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Mount Vernon timed entry tickets

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I would like to buy my family's tickets for Mount Vernon online, to try and save time before we leave for the trip. Alas, you have to buy tickets listing the exact time you will enter the line for the tour of the mansion. The times are listed in five minute intervals. Five minutes!!

We'll be traveling up from Williamsburg, which google tells me is just over a three hour drive. Now, I expect to have traffic, although we will be leaving in the middle of the week, so hopefully not *too* much traffic. But I've got two kids, ages 7 and 9, and there's just no way to predict our arrival at Mount Vernon within a five minute window.

Does anyone know how stringent these times are? If I bought tickets for 1pm, for instance, and we arrived at 12, would we have to wait an hour? Or if we missed the 1pm, slot, are we out of luck, or will they let us in?

If I play it by ear and buy the tickets upon arrival and not in advance for the whole entrance, I can't buy my specific National Treasure tour tickets - and that's a must-see event for our family, as the boys LOVE those films. (not to mention the risk of added wait times, something else I'm trying to minimize with the kids).

Any help is appreciated!

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