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Old 08-03-2012, 12:02 PM   #1591
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Originally Posted by busymama04 View Post
Thanks for the super quick responses. I love the disboards everyone is so helpful.
I agree, I have met some really great people on the DIS!

From the look of thinks, you are waaaay up nearer to the Garden State Parkway and the NJTP. I think the NJTP is probably your best bet, but I'm not sure exacly how much it will cost you. From tip to tip, it is $13.85.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:33 PM   #1592
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I can't understand why no one would want to stay to watch the movie.
yeah, I know... but I was still surprised that people didn't come in the Lounge car just for different scenery ...and to munch on store-bought cookies!

As for arrival time, we generally arrive at 1pm - 1:30pm and have always gotten the 5pm dinner service. If you have small kids, I would definitely plan on checking in at this time (or earlier). Even with a 5pm dinner service, they are already getting tired just from the excitement of the train, etc.

I much prefer the 7pm dinner service (esp if you eat the snacks from 3-4pm) but when we tried that twice, my girls just fell asleep in the middle of it -- even though at WDW they are still awake for 9pm and 10pm fireworks!!. It's something about the rocking motion of the train that puts them to sleep earlier.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #1593
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Originally Posted by FigmentChick View Post
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.
What day of the week are you planning on hitting the train? Generally I've found in a lot of major cities i've driven in that traffic starts to build a lot earlier in the day on a Friday than during the rest of the week....largely due to people trying to get a jump on the weekend.



Also, TBH, I've found 95 S. to be the better and more reliable route between Baltimore and DC the past couple times I drove it (Last time was last fall). 295 is only 2-3 lanes for most of the distance, so one little hickup can cause a major mess. It appeared that most of the major construction on 95 just north of DC was completed [still working on that major interchange, but 95 itself wasn't really impacted], so you get the full 4-5 lanes of traffic so an incident is less likely to cause as severe a backup.
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:29 PM   #1594
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Originally Posted by mykidslovesdisney View Post

MIKATHow 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.
The Potomac Mills Disney Outlet (15 min south of the Lorton station) was great! They are one of a handful of Disney Outlets that are official DisneyLAND outlets, so you actually can get REAL outlet deals. I told myself that I couldn't buy DL stuff until I actually went to DL rather than WDW. Since I went to DL last month, I got to indulge


Everything in this photo was $30! It was VA tax-free weekend, and they were having a 30% off sale over and above the clearance prices! So I bought 1 youth tshirt, 2 adult tshirts, a youth sweatshirt, three packs of nice glass magnets, two Tervis-type cups, and the reuseable bag for $30! One of the adult shirts would have cost that much at DL.

For those of you thinking about heading down to Potomac Mills the day of your train, make sure you allow for PLENTY of time to return. The traffic today at 2:00 was ok heading north, but there was a huge delay southbound. I-95 around here is notorious for unexpected backups.
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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.
Yep, DS6 and DS9. That is another thing that I noticed about my outlet trip - so many cute Disney clothes and costumes that I couldn't buy becuase they were all for girls!!

Could it be that we are planning (the first??) DISers Meet-up in the Lorton train station?? Since we're split coach / sleepers (and if I recall, you really can't get from one area to another, right?) perhaps we should try to say hi in the station. Any ideas?
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:54 PM   #1595
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Originally Posted by DCTooTall View Post
What day of the week are you planning on hitting the train? Generally I've found in a lot of major cities i've driven in that traffic starts to build a lot earlier in the day on a Friday than during the rest of the week....largely due to people trying to get a jump on the weekend.



Also, TBH, I've found 95 S. to be the better and more reliable route between Baltimore and DC the past couple times I drove it (Last time was last fall). 295 is only 2-3 lanes for most of the distance, so one little hickup can cause a major mess. It appeared that most of the major construction on 95 just north of DC was completed [still working on that major interchange, but 95 itself wasn't really impacted], so you get the full 4-5 lanes of traffic so an incident is less likely to cause as severe a backup.
We will be driving down on a Wednesday as we check in to POR on Thursday. I still have more than a year, though and there can be major changes between then and now.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:00 PM   #1596
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Originally Posted by mikat View Post
The Potomac Mills Disney Outlet (15 min south of the Lorton station) was great! They are one of a handful of Disney Outlets that are official DisneyLAND outlets, so you actually can get REAL outlet deals. I told myself that I couldn't buy DL stuff until I actually went to DL rather than WDW. Since I went to DL last month, I got to indulge


Everything in this photo was $30! It was VA tax-free weekend, and they were having a 30% off sale over and above the clearance prices! So I bought 1 youth tshirt, 2 adult tshirts, a youth sweatshirt, three packs of nice glass magnets, two Tervis-type cups, and the reuseable bag for $30! One of the adult shirts would have cost that much at DL.

For those of you thinking about heading down to Potomac Mills the day of your train, make sure you allow for PLENTY of time to return. The traffic today at 2:00 was ok heading north, but there was a huge delay southbound. I-95 around here is notorious for unexpected backups.


Yep, DS6 and DS9. That is another thing that I noticed about my outlet trip - so many cute Disney clothes and costumes that I couldn't buy becuase they were all for girls!!

Could it be that we are planning (the first??) DISers Meet-up in the Lorton train station?? Since we're split coach / sleepers (and if I recall, you really can't get from one area to another, right?) perhaps we should try to say hi in the station. Any ideas?
what an awesome load of goodies from the outlet. I did not know it was just DL merchandise. I saw some of the DL stuff last year but we were worried about being late (since we walked most of the mall bf finding the outlet). DD picked up a great pair of Minnie Mouse sparkly ballet shoes. SHe wore them out and got soo many compliments on them.

I have only one princess in a family of princes. It is easier to find cute girly stuff for sure!.

Yes a Dis'er meet would be great!! Are you heading to the outlet that day? I hope to be there by 11am. We might be sleepers but will not know till last call for boarding. Your not suppose to travel btwn the two. We do for dining if we are in sleepers.

I could PM you my cell and we can text each other when we get to the station. that might be the easiest. We are a family of 6 traveling this time - myself, DH, DS 13,11 and 5 and DD9.

I have been bugging DH to get a total count of passengers to see if the train is sold out. He's been quite busy at work lately to check
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:06 PM   #1597
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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?

I think the toll in NJ depends on when you enter the NJTP. We have an ezpass and we reload it once $25 during the trip if not twice. IF you research each highway the should have something on their website.


For dining car-- we are also a family of 6. years ago we would squish all of us into one table. it was a tight squeeze but it worked. Now that DS are older they enjoy sitting with other people. They have had the gambit of no talkers to very interesting conversations. Somehow DH sits with ds13 at the other table and leave me with the younger ones!

From you siggy -- yours are still young. You can always try to fit in at one table.

enjoy the AT!
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:07 AM   #1598
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I just saved $132.00 on my trip home on the autotrain.....been checking amtrak website every day and this time it worked. So I called and the first time, I was told that it was the same price, so I called back and this time I was issued a refund of $132......apparently the roomette came in cheaper. Eric at Amtrak said that probably the person cancelled and the room was returned to inventory at the lower fare. He also told me to keep checking for the train down so they can do another refund


So keep checking, ya never know!!!
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Last edited by denise5374; 08-06-2012 at 09:08 AM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:10 AM   #1599
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Originally Posted by denise5374 View Post
I just saved $132.00 on my trip home on the autotrain.....been checking amtrak website every day and this time it worked. So I called and the first time, I was told that it was the same price, so I called back and this time I was issued a refund of $132......apparently the roomette came in cheaper. Eric at Amtrak said that probably the person cancelled and the room was returned to inventory at the lower fare. He also told me to keep checking for the train down so they can do another refund


So keep checking, ya never know!!!
This is good to know, thank you!!! I'm planning on purchasing our tickets as soon as the 11 month mark hits. So, hopefully we will get the best rate (I heard it goes up the more people book). But, I will always keep checking.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #1600
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Originally Posted by denise5374 View Post
I just saved $132.00 on my trip home on the autotrain.....been checking amtrak website every day and this time it worked. So I called and the first time, I was told that it was the same price, so I called back and this time I was issued a refund of $132......apparently the roomette came in cheaper. Eric at Amtrak said that probably the person cancelled and the room was returned to inventory at the lower fare. He also told me to keep checking for the train down so they can do another refund


So keep checking, ya never know!!!
Woo Hoo!! Yes, I had that happen on two of my trips, too. The first I didn't know about and only heard from another family on the train.

The 2nd time I was wiser and smarter and saved over $200!!

I now check every month ... you never know so just keep checking, esp at 9-10 months out (that one I saved $200+) and at less than one month to the trip (could have saved $300).
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:47 PM   #1601
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I just went on-line to check rates and my train is sold out so I couldnt check.

So how crowded does that make the train? Like every seat filled?

one week to go
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:42 PM   #1602
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I just went on-line to check rates and my train is sold out so I couldnt check.

So how crowded does that make the train? Like every seat filled?

one week to go
I just checked mine too and we are leaving on Sunday -- it is sold out. Also I noticed the prices for the return trip are almost double for what I'm paying for both fare and vehicle. So, I think the tip on checking for savings may work best when you are alot further out.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:55 PM   #1603
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Its probably just luck.....the trip I posted about saving money on is in 3 weeks, Sanford to Lorton on 8/25/12.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:00 PM   #1604
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Its probably just luck.....the trip I posted about saving money on is in 3 weeks, Sanford to Lorton on 8/25/12.
Yeah, that and I think I booked at a good time. I had kept checking and I got in on a deal I think. There's definetly a "right" time to book. When I did book, I could've actually booked the week before for about 30 dollars cheaper. So, then I knew I better do it then because it seemed to be going up. That was back in I believe February.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:08 PM   #1605
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Its probably just luck.....the trip I posted about saving money on is in 3 weeks, Sanford to Lorton on 8/25/12.
I am coming home on the 25th train - from Sanford to Lorton.
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