PDA

View Full Version : Who out there has taken the train to Orlando?


luvndizny
12-27-2010, 03:17 PM
...because we are thinking about doing just that.

Recommendations/experiences with companies who provide transportation to the port from there? What did you do- 1) Stay at a portside hotel? 2) Stay in Orlando, then head out to port next day? Any tips on the train itself? Our kids have never been on a train and this will be an over-nighter (taking about 11 1/2 hours to get there).

Thanks!

kcashner
12-27-2010, 03:24 PM
I've never taken the train...but I have done transportation companies and overnight stays both in the MCO area and in the Cape Canaveral area.

Any of the limo/towncar companies will pick you up and transport you to a port area hotel. Some of the port area hotels have free shuttle service to get to the terminal the next day. Towncar services include Happy Limo, FL limo, and many others. Hotels with shuttle service include the Radisson, Renaissance Inn, and Country Inn and Suites.

Your other option would be to rent a car when you get off the train and drop it off in the port area. That way you can stay either in the Orlando area or in the Cape Canaveral area and it will probably be cheaper than a limo service. I've done one way car rentals from MCO and WDW--totally easy.

Interestingly, I got an e-mail today from my friend Wendy who had just done Amtrack. She was raving about how it was much easier/nicer than flying. She raved about a recliner seat, breakfast with a table cloth, etc.

luvndizny
12-27-2010, 03:43 PM
Thanks! I didn't know they'd shuttle you from those hotels to the port.:) I have a co-worker who is going to use the train, but they have friends meeting them down there who are going to pick them up. Still trying to decide if we stay port-side or in Orlando for that night...hmmm...

ducky_love
12-27-2010, 03:56 PM
We took the train from here to Jacksonville once to visit my parents. We thought it would be nice to not have to drive. I don't think that I would do it again for the below reasons. The seats were very nice and it was a pretty view - but overall not for me.

Issue #1 was that the train stations are not in very good locations. The "Orlando" station was nearly downtown and in a pretty rough looking area. (a good 40 minute drive to Disney) The station was shabby and dirty. I was glad I wasn't there by myself.

Issue #2 were the other passengers on the train. We had a guy that had to be dumped off at a stop with his bags because he wouldn't leave the kids alone on the train. Overall folks were nice.. but there were some odd ducks...

Issue #3 is that there is no security screening to get on the train. I know there isn't in every day life.. but I am not in a confined space with strangers normally.

I know that I could easily be flamed on this one for being too prissy. But if you wouldn't stay in a 2 star hotel I don't think you'd be happy riding the train.

Hope this helps!! :flower3:

BethC1952
12-27-2010, 05:25 PM
I took the train from Newark, NJ to Orlando with my friend two years ago. We had a wonderful time! Our trip was about 22 hours. We had dinner the night we boarded, and breakfast the next morning in the dining car.

We used Tiffany Town Car to pick us up at Kissimee Station (rather than going to Orlando, fewer people getting off so much less hassle, very nice neighborhood). We stayed at the Radisson at The Port, which was very pleasant.

We've never had any bad experiences with other passengers while on board, even when traveling with my son and his family.

Beth

ClubDis
12-27-2010, 06:01 PM
Never taken the train to Orlando, but we have taken it almost everywhere else. My recomendation, get a sleeper car. Don't try to save money by traveling coach. If you can't afford a sleeper, go sign up for Amtrak Guest Rewards, then once you're signed in apply for the AGR Mastercard. If you get it you get a bunch of bonus points, plus you get 1 pt for every $1 you spend (much better than the Disney Visa Rewards). If you can't, for whatever reason, get a sleeper, then I'd say fly. Overnight in coach is miserable. Plus, all meals are included with your sleeper fare.

dursin
12-27-2010, 06:34 PM
The ONLY train I would take is the Auto-Train between Lorton, VA and Sanford, FL. If you do that, you'll have your car with you and won't need to worry about transportation. They are also non-stop trains and tend not to break down as often as some of the other trains.

luvndizny
12-27-2010, 11:01 PM
Hmm...all very good things to ponder. We had considered doing the auto train but I researched it and it's about a 7 hour or so drive north of us...but thanks for mentioning it though!

BethC1952..thanks for the Kissimee station info! I didn't know there was one. :-) It is only $6 each more to go to that one.

ducky-love- I am shocked they don't screen!!:scared1: Good thing about being on a train though would be that IF there was a whacko- much more PC to kick someone off that than a plane. Much less PR mumbo-jumbo they'd have to explain...LOL! Seriously though, thanks for the info...definitely something to think about. I don't think being safety-conscious is being too prissy, BTW. ;) You make some very good points.

ClubDis
12-27-2010, 11:41 PM
Hmm...all very good things to ponder. We had considered doing the auto train but I researched it and it's about a 7 hour or so drive north of us...but thanks for mentioning it though!

BethC1952..thanks for the Kissimee station info! I didn't know there was one. :-) It is only $6 each more to go to that one.

ducky-love- I am shocked they don't screen!!:scared1: Good thing about being on a train though would be that IF there was a whacko- much more PC to kick someone off that than a plane. Much less PR mumbo-jumbo they'd have to explain...LOL! Seriously though, thanks for the info...definitely something to think about. I don't think being safety-conscious is being too prissy, BTW. ;) You make some very good points.

And Amtrak WILL throw someone off the train and hand them over to local authorities if they cause trouble. And it's usually in the middle of nowhere and not at a station. And usually the problem passengers are in coach, which is another reason to travel in sleepers. Unless you walk the train, sleeper pax are separated from the coach pax by the dinning car. Coach pax are not allowed in the sleeper areas.

ducky_love
12-28-2010, 08:30 AM
And Amtrak WILL throw someone off the train and hand them over to local authorities if they cause trouble. And it's usually in the middle of nowhere and not at a station.

Yeah- our guy got ONE warning then booted off at a station that had a parking lot and not much else. He was yelling something and the conductor very nicely explained he could get off there or he could be pulled off by police at the next stop. They don't play! :eek:

For the record I mentioned this to my DH last night and he had a totally different memory. He said he'd do it again in a heartbeat!

lbgraves
12-28-2010, 08:43 AM
We took the train from Rocky Mount to Kissimmee back in 2005. I will never do it again. We were 7 hours late arriving for one thing. Amtrak just uses the rails but the freight trains have the right of way so Amtrak will have to pull off of the main line & wait for the freights to pass by at times, which was the reason for our delay. We had packed a cooler with drinks, sandwiches, snacks for the kids & breakfast but with the extra time ran out. They ran out of food on the train and had to do a restock that wasn't planned before we got to Florida. Electricity went down [in June] and you had to have cash to buy anything. The driver we had knew our travel info & was at the station to pick us up when we arrived even though we were so late thank goodness!!! We were just going to WDW that trip thankfully so it didn't make us miss the ship but be sure to consider that when booking it. We didn't book a sleeper so that may have made a difference in our experience. The kids were able to stretch out and sleep but I was woken up every time we stopped at a station or along the way to pull over for a freight train. Also, we were in the front of the car so it didn't affect us quite as much but if you are seated in the back near the bathroom it really stinks after being on the train that long.

We now drive whenever we are going to FL for DCL or WDW. It is worth it to us for the peace of mind.

dursin
12-28-2010, 09:23 AM
Hmm...all very good things to ponder. We had considered doing the auto train but I researched it and it's about a 7 hour or so
If you haven't been to DC, might be worth it to spend a day up there. We went for the first time back in 2004 and had a great time there. Otherwise, you're right...7 hours in the wrong direction probably isn't a good idea. :)

edisneydreaming
12-28-2010, 10:01 AM
My mother takes the train to Orlando with my dd whenever we go (every couple of years). They get a sleeper and have a wonderful time. My mother hates to fly and my dd enjoys the time with her. I would plan to get in the night before a cruise was starting but I would do that if I was flying as well. I can ask her if you have any specific questions.