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Old 10-19-2012, 02:43 PM   #1816
chartle
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Originally Posted by 2Pirates2Princesses View Post
Thank you for your reply. I am thinking that if we arrive in the morning and hopefully if our room is available that we can get settled in, shower, and rest a little before heading out to MK or Epcot for dinner and at least a few hours of park time.
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We would most likely travel coach. There are six of us so it would be too pricey for us to get multiple sleeper rooms. Thanks for the feedback though. :-)
Of course not having a shower sucks, but do you really think you need a rest after just sitting around in a big comfy chair for 14 hours?

What if your room isn't ready until 3:00 PM do you have a backup?
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:18 PM   #1817
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Originally Posted by chartle View Post
Of course not having a shower sucks, but do you really think you need a rest after just sitting around in a big comfy chair for 14 hours?

What if your room isn't ready until 3:00 PM do you have a backup?
This gives me a lot to think about. For our WDW trip last year (which was our first trip) we flew, so the train would be a new experience for us. I guess I would have to leave that as an open day to see what we would all feel up to doing at that point if we decide to go this route. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:01 AM   #1818
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Of course not having a shower sucks, but do you really think you need a rest after just sitting around in a big comfy chair for 14 hours?
I think it'll depend on whether you really were able to sleep. Our one trip in coach demonstrated that we weren't. YMMV
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:00 AM   #1819
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I think it'll depend on whether you really were able to sleep. Our one trip in coach demonstrated that we weren't. YMMV
Neither were we. I arrived back exhausted from our return trip, when the sleepers were sold out. Comparatively, the tiny two-person sleeper on the way down was paradise... I would not do coach again. I'd much sooner drive.

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:47 AM   #1820
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can't wait until we leave on 11-22-12. WDW and then a cruise... I am probably one of the few people who can't justify a bedroom or sleeper on the A T. coach seating is okay with me for the overnight trip, and I love the A T!! I'm usually lucky enough to be able to sit by myself and stretch out as much as I can in the seats. by the time it's time to get up I'm in Florida!!
happy travels!!
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:07 AM   #1821
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While you may not get a good night's its not like you have been in a car all night. When we took the AT down we went straight to DQ, ate lunch at EoS, my sons went back to DQ and my wife and I checked into our off site room and then went back.

I see no reason not to go to a park that afternoon. You could go directly to a park after checking in but the main issue is that, unless you have a sleeper car, you don't get a shower that day.
I agree! Our room was not available until 3pm, so we were not feeling much like going out without a shower!

We did not sleep great in coach so by the time we got to shower and go out to dinner, we were kind of tired so opted to get into bed early and get an early morning start.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #1822
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I agree! Our room was not available until 3pm, so we were not feeling much like going out without a shower!

We did not sleep great in coach so by the time we got to shower and go out to dinner, we were kind of tired so opted to get into bed early and get an early morning start.
This got me thinking, It almost seems like from a getting to a park when you get there standpoint its better to drive two days and not take the train.

For us we left at 9:00 AM to get to Lorton at 1:35 (minutes later than expected), wait another 2 and a half hours to leave. We were in the Disney area around 11:30 and ate lunch at Cici's (nice, cheap, familiar) before hitting DQ sans shower.

If we had just driven to Fl from our house its actually a shorter route (17 hrs) so lets say we drive till 10 or later, sleep in a real bed, get up, SHOWER, eat quickly and leave we could get to WDW a little later but more rested and ready to go.

I never thought of the Autotrain as giving you less time or a later start to your vacation.

Of course we have at least 3 drivers, one that is a night owl so late night driving is not an issue.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:28 AM   #1823
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This got me thinking, It almost seems like from a getting to a park when you get there standpoint its better to drive two days and not take the train.

For us we left at 9:00 AM to get to Lorton at 1:35 (minutes later than expected), wait another 2 and a half hours to leave. We were in the Disney area around 11:30 and ate lunch at Cici's (nice, cheap, familiar) before hitting DQ sans shower.

If we had just driven to Fl from our house its actually a shorter route (17 hrs) so lets say we drive till 10 or later, sleep in a real bed, get up, SHOWER, eat quickly and leave we could get to WDW a little later but more rested and ready to go.

I never thought of the Autotrain as giving you less time or a later start to your vacation.

Of course we have at least 3 drivers, one that is a night owl so late night driving is not an issue.
Our thoughts were leaning this way as well. We left NH early on a Sat, got to VA late afternoon. Stayed in a hotel overnight near Lorton, hung around the next day until the train left at 4pm. Monday was alot of just hanging around too.

I think our next trip drive all the way to FL on the way down with one overnight in a hotel.

But on the way back, we will get up on departure day, spend a couple of hours in the park, head to Sanford, sleep on the train and drive all the way home the next day.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:46 AM   #1824
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Our thoughts were leaning this way as well. We left NH early on a Sat, got to VA late afternoon. Stayed in a hotel overnight near Lorton, hung around the next day until the train left at 4pm. Monday was alot of just hanging around too.

I think our next trip drive all the way to FL on the way down with one overnight in a hotel.

But on the way back, we will get up on departure day, spend a couple of hours in the park, head to Sanford, sleep on the train and drive all the way home the next day.
Pretty sure I have read in this thread people commenting that they were sitting in the Lorton station thinking "I could be on the road to WDW right now"

We have only taken the train once, down to WDW. The trip back was cancelled by Tropical Storm Fay so we drove back after a major dope slap realizing that there is no way to check a car as luggage on an airplane.

So we drove back and realized we have older kids (now "adults") and don't have any "he's touching me" issues. Last trip I had a driod, an unlimited data plan, turned into a mobile hotspot. If it wasn't for power issues they could have used their laptops all of the way.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:49 AM   #1825
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Our thoughts were leaning this way as well. We left NH early on a Sat, got to VA late afternoon. Stayed in a hotel overnight near Lorton, hung around the next day until the train left at 4pm. Monday was alot of just hanging around too.

I think our next trip drive all the way to FL on the way down with one overnight in a hotel.

But on the way back, we will get up on departure day, spend a couple of hours in the park, head to Sanford, sleep on the train and drive all the way home the next day.
If the Autotrain requires you to go way out of your way, or you need (or choose) to spend the night in Lorton I agree it's not worth it timewise. For those of us who would be passing by the station about one or two anyway it saves wear and tear on the car and driver.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:56 PM   #1826
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We always feel the same way about flying. 1.5 hours to the airport, get there 2 hours early, 2.5 hour flight, wait for luggage, wait for ME, ride to the resort. It's frustrating when we're at the airport, 3+ hours in and still not on our way to FL. I am looking at the AT as more of an adventure. It will take us about 24 hours from leaving home to arriving in FL as opposed to the 17 it would take if driving but we won't be stuck in a minivan with 2 small kids and no one has to worry about driving at night. Granted this will be our first AT trip but I think it's going to be FUN!!!!!!
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:47 PM   #1827
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Our AT experience...

Perhaps having a room makes all the difference...

We definitely sleep better in a room than in coach ... but mind you, I am 6' tall and my DH is 6'6" tall so those coach seats, albeit very large, are just not made for tall people.

When we arrive in FL and have our vehicle, around 10-11am-ish, we go straight to McD's for some food to eat along the way. Then a quick stop at Walmart and we are at our hotel by 11:30am - 1pm at the absolute latest.

We go straight to our room and if it's ready, check in. If not, then we go into a park or explore our hotel, esp the pool and playgrounds.

I think our best was in Epcot by 12 noon!!

A night without a shower is no big deal, esp if you took one the day you boarded the train. Just brush your teeth and take a towel on your face. Use deodorant.

We are well-rested from the train ride down -- no worries about accidents, traffic, are-we-there-yets, unexpected bathroom breaks, where to stop for food, running low on gas, construction, thunderstorms/snow, kids fighting, cramped seats, seat belts restricting our movements, can't get up and stretch, wear and tear on car, other drivers who are driving sleepy or drunk when they should just get a hotel, etc.

We drove to FL twice ... arrived tired, cranky and worn out from it all. It was actually a bit better for the person driving ... the other person who had to help entertain and referee the kids was worse! Maybe if the kids were older and could easily entertain themselves and not get into arguments all the time, it would be different.

On the train, we can separate the girls when they need it. Or I can separate myself when I need it!

Oh, and stopping in some of the worse parts of Jacksonville, b/c our daughter had to pee ... even though we just stopped about 45 minutes earlier?! I thought for sure our SUV wasn't going to be in one piece anymore...

With the AT, we actually slept the night before... had a leisurely night in fact with a sit-down dinner, snacks, movie, wine. We go to sleep earlier than we normally would on the train and everyone gets a chance to sleep -- not just one driver for 4 hours.

Like PP said, it's part of the vacation -- an adventure and fun way to travel.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:07 AM   #1828
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We won't drive more than eight hours in a day, so that means three days from home to the resort and three days back so six of the nine days we have during vacation week would be spent driving if not for the AutoTrain. With the AutoTrain it's just four of nine days, and with a sleeper only three of nine days.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:53 AM   #1829
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I just checked AT prices for our trip home (I'm thinking may be I could talk dh into for the trip home by pointing out that we'd get home earlier than if we drove). But it was over $700 for the two of us in coach plus our van. That's more than it would cost us to drive down and back, including hotel two nights and meals on the road. So, I guess no AT for us.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:59 AM   #1830
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I just checked AT prices for our trip home (I'm thinking may be I could talk dh into for the trip home by pointing out that we'd get home earlier than if we drove). But it was over $700 for the two of us in coach plus our van. That's more than it would cost us to drive down and back, including hotel two nights and meals on the road. So, I guess no AT for us.
Never could figure on AT's use... You pay thru the nose to take your car... Why not just rent one in Florida, use regular Amtrak from the closest location instead of driving to Lorton...seems to me the auto savings in taking your car via AT is negated by the cost... Sure you can rent a car at Orlando cheaper or really don't need one at WDW....

We use regular Amtrak from northeast Ohio, for many years, and RT for the 2 of us to Kissimmee and home ..450.00 but we use no car while at WDW...
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