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Walt Disney World Railroad

For fans of the Walt Disney, the railroads at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom are the most significant attractions. Walt Disney, long before his thoughts of theme parks was a train enthusiast, with a scale railroad in his back yard. Though Walt Disney died before much work had been done on the Walt Disney World railroad, he personally signed off on the project and worked with Imagineer Roger Broggie on a plan to find and convert existing steam engines. Broggie went on to oversee the entire project and engine number three bears his name. The Walt Disney World Railroad serves both as an attraction (take a round trip tour of the Magic Kingdom) and as a form of transportation, with its three stations making for shortcuts around the park.

General Information - Hide Section
  • Location: The track runs a course around the Magic Kingdom with three stations in Main Street, Frontierland, and Storybook Circus.
  • Date Opened: 10/1/1971
  • # of Ride Units: Four engines are available though generally only two are running at any given time.
  • Ride Capacity: Unknown, though it varies by engine since they pull a different complement of cars.
  • Restraint Method: None
  • Ticket Rating: C Ticket
  • Ride Photo: No
 
Time Commitment Information - Hide Section
  • Open/Close: Open and close with the park. During parades, trains may have to stop to let parade cross the tracks in Frontierland. Trains do not run during fireworks.
  • Wait Times: This can vary quite a bit from one train to the next and the number of people waiting isn't necessarily a good indicator. A lot depends on how many people get off at any particular stop. It is unusual, though, to have to wait more than one train. Trains can come as often as every 5 minutes or so but 10 minutes is more likely as they generally don't run all four trains.
  • Length of Ride: 20 minutes for the round trip tour with two stops along the way. The trains travel 10 miles per hour and the track is about 1.5 miles long.
  • FastPass: No
  • Single Rider: No
  • Queue Description: Each loading platform is a train station appropriate for the land in which is found.
Access Information - Hide Section
  • Health Restriction: None
  • Ride Access: The loading platforms are accessible via ramps.
  • Wheelchair Transfer: Certain cars can accommodate standard wheelchairs. Users of larger wheelchairs and ECVs will need to transfer to a standard wheelchair available at the platform. Wheelchairs and ECVs will not be transported to other stations so it will be necessary to do a full loop and return to the original station.
  • Service Animals: Yes
  • Audio: Handheld captioning devices are available for this attraction from Guest Services.
  • Weight and Size Issues: Seating can be a little tight, but generally there is room to spread out a bit.
Parenting Information - Hide Section
  • Height Restriction: None
  • Child Swap: No
  • Other Issues:
History and Trivia - Hide Section
  • At this location: The Walt Disney World railroad has been running since the park opened in 1971.
  • The Attraction's History: For most of the first year, the Walt Disney World Railroad only offered round trip ride around the Magic Kingdom and Main Street was the only station. In 1972 the Frontierland station opened in a location now covered by Splash Mountain. In 1990 the Frontierland station had to be torn down to make room for Splash Mountain and was relocated to its current location, reopening in 1991. The railroad's third station opened in 1988 as part of Mickey's Birthdayland (now Storybook Circus).

    The railroad has four engines. The first three were online when the park opened with the fourth getting there just a couple months later. The four engines are: No. 1 Walter E. Disney, No. 2 Lilly Belle, No. 3 Roger E. Broggie, and No. 4 Roy O. Disney. A fifth engine was purchased for use at the Walt Disney Railroad and was to be No.5 Ward Kimball. The engine was underpowered for the slight grade around the Mickey's Toontown Fair station and it was never put into service, though it was displayed in 1998 at Epcot's World Showcase.
  • Other Trivia:
    • Engine Origins: All four engines were built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia in 1925 and 1926. The trains were originally used by United Railways of Yucatan in Mexico. In 1969, Imagineer Roger Broggie found the engines in a scrapyard in Merida, Mexico.
Links of Interest - Hide Section

MousePlanet Links

  • Photos and History — Brian Bennett shares photos and history as learned on the Steam Train Tour. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Offsite Links (we can not vouch for their accuracy or timeliness)



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