If you live near Washington DC you should consider taking the Amtrak Auto Train to Disney. The Auto Train leaves daily and runs between Lorton, Virginia and Sanford, Florida (43 miles from Disney World). This is my kids’ favorite way to reach Florida. At times it has been more relaxing than the normal 2-hour flight with all the stress of air travel. Your fare includes coach seating and all your meals (dinner and breakfast). You can upgrade your ticket for sleeping accommodations at an additional cost.
Once at the terminal you will be directed to park your car. Each passenger will be allowed to bring two carry-on bags. Make sure you put any medications or other important items in your carry-on. Once your car is taken away you will not have access to it until it is unloaded the next day. All other items will remain in your car. Upon arrival inside the welcome center you will check in and choose your dinner seating time. Passengers wait until boarding is announced.
The Auto Train leaves each station at 4:30pm and arrives at its destination by 8:30am. It takes approximately 2 hours to load and unload all vehicles. Therefore you are requested to be at the train station to load no later than 2:30pm.
There are restrictions on vehicle size. You should check http://www.Amtrak.com for more information or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.
If you have coach tickets you will be seated in a Superliner coach car. The seats here have footrests and lean back. First Class passengers will be assigned a sleeping car. A train attendant will be able to direct you to the correct sleeping compartment.
Once the train leaves the station, guests will be able to visit the Club car for refreshments and light snacks. A wine tasting is offered in the Lounge Car an hour prior to departure. Dinner is usually served at three different times. Meals are included in the cost of your fare. Dinner usually consists of a choice of 5 different entrees – chicken, fish, beef, vegetarian and special. You will also be provided with drinks, salad and dessert, wine is complementary at dinner. Children can order from another menu if they prefer. Breakfast is continental with your choice of cereal, muffins bagels, fruit, juices and coffee. For entertainment movies are shown several times during the evening.
Bedding is provided for sleeping car passengers. Your attendant will inquire prior to dinner what time you would like your seats converted to beds. Coach passengers will be given a blanket and small pillow. Feel free to bring your own pillow on board.
Watching the countryside fly by while sipping a glass of wine is so much better than fighting traffic on I-95. The kids love the freedom of the train, being able to walk around and stretch their legs. Our family was able to start our vacation the moment the conductor said “All Aboard!”
The procedures for travelling north are similar to traveling south.
Patricia M Patricia lives in Virginia with her husband and two sons. She is an avid fan of all things Disney and has been for many years. Her first trip to Walt Disney World was 40 years ago during their opening year. Since then she has taken 25+ trips to a Disney destination, staying on multiple Disney properties at each of the three resort levels. She cherishes the family memories that are made with each vacation. Patricia has a passion for Disney trip planning. She has helped many friends and family members plan their trips. You can find her tips for planning a trip full of magical memories here at the Disney Planning Blog and also on her Facebook page, Magical Memories Travel