The Walt Disney World Railroad

Walt Disney World Travel Blog

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Main Street Station

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.

Taking on water at Toontown Station
  The station is at the head of the Main Street themed area, Walt Disney's idealized vision of a Midwestern town in the early 20th century. Trains take guests around the park, making stops at Frontierland and Toontown. It an enjoyable ride in and of itself and also one way to travel between different sections of the park.  Disney offers a "backstage" tour of the train operations called "The Magic Behind our Steam Trains." (I've taken it.)

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.    

 

Daive says:
Great shots!
Posted on: May 15, 2011
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Main Street Station
Main Street Station
Taking on water at Toontown Station
Taking on water at Toontown Station
Baldwin 4-6-0 #1, Walter E. Disney
Baldwin 4-6-0 #1, Walter E. Disney
Baldwin 4-4-0 #4, Roy O. Disney
Baldwin 4-4-0 #4, Roy O. Disney
Baldwin 2-6-0 #2, Lilly Belle
Baldwin 2-6-0 #2, Lilly Belle
Baldwin 4-4-0 #4, Roy O. Disney
Baldwin 4-4-0 #4, Roy O. Disney
En route to Tomorrowland
En route to Tomorrowland
Frontierland Station
Frontierland Station
It wouldnt be a story about Magic…
It wouldn't be a story about Magi…
Walt Disney World Sights & Attractions review
Behind the scenes at the Walt Disney World Railroad
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains is a Backstage Tour offered at Walt Disney World. On the tour, participants learn about the operation of the Walt Di… read entire review