The Walt Disney World Railroad
Walt Disney World Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
When one thinks of trains at Disney, the immediate image is probably that of the train ride circling the Magic Kingdom park at Disneyland or Disney World. A loop train ride was one of the original rides at Disneyland in 1955. It's thought that Walt Disney was inspired to build Disneyland by his visits to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI, and the 1948 Chicago Railroad Fair. A prominent feature of both was an antique themed train ride that took visitors to different parts of the parks. When Walt Disney World opened in Florida in 1971, the first theme park was Magic Kingdom, in a layout and with themed areas very similar to Disneyland. Of course, there was a train ride around the park.
The trains at Disney World's Magic Kingdom depart from Main Street Station, at the park entrance.
The trains at Disney World's Magic Kingdom have a quite different provenance from those at Disneyland. The locomotives in use at Disneyland were built by the Disney Studios in 1955 and designed to look at mid-19th century American steam locomotives. The ones at Disney World are "real" in that they are real steam locomotives built between 1916 and 1928 and once operated by a railway company in Mexico. The Disney Company purchased them and restored them to also appear as 19th century style locomtives.