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Old 08-03-2012, 07:03 AM   #1576
mikat
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yes that is correct. When you arrive in Lorton-- drive around the check in booth into the parking lot across from the unloading area. you can park there and then go check in. Last year for both trips on the AT -- they encouraged us to do so BUT make sure you are back in time. The traffic on 95N can back up. BTW Potomac mill Mall has a disney outlet. That is our 1st stop after checking in. The only drawback is that finding seats in the waiting area may be hard but by 2-230pm they already start boarding.

If you have sleepers and get a late dinner- talk with your sleeping attendant and she/he can get your meals to your room. We have done this a few times when we got the late dinner. our first trip we showed up at 9pm with the kids in tow and the dining staff was mad that we made the kids wait for dinner. They said to make sure we advised them that we had little kids with us.

Are you on the 13th or 14th train?? We are on the 14th train.

Enjoy ur trip!
Thanks so much, this is very helpful! I'm not too worried about the waiting area being crowded - I figure we'll be sitting for the next 15 hours anyways. But I definitely want (need!) the early dinner seating, so I will definitely be there to check in early.

And yes, we are on the 14th train! Are you in a sleeper or coach? We're in a bedroom on the way down, but we'll be in coach on the way back. We should try to figure out a way to say hi!

We live in Northern VA, so I'm headed the Potomac Mills Disney outlet today!
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:38 AM   #1577
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We are on the train Aug 14th. This thread has been so helpful

Traveling with kids- worried about getting the 9:00 dinner- really dont want to wait that late but we probably wont check-in until about 1:00.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:15 AM   #1578
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Yeah!! for the 14th train travelers!!!

MIKAT -- at the moment we have coach but we usually get upgraded to sleepers at the station at the very last moment. DH is employeed by Amtrak so it is a nice perk. Only down side is we are literally the last to board -- they are usually calling -- all aboard by the time we do get our assignments. The other downside is we are suppose to get the 9 pm dining too. We are also suppose to dine in the Coach dining car. If we are in sleepers with a late dining time the sleeper attendant will bring us the food. Nice to be served on china in our room.

How was potomac Mills mall Disney outlet?? Somehow we missed that store on our June trip and found it on our August trip but towards the end of our shopping time. This year it is my first stop when we get there. Maybe we will run into each other there!!

Yes we should find a way that all us dis'ers can meet at the station. Do you have any DC?? My DC were asking.

JENNIFER S-- when you check in make sure they know you are traveling with young children. Sometimes they are fairly accomodating. IF you are sleepers you can always have your meal bought to the room. On that first trip w a 9pm dining-- my kids were falling asleep before dessert. Some trips do not have the 9pm seating -- depends on how full the train is. though the last few years the train has been sold out. I would pack a bag of healthy filling snacks if you do have the later seating.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:21 AM   #1579
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We are in Coach- liked that kids were $25. They are 12 and 15 so not young- will def pack snacks and try and eat a big lunch

Really excited about trying the train for the 1st time. I just hope we can get some sleep.

We are doing Disney 15-18 then going to Cocoa beach for a week abd going back to Disney for some day trips. My son and DH are also going to the Star Wars Convention.

Headed home on the train the 25th.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:29 AM   #1580
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That is awesome!! A big lunch and snacks should hold them over. late diner with litte ones isn't soo much fun. What a great rate for the train! We bring a pillow and blanket. some take a blanket and hang it up to block out those passing by. My dc sleep well since we leave at 2am and they rarely go back to sleep. Pure exhaustion knocks them out. you can always do the 7pm movie before dinner to kill time too.

Where are you staying at WDW? We are at SSR from the 15-23th. The beach sounds soo nice. My boys would love Star wars celebration. We were there a few years ago when they did the big party at DHS before they took Star tours down.

Hope we can also meet up at the station too.
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2000-CSR, 2002 All Star Sports
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2008 -OKW- thanks TS faye for extending our stay!!
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My Disney loving kids- Matt-24, Jordan 15, Sam 13, Belle 11 & William 7

Belle said "Quick mom stop the car, Get on that bus!!"
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:56 AM   #1581
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Since we have a car we are staying off site this time - The Royal Caribe. I liked their pool and they have 2 room suites. Got an awesome deal at lastminute travel.com

These boards are so great for info when planning a trip. The Star wars celebration is the 23- 26. So you will just miss it.

We are also celebrating my DS bday while we are there - it's a jam packed trip and I cant wait!

How old are your boys?

Have a great time!
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:12 AM   #1582
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ok....getting scared here.

I was planning on working for a 1/2 day and then driving down to Lorton around 10:30 next year when we take the AT. When I spoke to the customer service rep, she said as long as I was there by 3pm, there would be no problems and we would be able to board and such. She didn't mention anything about dinner possibly being delayed because I check in so late.

Will our dinner get pushed to the 9pm slot? If that's the case, I may just stop at Wawa and grab subs for dinner. No big deal for us; we can eat at our seats.

Also, what about traffic on 95 down to Lorton? I thought being that it was the middle of the day, it wouldn't be backed up.

What do you experienced AT travelers think? Should I just bite the bullet and take the whole day off work? My family is not so good at the "sit around and wait to board" game. Plus, I was trying to save as many days as I possibly could.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:21 AM   #1583
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ok....getting scared here.

I was planning on working for a 1/2 day and then driving down to Lorton around 10:30 next year when we take the AT. When I spoke to the customer service rep, she said as long as I was there by 3pm, there would be no problems and we would be able to board and such. She didn't mention anything about dinner possibly being delayed because I check in so late.

Will our dinner get pushed to the 9pm slot? If that's the case, I may just stop at Wawa and grab subs for dinner. No big deal for us; we can eat at our seats.
It depends, the later you get there the more likely you will get 9:00 PM it all depends on how many people check in before you and how full the train is. Some have posted there were only two seatings for dinner.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:28 AM   #1584
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Originally Posted by FigmentChick View Post
ok....getting scared here.

I was planning on working for a 1/2 day and then driving down to Lorton around 10:30 next year when we take the AT. When I spoke to the customer service rep, she said as long as I was there by 3pm, there would be no problems and we would be able to board and such. She didn't mention anything about dinner possibly being delayed because I check in so late.

Will our dinner get pushed to the 9pm slot? If that's the case, I may just stop at Wawa and grab subs for dinner. No big deal for us; we can eat at our seats.

Also, what about traffic on 95 down to Lorton? I thought being that it was the middle of the day, it wouldn't be backed up.

What do you experienced AT travelers think? Should I just bite the bullet and take the whole day off work? My family is not so good at the "sit around and wait to board" game. Plus, I was trying to save as many days as I possibly could.

Thanks for your help!
The traffic on I-95 around D.C. can be a real nightmare any time of the day if they have construction going on - weekdays or weekends. You could easily add an hour+ to your trip if you hit it. I'm coming from about 2-2 1/2 hours north of you and we are going to leave around 7:00am. I would definitely try to leave an hour earlier than you have planned. Just my two cents.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:30 AM   #1585
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It depends, the later you get there the more likely you will get 9:00 PM it all depends on how many people check in before you and how full the train is. Some have posted there were only two seatings for dinner.
Thank you very much for your response. I'm not overly worried if we get a late seating. We are already planning on having our soft-sided cooler with us filled with juice and snacks for the train ride; those can, at the very least, tide the kiddies over.

Now, has anyone checked in between 2:30 and 3pm? Or do you all get there early? I have OCD and plan, plan, plan to a fault. lol So, any information I can gather about checking in and what to expect that late in the afternoon is much appreciated. I'm driving from South Jersey and expecting to be there around 1:30, but, in case of traffic, saying 2:30 (plus, I'll probably get there just a *tad* early.....I have a lead foot).
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:36 AM   #1586
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My family will be on the autotrain on Sunday!! Does anyone know how much tolls will be from NJ to Lorton. I can't seem to find this info anywhere. I trying to be prepared and have exact change. Also we are a family of 6 so does that mean that 2 of us will be seated with 2 other riders at dinner?
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:38 AM   #1587
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My family will be on the autotrain on Sunday!! Does anyone know how much tolls will be from NJ to Lorton. I can't seem to find this info anywhere. I trying to be prepared and have exact change. Also we are a family of 6 so does that mean that 2 of us will be seated with 2 other riders at dinner?
Probably yes. Each table seats four and they fill every available seat.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #1588
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The traffic on I-95 around D.C. can be a real nightmare any time of the day if they have construction going on - weekdays or weekends. You could easily add an hour+ to your trip if you hit it. I'm coming from about 2-2 1/2 hours north of you and we are going to leave around 7:00am. I would definitely try to leave an hour earlier than you have planned. Just my two cents.
This is very much appreciated! Thank you!

I've driven to DC before and I think it was on a Friday morning, but it was two years ago and I know how often traffic patterns change due to contruction, etc. And I know all the 95s around Baltimore are all torn up.....and don't plan to be fixed anytime soon. UGH

I will actually only be on a major Interstate once I get below Washington, DC. I come in different than most people. Outside of Baltimore, we turn on to 295 and I will take that all the way down to 495. From the look of things, I'll only be on 495 for 20 miles and, for the most part, I avoid all the Interstates that seem to cause the traffic headaches.

Hopefully, this holds out for next year.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:51 AM   #1589
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My family will be on the autotrain on Sunday!! Does anyone know how much tolls will be from NJ to Lorton. I can't seem to find this info anywhere. I trying to be prepared and have exact change. Also we are a family of 6 so does that mean that 2 of us will be seated with 2 other riders at dinner?
A lot will depend if you are going to take the NJTP south or 295. The toll for the Delaware Memorial Bridge is $4. Then there is the DE-MD state line toll of $4. There is a toll for the Susquehanna Bridge, but I think that's only going Northbound; it is a $5 toll. Next depends on how you are getting around Baltimore. I take the tunnel and that is $3.

I believe that is all the tolls for the trip. BTW - these are all regular rates, if you have an EZPass it's a little less.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:57 AM   #1590
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Thanks for the super quick responses. I love the disboards everyone is so helpful.
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