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Old 10-30-2012, 09:16 AM   #1831
chartle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepe of ohio View Post
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...
The big thing for me is it's my own car, not a rental. I know how everything works and where stuff goes.

I HATE renting cars or really anything. First I have to get past the whole extra insurance issue (now know how to get through that) but I'm always worried that they will find some little scratch not noted on the form and charge me for it. The same scratch they charge e everyone

But anyway I liked that we could pack our car like we would for any trip and didn't have to rely on suitcases. We could shove bottles of water under the seat and carry our pool shoes in a tote bag or even a shopping bag.

We did the AT once and it was a neat adventure but I don't think we would do it again. Its just too easy to drive. Even easier with 3 soon to be 4 (not teenager) drivers.

Now years ago it was another story when we didn't have such a direct route and had to pick up I95 at DC. Then it would be another story. I do miss South of the Border though, saw if from the train last time.
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Last edited by chartle; 10-30-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #1832
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Well we did NOT get to take the AT! Sadly they cancelled our trip from FL to PA at 1:30 on sunday and we had to drive home through Sandy! Kids were crying and disappointed as it was to be our 1st trip on the AT!
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Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
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Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #1833
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Originally Posted by loveysbydesign View Post
Well we did NOT get to take the AT! Sadly they cancelled our trip from FL to PA at 1:30 on sunday and we had to drive home through Sandy! Kids were crying and disappointed as it was to be our 1st trip on the AT!
Been there done that. We got the call around 10:00 the morning of the trip on our way to a last bit of Disney at Boma. Made for an anxious meal.

My wife insisted that we go to Kissimmee first to refund our tickets. So we got a late start.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:55 AM   #1834
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Originally Posted by loveysbydesign View Post
Well we did NOT get to take the AT! Sadly they cancelled our trip from FL to PA at 1:30 on sunday and we had to drive home through Sandy! Kids were crying and disappointed as it was to be our 1st trip on the AT!
We've also been there a couple of times. Never had it cancelled on the way home, but cancelled 3 times "going" on various vacations. Does not make for a fun trip, expecially if you weren't counting on the $200-$300 dollars in extra expense for gas, overnight hotel and food. Granted you get back what you paid for that portion of the trip, but many people may not have that much "extra" just laying around. It is FRUSTRATING.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:03 PM   #1835
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartle View Post
Been there done that. We got the call around 10:00 the morning of the trip on our way to a last bit of Disney at Boma. Made for an anxious meal.

My wife insisted that we go to Kissimmee first to refund our tickets. So we got a late start.
I wish we would have found out in the morning(as we could have hit the road earlier in the morning) but we didn't find out til around 1:30 p.m. after some people had already been checked in. We were in the process of checking in when they got the call from CSX that they were shutting down the railways. So we drove from 2-11p.m. on Sunday and then from 8:30 am-7:30 pm on Monday through the hurricane...it was crazy! When we left the station it was madness as there were cars lined up everywhere waiting to check in. Thank Goodness we got there earlier then them or we would not have hit the road til later than 2pm.
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May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!

Last edited by loveysbydesign; 10-30-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:16 PM   #1836
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Yes, that damage nitpicking silliness is another reason to take your own car if you can.
http://travel.usatoday.com/news/stor...say/55693518/1

And given how many extra bags my wife likes to take with her, we win against excess baggage fees on the airlines, too.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #1837
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I think being stuck on the Autotrain during the storm would have been much worse than the inconvience of them cancelling as late as they did. AMTRAK and airlines can not be blamed for the weather, sure maybe they could have cancelled a bit earlier, but that storm took days to head north and it was a HUGE storm. Glad you are all safe, thats the important part.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:25 PM   #1838
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And having your own car seats, too! And knowing they are strapped in properly.


Another reason for own vehicle is that we fit in it!! My DH and I are tall, so getting a regular sedan does not always work. We usually have to get a SUV for comfort, as well as luggage space for four, and even then the small SUVs are tight.

at least we are now out of the diaper stage, but just diapers and wipes for a week was a full suitcase. One time we tried mailing it down when we flew, and then BLT charged us to hold the package. Way too $$$ for UPS +BLT charges. Once we switched to AT, it worked great for all the baby gear -- we even took the baby walker for the room!
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:31 PM   #1839
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And at least those who were canceled on the AT we're able to drive home. If they had flown, they may still be waiting for airports to open, days and days even...although being "stuck" in WDW might not be that bad...
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:43 PM   #1840
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And at least those who were canceled on the AT we're able to drive home. If they had flown, they may still be waiting for airports to open, days and days even...although being "stuck" in WDW might not be that bad...
I tried to talk dh into staying a couple more days but we agreed it was better to go home as we live in PA and we knew the storm could damage our home and stuff.
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May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:47 PM   #1841
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveysbydesign
I tried to talk dh into staying a couple more days but we agreed it was better to go home as we live in PA and we knew the storm could damage our home and stuff.
Yeah, I think I might have been tempted to stay a day or two longer...
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:29 PM   #1842
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Originally Posted by loveysbydesign View Post
I wish we would have found out in the morning(as we could have hit the road earlier in the morning) but we didn't find out til around 1:30 p.m. after some people had already been checked in.
Thats sucks, I thought you knew the day before.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:20 PM   #1843
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Originally Posted by loveysbydesign View Post
Well we did NOT get to take the AT! Sadly they cancelled our trip from FL to PA at 1:30 on sunday and we had to drive home through Sandy! Kids were crying and disappointed as it was to be our 1st trip on the AT!
I'm sorry, but I am glad you got home safe. Last years "snow" storm and the Sandy this year have me seriously re-thinking our trip next year. At least the timing of it. We don't have any close friends or family that live near us that could come over and turn on our water pump and watch the house for us. So, for us, leaving is taking a major chance. Most of my neighbors evactuated on Sunday, but we decided to sit tight (we're not on the shore, but still in South Jersey where the eye went right over my house).

You did receive a refund from Amtrak, right? I hope you didn't run in to too much trouble on the road and I hope everything with your house is ok.....this storm really did shake up the Northeast.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:30 PM   #1844
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Originally Posted by FigmentChick

I'm sorry, but I am glad you got home safe. Last years "snow" storm and the Sandy this year have me seriously re-thinking our trip next year. At least the timing of it. We don't have any close friends or family that live near us that could come over and turn on our water pump and watch the house for us. So, for us, leaving is taking a major chance. Most of my neighbors evactuated on Sunday, but we decided to sit tight (we're not on the shore, but still in South Jersey where the eye went right over my house).

You did receive a refund from Amtrak, right? I hope you didn't run in to too much trouble on the road and I hope everything with your house is ok.....this storm really did shake up the Northeast.
My brother is in Little Egg Harbor and I called to check with him as the eye was over him.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:18 PM   #1845
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FigmentChick View Post
I'm sorry, but I am glad you got home safe. Last years "snow" storm and the Sandy this year have me seriously re-thinking our trip next year. At least the timing of it. We don't have any close friends or family that live near us that could come over and turn on our water pump and watch the house for us. So, for us, leaving is taking a major chance. Most of my neighbors evactuated on Sunday, but we decided to sit tight (we're not on the shore, but still in South Jersey where the eye went right over my house).

You did receive a refund from Amtrak, right? I hope you didn't run in to too much trouble on the road and I hope everything with your house is ok.....this storm really did shake up the Northeast.
We did get a refund because the railroads were closed, if they cancel you get all your $$$ back. I had actually called Amtrak a few times on Sat. to see if we could switch to Sat.'s train due to the impending hurricane. They would not let me switch w/o paying an additional almost $200 and my dh said we should just stay and use our last day at MK and perhaps the hurricane would change track. He didn't want to pay the extra $$ and felt they should let us switch w/o paying more. In hindsight I guess we should have just charged our cc and left on Sat.
The drive on Sun. was uneventful other then being rushed and stressed trying to get as far north as possible as we were worried about snow in the mountains. Part of I95 was already closed north of NC so we had to go 95-26-77-81-78. That is the way we typically go anyway but we usaully leave early in the morning and we felt rushed as we were concerned about snow. We only made it to Rock Hill NC Sun. night as we were exhausted and hadn't hit the road til 2p.m. The 2nd day we had good weather for the 1st 2 hours and the last 9 were dreadful! High winds, rain, snow showers...saw 2 tractor trailers tipped over off the side of the roaud on 81 and 78 once we got to PA as the storm had worsened by then and we were only doing a max. speed of 45mph due to restricions. It was eerie once we hit Hamburg Pa as we were the only car on the road...made it a bit less stressful but still weird. I was so happy once we got home.
Then we found out our cat Mickey was missing and had gotten out while my friend was watching him so my dh and ds were outside at 9p.m. last night looking for him. Found him cowering and hiding but unhurt! Thank God! The last 2 days have been so stressful...I need another vacay
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May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!
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