All about the Autotrain

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by cherylp3, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. labdogs42

    labdogs42 <font color=darkorchid>I managed to wrestle a play

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    Cars probably do get hot. What are you planning to pack that might melt? If it is food, you could pack a cooler with lots of ice in your car and that should keep things un-melted for at least 24 hours. Or, buy the food when you get to Florida. You have your car, after all!

    Yes, I bring pillows and a light blanket per person on the train (we go coach). It isn't like a plane, you can kind of bring a lot on to the train with you. I do limit us to two bags per person, but at least one bag is pretty big (the XL LL Bean bote and tote that I shove our blankets and pillows into!). We each have a backpack/carryon type bag with our toothbrush, change of clothes, books, electronics, etc. I have the big bag with pillows and blankets and then usually a snack/soft cooler bag. I like to take some of our own bottles of water, sodas, and snacks on the train. Not everyone does, to each their own. Oh yeah, bring all of your plugs/chargers for things with you on the train. There are outlets at the seats. You dont' want your iPad battery to die halfway to Florida and not have the charger!

    The blankets can be used to stay warm, to make the seats more comfy, or to block out light if you end up with the crummy seats by the bathroom stairs (check in early to avoid these seats!). We got the upper seats by the stairs last trip home and I hung our blankets from the overhead luggage rack to block out the light. Worked like a charm! Made our seats like a little cave!

    I'm sure I'll think of more tips later!
     
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  3. Jennifer S

    Jennifer S DIS Cast Member<br><font color="orange">Has the be

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    great info! thanks. I guess melt was the wrong word. I was going to bring some food like boxes of cereal etc and cans of spray sunscreen. I guess I will just buy most stuff down there,

    i am so excited. Love all the positive feedback in this thread :)
     
  4. BestDadEver

    BestDadEver New DVC Member

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    Thanks for all the responses it would be great to get in the roomette with my son

    Are you guys saying the cars aren't air conditioned .
     
  5. chartle

    chartle DIS Veteran

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    The train cars the automobiles are in are not air conditioned.
     
  6. DCTooTall

    DCTooTall <MARQUEE BEHAVIOR=ALTERNATE><img src=http://www.em

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    I believe they are talking about your motor vehicle.

    The Passenger cars of the train are Air Conditioned, But the train cars which they load your vehicle on is not.
     
  7. NJRRK

    NJRRK DIS Veteran

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    The vehicle carriers are not air conditioned. But, they are ventilated, so it's not like the cars are in a solid metal box. Plus most of the trip is at night when it is naturally a bit cooler.
     
  8. mykidslovesdisney

    mykidslovesdisney DIS Veteran

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    We have traveled w DS since he was 14 months old. We have slept in coach with him and in sleepers (roomettes/deluxe bdrm). Last yr at age 4 we slept in coach- I put the footrest up and he slept on the rootrest and the seat of the chair. He didn't really move much during the night- maybe woke up once. In the roomette last year I had him sleep by my feet and I slept on the other end of the bed.

    We do bring food down with us in the van (cereal/snacks/drinks) - never had anything spoil. We do bring a tote full of snacks and drinks incase we get a late dinner seating or a delay during travel. Nothing will happen to type of food/sunscreen you said you were bringing. we do buy some food down there but if I have it already I just pack it. Less to buy and more WDW time.

    We also bring a pillow and blanket for our travels. Bring headsets along - they are required in coach after 9pm. Bring any meds you need with you and a few extra incase of delay.

    Remember that there could be delays so don't panic if the train is late. We actually had our return train home cancelled due to a tropical storm in '08. we stayed at disney till the next train could get us home (5 days). On that note - please give Amtrak your cellphone numbers with the reservation so they can call you if there is a problem. -- they actually do!

    Your car will come off the train with the AC on. I find it is usally fairly cool when we get in at the station -- we go every August.

    Your not able to walk the train btwn sleeper and coach. Staff will stop you.

    We are returning on Aug 14 and soo very excited to be back on the Autotrain.

    Wishing everyone a great trip!

    I'd be happy to answer any ?'s
     
  9. Lucky'sMom

    Lucky'sMom DIS Veteran

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    We drove to Orlando, and are taking the Autotrain home this Friday. I am getting nervous that I really don't know what to expect exactly, what I should do/bring, etc. I would SO appreciate any advice...

    What time should we arrive? I am reading here that some people check-in early, like 11:30am, but don't drop off the vehicle until later, say 2pm? Do I just park in a lot there, they won't make me give them our vehicle if we drive in? Then we can drive back out and go shopping, eat lunch, etc. Are places to do these easy to find from the Sanford station?

    What do I want to ask for when I check in? I know I want the earlier dining time (is that 5?) and I guess to not sit near the bathroom stairs? We have 7 coach seats. Any other tips?

    I should bring a small, soft-sided cooler, pillows, do we really need blankets (is it cold on board?) we only have beach towels that we could use for that.

    Any other tips and advice, things I need to know, would be very much appreciated. I have read this thread before but am getting worried as our trip is just a day away now... Thanks a bunch!!!
     
  10. mykidslovesdisney

    mykidslovesdisney DIS Veteran

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    We usually check out at 11 am and head for the Autotrain. We check in around noon -- We park infront of the booth where you get your vehicle number and DH walks into the station to check us in and get our dinner selection. The road that comes off I-4 is Rt46. There are many restuarants along that road. last year we took a right coming out of N Persimmon Ave on to RT 46. If you continue straight on RT 46 you will see signs for Historic Sanford. Follow the road. you will come across a nice park- (Fort Mullon Park). --pool/playgrounds right along side the water. We ended up getting food and going back to enjoy the sites and let the kids run some steams out. If you mapquest the autotrain station you can see the park-- it is maybe a 10-15 min drive if that. The shops in historic Sanford looked really cute too.

    If you check in really early you should be able to ask for seats in the middle of the car away from the stairs and the ends of the cars (doors opening and closing during the night is annoying and loud).

    PIllows are great to have and your beach towels should work. last year when we traveled coach we didn't need our blankets- I found it fairly comfortable even near the end of the car where the sliding door is. The towels can be used to hang off the top to create a curtain to make you seats a little more private. I have seen people hang blankets that way.

    If you have DVd players you will need headphones for playing them after 9 pm.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip home! We will be heading to WDW in 20 days!! it is our 9th AT trip! :woohoo:
     
  11. Lucky'sMom

    Lucky'sMom DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much! I'll come back here after we return and give a little report on our experience...:thumbsup2
     
  12. mariamaria

    mariamaria Earning My Ears

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    Hello all! Taking the AT for the first time August 8th, and I need some recommendations:

    Top or bottom level?
    Front, middle, or back of train?
    Which does everyone prefer and why? (I'm also in a regular coach seat.

    Thanks!
     
  13. mykidslovesdisney

    mykidslovesdisney DIS Veteran

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    We prefer the top level. Had lower level sleepers one trip and the bathroom doors banged all night bc they were not completely shut after being used. IT was quite annoying.

    We prefer the middle of the train car but not near the staircase. We had the end before but again when people travel btwn cars the doors do make quite alot of noise. Also if it is raining-- the rain is louder.

    On the southbound trip - coach is closest to the engine. The cars are arranged -- families, no kids, etc. Don't think you can pick which car you want to travel in. On the northbound trip the sleepers are closest to the engine. They tend to blow the whistle a whole lot during the trip!! We had the first sleeper car from the engine and half way thru the night i wanted to go pull the whistle button away from the engineer!!:rotfl2::rotfl2:



    We are heading back in 13 days for the 8th annual AT/WDW trip!
     
  14. vacationer1954

    vacationer1954 DIS Veteran

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    The top level makes a big difference with regard to noise from the chassis as well.
     
  15. loveysbydesign

    loveysbydesign I can pinch a penny so hard you can hear it scream

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    hmmmmm, I picked the lower level when we booked as I thought i had read it is less noisy as people aren't walking through the train. I may need to change to upper :scared:
     
  16. labdogs42

    labdogs42 <font color=darkorchid>I managed to wrestle a play

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    I like the lower level. It was very quiet down there and so nice without people walking back and forth all night! I slept much better on the lower level than I ever did on three trips upstairs in coach.
     
  17. vacationer1954

    vacationer1954 DIS Veteran

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    I should have clarified; we typically travel in sleepers, not coach.

    However, the one time we did sleep in the coach, I didn't feel that people walking through was a big issue for us, at least not in what must have been the "adults car" from what people were saying earlier.
     
  18. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne <font color=blue>Not sure what season that is<br><

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    I just booked my husband and 22 year old son on the auto train. They need to transport a car to my other son in Florida. (I will be flying down the day they leave and checking into the AKL so that when they arrive the next morning, they can get into the hotel without having to wait to 3/4 pm check in time.)

    I booked them a sleeper that sleeps two, can anyone give me any hints as to where there room should be situated for the least traffic noise.
     
  19. DanBoris

    DanBoris DIS Veteran

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    You get less train noise on the upper level, but since the hall that connects the cars is on the upper level you may get more people noise.
     
  20. Lucky'sMom

    Lucky'sMom DIS Veteran

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    Just returned from a one-way northbound trip on 7/27-7/28. It was our first autotrain adventure. For us, it was okay, but I probably wouldn't do it again. The train staff was friendly, and our dinner was good. We arrived to check-in around noon, and then went to lunch. We ate at the I-hop on Rt.45, I think. Got some snacks at a Walgreens and then arrived at the station around 2. I think the worst part of the whole trip was the time between boarding around 2:30 and dinner. The family behind us was obnoxious! They took up rows and rows of seat right from the time of boarding, and yelled to speak to each other. They let their kids just run amuck throughout our car, and the whole family, esp the kids, would keep opening and closing harshly the trays connected to our seats. I was about to lose it! They literally shouted at each other, and never stopped talking...never! I was worried about night-time, but they did go to sleep. But alas, the morning was a repeat of the day before with them shouting and clashing around.

    I love to fly. And our drive south was flawless, we actually ended up driving straight through, leaving the Pittsburgh area at 6am and arriving in Orlando before 11pm. So....for us, those 2 options are better.

    Also, I felt the dinner situation was awkward, with them sitting a single, older lady with my family of 7 for both dinner and breakfast. She talked their ears off!

    I was shocked by the lack of security for our bags and people. I could have walked on with an arsenal and no one would have noticed. The check-in agent only asked for my id, no one elses and there aren't any security checks for bags.

    I can appreciate what those who enjoy the autotrain like about it. It is nice to pack up your vehicle as much as you want, and certainly avoiding a long part of the drive could be a benefit for many. I'm glad we tried it.
     
  21. loveysbydesign

    loveysbydesign I can pinch a penny so hard you can hear it scream

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    whew...that makes me feel better :thumbsup2
     

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