Aboard Animal Kingdom's Wildlife Express

Walt Disney World Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
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.  

nyprne says:
Congratulations on your featured review, Andy!
Posted on: May 15, 2011
rheagirl says:
Congrats Andrew! :D
Posted on: May 15, 2011
monky says:
Hola Andy congrats on your latest featured blog!!
Posted on: May 15, 2011
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Disneys Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Arrival at Harambe Station
Arrival at Harambe Station
Eastern Star Railway at Conservati…
Eastern Star Railway at Conservat…
Eastern Star Railway locomotive
Eastern Star Railway locomotive
Harambe Station
Harambe Station
R. Baba Harpoor locomotive
R. Baba Harpoor locomotive
Wildlife Express
Wildlife Express
Wildlife Express
Wildlife Express
Aboard a Wildlife Express coach
Aboard a Wildlife Express coach
Maybe they should have taken the t…
Maybe they should have taken the …