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Old 07-19-2012, 06:41 PM   #1546
NJRRK
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The vehicle carriers are not air conditioned. But, they are ventilated, so it's not like the cars are in a solid metal box. Plus most of the trip is at night when it is naturally a bit cooler.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:15 PM   #1547
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We have traveled w DS since he was 14 months old. We have slept in coach with him and in sleepers (roomettes/deluxe bdrm). Last yr at age 4 we slept in coach- I put the footrest up and he slept on the rootrest and the seat of the chair. He didn't really move much during the night- maybe woke up once. In the roomette last year I had him sleep by my feet and I slept on the other end of the bed.

We do bring food down with us in the van (cereal/snacks/drinks) - never had anything spoil. We do bring a tote full of snacks and drinks incase we get a late dinner seating or a delay during travel. Nothing will happen to type of food/sunscreen you said you were bringing. we do buy some food down there but if I have it already I just pack it. Less to buy and more WDW time.

We also bring a pillow and blanket for our travels. Bring headsets along - they are required in coach after 9pm. Bring any meds you need with you and a few extra incase of delay.

Remember that there could be delays so don't panic if the train is late. We actually had our return train home cancelled due to a tropical storm in '08. we stayed at disney till the next train could get us home (5 days). On that note - please give Amtrak your cellphone numbers with the reservation so they can call you if there is a problem. -- they actually do!

Your car will come off the train with the AC on. I find it is usally fairly cool when we get in at the station -- we go every August.

Your not able to walk the train btwn sleeper and coach. Staff will stop you.

We are returning on Aug 14 and soo very excited to be back on the Autotrain.

Wishing everyone a great trip!

I'd be happy to answer any ?'s
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1987-Hilton Marketplace, 1989 CBR
1997-Holiday Inn Sun Spree
2000-CSR, 2002 All Star Sports
2005, 2006, Old Key West, 2007 OKW as DVC mbrs
2008 -OKW- thanks TS faye for extending our stay!!
2009- AKV 8/5-8/13, 2010- OKW 8/11-8/20
2011- AKV 8/2-8/12 2012-SSR 8/15-8/23
2013-POR-R 7/27-8/4 and AKV-Kidani 8/4-8/9
2014 AKV-Kidani 7/28-8/8
My Disney loving kids- Matt-24, Jordan 15, Sam 13, Belle 10 & William 6

Isabel "Quick mom stop the car, Get on that bus!!"
Mom " Why do we need to get on that bus?"
Isabel "Because it is going to Disney World"
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:35 PM   #1548
Lucky'sMom
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A few ?'s before our Friday trip from Sanford please!

We drove to Orlando, and are taking the Autotrain home this Friday. I am getting nervous that I really don't know what to expect exactly, what I should do/bring, etc. I would SO appreciate any advice...

What time should we arrive? I am reading here that some people check-in early, like 11:30am, but don't drop off the vehicle until later, say 2pm? Do I just park in a lot there, they won't make me give them our vehicle if we drive in? Then we can drive back out and go shopping, eat lunch, etc. Are places to do these easy to find from the Sanford station?

What do I want to ask for when I check in? I know I want the earlier dining time (is that 5?) and I guess to not sit near the bathroom stairs? We have 7 coach seats. Any other tips?

I should bring a small, soft-sided cooler, pillows, do we really need blankets (is it cold on board?) we only have beach towels that we could use for that.

Any other tips and advice, things I need to know, would be very much appreciated. I have read this thread before but am getting worried as our trip is just a day away now... Thanks a bunch!!!
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2012-July, RPR and Reunion resort pool home; May,Marriott's Grande Vista; 2011 -Jan: CSR and free dining! May: CBR (just DH and I!) ; 2009 - Wyndham Bonnet Creek Presidential Suite!; 2008 - Wyndham Bonnet Creek and RPR; 2007 - POR, Wonder Cruise, BWV; 2006 - Springhill Suites, UO and PBH, Nick Hotel; 2005 - Ft. Wilderness Cabins; 2003 - Poly, OKW, AsMo; 2002 - UO and RPR; 2001 - Sheraton Vistana Villages; 2000 - Holiday Inn Family Suites, ASMu; 1996 - Swan; 1995 - Swan, ASSp, ASMu; 1994 - POFQ;1990 - College Spring Break, off-site; Many trips as a child
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:23 PM   #1549
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We usually check out at 11 am and head for the Autotrain. We check in around noon -- We park infront of the booth where you get your vehicle number and DH walks into the station to check us in and get our dinner selection. The road that comes off I-4 is Rt46. There are many restuarants along that road. last year we took a right coming out of N Persimmon Ave on to RT 46. If you continue straight on RT 46 you will see signs for Historic Sanford. Follow the road. you will come across a nice park- (Fort Mullon Park). --pool/playgrounds right along side the water. We ended up getting food and going back to enjoy the sites and let the kids run some steams out. If you mapquest the autotrain station you can see the park-- it is maybe a 10-15 min drive if that. The shops in historic Sanford looked really cute too.

If you check in really early you should be able to ask for seats in the middle of the car away from the stairs and the ends of the cars (doors opening and closing during the night is annoying and loud).

PIllows are great to have and your beach towels should work. last year when we traveled coach we didn't need our blankets- I found it fairly comfortable even near the end of the car where the sliding door is. The towels can be used to hang off the top to create a curtain to make you seats a little more private. I have seen people hang blankets that way.

If you have DVd players you will need headphones for playing them after 9 pm.

I hope you have a wonderful trip home! We will be heading to WDW in 20 days!! it is our 9th AT trip!
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Diane
1987-Hilton Marketplace, 1989 CBR
1997-Holiday Inn Sun Spree
2000-CSR, 2002 All Star Sports
2005, 2006, Old Key West, 2007 OKW as DVC mbrs
2008 -OKW- thanks TS faye for extending our stay!!
2009- AKV 8/5-8/13, 2010- OKW 8/11-8/20
2011- AKV 8/2-8/12 2012-SSR 8/15-8/23
2013-POR-R 7/27-8/4 and AKV-Kidani 8/4-8/9
2014 AKV-Kidani 7/28-8/8
My Disney loving kids- Matt-24, Jordan 15, Sam 13, Belle 10 & William 6

Isabel "Quick mom stop the car, Get on that bus!!"
Mom " Why do we need to get on that bus?"
Isabel "Because it is going to Disney World"
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:21 AM   #1550
Lucky'sMom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mykidslovesdisney View Post
We usually check out at 11 am and head for the Autotrain. We check in around noon -- We park infront of the booth where you get your vehicle number and DH walks into the station to check us in and get our dinner selection. The road that comes off I-4 is Rt46. There are many restuarants along that road. last year we took a right coming out of N Persimmon Ave on to RT 46. If you continue straight on RT 46 you will see signs for Historic Sanford. Follow the road. you will come across a nice park- (Fort Mullon Park). --pool/playgrounds right along side the water. We ended up getting food and going back to enjoy the sites and let the kids run some steams out. If you mapquest the autotrain station you can see the park-- it is maybe a 10-15 min drive if that. The shops in historic Sanford looked really cute too.

If you check in really early you should be able to ask for seats in the middle of the car away from the stairs and the ends of the cars (doors opening and closing during the night is annoying and loud).

PIllows are great to have and your beach towels should work. last year when we traveled coach we didn't need our blankets- I found it fairly comfortable even near the end of the car where the sliding door is. The towels can be used to hang off the top to create a curtain to make you seats a little more private. I have seen people hang blankets that way.

If you have DVd players you will need headphones for playing them after 9 pm.

I hope you have a wonderful trip home! We will be heading to WDW in 20 days!! it is our 9th AT trip!

Thank you so much! I'll come back here after we return and give a little report on our experience...
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2012-July, RPR and Reunion resort pool home; May,Marriott's Grande Vista; 2011 -Jan: CSR and free dining! May: CBR (just DH and I!) ; 2009 - Wyndham Bonnet Creek Presidential Suite!; 2008 - Wyndham Bonnet Creek and RPR; 2007 - POR, Wonder Cruise, BWV; 2006 - Springhill Suites, UO and PBH, Nick Hotel; 2005 - Ft. Wilderness Cabins; 2003 - Poly, OKW, AsMo; 2002 - UO and RPR; 2001 - Sheraton Vistana Villages; 2000 - Holiday Inn Family Suites, ASMu; 1996 - Swan; 1995 - Swan, ASSp, ASMu; 1994 - POFQ;1990 - College Spring Break, off-site; Many trips as a child
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:00 PM   #1551
mariamaria
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Hello all! Taking the AT for the first time August 8th, and I need some recommendations:

Top or bottom level?
Front, middle, or back of train?
Which does everyone prefer and why? (I'm also in a regular coach seat.

Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:15 PM   #1552
mykidslovesdisney
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We prefer the top level. Had lower level sleepers one trip and the bathroom doors banged all night bc they were not completely shut after being used. IT was quite annoying.

We prefer the middle of the train car but not near the staircase. We had the end before but again when people travel btwn cars the doors do make quite alot of noise. Also if it is raining-- the rain is louder.

On the southbound trip - coach is closest to the engine. The cars are arranged -- families, no kids, etc. Don't think you can pick which car you want to travel in. On the northbound trip the sleepers are closest to the engine. They tend to blow the whistle a whole lot during the trip!! We had the first sleeper car from the engine and half way thru the night i wanted to go pull the whistle button away from the engineer!!



We are heading back in 13 days for the 8th annual AT/WDW trip!
__________________
Diane
1987-Hilton Marketplace, 1989 CBR
1997-Holiday Inn Sun Spree
2000-CSR, 2002 All Star Sports
2005, 2006, Old Key West, 2007 OKW as DVC mbrs
2008 -OKW- thanks TS faye for extending our stay!!
2009- AKV 8/5-8/13, 2010- OKW 8/11-8/20
2011- AKV 8/2-8/12 2012-SSR 8/15-8/23
2013-POR-R 7/27-8/4 and AKV-Kidani 8/4-8/9
2014 AKV-Kidani 7/28-8/8
My Disney loving kids- Matt-24, Jordan 15, Sam 13, Belle 10 & William 6

Isabel "Quick mom stop the car, Get on that bus!!"
Mom " Why do we need to get on that bus?"
Isabel "Because it is going to Disney World"
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:03 AM   #1553
vacationer1954
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The top level makes a big difference with regard to noise from the chassis as well.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:21 AM   #1554
loveysbydesign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacationer1954 View Post
The top level makes a big difference with regard to noise from the chassis as well.
hmmmmm, I picked the lower level when we booked as I thought i had read it is less noisy as people aren't walking through the train. I may need to change to upper
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Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:54 AM   #1555
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I like the lower level. It was very quiet down there and so nice without people walking back and forth all night! I slept much better on the lower level than I ever did on three trips upstairs in coach.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:30 AM   #1556
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I should have clarified; we typically travel in sleepers, not coach.

However, the one time we did sleep in the coach, I didn't feel that people walking through was a big issue for us, at least not in what must have been the "adults car" from what people were saying earlier.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:55 AM   #1557
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I just booked my husband and 22 year old son on the auto train. They need to transport a car to my other son in Florida. (I will be flying down the day they leave and checking into the AKL so that when they arrive the next morning, they can get into the hotel without having to wait to 3/4 pm check in time.)

I booked them a sleeper that sleeps two, can anyone give me any hints as to where there room should be situated for the least traffic noise.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:35 AM   #1558
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Originally Posted by loveysbydesign View Post
hmmmmm, I picked the lower level when we booked as I thought i had read it is less noisy as people aren't walking through the train. I may need to change to upper
You get less train noise on the upper level, but since the hall that connects the cars is on the upper level you may get more people noise.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #1559
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Our Autotrain experience

Just returned from a one-way northbound trip on 7/27-7/28. It was our first autotrain adventure. For us, it was okay, but I probably wouldn't do it again. The train staff was friendly, and our dinner was good. We arrived to check-in around noon, and then went to lunch. We ate at the I-hop on Rt.45, I think. Got some snacks at a Walgreens and then arrived at the station around 2. I think the worst part of the whole trip was the time between boarding around 2:30 and dinner. The family behind us was obnoxious! They took up rows and rows of seat right from the time of boarding, and yelled to speak to each other. They let their kids just run amuck throughout our car, and the whole family, esp the kids, would keep opening and closing harshly the trays connected to our seats. I was about to lose it! They literally shouted at each other, and never stopped talking...never! I was worried about night-time, but they did go to sleep. But alas, the morning was a repeat of the day before with them shouting and clashing around.

I love to fly. And our drive south was flawless, we actually ended up driving straight through, leaving the Pittsburgh area at 6am and arriving in Orlando before 11pm. So....for us, those 2 options are better.

Also, I felt the dinner situation was awkward, with them sitting a single, older lady with my family of 7 for both dinner and breakfast. She talked their ears off!

I was shocked by the lack of security for our bags and people. I could have walked on with an arsenal and no one would have noticed. The check-in agent only asked for my id, no one elses and there aren't any security checks for bags.

I can appreciate what those who enjoy the autotrain like about it. It is nice to pack up your vehicle as much as you want, and certainly avoiding a long part of the drive could be a benefit for many. I'm glad we tried it.
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2012-July, RPR and Reunion resort pool home; May,Marriott's Grande Vista; 2011 -Jan: CSR and free dining! May: CBR (just DH and I!) ; 2009 - Wyndham Bonnet Creek Presidential Suite!; 2008 - Wyndham Bonnet Creek and RPR; 2007 - POR, Wonder Cruise, BWV; 2006 - Springhill Suites, UO and PBH, Nick Hotel; 2005 - Ft. Wilderness Cabins; 2003 - Poly, OKW, AsMo; 2002 - UO and RPR; 2001 - Sheraton Vistana Villages; 2000 - Holiday Inn Family Suites, ASMu; 1996 - Swan; 1995 - Swan, ASSp, ASMu; 1994 - POFQ;1990 - College Spring Break, off-site; Many trips as a child
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:56 PM   #1560
loveysbydesign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labdogs42 View Post
I like the lower level. It was very quiet down there and so nice without people walking back and forth all night! I slept much better on the lower level than I ever did on three trips upstairs in coach.
whew...that makes me feel better
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May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!
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