View Full Version : Autotrain or Non-Stop flight?

11-04-2009, 04:05 PM
Looking for input from the travel experts (Bavaria, are you out there?)...

We will be travelling with a 9.5 month old infant from the NYC area to WDW...Will we be better off flying non-stop from NY to MCO, or driving to VA and taking the Autotrain down?

In my mind, a 2.5 hour non-stop flight beats a 5 hour drive to VA followed by an overnight train trip with an infant.

However, DH is concerned that flying with an infant could be a problem:

A) he's worried that she will scream on take off and landing due to ear pressure (although I think we can manage that with Infant Tylenol and a pacifier or bottle).

B) he's concerned about taking care of a baby in the airport in the event of delays - naturally we would be prepared with 24 hours worth of diapers, food and clothes. In addition, I am prepared to book an airport hotel room if necessary. But, he is worried that we'll be stuck with a fussy baby in less than optimal circumstances.

Travel experts...please weigh in here with your opinions and reasoning (so I can explain reasons to DH). Thanks! :goodvibes

P.S. I told DH whether travelling by car, bus, boat, train or plane that delays can happen on any mode of transportation, and you do have to have some patience.

P.P.S. If we fly, DD will have her own paid seat. I'm not into the lap baby thing (no judgments on those who choose to do the lap baby thing...it's just not for us). If we autotrain, we will have a private room. I just think this is a must with a baby, and DH would not handle coach well on a long haul train ride (especially since they group families into the same car - DH would get no sleep).

11-04-2009, 06:17 PM
We've taken our 3 kids since the oldest was 4. Flown every time from the Boston area and it's really not a problem. What works well is to bring the car seat since they are used to riding in one anyway. Have your little bag of tricks and snacks and you will be there before you know it.

I personally would rather drive than take the Autotrain with an infant. The accomodations are very similar to a plane, but you are on it overnight. At least on a non-stop flight you'll be there pretty quick.

Good luck with your decision and have a great time.

PA Princess
11-04-2009, 08:05 PM
we have flow and done the auto train. We have 4 kids and have traveled numerous times with infants. Our youngest was 14 months when we did the auto train.

My vote would be for flying. However, that is in part because you first start with a 5 hour car ride to VA. If you and baby could handle that, flying should be easy!

My experience has been that babies sleep on planes...something about the engines and the white noise just conked my babies out from take off to landing...everyone of them.

Sleeping on the auto train for dh and I was hard - those trains seriously move on the rails. Yes, the auto train overal was a fun experience I am glad we tried, but for speed and ease of travel we prefer to fly.

Also, how would you sleep with an infant in a room? You would have to share narrow bed with her between you and the wall. Again, I would be worry about bumps and falls with an infant, because at night those trains rock and roll. We did coach seats and strapped our youngest into her carseat (dh made a strap for the seat and also wedged it pretty tight). I knew she was safe in the seat, but I would have been really worried in a bed with her.

11-05-2009, 09:05 PM
Thanks for your replies! :thumbsup2

Any one else have suggestions?

11-05-2009, 10:03 PM
I've never done the autotrain, but I looked into it several years ago and it was VERY expensive, much more than JetBlue airfare would be, and by a lot!! I also couldn't imagine making a very long trek with an infant. I'd rather do a quick flight. Just make sure you have plenty of bottles and toys to occupy the baby in case she cries. I never had trouble flying when my kids were babies, and I've seen lots of other babies on flights and never seen any problems.

Tony NY
11-05-2009, 10:10 PM
i would say non stop flight is the best you their in 2Hr 20min as far as the autotarin I never done it I would be cool

11-05-2009, 10:15 PM
NS flight!!:thumbsup2

Been there done that...flight is way to go with little ones....I think that with proper prep and it is not much (basic stuff, pacifier, etc) AND even consider a flight when your little 0ne usually naps.;).................

A quick travel itinerary is always better IMHO, have a great trip neighbor! :wizard:

11-06-2009, 04:59 PM
Thanks all!

11-09-2009, 03:54 PM
I have done the Autotrain with 2 kids many times (including yesterday). We flew with them once. The Autotrain was easier for us since we had our own stroller and car seats in the car and didn't have to worry about lugging them through the airport. Also we found with kids we had a lot more stuff (diapers, bottles, toys etc.) that could stay in the car (only take into the train what you need for the overnight trip). Checking this stuff onto a flight and lugging the stroller/car seat through the airport was a hassle.

The Autotrain bedrooms are great with kids, they can play and you can walk the halls with them. They love looking out the windows watching the world go by also (at least my son did).

I hope this helps, if you have any questions, please let me know.

11-09-2009, 04:51 PM
I have never flown with my kids...they are 10, 8, 6, and 4. I guess I am just chicken..I don't like to fly myself. So we have done the auto train and the regular train.

Personally I loved the auto train. My kids beg me to go back and ride. Yours is a little young to actually enjoy it though.

Benefits of the train: You pack your car at home, take everything you may possibly need. Just take a small carry-on onto the train. You get dinner for free. You are going to sleep on the train. My 9 month old did ok sleeping and we did not even have a sleeping car. We just brought her stroller and she slept in that. When you arrive you wait for them to unload your car and you drive to Disney World.

If you have never done the train thing, it really is quite fun!