Our First Ride on the Auto Train to Florida Part Two


Follow up to Our First Ride on the Auto Train, by Sherry DeHart

Well I said I would write a follow up once our train ride was done, so here it is. From the comments earlier, I am so glad you guys like the first one.

We have never ridden a train for any length of time. We really didn’t know what to expect on the Auto Train. I was mostly worried about keeping the kids busy. My worry was put to rest within minutes of the train pulling away from the station. The kids were entranced watching what we were passing out the window. This lasted for about an hour. They kept asking where we were, so I kept the GPS running for them to see. They talked with people sitting around us. They told everyone we were going to Disney World and were amazed at the amount of other people that were going too! They also kept busy with the seats. (I mentioned we were riding coach in the previous blog). These kids now know every inch of those train seats and even showed some adults how to work them.

We chose the 5:00 dinner option, which worked out great for us because we ate an early lunch. We made our way to the dining car. I can only describe walking on a train like sneaking through the house, after someone has moved all the furniture around, during an earthquake. And let me add that walking from car to car, was a little scary. Dinner was wonderful once we made it to the table. It was a little cramped with 5 of us at 1 table, but we managed. The food was delicious. I had chicken, I don’t remember what exactly it was called, and my husband had braised beef. The kids of course had pizza, and we even had cheesecake for dessert. They offered coffee or specialty drinks, but we just stuck with the water and iced tea at the table. Close your eyes, balance on one foot on a ball and try to pour your drink, that is what its like trying to pour water on a train. It was interesting.

We made it back to our car about an hour later. The kids colored, played some games, and read books until they fell asleep. Now most kids can sleep anywhere, mine included. My husband and I on the other hand, had a hard time getting to sleep. Getting somewhat comfortable took some maneuvering, and we realized quickly that this would not be a good nights sleep. We both caught a few Z’s here and there, enough to get us by. Besides being uncomfortable, there were people walking by ALL night long. Some of them were not so quiet or graceful. I know walking on a train is not the easiest thing to do, but if you hit someone in the head, a simple “sorry” is nice. Morning came and we had a continental breakfast in the dining car. I sat in my seat and Pat and the kids brought me back some breakfast. As I mentioned early, the tables were a little cramped.

In our car, we were with about 3 other families. Everyone was very friendly. The kids all played together, the parents talked and it was nice. There was one family that had a small child with them and apparently he likes Nemo. We all listened to Finding Nemo for 17 hours. They didn’t use ear buds, so we all listened to the movie, repeatedly. I love Nemo as much as any of you, but I have heard enough “Sharkbait ooo ahaha” for a while now.

We arrived in Sanford, FL thirty minutes ahead of schedule the next morning. It didn’t take long at all, maybe 10-15 minutes before they let us off the train to go wait for our car. We were told that the cars are unloaded at random, in no specific order. We learned that you could reserve priority unloading for and additional $50, but you need to reserve this when you book your train reservations. This guarantees that your car will be one of the first 25 to be unloaded. In all honesty, we didn’t have to wait very long at all for our car. They told us the entire process would take about 1 hour and 30 minutes (there were 174 autos on our train). We had our car in about 45 minutes. We all had fun watching them unload the cars. They drive the cars from Train car to train car then down a ramp to the pick up area. Then away we went for the rest of our journey.

We had plans when we arrived in Florida. We got here a few days early to check out houses. Our plans changed drastically once we arrived though. It seems that everything just fell apart one right after another in the same day. We decided to get back to the Lake Buena Vista area as soon as possible and just enjoy a few quiet days at one of our favorite hotels on Hotel Plaza Blvd before checking into Port Orleans.

I posted pictures from our entire road trip in a post on TMSM Fan Nation and some of you followed along with us on our trip. I want to thank you all, that made our trip even more fun. We drove through a snow storm, freezing rain and heavy winds, but that was not going to stop us from getting to our home away from home.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for following us on our trip. Keep calm everyone, WE ARE AT DISNEY WORLD!

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 6607 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele


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