I’ve been spending most of my time tinkering with our TP and optimizing to figure out what FPP’s to modify, that I haven’t put much time into thinking about the drive yet. This will be our first Disney trip so I was going by advice our friends gave us, to stay at the holiday inn express by the airport in Charlotte. Maybe going a little more south would be better. I’ll have to look into Rock Hill. I plan on leaving around 4am the first day and expect to be going through Charlotte around 6/7 pm, which won’t be ideal, since it will be on a Friday night.
Maybe find a place to stay just a little north of Charlotte? Then you won’t have to battle that traffic on a Friday night or even worry about what time you get in. Saturday morning traffic won’t be a problem so it wouldn’t matter that you were on the north side instead of the south.
When making hotel reservations do not pay ahead and do not book a room that you can not cancel after 4 or 6 PM. There have been many times that traffic jams, road work, or accidents have stopped us for hours.
Our family will also be driving down in June from New York, upstate NY near the finger lakes. We are planning a 2 day trip down, leaving on a Saturday and arriving at Disney on Monday. We have planned for an over night stay in NC on Saturday, visit with the wife step-mother, then leave for St. Augustine on Sunday for a day at the beach. Get up and head for Disney on Monday. Almost the same stops coming home at the end of our week at Disney. We have planned other adventures on our trip home as well.
Ya as I was writing that, I was thinking stopping north of Charlotte might be a smarter idea. I wanted to try and get as much driving in our first day, but would rather not sit in a couple hours of traffic, especially at the end of our first day. Anyone know how far north I should be looking? If it were Toronto I’d be looking at something 45 minutes (no traffic) away from downtown.
My brother who lives in Charlotte says to stop in either Winston-Salem or Mooresville. Winston is a fairly big city with many options for hotels and restaurants. My sister lives there. I’m not sure about Mooresville.
I am traveling down 77 through North Carolina and will be staying in Pineville, NC. For me it will be about a 12 hour drive. That will leave me about 6 hour drive to our next stop in St. Augustine, FL. We will spend the day there and head to Disney on Monday.
Ironically I stayed in Rock Hill last Friday night on my way back from a baseball trip to Cocoa Beach, FL. I stayed at the Holiday Inn which seemed relatively new and was ideal for what I was looking for - there’s also a Hampton & some form of Marriott option there which all seemed relatively new and were priced at around the same price point - just over $100. It is South of Charlotte which is likely ideal if heading to Disney. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again if the need arose…
I myself tend to go with a Best Western. We are staying at the one in Pineville, just south of Charlotte. Other hotels were way high on price because of Carowinds down the road.
I’ll add to @joefishing209’s warning here: we like to stay in Hampton Inns on drive down - free breakfast usually good and works for our kids, who have allergies. (Waffles!)
Last trip I noticed that not all of the Hamptons have the after 6PM cancellation policy anymore, a fair number of them require 24 hour notice, (which IMHO is crazy talk for a hotels that get most of their business from Interstate traffic.)
Luckily I read the small print on my reservation for our usual Hampton right after I booked. I cancelled it immediately when I realized it had changed.
So, I avoid those particular Hamptons now, since you never know, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed they don’t all start changing to that more aggressive policy.
Winston-Salem is not a stop on I77 if that is their path south. It would be a detour.
Statesville or Mooresville are 45-30 minutes north of Charlotte. There is massive traffic and construction about 20 miles north of Charlotte for the foreseeable future.
I’d say stop somewhere north and get up early to beat the morning traffic the next day. Getting stuck in rush hour to get through Charlotte at the end of a long day of travel sounds like torture.
Thanks guys. Great tips. I’ll definitely be looking at Statesville or Mooresville. Do the construction crews work on weekends? They usually don’t where I live. Day 2 will be on a Saturday for us.
Whether or not the crews are working, the construction zones are notorious for slow downs, wrecks, etc. Depending on time of year, you also have to deal with slow downs looking at watercraft on the lake just south of Mooresville.
That’s why I’d get up and get going early, even on a Saturday. On a weekday, you’d want to get through Charlotte before 7… weekend you’ll have more leeway.
I went through that area Saturday morning (day before Easter) and do not recall any actual construction workers present, but lots and lots of delays due to the construction. Traffic did not seem ridiculously heavy or anything, but it was very slow at the choke points where lanes were lost, etc…
Can’t speak for your drive, but typically, I’ve seen construction crews are out MORE on weekends/evenings than during the day because they want to work when it impacts traffic the least. Totally depends on the area and type of project, however. If it is major construction effort that spans months/years, then that isn’t the case. Short term construction projects are more likely to be done on “off hours” when possible.
Of course, here in Michigan, we are in a perpetual state of short term construction projects. The roads are crumbling faster than they can rebuild them!
Good to know, thanks. Sounds like Michigan is the same as Niagara. 2 seasons…winter and construction.