction, so it could really be a roadtrip and not just a trip being locked in a car for 4 days to get somewhere and another 4/5 days just driving to get back.

    If you don't want to stop at things along the way, and spending the most time at Disney is your number 1 goal, then I'd just start looking for cheap flights. It might cost a little more, but if you aren't going to enjoy your time on the road, its probably worth it to spend more money and spend all of your time doing what you think you will enjoy most. As opposed to "working" for 8-9 days of your vacation just to save a few loonies.

  8. #8


    Thanks i would love to be able to make it more enjoyable , i was talking to hubby and we were thinking of driving to Edmonton on Friday night so that gives us an extra 5 hours .
    I wouldn't do Disneyland in less then 5 days as 1 day is in sandiego. And we have never been there .
    If i could find flights for cheap it might be better to fly but then i like the fact that you can actually see stuff driving lol and i don't know if the kids would ever experience it again.
    Do you know how much mountainess area there is going the way we want? I know there is mountains but they look like they are up and no steep hills going down like Vancouver but i could be very wrong.
    If anybody knows please let me know
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-01-2008 at 12:44 AM.

  9. Default Jasper and South...

    If you're interested, I did roughly this route last year (see link for road trip report). The mountain roads are really not bad, if you cut through Jasper to Tete Jaune Cache, and then come south to Kamloops, and take the toll road to the Vancouver area. I'd say the roads that way are a lot less winding and "mountain roads" than taking the TransCan to Lake Louise/ Banff,

    I'd say it's doable in less than 4 days -- but they'd be long days. It would be a longish day from GP to Kamloops (9-10 hours?), but doable. Kamloops to Vancouver is about a half a day of driving (4 hours or so). You can make it from Vancouver to Anaheim/ Orange County in 2 longish days (staying the night in the Yreka to Redding area). We did it last year in 5 days, including Mt Lassen, Crater Lake, and taking the TransCanada to Lake Louise and up to Jasper. (The OC to Sacramento, Sacramento to Mt Shasta via Mt Lassen, Mt Shasta to Bellingham WA area via Crater Lake, Bellingham to Rogers Pass via Kamloops, Rogers Pass to Jasper). Coming back we came via Tete Jaune Cache to the Kamloops area, which was a very pleasant road. And the toll road from Kamloops to near Vancouver is a great road -- superhighway the whole way.

  10. #10

    Default Sequoai National Forest ?

    I was wondering how far the Sequoai National Forrest was from Anaheim . We are trying to trave from Grande prairie alberta and we are going through Las vegas to get to disneyland , my son mentioned that he wants to go see these huge trees , so i am wondering how to get there and how long it takes to get there ? We don't want to spend hours there though and also where is the tree that you can drive through ?
    Thanks for any info

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