Disney World is the most magical place on earth for a reason. Located outside Orlando, in the heart of Florida, the different theme parks that comprise Disney World make it a great place to visit for kids and adults alike. If you're taking a vacation car rental, you may as well make it into the trip of a lifetime and see some of the scenic spots along the way.
If you're heading from New England in a 15 passenger van rental or a economy car rental you may be tempted to stop in one or more of the major American cities along the Eastern seaboard. New York you could spend a week or more visiting and seeing the sights, but for a viable road trip to Florida, think about an afternoon instead. Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC and even Charleston are all beautiful American cities rich with history and full of good restaurants for when you need a pit stop or a place to spend the night.
If you prefer the more natural route, wind your way through the ancient Appalachians. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a serpentine trail that winds from Shenandoah National Park in Southern Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This trip is especially gorgeous if you're driving during the fall. Along the way stop at the Biltmore Estate. Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II, it's the largest privately owned residence in the US at over 175,000 square feet!
Historic National Road is another great route to take. Slightly farther north (in Maryland) this old road was once a gateway to the west for intrepid settlers. Today you can see the old toll houses, antique shops and rail stations and learn all about them.
Or you can cruise along US 1. While up north this stretch of highway has its fair share of seedy motels, neon signs, and dirty dives, it is one of the more interesting ways to travel through Florida. There are plenty of boutiques and cafes in the small towns along the coast. And further South, you can head to Miami before or after you reach Disney World. The nightlife, Cuban food and art deco architecture make it one of the great American cities worth visiting.
And once you get to Disney World and have the time of your life, you can choose the route you didn't take for the way back. The Eastern United States has a lot to see, so soak it all up while in your vacation car rental. And if you don't see it all this year, there's always next!