Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney had many associations with trains. His uncle was an engineer. One of his first jobs was as a refreshment vendor on passenger trains. It's said the character of Mickey Mouse (as Mortimer) was first drawn on a train. Walt had a miniature railway in his backyard and at the Disney Studios in Burbank. So, it's no suprise that the Disney theme parks feature many rail transporation rides. In this blog I'll tell you about the ones I have enjoyed riding.
In Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, the train is the Wildlife Express. In keeping with the Africa themed area in which it's located, the train is decorated as the Eastern Star Railway, a line reminiscent of East Africa.
Arrival at Harambe Station
The engines look like steam locomotives, but they really are not, and the coaches are decorated to look like early 20th century wooden carriages. The ride takes passengers in a loop from Harambe Station
to Rafiki's Planet Watch
and back and shows guests some of the behind the scenes animal care facilities in Animal Kingdom.
I've found Rafiki's Planet Watch a little lame, but I like the train ride to get there! As it's Disney, there are hidden meanings everywhere. What does the name "Eastern Star" Railway really mean? (When I hear Eastern Star I think of the Order of the Eastern Star ladies Masonic organization.) One of the locomotives is named "R. Baba Harpoor," pseudo-dialect sounding, but a take off on Disney Imgaineer Bob Harpur.