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Old 07-03-2010, 04:49 PM   #1
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All Aboard! A Disney and Orlando Unleashed TR!TONS of PICS! Update 1/2 pg 25

Welcome to another installment of the dddisrunner crew's adventures to Disney and what is hidden beyond those magical gates! For those of you not familiar with our family, there are past TR links in my signature for a glimpse into who we are!!! Traveling on this trip were me, Diane, My DH Bryan and our two DS's Matthew (10) and Eric (8). OK, now that we got that out of the way, are you ready? Buckle up because it's a CRAZY ride!!!

We live at the Jersey Shore, Yes, THE Jersey Shore! Our itinerary had us driving our van on Thursday, June 17th to Lorton, Virginia to the Amtrak autotrain station where we would load up our car on the train and then travel by train to Sanford, Florida arriving on the morning of June 18th. Would all go according to plan? Let's find out shall we...........

We awoke bright and early on the morning of the 17th, very excited for our adventure to begin. We live about 4 hours north of the train station in Lorton, VA we had to be checked in at the station no later than 2:30pm so we wanted to leave plenty of time for any mishaps so at 7:30am we departed!

My wonderful DH Bryan took command of the wheel...

Matthew and Eric excited for the journey to finally be underway...

First we had to make that all important coffee stop....I decided to go in and get everyone some breakfast and coffee as Bryan has been known to forget to get my coffee

After our purchase we were on our way baby!

A happy Diane!

Our happy boys excited!

We made GREAT time and started seeing signs for Washington DC! We passed this very majestic looking Mormom temple that Matthew declared as nicer than Cinderella's castle... WHAT...well what do you expect from a BOY!!

At around 11:40 we were pulling into the train station!

Once you enter, you remove all of your baggage that you are taking on the train with you because you won't see your car again until you get to Florida! A woman put a huge magnet on our van identifying it as AV25! Then a quick once over with the video camera to document prior damage and then our van was off to it's resting place...

We went inside the terminal and had to pick a dinner time

We chose 5:00pm! We had reserved 2 roommettes for our journey. Basically they were two first class seats facing one another that folded into bunk beds.

We had some time to kill before boarding so we got snacks and went exploring....

Some pics of the cars being loaded....

Motorcycles being loaded....

The train...


Finally, it was time to board!

We were anxious to check out our home for the next 17 hours!

Bryan and Eric in their bunk...

Matthew and I.....

The narrow hallway....

We then made our way to the lounge car where they were offering free wine and some refreshments!

Before we knew it, we were heading back to our roommettes as it was almost time to leave!

An excited Matthew...ALL ABOARD!

The train actually left the station 9 minutes early! Woo Hoo, Orlando or bust baby!!!



Last edited by dddisrunner; 01-02-2011 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:03 PM   #2
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Before we knew it, it was time to head to the dining car for dinner!

It was so nice!!

HEre was the menu we had to choose from!

Matthew had crab cakes....

Bryan had steak...

I had vegetarian manicotti...

Eric had chicken nuggets and mac and cheese....it was so cute, his meal was called a choo choo chewie! Cute huh!

We really enjoyed the dining car atmosphere...

Wine was also included with dinner which was included with the purchase of our roommette...we were considered First class passengers if you can believe that!

The boys got a kick out of this man and his ruler styled suspenders!

After dinner, we put the boys behind closed doors...

Actually the boys got cleaned up and put pj's on and watched a movie in one compartment while Bryan and I spent some adult time in another...

Before we knew it, the attendant came and turned down the beds....

Eric strapping in for a bumpy ride...

It was a bumpy sleep, but it was very nice to have some privacy, we were on the top floor so not too many people had to walk through our hallway! We were happy when we woke up for breakfast and realized we were just over the border into Florida!!

After breakfast, we went back to our roommettes and packed up and about 30 minutes later, we pulled into Sanford station!

This guy was our first glimpse at the heat we were about to walk into....keep in mind it was only 8:45 in the morning!

We had to wait for the train compartments to be seperated and after about 15 minutes we were allowed to get off where we went to wait for our car to be called, remember AV25!!! We were stunned at how fast they were unloading the cars and calling them! Unfortunately, we did have to wait a bit, after about 30 minutes, our car was called and we were one of the last cars! They had 137 vehicles loaded onto that train and unloaded them all in less than probably 45 minutes....AWESOME!!!

Now we were heading west towards Disney property!!!!


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Old 07-03-2010, 05:14 PM   #3
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Our plan was to stop at a grocery store to pick up some things for breakfast and the all important cocktails....then make our way to the Animal Kingdom Lodge!

We made a quick stop and before we knew it, we were driving under this sign!!!

Both boys at the same time yelled HOORAY!!! I LOVE their Disney enthusiasm!!!

Next up was this sign, our home for the next 8 nights!

I had done online check in and shockingly our room was ready...WOO HOO! Let the Pixie Dust begin!!!

We had never driven while staying on property before so when we pulled up to the AKL, we unloaded all of our luggage and then the boys and I went to check in. What I didn't realize is that Bryan told bell services to take everything so...........when our room was ready we had to scramble to find the guy and have him give us back our things BUT he had already moved on, so we were told we would have to wait 30 minutes and they would bring it to our room! This frustrated me SO MUCH, I told Bryan to wait with the luggage so that if our room was ready we just quick unpack and then hit the park! We had groceries that needed to be kept cold too! So, Bryan decided to ask for a cart and he would just wheel everything to our room.....WRONG!!! My cell phone rings and it is Bryan telling me that they won't give him a cart so...the boys and I go all the way back to the lobby to help with the luggage! We looked RIDICULOUS all banging into things carrying all of our things back to our room! UGH!!! Finally, we open the door and see this...

and this and then all the stress melts away!

We had an awesome view from the 5th floor room #5470!!! Bryan and the boys went down to the Mara and ate lunch while I unpacked! they brought me up some lunch, and then we were off to our first Disney park! We were happy to be soaking it all in once again!!!

Coming up next.....

What park do we hit first?
A great reunion
Liederhosen tango


Last edited by dddisrunner; 07-03-2010 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:38 PM   #4
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I'm here! Going back to read now!

OK, caught up now. Sounds like you had a nice trip down. I'm reading another report right now who also did the autotrain. They didn't have sleeper cars, so it's nice to see both perspectives.

So cool that your room was ready when you got to AKL and you have an awesome view!
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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what afun way to travel to Disney! the train pics looked great! And your room view.....so cool
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:53 PM   #6
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I love your TR! You have a beautiful family too! Mind if I stay along for the ride? -Stace

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Old 07-03-2010, 05:58 PM   #7
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Joining in!
And going back to read

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Old 07-03-2010, 06:09 PM   #8
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The train ride looks like so much fun!
Is it a huge savings over flying?

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Old 07-03-2010, 06:33 PM   #9
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The autotrain looked really cool! Loved the beginning of your TR - can't wait to read more!

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Old 07-03-2010, 06:56 PM   #10
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DIANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy to see you're doing a TR, I have missed you

Love that you took that train, I've never heard of such a thing, so cool

The view looks very similar to mine and Jasmine's last Aug at AKL...so gorgeous.

I cannot wait to read more.....I've missed you....oh, did I say that already
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:59 PM   #11
A Christmas"y" tag for a Christmas Freak!
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Welcome Home Diane

Off to read
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:10 PM   #12
A Christmas"y" tag for a Christmas Freak!
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Your train ride loooks like a lot of fun

Why would they not give Bryan a cart? Is because they wanted to take the luggage themselves, so you have to tip them?

Great View
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:34 PM   #13
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I'm in! Gotta go catch up. Can't wait to hear everything!
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:43 PM   #14
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That train ride looked very cool! SOmething I might want to do in the future. I am a fellow ""jersey girl", but I am in North Eastern NJ. I do LOVE the Jersey Shore though!!!

Can't wait to read the rest.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:02 PM   #15
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I am here! I live in Richmond, VA and we always drive because we loving having a car at WDW. The train looks like fun though and much better than sitting in a car for 12 hours! My kids would think that was so neat!

Can't wait to hear more!
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Past trips:June 13 - BCV and Disney Dream, Dec. 12 - BCV, Jan. 12 - AKL, Oct. 11 - BWV, June 11- VWL, March 11- BWV,July 10 - THV,Oct 09 - BCV, July 09- BCV, Nov. 08 - OKW and BCV, Dec. 2007 - BCV and SSR , Nov 06 - WL, Apr. 02 - CSR
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