First Time On The Auto Train

April 3, 2015 , , ,

First Time On The Auto Train by Guest Blogger Sherry DeHart

BlobServerOur next Disney trip is coming up in just a few days! My family and I are so excited, as is everyone who gets to visit the most magical place on earth! For the past 8 years, we have flown from NY to FL and back once and have driven every other time. Yes the plane is quicker, but then I don’t have my car when we are there. And, well to be honest, I didn’t do so great on the plane ride back to NY. We will just say, it was NOT a pleasant flight.

While making our plans for this next trip, we decided to check out this Auto Train. For about the last 6 months, I’ve been hearing more and more about it. I know that it has been around for a long time, I just never heard about it, how is that? The first thing I looked at was where we get on and off the train. Our route is taking us from Lorton, VA to Sanford, FL. The next thing I checked out was the cost. Wow! It was unbelievably affordable, compared to a plane. The cost to ride the train for 5 people and our vehicle is less than what it would normally cost us for gas, hotels and food driving from NY to FL. My husband and I talked about it and decided to give this train a try.

Now I am all for trying new things. But sometimes I get very anxious or nervous. That is where I am right now. I am very used to driving and am OK with the traffic and the construction, and I’m even OK with directions. I have never ridden on a train for more than about 30 minutes, and that was a long time ago when, I was in middle school. I think the anxiety is coming from not knowing what to expect once we get on the train. The plane is pretty easy, you get on, sit down, the plane takes off and a few very short hours later, we are in the land of sunshine and Mickey Mouse. We will be on this train for 17 hours. What are the kids possibly going to keep occupied with for 17 hours? (The kids are 8, 8 and 5 by the way). We didn’t get a room, just coach seats so that is where we are sleeping too, coach seats. What if we are stuck in a train car with some really annoying people? I know we could be stuck on a plane like that too, but again, that’s only a few hours. We are talking 17 hours, on a train, with strangers. (This might be why I haven’t taken a Disney cruise yet). I have read and heard so much about how great this train ride is, yet there is still that apprehension.

Even with all these things making me nervous about our very first train trip, I am excited too. I mean, they are putting my truck on a train! I will still get to drive my own vehicle around FL. We are going to check out some houses before we check in to Disney. Hopefully a move is in our future. The kids are excited. One of our boys thinks this is going to be just like the Polar Express. He is ready for hot chocolate on the train! I am making lists and packing. Every time I see something I think we might want on the train, in the bag it goes. My husband is all about the directions. He has gone over the route from NY to VA a couple times a day, every day for the past week. I’m sure this train ride is going to end up being great. It’s just that first time nerve thing causing me stress right now. Once we get there and everything happens.

I’m sure we will all be great. I know I worry for nothing sometimes, but I think that is just human nature. I’ll be sure to write an update on how our train ride went. Thanks for reading and wish us luck!


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3 thoughts on “First Time On The Auto Train”
  1. I used the auto train a few years back when i went down to fla.. it was a really nice time. I rented a roomette like my privacy. the dinner was good and the breakfast was nice. they have a lounge area on the train. you can rent a mini portable tv preloaded with movies at the station. you just turn it in when you get back to the other station at the end of the ride. if you have your own note book or tablet with games or movies for the kids, that can save you money then renting from the kiosk at the station. you’ll hopefully be sleeping for 7 or 8 hours of the trip on the train. good luck and enjoy. Just make sure to have a bag or bags for what you need or want to use while on the train. also maybe a pillow lite blanket to cover up with don’t know if they provide them in coach.

  2. I rode Amtrak for a seven hour trip once, and would love to do it again! The coach seats are HUGE…so much bigger than on a plane! The windows are also huge, you have access to restrooms, the dining car and the observation car. You also get to see parts of the country that you wouldn’t normally see. I predict you are going to get “hooked” on train travel, and can’t wait for your follow-up blog post! Have a great trip!

  3. Ask to be on the observation car,it has an observation deck the kids can go up on to watch out of, my kids loved it. And back when we went by auto train that car also had a bathroom so didn’t have to go far to use one which was a plus. My kids loved the trip and my husband n I enjoyed it too. Try not to worry you should enjoy it too!

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