I recently published a post with tips on driving to Disney World with kids, so I decided to continue with this topic! We prefer to drive to The World and have attempted to commute both overnight and during the day. There are definitely pros and cons to doing each!
Pros to Driving Overnight
I think having kids prepares you well for lack of sleep and functioning at all hours in the night! Therefore, for us, it isn’t too much of a challenge to stay awake and drive safely. What is very nice about driving overnight is that you avoid traffic and do not have to pay for a hotel to stop at (if you are able and decide to make the trip in one stretch). If your child sleeps well in the car, chances are they will sleep well overnight, so you do not need to worry much about entertainment! Finally, costs are lower since you likely will not be consuming full meals while driving overnight (I do, however, recommend keeping plenty of snacks on hand!).
Cons to Driving Overnight
You will definitely be tired! Our original plan was to split the drive into two large shifts between my husband and I, however, we quickly learned it was safest to do brief (2-3 hour) shifts. We did not anticipate the degree of eye strain that occurs during nighttime driving. Since we were switching drivers more often, the movement did wake up our son. As a result, he did not sleep as well as we had hoped, making it difficult for all of us to recover the next day. Another con is that you may not be able to find a pit stop. Therefore, I recommend you carry TravelJohns in the car in case nature calls!
Pros to Driving During the Day
Since there is no nighttime eye strain, one person can drive for longer periods of time while the other can serve as copilot and entertain the kiddos! There is no recovery day since you will not be awake all night driving. Everyone will get a good night’s rest in a comfortable bed and be happier! Additionally, if you divide up your commute over multiple days, it will allow you to explore a new location. This adds more magic to your vacation!
Pro tip: If driving during the day, weekends tend to be better because you should hit less traffic!
Cons to Driving During the Day
Since your child will likely not be asleep during the daytime commute, you will need entertainment on hand to avoid any meltdowns! This will need some advanced planning, but see my previous post for keeping your kid happy in the car. The cost will be higher if you drive during the day as you will need full meals and a hotel (if you decide to divide up your commute).
Those are my pros and cons for driving to Disney World during the day and overnight. Share your thoughts in the comments below!