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About Our Agent Bloggers

All Agents are College of Disney Knowledge graduates, with some also holding additional specialties like:   Accredited Cruise Counselor, Universal Specialist, Sandals & Beaches Specialist, as well as other destination specialties.   Our Agents are experienced travelers.  If your specific agent hasn’t experienced “it”, there is someone in the Agency that has; so you have access to first-hand, experienced advice.  That’s how we can provide you this experiential based travel planning service!  We are an entire Team working together!

Our Agents will ALWAYS, without fail, no exceptions – tell you the truth and do what they say.

Trained. Traveled. Trusted.  It’s Who We Are.


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Breakfast is an Art at Toppolino’s

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Breakfast is an Art at Toppolino’s

Missy Ryan

Are you ready to paint the town with your favorite characters? Topolino’s Terrace, located on Disney property at Riviera Resort, is a great dining location that recently just made a grand entrance.


Serving breakfast a’ la Art are character’s Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, and Donald. These friends are all there ready to dance, interact and have fun during breakfast hours. The four are sure to impress you with their new outfits. Characters are stylishly dressed from head to toe in outfits unique to Topolino’s. Painter Mickey, Minnie the Poet, Daisy the Dancer, and Donald as a sculptor. These outfits were adorable and so fun to watch as they danced around the dining room and interacted with one another either with hugs, twirling or even a quick kiss.

Adding to this experience is the beautiful location. Topolino’s is considered a rooftop dining experience because it is located on the top floor of the Riviera Resort. Right outside of the main dining room you can enjoy outside couches and seating as you immerse yourself in the spectacular views surrounding the area. Dining does not take place outside but guests are welcome to explore, relax, and take pictures. You can even get a great view of the brand new Skyliners buzzing by. Riviera Resort is also a hub to the new Skyliners so be sure to catch a quick ride and walk through the tunnel of flight to enjoy the mosaics before doing so. You will be so glad you took this time to see all the beauty on the way.


We were lucky enough to have our table right by a window as we enjoyed our wonderful meal.

You are treated from the start with a variety of pastries, delicious danish, croissants, blueberry scones, and epi bread. All are served in a imitation painters pot with spreads and flavored butter that can be applied with a painter’s butter knife…of course. As for the main course, dishes are available to order off a menu and include Quiche-Gruyere with house made pancetta, Sour Cream Waffle, Wood-fired Butchers Steak, Smoked Salmon, Spiced Sausage Hash, Eggs and plant based egg omelets.

There is also a kids menu for the little ones. A favorite has been the Mickey and Minnie waffle pops served on a painter’s palette with jam and other spreads to enjoy.


Topolino’s is sure to be a popular advanced dining reservation. I suggest adding it to your list and making sure it is secured 180 days when your reservations open.

As one of my services, I offer to set my alarm before the sun comes up and work on those hard-to-get reservations.

I would love to be part of your next trip and planning so you can include this wonderful experience and paint the town at Toppolino’s!!

Please follow me on Facebook

I am also on Instagram

I am always available to answer questions and make phone appointments. You can email me at

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Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes

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Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes

Leandra Hernandez

Restaurantosaurus, an old favorite of mine, has just got better! On my last family trip to Disney World’s Animal Kingdom I learned about a new dining experience at a place I already loved. You can now make reservations for dinner at Restaurantosaurus for the new Burgers and Sundaes and if you are on the dining plan it only takes a quick service credit! This a great use of a quick service credit as the cash price is $22.99 per adult and $14.99 per child.


Our dining adventure begins with a check in where you are given a small chalk board with your name and table number on it. You then proceed to the cash register where you place your order, pay, get your ice cream voucher, and are then escorted to your table. The menu is special for this event and includes several options. You can choose from 6 gourmet burgers, a breaded chicken sandwich, or salad. Side items are fries and onion rings, or you can get both in a half and half combination! These fries are more like steak fries that the traditional fries you would expect, and both fries and rings were great!

Once you are seated you can get your self-service drinks and toppings at your leisure. The tables are set up with paper tablecloths and a bucket of dinosaur stencils and crayons so you can draw your favorite dino while you wait for your food to arrive! Our food came quickly, but we got a couple of drawings done.


The food was delicious, I had the All-American Burger and my husband had the Chili-Cheese Corn Chips Burger, neither disappointed! There are as many toppings as you could dream of, something for everyone, and some special sauces for the more daring. The portions are huge so make sure to save room for dessert.


To top off this amazingly fun and delicious event, take you ice cream voucher up front and pick 2 scoops of any flavor you want (or 1 each of 2 different flavors as I did)! My husband opted to just get 1 scoop and they were happy to accommodate! Now the fun really began, there were so many toppings I didn’t know where to begin! I think the pieces of waffle cone were my favorite part, or maybe the chocolate rocks, maybe both!


This meal will satisfy your taste buds and keep you entertained; I highly recommend checking it out on your next expedition to Animal Kingdom!

Contact me by email or phone (270)860-4444 or visit my Facebook page to learn more.

#wishesfamilytravel #leandrahernandez #trainedtraveledtrusted #travelplanner

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A Virtual Trip To Universal Orlando Resort

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A Virtual Trip To Universal Orlando Resort


When I was a kid, I was on a very much super normal cycle whenever I would watch a movie. It went sorta like:

  1. Watch a new movie (1-2 hours)
  2. Use time/energy/imagination/inanimate objects from around my home to pretend I am in the world of the movie (3-7 months)
  3. Repeat

So, yeah, Universal Orlando Resort and the world-building, immersive-experience-creating, woah-inducing expertise they bring to attractions was and will forever be a gamechanger in my life. Until we can all ride the moving walkway together again, I’ve decided to fully let my inner child run amok, take a break from reality, and imagine my perfect day exploring Universal…At Home.

First up. It is officially crazy hot outside and I can think of no better remedy than to let loose and get soaked at Volcano Bay. BRB, putting on some sunscreen so my ornery senses are tricked and virtually riding all of these incredible Volcano Bay rides.

OK, so since we’re pretty much soaked now anyway, let’s head to the Islands of Adventure and hit some water rides. But first! I’m pretty much in a constant state of pretending I’m staying at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort (rum. tastings.), so shall we hop on a Water Taxi for our journey?

All right, we’re here, we’re still kinda wet, let’s hop on some water rides!

Who’s ready to dry off? Some may say the best way to dry off is simply a towel and a change of clothes. As for me, I’m a big fan of just hopping on a roller coaster or two and letting the sheer speed of motion do the job.

My goodness, the music alone on those videos made me feel real happy. Let’s head over to Universal Studios Florida for more thrills.

What. A. Day!

And to think I don’t even have to get in my car and brave I-4 to come back and do it all again tomorrow! If you want more Universal at Home or are eager to get the latest news on when we can Universal at Universal, sign up here. 

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Rotational Dining on a Disney Cruise

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Rotational Dining on a Disney Cruise

April Kemper

Did you know that the Disney Cruise Line is ranked as the number one best cruise for families and number one best cruise line in the Caribbean for 2020? This is according to U.S. News and World Report. I understand why too. I have been on 2 Disney cruises and they were both amazing. The quality that Disney offers absolutely blows me away. While they might be a little bit more expensive than some other cruise lines, you have to realize what you are getting for your money.


An example of a few of those things that you receive as part of your cruise fare: Broadway caliber shows, beautiful comfortable larger than average staterooms, the food, at least 3 different dining room experiences; soft drinks, all of the soft serve ice-cream you could eat; experiences with the Disney Characters and so much more.

One of the amazing amenities that Disney Cruise Line offers is rotational dining at both first (5:30) and second (8:15) dining times.  When you check in at Port, each person receives your key to the world card. This card is loaded with lots of valuable information. For example my last cruise was on the Disney Dream and I was on the second seating for dining. My key to the world card stated; Dinner: 8:15 – Table: 56 RAAE. So, you arrive at dinner between 8:00 and 8:15, they give you a little extra time for everyone to show up. Every table is numbered so wherever our dinning location was, we always knew we would be at table number 56. The RAAE, told us which restaurant we would be dining at that evening. Since we were on a 4-Night cruise, we of course had 4 letters. If we were on a 7 night cruise, then there would be 7 letters listed there on the card. On my card, on the Dream, the R stood for Royal Palace, the A stood for Animator’s Palate and since it was listed twice that means that we had dinner at Animator’s Palate two nights in a row. Then the E stood for Enchanted Garden.


The BEST thing about the rotational dining, other than the amazing food, is that your servers move with you. This is such a wonderful benefit. You get to know your servers and they get to know you. If you order the same thing to drink for the first 2 nights, then on the third night, when you show up for dinner many times your drink will already be at your table waiting for you. Every server and assistant server that I have had has been wonderful. We always love to take our pictures with our servers and miss them once the cruise is over. I also love that Disney puts where their Cast Members/employees are from on their name tags. My last cruise our head server was from the Philippines and our assistant server was from China. On our first cruise our server was from India and our assistant server was from Japan. I just love meeting people from other countries.

There are so many benefits to going on the Disney Cruise Line and this is only a tiny bit of what you can expect. If you would like to check it out for yourself and/or your family, send me an e-mail. I would love to help you plan an amazing vacation.

#DisneyCruise #Disney #DisneyFood #Disneyrotationaldining #DisneyDream #aprilkemper #wishesfamkilytravel #trainedtraveledtrusted #travelplanner #earmarkedagency


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Discover the Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Toys at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

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Discover the Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Toys at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

By: Katie Schmidt
Katie Schmidt is the Managing Editor of the Universal Orlando Resort Blog. She takes her coffee black and her fives high.



Two years before the orange doors of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes officially opened in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, Maria Kazaros and her team were already hard at work to bring novelty jokes and pranks inspired by those of Fred and George Weasley to life.

As a senior buyer on Universal Orlando Resorts’ merchandise team, Maria essentially is involved with product development, taking the idea of something and turning it into something tangible. Or, as is the case with her role developing merchandise for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, taking the idea of something and turning it into something magical.

“One of the hardest parts in the beginning was just, how do you bring things to life from Harry’s world,” Maria explains. “We spent many months watching the movies, reading the books, brainstorming, doing work sessions. And we brought in some of the fans to see what they liked. Those fans care and they know what they want, so that helped us all in figuring out what the merchandise in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be.”

Of course, while the source material for the Wizarding World (as seen in the Harry Potter film series) is plentiful and rich in detail, it can be tricky taking something you see in a movie and figuring out how to make it into an operational toy.

“One thing that I do is I rely on my product partners who are experts in the industry and know how toys can go from nothing to something,” Maria says. “I ask a lot of questions or just come to them and say, ‘I want to make this, can I?’ And then we’ll sort of reengineer it and I get to create my vision, so to speak.”

Maria has been with the company since 1999, starting out as a store manager in a handful of merchandise locations until joining the merchandise development team in 2001. Maria says she enjoys working with toys because it allows her to be a problem-solver.

“It’s challenging to take something non-magical, like a pen, and make it magical,” Maria says. “Or something that is magical, like The Monster Book of Monsters, and make it something real for people to interact with.”

Walking through Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, there is a lot to interact with. From the toilet-in-the-front-window flushing at the flick of your interactive wand, to all the Extendable Ears and Skiving Snackboxes your heart desires, the entire shop is packed to the ceiling (which, be sure to look up at for a surprise) with Weasleys-inspired items and tie-ins to the movies.

“I still watch the movies over and over because there’s so much that you can still catch from them that you haven’t seen,” Maria says.

To be honest, I also watch the Harry Potter movies over and over, so what’s the difference when Maria does? When I watch a scene with the Marauder’s Map, I am simply enjoying the magic of it all. Maria on the other hand…

“The Marauder’s Map was a fun one to figure out,” Maria says. “You hit it with the wand and the footprints go around, just like in the movies.”

One of Maria’s top priorities when developing merchandise for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is ensuring everything feels authentic — taking the notch up on what people expect from an everyday toy. And as for the merchandise in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, there is a unique chaos she aims to capture.

“When you think of that scene in the movie, everything is moving. Dolores Umbridge on the unicycle moves in their store and moves in ours. So that’s one we actually created and brought to life from the movies.”

What’s your favorite piece of Wizarding World merchandise? Let us know in the comments below and show it off by tagging us on Twitter @UniversalORL and Instagram @UniversalOrlando.


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#DisneyMagicMoments: Join Us for Day of Disney Magic to Celebrate #Halfway2Halloween

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#DisneyMagicMoments: Join Us for Day of Disney Magic to Celebrate #Halfway2Halloween

20_SM_Halfway to Halloween_General Social_v2_mb

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Having recently reached the halfway point to Halloween, we’ve decided to celebrate the milestone with a surprise daylong #Halfway2Halloween takeover featuring The Dapper Dans, bewitchingly wondrous recipes, DIY projects and other not-so-scary offerings for everyone to enjoy at home!

Our day of spook-tacular #DisneyMagicMoments begins tomorrow, May 15! Here’s a peek at what’s to come.

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Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

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Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

Audrey Willis

My family loves Star Wars! My oldest experienced Jedi Training years ago, but my 7 year old had not until our last trip, due to scheduling conflicts. He and I headed to the parks before the rest of our group, as we knew we needed to be at the park at or before opening. We went through the turnstiles right at opening and quickly walked to the sign-up area, at the time we went it was just past 50’s Prime Time restaurant, but is subject to change with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. We stood in line for about 15 minutes, before we made it to a cast member. You have to be at the meeting point 30 minutes before showtime, so I showed her our plans in MyDisneyExperience and she helped us pick a time that worked with our dining and FastPass+ plans. Once you are assigned a show time, you are given a receipt that lists the show time, the check-in time and location, along with your child’s name and confirmation code. I recommend taking a picture of this with your smartphone. (I was glad I did this as I handed the receipt to my husband and then forgot it when we returned!)


We met up with the rest of our group as they had made it to the park and went about our plans until our 2:30 check-in time. The children are assigned spots to sit in as they are checked in. If you do not show up at your check-in time your spot will be given away! There were several families waiting stand-by hoping for someone not to show up so their child could participate. Once all spots are filled, the lines are sorted by height and then the children are given a Jedi robe to wear for the show. As it gets a bit crowded in this area, they ask that one parent stays to walk next to the child, but all other family members wait at the stage. The children were lined up double file behind a cast member carrying a Jedi Temple banner, with a parent on the outside. As we walked to the stage, the castmember chanted “Here come the Jedi” and the children would loudly reply “Here we come!” Everyone knew we were on our way.


Once we made it to the stage the parents were given a PhotoPass card for the show, depending on the line their child was in as there are two levels to the stage each with a PhotoPass photographer. Each Jedi trainee was then assigned a circle to stand in and a Jedi Master starts the show and issues the children light sabers and then taught a few moves, before having them use the force to open the temple. Out of the temple came Darth Vader and then Kylo Ren. Each child used the moves in the order they were taught to fight the dark side. My child was on the lower level and faced Kylo Ren. Spoiler alert the dark side is defeated in the end and the young Jedi were released to their parents.


If you have a child that loves anything Star Wars related, this is a must do activity that is included with the price of your ticket. Just remember, you have to be at the park before or when it opens to sign-up!

If you would like more information on Jedi Training or other Star Wars activities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios you can email me at

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VIDEO: Packing Tips from a Travel Agent

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VIDEO: Packing Tips from a Travel Agent

One of our Trained, Traveled and Trusted Agents, Caitlin, shares her packing tips with us!

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Disney Magic Moments Really Happen

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Disney Magic Moments Really Happen

Tara Mulkerin

In Walt Disney World, as well as other Disney destinations, magical moments happen all the time. Sometimes it’s an upgrade to a higher room category, or a special item gifted in your room, or a cast member saying or doing something that makes your day.

We all go to Disney World with a special thing on our mind that we want to see or do. For me, it was a cupcake. You heard that right: a cupcake. We went at the end of October and had tickets to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.   The party has special treats available that you can only get during the party nights. I was determined to get three treats, the Jack Skellington pop, the Haunted Mansion wedding cake with a hatchet in it and the most important one to me was the Sanderson Sisters cupcake.


The evening was not going well for me. I had a long day and my lower extremity neuropathy was very painful. I ended up in a wheelchair which slowed us down. I lost my good parade spot to a group of teenagers who stood in front of me after being told to stand behind the rope line. I was emotional. A kind cast member saw this interaction and asked if I was planning to watch the Sanderson Sister Show, to which I stated “yes”. He told me to wait for him after the parade. While I was watching the parade, my husband, Jeff, went and purchased the mini wedding cake. The cake was, in fact, a shareable size, rich and delicious. After the parade, the kind gentleman cast member wheeled me to the front of the stage for the show and stayed to make sure no one stood in front of me. My emotions got the best of me again but in a good way. I watched my favorite Disney show through joyous tears. After the show, we wheeled over for the Jack Skellington pop. We were informed they sold out. Again, these are only sold during the Halloween Parties. I would not get one. Well, I thought, at least I can get my most wished for treat – The Sanderson Sisters cupcake. Once we figured out where it was sold – The Starbucks on Main Street -we headed over. There was a long line and the door was locked. Now, again, I was having an emotional evening, so I was near tears. My husband suggested the bakery at the end of the Main Street. Off we went, but when we arrived there were none of the cupcakes. Nearly in tears, a sweet cast member came up to me. Her name was Jayden and she had a red badge that said ‘Earning my Ears’ meaning she was a new employee. I told her my plight and she asked me to wait a couple of minutes while she went to the Starbucks through the back hallway. She came back a few minutes later looking glum. They wouldn’t give her one. I thanked her for trying. Suddenly, she said “Let me try something, if anyone asks you, say it’s your birthday.” I told her that wouldn’t be hard because it really was my birthday! She scurried off and returned 10 minutes later, with the cupcake, the manager and everyone from the store. They gathered around me and sang Happy Birthday and handed me the much sought after cupcake. Jayden had enlisted her manager in her quest. I told her manager she can take that badge off because Jayden earned her Ears! The cupcake was delicious, but it wasn’t nearly as sweet as the magical moment.


I’d love to help you plan a vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth, where just being there is a magical moment!

Tara Mulkerin
Concierge Agent
Wishes Family Travel
C – (412) 913-8652 
O – (864) 649-1489
F – (866) 222-4713

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If you’re planning on vacationing overnight on a long-distance Amtrak train, there are various sleeping accommodations to choose from. While you could make yourself quite comfortable in one of the Coach seats available on board—as these seats recline and include foot and leg rests—reserving an Amtrak sleeping car is the best way to ride the rails.

Regardless of how many nights you plan on spending on board or what kind of trip you plan on taking, there are plenty of perks to look forward to if you’re a first time rider.

There truly are few better ways to experience the beauty of North America!

California Zephyr_Sleeper Car Riders


Operating long-distances mainly along the Eastern Seaboard, single-level Viewliner trains include the Cardinal that runs between Washington, D.C. and Chicago, the Crescent that runs between New Orleans and New York City, and the Lake Shore Limited that runs between New York City and Chicago. Due to its lower height, Viewliners are able to fit through the many tunnels along its routes.

This train features compartments that can sleep two or more passengers. For example, a Roomette on board can sleep one to two passengers, a Bedroom comfortably sleeps two adults and perhaps a small child, and the Accessible Bedroom can accommodate two passengers and a wheelchair. Not to mention, two bedrooms can be combined to become a Bedroom Suite capable of sleeping four people.


Every car has an attendant who will show you to your cabin, take down your beds at night, and fold up your beds in the morning. Your luggage can be stored on the lower level of the Superliner cars.

Viewliner - Sleeping Accommodations


Amtrak’s iconic double-decker Superliner trains operate mainly on every other route throughout the U.S. not on the Eastern Seaboard. However, the one exception is the Capitol Limited between Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Superliner trains travel west, except for the Texas Eagle, which runs south and north between Chicago and San Antonio.

Once on board the Superliner, you’ll notice that the sleeping compartments are located on two levels and Roomettes (equipped with blackout curtains) do not have an en suite toilet or sink as they do on Viewliner trains.

On the lower level, there are four Roomettes, plus a Family Bedroom located at one end of the car, as well as an Accessible Bedroom at the opposite end. It’s also on this level where three private bathrooms, each with a sink, toilet and one separate shower room. For those who experience difficulty walking or getting around, the lower level is the most convenient, especially when traveling for two or three days cross-country.

Superliner Bedroom on Amtrak - Senior Man Resting

On the upper level of the train, there are 10 Roomettes and four Bedrooms. Upstairs, you can look forward to a much quieter, smoother ride. However, there is only one bathroom to share among passengers in the Roomettes and there is no shower room.

Every car has an attendant who will show you to your cabin, take down your beds at night, and fold up your beds in the morning. Your luggage can be stowed on the luggage racks at the end of the Viewliner cars.

Superliner Trains - Sleeping Accommodations

Experience what’s it’s like to sleep onboard a long-distance train with our Northern Rail Experience, Across America by RailGrand Canyon DiscoveryGlacier National Park Express, and USA and Canada Rail Experience.

Take a 3D tour of the Superliner Sleeping Car here or the Viewliner Sleeping Car here.

Other amenities include:

• Personal room attendant – turn down, coffee and bedding

• Sofa (converts to a bed)

• Two reclining seats (converts to bed)

• Electric outlets

• Fold-down table

• Reading Lights

• Climate control

• Garment rack


Sleeping accommodations on board Amtrak are considered “Sleeper Service,” which means passengers are entitled to a range of hotel-like amenities. These include fresh linens and towels, a hot shower, complimentary bottled water ice, soft drinks, and hot coffee.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all of your Dining Car meals (up to three full-service meals a day with water, soda or juice) are included in your ticket fare. Alcohol is available at an additional cost. When you board the train, ask your sleeping car attendant to make your reservations for the Dining Car if you’d like to be seated at a preferred time. Breakfast hours are 6:30 am – 10 am (no reservations), lunch hours are from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm and dinner hours are from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

The Dining Car on Amtrak is the best way to enjoy the views and your meal.

At select stations, sleeping car passengers also have access to ClubAcela and Amtrak Metropolitan Lounges lounge with snacks, drinks, showers, and even complimentary wine tastings.

Enjoy onboard dining with our Northern Rail Experience, Across America by RailGrand Canyon DiscoveryGlacier National Park Express, and USA and Canada Rail Experience.


The greatest joy of riding an overnight train to a destination is that someone else gets to do all the driving while you take in the passing landscapes outside your window. From mountains, forests, seascapes, and valleys to the vast, open plains, and crowd-pleasing cities, you’ll have the opportunity to experience sights that are rarely seen by anyone except passengers on long-haul trains.

If you're a first-time rider planning on vacationing overnight on a long-distance Amtrak train, there are various sleeping accommodations to choose from.

Speaking of ever-changing scenery, Amtrak’s Observation Car is the best place to appreciate the views! Observation Cars are part of the Superliner trains. With floor-to-ceiling windows, these “sightseer lounges” bring the wonders of the passing landscape to a whole new level. All passengers are allowed to enjoy the Observation Car, which features single seats, double seats, family-style seating.

The Observation Car is best experienced on our Northern Rail Experience, Across America by RailGrand Canyon DiscoveryGlacier National Park Express, and USA and Canada Rail Experience.


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