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View Full Version : Train from Toronto, Buffalo or New York City to Orlando


disneymath
11-05-2009, 10:05 PM
Has anyone taken the train from Toronto (or Buffalo or New York City) to Orlando? If so, how was it? Did you have kids with you?

I know there is an Amtrak train from TO to NYC and another traing from NYC to Orlando - and you can also go BUF to NYC to ORL - so in that, sense I know it is possible to take the train.

We're thinking of going back this summer and are looking for an alternative to flying - way to expensive from where we live! We could drive to TO or BUF and fly, but want to consider all of our options. We would be five adults, a 3 year old and twin one year olds. (We've driven before but aren't up for that anymore - our drivers aren't up for such a long haul behind the wheel.)

WebmasterCricket
11-06-2009, 08:29 AM
BUF to MCO On Southwest nonstop in May is approx $1223 (all seats purchased including infants).

Same deal but an overnight required both directions and possible luggage issues with Amtrak out of Buffalo is almost $1600.

Fly my friend, fly like the wind.

DC7800
11-06-2009, 09:31 AM
You may do better taking the train out of Buffalo (early a.m.), chsanging trains in New York to number 97, the southbound Silver Meteor. The Maple Leaf, the train from Toronto to New York, would otherwsie be fine except it doesn't arrive New York Penn Station until after the Meteor, last train of the day to Florida, has already departed. No overnight stay is required to take Amtrak to Orlando from Buffalo.

DC7800
11-06-2009, 09:37 AM
possible luggage issues with Amtrak

If I may ask, what do you mean "possible luggage issues"? Some of the Buffalo to New York trains do not offer checked baggage service, but it is available in Buffalo, New York Penn, and Orlando or Kissimmee.

jlewisinsyr
11-06-2009, 10:36 AM
Sorry, the amount of time difference between flying and taking a train results in pretty much not a chance I would consider taking a train that distance. Sorry, my time is worth more then even a $1,000 difference in price.

WebmasterCricket
11-06-2009, 11:09 AM
If I may ask, what do you mean "possible luggage issues"? Some of the Buffalo to New York trains do not offer checked baggage service, but it is available in Buffalo, New York Penn, and Orlando or Kissimmee.

When I plugged the destinations, it forced me to go through NYC (did I miss something?). Which station offers a route to Orlando without an NYC leg and when? That is also why I mentioned the overnight since it's required. The "luggage issues" stemmed from that. If there is a transfer that could also complicate things too more than a nonstop flight would.

Either way, everything else excluded, the flight is still somewhat cheaper isn't it? That's even with the infants buying seats. That's not the way everyone would go but the option to exclude that cost comes into play.

Is there a parking fee at a train depot similar to the airport? (BUF is in the $50 range/week LT "A")

WebmasterCricket
11-06-2009, 11:12 AM
Just checked it again...
Important Baggage Policy Note: Checked baggage service is not available for at least one portion of your trip. For this portion, the policy regarding carry-on baggage applies. Click here for more information.

Checked both Buffalo stations and get the same warning from both and they both require an overnight. Am I missing something obvious?

DISNEYNY
11-06-2009, 12:26 PM
You can usually find really good fares frm BUF to MCO...take a non stop and you are there in 2 hr 45 min. You can leave your vehicle in the lots across from the airport for about $7.00 a day and then take Magical Express to WDW when you arrive in Orlando. The train sounds like a hassle. :goodvibes

WebmasterCricket
11-06-2009, 01:42 PM
You can usually find really good fares frm BUF to MCO...take a non stop and you are there in 2 hr 45 min. You can leave your vehicle in the lots across from the airport for about $7.00 a day and then take Magical Express to WDW when you arrive in Orlando. The train sounds like a hassle. :goodvibes

Which parking do you use? I like the "pre-heat" deal in the winter but in the warmer months, with the airport coupon, it's about a breakeven @ a week isn't it?

http://www.buffaloairport.com/pdfs/BNIA_Parking_Coupon.pdf

princessap
11-06-2009, 02:14 PM
I understand you trying to save money...we are in the same position for APril, everyone keeps saying we can get it for 200 out of buffalo and I cannot find anything cheaper than 550 out of buffalo, even the day they were released from southwest...let me know what you find out!

DISNEYNY
11-06-2009, 02:29 PM
Which parking do you use? I like the "pre-heat" deal in the winter but in the warmer months, with the airport coupon, it's about a breakeven @ a week isn't it?

http://www.buffaloairport.com/pdfs/BNIA_Parking_Coupon.pdf

We parked at Fastrack (used to be Sunpark) last time. I think it was $7.50 per day with the coupon. We have always gone in August so we didn't need the pre-heat. :goodvibes

DISNEYNY
11-06-2009, 02:31 PM
I understand you trying to save money...we are in the same position for APril, everyone keeps saying we can get it for 200 out of buffalo and I cannot find anything cheaper than 550 out of buffalo, even the day they were released from southwest...let me know what you find out!

Are you going over Easter? Yes, I'm sure those fares will be higher. My friend is going over Christmas and is paying about 500 RT.

chartle
11-06-2009, 02:54 PM
Sorry, the amount of time difference between flying and taking a train results in pretty much not a chance I would consider taking a train that distance. Sorry, my time is worth more then even a $1,000 difference in price.

A line from the sitcom Big Band Theory.

"Traveling by train means you pay twice as much to take 5 times longer to get there." :lmao:

The only time the train can be "cheaper" is if you travel in coach on the Autotrain. With the Autotrain you at least have your own car and don't have to rent one there. :thumbsup2

I think the only cheap option would be Greyhound. :scared1:

ETA: Maybe not, on a lark I checked Greyhound about $366 round trip and it takes 1 day 20 hours going down and 1 day 11 hours coming back.

krissyh
11-06-2009, 05:46 PM
I understand you trying to save money...we are in the same position for APril, everyone keeps saying we can get it for 200 out of buffalo and I cannot find anything cheaper than 550 out of buffalo, even the day they were released from southwest...let me know what you find out!

April 4 is Easter and spring break is later in the month = expensive air fare.

If the OP is flexible, they should be able to fly for less than taking the train.

1. Southwest, JetBlue and AirTran all fly direct from BUF to MCO.
2. I would assume driving to BUF rather than taking the train across the border would make for a quicker/easier time through customs.
3. Prices - I booked R/T on Southwest from MLK weekend - direct flights for $145/person.
4. Do you want to be on the train for that long and make transfers with three little ones?

disneymath
11-06-2009, 07:43 PM
Hi everyone ... thanks for your suggestions. I do realize that we could fly cheaper out of Buffalo than taking a train. Cost is one only one part of the equation though. (And sadly but truthfully, driving down and taking the train would still be cheaper for us than flying from home.)

Our reality is that it is a 10-12 hr drive (excluding pitstops and border crossing delays) from home to Buffalo. If we choose not to fly from home, we're looking at an extended pre-post trip no matter what form of mass transit we opt for when we get out of Northern Ontario.

We usually fly, but don't really enjoy it. While the train takes much longer than a plane, it seemed like something that might be fun to do. Like I mentioned in my first post, this is just an option we are considering. (The potential luggage issues are definitely sounding alarm bells - no way can we all mangage with just carryons.)

I was, and still am, hoping someone here has some firsthand - or even secondhand experience that they can share.

ETA Thanks for the greyhound info but even if it weren't pricey and time concuming we would jsut not opt for bus travel. Also, with regard to transfer with infants, I don't see how a train station is really all that different from an airport - one adult per kid and two left over to oversee the luggage etc.

krissyh
11-07-2009, 06:32 AM
All I could add is that DBF's parents don't really like to fly and have taken the train from Niagara Falls (NY side) to NYC to visit his sister.
They haven't had any problems and have found it relaxing, but remember, you'd still have one more day of travel with little ones from there.
I checked a random day in May and found $140 from NF to Orlando with about a two and a half hour "layover" at Penn Station.

Have you considered taking the train from home (wow - you are WAY up north) to Buffalo and then arranging for an airport taxi from the station to the airport (or airport hotel if you get in the day before)? I really don't like to fly, but I figure that flying gives me one more day on each end of my trip.

No decent airfare out of TO or Hamilton to cut the drive/train ride a bit?

Whatever you decide, have a great time.

lisa-upnorth
11-07-2009, 10:55 AM
I have done a trip from upstate NY to orlando 4 times by train.
please see my trip report for some pics and info:thumbsup2
We do not fly and driving is just to much stress for that long trip.Do not worry about the luggage issue.I did but for no reason!I had to travel from Albany NY to NYC to connect and the albany train had no checked bags either.I placed many calls and was a wee bit worried.Then I read the specs of what is carry one.We went to WDW for 2 weeks and had 3 large and 2 small suitcases.All were 'carry on' size by the specs.Also-off the record-no one is at all overly concerned about the sizes.When you board you have to deal with your own luggage and on the car you enter there is a section in the back where there are no seats for a few rows and that is where the suitcases are piled(by you).No one measured or check or asked a thing.I say large suitcases,crates,carseats... all there.
Whatever you do-have fun!

disneymath
11-07-2009, 07:42 PM
I have done a trip from upstate NY to orlando 4 times by train.
please see my trip report for some pics and info:thumbsup2
We do not fly and driving is just to much stress for that long trip.Do not worry about the luggage issue.I did but for no reason!I had to travel from Albany NY to NYC to connect and the albany train had no checked bags either.I placed many calls and was a wee bit worried.Then I read the specs of what is carry one.We went to WDW for 2 weeks and had 3 large and 2 small suitcases.All were 'carry on' size by the specs.Also-off the record-no one is at all overly concerned about the sizes.When you board you have to deal with your own luggage and on the car you enter there is a section in the back where there are no seats for a few rows and that is where the suitcases are piled(by you).No one measured or check or asked a thing.I say large suitcases,crates,carseats... all there.
Whatever you do-have fun!

I knew someone here on the DIS had to have done this! Off to check out your TR. (Thanks for the clarification on the "baggage issue" not really being an issue.)

mdinme
11-07-2009, 11:11 PM
There is no greater hell than a prolonged train ride. Save yourself the torment and fly. I worked for Amtrak for many years, if you don't face a lengthy delay on the rails for one reason or another you'll be blessed

DC7800
11-08-2009, 04:15 PM
Just checked it again...


Checked both Buffalo stations and get the same warning from both and they both require an overnight. Am I missing something obvious?

Nothing obvious, more like something obscure.

There is no reason your checked baggage has to travel on the same train you do, so if the train you are on doesn't offer checked baggage you just need to check the bags for one that does (in this case, the eastboaund Lake Shore Limited). Now, the only problem with this is that the Lake Shore doesn't arrive New York until after the train to Florida has departed, so you would have to send the luggage on its way the day before you actually leave Buffalo for it to reach Orlando the same day you do (and still not necessairily on the same train you arrive on).

That may well not be practical, but as been pointed out, Amtrak carry-on bags sizes (28" and 50 pounds) are fairly generous, and its not like anyone has either a tape measure or a scale to weight the bag anyway. Somebody might well say something if you tried to bring on a 36" bag (the limit for checked baggage, by the way) which felt like it contained a load of lead bricks, but anything fairly close to 28" should be fine.

Finally, no overnight stay is New York (or anywher else) is required between Buffalo and Orlando. The first train of the day eastbound out of Buffalo gets you to New York in time to catch the Silver Meteor south to Florida the same day. Any later train would, indeed, force an overnight layover. Now, coming all the way from northern Ontario, Disney math may well prefer an overnight somewhere along the way. You might need to spend the night in Buffalo to be ready to catch the before 5 a.m. train the next morning, or may opt for a later train (or the Maple Leaf out of Toronto) and overnight in New York to make a more pleasant trip.

It theoritically is possible to make this trip without going via New York, but it would mean driving all the way to Cleveland, Ohio and departing from there, changing trains in Washington.

brianm27
11-08-2009, 07:29 PM
We have RT tickets on Southwest BUF - MCO April 13-21 $62 each way. We just got back from the Halloween party in October and paid Southwest BUF - MCO April 13-21 $62 one way and $97 the other way. I doo look at the fares daily, they change often.

For our longer vacations we usually fly Tues. or Wed. which is usually cheaper.

When you are looking at Southwest fares, have you tried looking at the fare calendar to see what is being offered on different days?

disneymath
11-08-2009, 08:38 PM
Nothing obvious, more like something obscure.

There is no reason your checked baggage has to travel on the same train you do, so if the train you are on doesn't offer checked baggage you just need to check the bags for one that does (in this case, the eastboaund Lake Shore Limited). Now, the only problem with this is that the Lake Shore doesn't arrive New York until after the train to Florida has departed, so you would have to send the luggage on its way the day before you actually leave Buffalo for it to reach Orlando the same day you do (and still not necessairily on the same train you arrive on).

That may well not be practical, but as been pointed out, Amtrak carry-on bags sizes (28" and 50 pounds) are fairly generous, and its not like anyone has either a tape measure or a scale to weight the bag anyway. Somebody might well say something if you tried to bring on a 36" bag (the limit for checked baggage, by the way) which felt like it contained a load of lead bricks, but anything fairly close to 28" should be fine.

Finally, no overnight stay is New York (or anywher else) is required between Buffalo and Orlando. The first train of the day eastbound out of Buffalo gets you to New York in time to catch the Silver Meteor south to Florida the same day. Any later train would, indeed, force an overnight layover. Now, coming all the way from northern Ontario, Disney math may well prefer an overnight somewhere along the way. You might need to spend the night in Buffalo to be ready to catch the before 5 a.m. train the next morning, or may opt for a later train (or the Maple Leaf out of Toronto) and overnight in New York to make a more pleasant trip.

It theoritically is possible to make this trip without going via New York, but it would mean driving all the way to Cleveland, Ohio and departing from there, changing trains in Washington.

Thanks for the baggage advice ... to be honest the sending it the day before option sounds like a hassle. But 28" bags are a decent size to hold summer clothes!

We would definitely overnight in Buffalo since it is a good day's drive to get there from home.