We just returned yesterday from a wonderous vacation to Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. We traveled via the Amtrak Auto Train, which carries you and your vehicle from Lorton, Virginia, which is close to Washington, DC to Sanford, Florida which is near Orlando, FL. We've done this many times and highly recommend it. If you live on the East Coast of the United States, this might be a fun way to travel by car, but not have to drive the entire way. Many families from New Jersey and New York drive down to Virginia and let Amtrak take the wheel for the rest of the trip. It departs at 4:00 PM and arrives at 9:00 AM the next day. Included in the price of your ticket is a wine and cheese tasting with crunchy snacks and fresh fruit for the kids (and me). You are also served a gormet dinner in the diner, snacks with an evening movie in the lounge and Continental breakfast the next morning. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and bottled water are available throughout your trip. You can economize and travel in spacious coach seats (nothing like a cramped airline seat, plenty of legroom) or upgrade to a roomette which seats two comfortably during the day with a great view and transforms into two bunk beds at night. They also offer deluxe bedrooms that sleep two adults (three if they aren't obese) or a family bedroom that will sleep two small children in addition to the adults. Handicapped rooms are available. There is a private toilet, shower and sink in the deluxe rooms.
We stayed three nights at Disney's Polynesian Resort. Hawaiian pool, the monorail is in the hotel and we watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks on their beach every night. A great view of Cindarella's castle with the music piped in. You can't really enjoy the whole fireworks show in the crowd at the Magic Kingdom, but across the lake, wow, you take it all in.
We stayed three nights at the Wilderness Lodge Resort which is modeled after our National Parks. Breathtaking arcitecture. A geyeser goes off every hour. Wonderful pools and hot tubs. Beautiful grounds. The family style BBQ dinner in their Wispering Pines Cafe was so good we ate there twice. The servers are hilariously caustic.
We stayed our last like at the Hard Rock Hotel on Universal Studios property. This was a beautiful hotel and surpassed Disney on amenities. Q-tips, cotton balls, a make up mirror and Keurig hot beverage machine in the rooms. I never make tea in hotel rooms because it always tastes like coffee. I was really excited because we have a Keurig at home. Alas, the one in our room didn't work. The pool wasn't very deep. Most people sat in the water. Wasn't really our crowd, since we aren't drinkers. But everyone was nice.