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Old 04-27-2003, 02:42 PM   #1

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Question Has anyone ever taken Amtrak to Orlando...

With airline prices so high my dh and I have been looking at alternative ways to get us (including our 4 year old) to Disney in November. We are in NJ and are thinking about taking the train out of Philly to Orlando. It's about an 18 hour ride. We would be leaving at night so we would sleep for a portion of it. It would be $457 compared to plane tickets around $740. This is not a sleeper car just 3 seats. Has anyone ever taken the train before? According to Amtraks website we can sleep in the seats. I'm just not too sure. I've never been on a train before.

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Old 04-27-2003, 02:55 PM   #2
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Wink transportation board

there is a post about this on the trans board. I don't know how to give you the link- sorry.
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Old 04-27-2003, 03:08 PM   #3
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Here's a link


If I were you, I'd book right away. I checked Amtrak rates in Feb. for our upcoming trip. At that time the price was $250 round trip for my son and I. Of course I didn't book then. Check the price this morning and it's now $510.

Looks like we'll be on the plane. Maybe we'll do Amtrak for our Christmas trip.

There are several other threads on the transportation boards about amtrak.

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Old 04-27-2003, 03:08 PM   #4
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Talking Yes, you can sleep in the seats..not very comfortable.

Bring Pillows and a Blanket! I take the train from Hollywood to Orlando-of course, its only a 4 hour trip, but, I still like it!
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Old 04-27-2003, 09:39 PM   #5
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Amtrak has a good deal if you book by 4-30-03 for travel by 8-28-03

First fare is full price,
Second fare is half price,
Third fare is FREE!

For a limited time, when one person buys a full fare ticket, a second pays half price and a third goes for free. Purchase your tickets by April 30th for travel through August 28, 2003. Use discount code H270 when promted by the reservations system. Certain trains are excluded from this offer, including Acela Express and Metroliner services. Restrictions apply. Please review the terms and conditions below.

Traveling Solo?
You can still benefit by saving 25% off the ticket price when you travel alone. Click here for more details.

Traveling with Kids?
Kids' tickets are 50% off every day.

Terms and Conditions:
25% Off & 1-2-Free Discount not combinable or valid with other discounts (except below). 25% Off valid for the best available regular (full) adult rail fare or senior, disabled, Student Advantage & Veterans Advantage discounted rail fare and up to 2 accompanying kids (aged 2-15) can travel at ½ off discounted fare. 1-2-FREE Discount valid where 1st qualifying rail fare is regular (full) fare, Veterans Advantage, senior or disabled or Student Advantage discounted rail fare, 2nd rail fare is 50% off of the regular (full) adult rail fare & 3rd rail fare is free (no kid discount). Offers valid for purchase 3/16/03 - 4/30/03 and travel 3/19/03 - 8/28/03. Blackouts dates: 4/17/03 - 4/21/03, 5/23/03 - 5/27/03, 7/03/03 -7/07/03, plus per fare plan purchased. 3-day advance reservations required prior to travel. Tickets are non-refundable once purchased. Not valid for travel on Acela Express, Metroliner, Downeaster trains, Canadian portions of joint Amtrak/Via Rail service to Ontario, Canada, 7000-8999 Thruways and departures in the Northeast Corridor on Fridays & Sundays 11am-11pm, inclusive, & at other times when required to purchase peak or unrestricted fares. Offers subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply. Please refer to Discount Code H305 for the twenty-five (25) percent off rail fare offer and Discount Code H270 for the 1-2-FREE Discount Offer.
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Old 04-27-2003, 11:37 PM   #6
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I have taken Amtrak from Boston to Orlando - with 73 kids about 10 years ago! I was a chaperone for a high school band.

The seats are actually pretty comfortable for sleeping. I would bring a few snacks and bottles of water or juice boxes. Some times it can be a long walk to the dining car.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 04-28-2003, 09:03 AM   #7
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Is there a car rental company close by? I'm considering taking the train too, but I will need a car once I get there.

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Old 04-28-2003, 09:29 AM   #8
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Amtrak offers Hertz rentals at the Orlando train station. But they weren't giving a very good deal, so I have arranged for Enterprise to pick us up. I have never done this before, so I don't know how it will work. Anyone ever use Enterprise?

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Old 04-28-2003, 09:56 AM   #9
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We have the autotrain booked for our Dec trip.....We originally were leaving out of 30th street station for $615 but then I looked into the auto train and for $1123 all 6 of us and our Van could travel to Orlando. We will be there for 2 weeks and the extra money for the car was well spent. Flying would have cost us a minimum of $1200 plus transportation to the hotel...and we are DVC so we have a kitchen and I was planning on renting a car twice for 1 day to go grocery shopping...So, total cost would have been about $1600.....

We are doing coach...so it will be an adventure.....

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Old 04-28-2003, 10:55 AM   #10
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We already have train tickets for our Feb trip from Boston to Orlando. We bought early without any discounts because if you want to get a sleeper which we wanted you want to be the first one buying because everytime someone buys a sleeper the price goes up. Our price with only the AAA discount for 2 adults and 2 kids round trip with a deluxe sleeper for the NYC - Orlando leg was $970 but we are traveling during a peak time.

I have been doing a ton a research for this train trip because this will be my family's first train trip. (I took a train from Moscow to Leningrad when I was staying in the Soviet Union in 1987, but that doesn't count. :D )

From what I understand sleeping in the seats work well for adults, but not so well for some children. You need to judge what your child needs to be able to fall asleep.

Here are some of my favorate train web sites where I have done my research and read trip reports and stuff.


There are others just poke around and see what you can find.

Tips I found about sleeping in coach.
Amtrak doesn't supply pillows or blankets to people in coach...so you should bring a warm thin blanket...Amtrak sells them on most trains in case you forget. If you need a pillow to sleep look to find a inflatable one before you go or just pring a pillowcase and fill it with your sweater or other piece of clothing instead.
Coach seats to recline.
You might want to bring music with headsets to fall asleep to to drown out the train noises when you want to sleep if you are a light sleeper.

Tips I have found about traveling with Children.
If the adults become cranky and frustrated with the time that train travel will take so will the kids so look at train travel as an adventure.

Bring small games and coloring books and stuff for you child and bring extra for friends they make on the train.

Bring a small cooler of your child'd favorate snacks because sometime the snack bar runs out of stuff and if your child is a picky eater you want to have on hand what your child will it just in case.

For the most part that is all I can think of right now to share if you have any direct question I might have the answer or I might be able to poke around and find the answer. (I am begining to become obsested with train travel like I am with Disney. :D This weekend we taped out the size of the deluxe sleeper on our living room floor and taped out the size up the bunks. All four of us played in our pretend train room all rainy day. :D

Oh yes Hertz has a deal with Amtrak they will pick you up and take you to their downtown car rental agent when it is open or to one at MCO when the downtown one is closed. I found that with my AAA discount and AAA coupons Hertz is as cheap or cheaper then any other car rental place and they let you drop off their cars right at the train station...their is a little box inside the train station where you leave the car key. So to me not to have to leave WDW before I really need to I most likely will be going with Hertz.

Sorry how long this turned...I guess I had more info then I thought.
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Old 04-28-2003, 02:03 PM   #11
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Although we've never taken the train to Orlando, we have taken the train twice to Washington DC - 26 hours each way! The first time we went, it was about a year after my husband and I were married, and we went with all of my family! We brought donuts for breakfast, and a small ice chest with soft drinks. We also had other snacks too! We slept in the "recliner" seats - and it really wasn't too bad. I'd also suggest brining a pillow and blanket. We did eat in the dining car - food was OK; much rather snacks though! My DH and I, and my sister and two brothers stayed in the car that just had some tables set up (for people to read or eat or whatever) til about 2:00 AM playing UNO. We had the best time!

Our second train trip was with my three daughters - the youngest being 2 yrs old! Again, we slept on the "recliner" chairs, and we did fine. Bring toys and color books, headphones, etc. We brought some food on the train, as well as the small ice chest for milk and soft drinks. We had the seats that faced each other, and my 2 yr old just slept right between DH and I. She did pretty good on the train - although she did get a little antsy every now and then. Although we did enjoy our trip - the kids loved looking out the window at the different towns, I would much prefer a little shorter trip (26 hours is a long time to entertain a 2 yr old!)!!
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Old 04-28-2003, 02:26 PM   #12
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Amtrak runs different equipment in different parts of the country, so I don't know if this would apply...we've taken the train from Philly to Chicago a few times...and will never again unless they get around to putting high speed daylight service in.

If you can sleep in a lazy boy all night, then you'll probably be ok. If you need to be horizontal or sleep mostly on your stomach, the coach seats will probably be a miserable experience.

As I mentioned in another thread, we thought about doing the autotrain...unfortunately the northern terminal is in virginia...so no avoiding washington...*sigh*

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Old 04-29-2003, 05:28 PM   #13
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We took Amtrak from Joliet, IL to San Antonio. Yuck. If your 4 yo is a light sleeper, forget it. As Joe said, unless you can sleep in a lazy boy all night, again, yuck. I DID look at it as an adventure. And it was! We survived, but not at all rested. If I were going to the beach where I was doing nothing but strolling through the waves, maybe. But to WDW? Rough way to start a strenuous trip. Having said that, I think everyone should experience train travel at least once. It can be exciting! Just my humble opinion. :D
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Old 04-29-2003, 09:10 PM   #14
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love amtrak

We live in Philly and DH and I take Amtrak every year to WDW.
I stopped flying in 1996 after several bad experiences and you couldn't pay me to get on an airplane.

Don't count on an 18 hour trip. On a good day the train ride is 20 hours, have had it been up to 24 hours though.
If there is heavy rain the train has to lower its speed in certain areas. Sometimes CFX which owns the tracks forces Amtrak to a side line while they go though.

But we still love the train. The first time we ever took it to WDW we had coach seats and did not like it. If you are medium to small built and can sleep anywhere you will be fine. The seats would not be real comfortable if a person was tall or heavyset.

But the main reason we didn't like the coach cars was because the bathrooms are VERY DIRTY (and this is always)

We only get the deluxe sleeper now (you have a private bathroom) and we like the privacy of our own room. The sleepers are not as cost effective as coach. The deluxe can run as high as $1400.00 round trip for two. All meals in the dining car are included in your trip with a sleeper and you have the use of the VIP lounge in Philly.

Even though it's much more expensive than coach it's part of my vacation experience and I love it.

Take your own pillow and absolutely take a blanket. The coach cars are always very cold.

Have a great time. Any other questions about Amtrak feel free to email me.

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Old 04-30-2003, 12:44 AM   #15
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I researched prices once for sleepers and if I did it correctly the first person was expensive but the others were same price as coach seats. I think you also get meals free with cabins.

My son has traveled from Dallas to Illinois several times. The last time the train was 20 hours late. The problem started when the train arrived in Dallas about 6 hours late (10 pm). It had a derailment about 30 miles prior to Dallas (Fort Worth). Then a hour after he left another train derailed in front of his train resulting to the train not leaving Texas until after 6 am.

More delays came about. My son said that the passengers were getting cranky when the train ran out of liquir.

He got a free ticket out of the deal that his brother used but it will be awhile before he travels by train again.

For uis to go to Orlando we would have to take a train to Housten wait 6 hours and then to Orlando , a 2 or 3 day trip. Not me

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