Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ridin' that train, high on cocaine.

Not really, cocaine is a horrible drug that should be avoided at all costs.

Everbody is talking about our trip to WDW on the Amtrak Auto Train so I decided to write a blog about it.

Okay, the Auto Train has two stops Lorton Va., and Sanford FLA.. Lorton is just south of D.C. and Sanford is about 45 minutes from WDW.

Btw. WDW means Walt Disney World.

The train leaves around 4pm al little earlier if possible, it depends on the load in. The cars are to checked in by 2:30 at the latest! Not 2:31, and if you miss it there is no other train that day, and they probably isn't room the next day so DO NOT BE LATE.

We left our house at 8am, knowing that it is a 4 hour drive to the train station. But Darren, that would get you there at noon what are you going to do with all that extra time you might say. We relaxed, and got lunch, and with the rainy weather on the way down we checked in at 1:45pm.

When you check in you leave your car and everything you do not need on the train. You have no access to your car on the train so prepare your overnight bag.

Checking in is wonderful. You walk in, check in, then you relax and wait. Around 2:30 they start boarding the train, at 3pm the cars are loaded onto the train cars and they begin attaching those cars to the passenger cars. When you board you meet the person who will be your attendant. Basically, they check you in, show you your room, or seat, more on this later. In the room is one outlet, temperature controls, and seats that turn into your beds. The attendant will turn down your room for you to sleep besides that you're on your own. You are free to walk to the lounge car, get an adult beverage, and watch the sights go by. Dinner, and a continental breakfast was included in our package.

Sleeper car, vs seats. We decided to get the sleeper car it was a few hundred dollars each way but in my opinion well worth the money. You have your own room and access to 3 restrooms, and a very nice shower on your car, on the same floor even. There was never a time when all the restrooms were occupied, nor was the shower. If you just get a seat you get a very large, very roomy, comfortable seat but no privacy at all. If you want to, or need to save the money skip the room. If we take the train again, and we probably will we will definitely get a room again.

Dinner. Dinner was okay, it wasn't horrendous but it wasn't memorable. There are 3 diner slots, 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm. 7pm was full  by the time we got there so we chose 9pm. I'm glad we did, it was quiet and relaxed. when we returned from diner our room turned down. We chilled a bit but it wasn't long until we were all sawing logs, as the trains swaying rocked us to sleep. That is until the trains wild turns, and bumps woke we me up a lot on our way to Florida. The girls slept right through but i felt every turn, and heavy clunk as we ride over where the tracks cross.

Waking up the next morning was nice, aside from being a little tired from the interrupted sleep. We were in Florida, and we watched all these little towns, and weird neighborhoods slide by. A lot of swampy land some of it swallowing up abandoned houses, a lot of miscellaneous junk piled at the back of the yards close to the tracks created the image of crude temples left to decay.

A nice continental breakfast is served and then you just wait in your room for the train to pull into the  station. Your room was returned to normal while you eat.

There is WIFI on the train. We skyped with Danielle's mother in California, and my parents, who were visiting Todd and Julie in Texas while we headed to Florida. That we pretty cool.

When you arrive the next morning the auto cars are detached and moved while you hang out. This happens really quickly, its pretty amazing actually. We are then asked to disembark and wait for the car. We decided against priority service which would have gotten our car off first so we had to wait 30 minutes, No big deal really except we really wanted to get to WDW so it felt like forever. Once your car is called you just throw your overnight bag in the back, hop in, and go. So easy.

On our return trip we left WDW a little late so we didn't get to the train station until 2:23pm, remember they will not take cars after 2:30pm so we were sweating it a bit as we were driving. So, if you do decide to take the Auto Train LEAVE EARLY like we did on our way down.

Danielle and I both slept much better on our return trip, probably because we knew what to expect.

On both trips the staff was polite, friendly, and very professional. They did a super job.

The majority of the passengers on the trip are pretty up there in age, really up there, which helps make it a very quiet experience.

So, how much does this all cost?

$1,500.00 round trip was the bill. This was for a sleeper car that had 4 beds, dinner and breakfast is included. car is obviously loaded, and unloaded so you have that with you.

I believe Danielle said that it was a few hundred dollars more than plane tickets were when we got our train tickets which was July 2015, but we would have rented a car, or taken a lot of taxis while in WDW and it is basically hassle free unlike an airport so the extra cost is well  worth it in my book.

That's it. feel free to shoot my any questions if you got them