Discussion in 'Welcome to the DIS' started by Disneymom77, Nov 9, 2008.
Another PA gal here & PSU fan, we are up in the opposite corner than most everyone here.
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The train leaves from 30th Street Station in Philly. Our 2 trips (one down, one back) are a little different in length (one is 19+ hours, one is 20+ hours). It DOES go right to Orlando. There is a Hertz car rental associated with that train station.
We are actually staying off site in Kissimmee, so and I checked, and the train goes on to Kissimmee!! Wow! Only problem is that the rental cars cost more the farther away from the airport/train area that you go. So we opted to stick with the Orlando thing.
Luckily, for our Christmas week trip we looked into flights and train prices early!! Like back in late July, early August. We got a pretty good rate. Approx. $240 per person round trip. I'd have to get a flight for under $200 to be able to beat that price! (Because we'd have to add luggage fees on that price - unless we took Southwest, of course). Ever since we reserved our train tix, the price has been slowly going up, so I'm glad we got them when we did.
The nicest thing about the train is that (the Amtrak lady told me this) as long as you DON'T have your tickets sent to you (for example, you leave them at the station at "will call" or their ticket window and pick them up when you depart) you can get a full refund for them!!! Wow! So, if by some strange chance I DO find flights for pretty cheap, I can cancel the train and pick up the flight instead. (amtrak.com)
But for now, we kinda think it'll be a fun experience to ride the train down. The kids are looking forward to it.
Thanks for all the info! That definatly answered some questions I had. Have a great trip!
I take a different train than Kris does out of Philly
I take the Auto Train... also run by amtrak. It leaves from Lorton Va (which is barely outside the Beltway of DC)... It only takes me about 3hrs to get there from where I live... so it's probably alot closer to those of you in the Berks/lancaster areas. It then travels direct with no stops to Sanford Fl (which is just north of Orlando). It took us about 45min to drive from the station to POR.
It leaves at 4pm and arrives the next morning about 8am. The BEST part... is it is an AUTO train....which means you take your car with you on the train!! You stay in the 'people' cars and your car stays in the 'vehicle' cars!! So this way you don't have to rent a car in Florida Luggage is unlimited... well only limited to what you can fit inside your vehicle anyway!!
We took it in Nov of 2006... 2 adults, 3 kids, and a mini van.... $1052 round trip. We also booked it in June of 08.... 2 adults, 2 kids and a small car (prius) $699 round trip. We had the tickets in hand for the June trip, and had to cancel. Even if you have your tickets, there is only a 10% cancellation charge if you cancel up to 2 hrs before departure!! Much better than the airlines.
We'll be doing it again in July. The earlier you book, the cheaper it is.
WOW! That definatly sounds like the more affordable way to go! Thanks for your reply
Yeah ... you lucky duckies probably got a better rate because it was November. This traveling during the Christmas week stinks. Sure does drive up the prices. Still better than driving all that way, huh?
Hello from Delaware County, PA!!
I have been on both sides with driving and flying ...the next trip we are taking is next month and we are flying, got great prices on SW for $69 pp/each way so it was a no brainer for us, and we got a great deal on a rental car as well! We will be driving in May next year when we go back(its will be time to renew our AP's so that is taking the place of airfare/rental car for that trip) ... we usually watch and see what airfare prices are and then decide to drive or fly, my kids are 9 and almost 6 and both don't mind driving at all. They are pretty good with the bathroom breaks too, whenever we stop for gas or food, they know that we hit the bathrooms too. We also drive through the night going down so the kids sleep most of the trip for us, we leave around 6 or 7 at night and arrive by 10am the next day, my husband and I switch driving halfway during the night. It works for us ...my kids are actually disappointed we are not driving this time around, its just not a long trip so flying there was a better option!
Enjoy your time here on the DIS boards, its a great place to gather trip tips and meet new people
When did you get the awesome rate for SW? That's great! I've been keeping my eyes open for a deal like that, but so far had no luck.
Definately beats driving!! I'd probably sleep my 1st 2 days at WDW if I drove down
I'm not sure if the dates we went were cheaper than over Xmas or not.... but we did book them early... like 6-8mo out. So I know that was a factor anyway
I check airfare all the time once we book our vacation time ... and up until recently(maybe the last year) we have gotten great prices on either SW or AirTran out of PHL. When SW first came to PHL, they had $44 airfare for months on end so we kindof got spoiled with flying cheap ...with fuel prices increasing so do the rates for flights but every so often SW throws out a great deal, so when we saw $69 pp/each way for our upcoming trip, we jumped on it! And SW does NOT charge a bag fee! Airtran still has good deals, they just cut back on the number of non stop flights to MCO ...I prefer non stop especially when traveling with the kids!
Happy planning and hope you find some great deals ... be patient and shop around is the best advice I can give you
I guess I'm in the middle of everybody! Just south of Williamsport, PA.
I would so love to do a train trip down to Fla, but I just can't swing the extra travel time needed (can't cut into my WDW time, haven't been since 1986!), and we have a group going, so we are getting discount air that way.
Another Pa'er here-- actually Northeast Pa. We're going for Xmas and NY'S and we're driving because we'll be there for 2 weeks and need to take lots of xmas stuff for the kids (2,4,7) but as a surprise for the kids we will be taking the autotrain back .
HI PA Disers! The train sounds fun! Wow! 2 weeks in Disney, that sounds wonderful! Have a great trip!
Hello from the Lehigh Valley!
We're driving to Orlando in June - with our 3 kids. Should be - um - interesting! We used to drive all the time when *I* was a kid, but I was much older than my little ones.
We looked into the AutoTrain, and when gas prices were through the roof we seriously considered it. Now that gas is lower again, driving is really the cheapest way for us to get there.
Nice to see so many from PA here!
we're from right outside of Pittsburgh. We're going in just under 4 weeks and we are definetly flying. We didn't get great airfare by any means but that long of a car ride is not for us. This will be our first year there at Christmas time so we are very excited!!
We are from the North Hills just outside of Pittsburgh - lucky you - Christmas at Disney!!! We will be there for spring break.
I saw that today's high is only about 50 today down at WDW. I'm just crossing my fingers that for our Christmas trip, we have super weather!! It's all chance. But I have a DS8 who LOVES swimming. Still better than it will be up here in PA!
It's 28 and snowing at my house! They're calling for 5-7inches of snow by tomarrow..... yep 50 looks pretty darn good to me
Hi from Sharpsville in Mercer County. About an hour outside of Pittsburgh. We always fly and are returning in July, I am hoping to find decent airfare.
WELCOME!! July, huh? Hot stuff - great time to enjoy the water parks!!!!
I believe that snow is heading our way (Philly). We're supposed to get some snow tonite. I didn't hear that we'd get THAT much, but we'll see in the morning what's on the ground! Brrrr. Let's all sneak away to WDW NOW!
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