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View Full Version : Thanksgiving DL trip: Sacramento to Anaheim drive question...



NorCalDisney
09-11-2005, 07:55 PM
We went to DL last year for Thanksgiving and are considering driving down again this year from Sactown... the traffic was horrendous all the way down the 5 and into LA both on Weds. night and coming back Sunday, so we're considering shifting the days: driving down on Thanksgiving (around 11a?) and coming back on Monday instead.

I assume Monday will be better coming back up the 5 (regular LA day traffic) but how would driving down on Thanksgiving day itself be? Will it be much better than doing the night before? Anybody try this?

Thanks!

mkraemer
09-11-2005, 08:58 PM
We went to DL last year for Thanksgiving and are considering driving down again this year from Sactown... the traffic was horrendous all the way down the 5 and into LA both on Weds. night and coming back Sunday, so we're considering shifting the days: driving down on Thanksgiving (around 11a?) and coming back on Monday instead.

I assume Monday will be better coming back up the 5 (regular LA day traffic) but how would driving down on Thanksgiving day itself be? Will it be much better than doing the night before? Anybody try this?

Thanks!

I drive--usually at speeds not posted on signs--from the Bay Area to my Happiest Place (so it's not *that* far off from where you'll get started considering the 85 miles I drive to get on to the 5).

Wednesday/Sunday of Thanksgiving holiday? Oh my, you must be masochistic! That would be the *worst* choice and horrible traffic, yes indeedy. And then, to get to a park jammed packed with people.

No, no, that doesn't sound like fun anywhichway you look at it.

I would think that if you left on Thanksgiving itself, even earlier than 11, you'd be doing OK because most people aren't probably going to do the long-distance drive on the holiday itself. *I* would recommend getting started very early, though, to maximize time at the park. If you leave at 11, you'll get there in the evening. It's likely that you won't have many truckers on the road that day, either, which *always* helps the pace.

My favorite time to leave is about 4 am--it's early enough that the trucks aren't out and there aren't very many people driving then either. Back in April, I made the trip to DL in 5.5 hours--and that's only because I got stuck in traffic in Burbank! :crying:

I would think that returning on Monday would be much better than Sunday...although, really, wouldn't you rather take an extra day and savor the empty park on Monday rather than driving back?

ACDSNY
09-11-2005, 09:34 PM
I haven't drove it on a holiday, but when we do drive we leave Elk Grove around 5:00 AM and are usually there before lunch, even with a stop for a real sit down breakfast.

My2kidsrule
09-12-2005, 09:34 AM
You will still hit traffic on Thanksgiving day if you don't get to the grapevine by noon. We did it three years ago, and it was quite slow all the way from Magic Mountain down.

FatAl
09-12-2005, 09:34 AM
The traffic will always be very very very fast on Highway 5 regardless of time and day except for the section between Stockton and Sacramento due to the presence of more CHP. The problem is not with the slow or fast truckers most of the time. It's the other drivers - like you and I. It's a sight to behold on Labor Day Monday this year. I was just glad that chain collisions did not occur more frequently.

If 'I' don't mind a little tardiness to Fort Tejon from Sacramento, I would stay on the right hand lane, and use the left hand lane to pass the trucks when a big gap is opened after the group of racers pass me by. Of course, I need to watch out for drivers cross over to my lane unexpectedly once I pass the Magic Mountain. Southern California has more than it's share of lane crosser and land weaver.

In my experience, following a truck (of course, at the safe distance) is not such a bad idea on highway 5 (as opposed on the city freeways) because the truckers are much better driver than all of us. Put yourself in a trucker seat and figure out why.

CariBelle
09-12-2005, 11:56 AM
You might be better off taking the 99. Cross over in Stockton and you'll meet up with the 5 south of Bakersfield. You'll have more lanes and fewer traffic jams due to trucks passing.

msgmg68
09-12-2005, 12:41 PM
You might be better off taking the 99. Cross over in Stockton and you'll meet up with the 5 south of Bakersfield. You'll have more lanes and fewer traffic jams due to trucks passing.

We live in Stockton and my husband is meeting me down there the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and my uncle, who has driven to DL at Thanksgiving (Wed. night before) for as long as I can remember, told us that 99 is slower than the 5 due to the speed limit only being 65 as opposed to the 5 being 70 mph. He has found that he makes better time on the 5, of course he leaves about 6pm, so I don't know if that makes a difference or not.

Good luck and have a safe trip!

TruSlack
09-12-2005, 02:13 PM
If you really want to avoid the traffic, try taking some of the 'out of the way' routes, like 33 (between Hwy 1 and I-5), the two-lane that is midway between 99 and 5 (hwy 45?), or if you want around-about way, take 80e -> 395s->14s->5s.

I used to drive between San Diego and Biggs CA (look it up) twice a month for three years. 99, 5, and 1 get booring after a while.

-arg

OCCOBRA
09-12-2005, 04:01 PM
I live in Orange County and avoid the 5 freeway at all costs. I have an aunt that lives in Sacramento and i use the 57 to the 210 and bypass LA all together.

Malcon10t
09-12-2005, 06:06 PM
We live in Stockton and my husband is meeting me down there the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and my uncle, who has driven to DL at Thanksgiving (Wed. night before) for as long as I can remember, told us that 99 is slower than the 5 due to the speed limit only being 65 as opposed to the 5 being 70 mph. He has found that he makes better time on the 5, of course he leaves about 6pm, so I don't know if that makes a difference or not.

Good luck and have a safe trip!Actually, the speed limit on 99 is 70 most of the way also. I prefer 99 myself. Unless I plan a stop at Harris Ranch.

tmshpkns
09-12-2005, 06:09 PM
I was in Sac until last month and now I'm in Arbuckle, an hour North of Sac on 5. My preference is always to leave after work the night before. I've left Sac as late as 7PM - even in LA, there's no traffic at 1AM.


Tom

ralfrick
09-13-2005, 08:41 AM
We drove from DL to the Bay Area on Thanksgiving. Traffic through the valley was smooth, but as someone stated, south of MMttn is no fun.

Cheers.

msgmg68
09-13-2005, 10:56 AM
Actually, the speed limit on 99 is 70 most of the way also. I prefer 99 myself. Unless I plan a stop at Harris Ranch.

That is great news! My hubby and I prefer 99 too, so he'll be happy to hear about this!

Thanks!

Whittibo
09-13-2005, 01:56 PM
We left last year on the Friday after Thanksgiving (we left a day early), but we always take 99. I have never even been on the I5 for long stretches (other then going to Shasta or the Airport!)

The trip last year was WONDERFUL. I did see a horrendous accident that happened about 50 feet ahead of me, the guy directly in front of me, turned around to do something with his kids, veered off the shoulder of the left lane, hit the gravel and started spinning.. came out of the spin and rolled about 6-7 times from the left shoulder to the right shoulder. It was amazing that nobody was killed and nobody else was involved. I slowed down, but since I was in the left lane, it would have caused more problems for me to get over and get off the freeway, so we kept going, and I called the CHP later.

If it would have been busy traffic (normal), there is no way that others wouldn't have been involved. That car rolled right in front of me, and then right in front of a semi truck. Thankfully myself and the semi were watching and knew it wasn't good that he went off onto the shoulder, and we started to slow.

ANYWAY.. that was off topic.. the only thing I have ever experienced that was HORRIBLE is that a friend (guess it wasn't a good friend) told me to go across the high dessert/Mojave on 58, and come down the 15 which led us to 215 I think it was. OH MAN, don't EVER do that. It added about 2 hours onto our trip. It was miserable!

On our way home last year we went South on Harbor and caught the 22, which turns into the 405 and then turns into I5, then take the 99 up. We'll do that same thing in reverse this year. It was MUCH easier then taking the I5 into all that icky traffic in L.A.

Whittibo
09-13-2005, 02:00 PM
I guess to clarify my intended route DOWN which would help you more then my route home last year.. here's what we're going to do..

99 to I5 over the Grapevine. 405 South (it looks like the 405 starts in or near San Fernando) the 405 will split off and if you continue on the same freeway, you'll be on the 22. I don't know if there's an exit off the 22 for Harbor or not, I would assume there is!? And just go North on Harbor for a few miles.. VOILĄ!

meagee
09-13-2005, 02:14 PM
Wow, my family is going to have to try these new routes next time we drive to DL. We live by Stockton and have our choice of taking 5 or 99. Years ago driving 5 late in the evening was a breeze. I remember driving at night and being the only car until a semi would come up behind you and blast by you - and we were probably going 85 or so!

We went to DL a few weeks ago and the traffic in the evening now is almost bumper to bumper! Instead of driving in the right lane and using the left lane to pass, people now just stay in the left lane and you have to pass them on the right - when you can get over and around all the trucks. My age must be showing. "In my day . . ."

NorCalDisney
09-14-2005, 10:20 AM
Wow, thanks everyone for all the great advice. I think we are going to do the trip! We'll use some of the ideas from this thread.

MrsSmith
09-14-2005, 10:47 AM
The 405 freeway is ALWAYS busy. Day and night. It's awful. I'd get on the 210 freeway from interstate 5 and take the 210 to the 57. Get off on Ball road and go right. Takes you right to Disneyland and there is hardly ever any traffic. It probably adds a few extra miles but you avoid so much traffic. It's the way we always go to Disneyland.

NorCalDisney
09-14-2005, 11:04 AM
The 405 freeway is ALWAYS busy. Day and night. It's awful. I'd get on the 210 freeway from interstate 5 and take the 210 to the 57. Get off on Ball road and go right. Takes you right to Disneyland and there is hardly ever any traffic. It probably adds a few extra miles but you avoid so much traffic. It's the way we always go to Disneyland.

I think we're going to do that on the Thursday going down. Sounds like I-5 will be OK, just need to avoid the LA traffic on the other side.

My2kidsrule
09-14-2005, 12:03 PM
Just FYI on the 210, on Thanksgiving Day, you still might catch a slowdown in Pasadena, but don't fret, it's because people don't know how to drive in the tunnel.

CariBelle
09-14-2005, 12:15 PM
That 210 to the 57 suggestion is really good. Last time we made the trip we stopped in Azusa to pick someone up and it seemed to be a much shorter total trip because we missed all the traffic through LA.

TowerofTerror
09-14-2005, 12:18 PM
The 57 way and get off on Ball is the best way. It`s the way I go to park