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November 2, 2013

Magic Kingdom Railroad






Walt Disney discovered his love for trains as a young boy. Later, he managed to incorporate this passion into his parks through scale model railways built to his specifications. His first ride-on, full railway was in his own back yard, and named the "Carolwood Pacific Railroad".



The Magic Kingdom is home to a 1.5 mile railway that circles the park. The 20 minute tour features three stops (Main Street, Frontierland and Fantasyland). This offers a nice break from the eternal walking around the park, or simply a worthwhile scenic roundtrip. Keep in mind, special, themed scenes are strategically placed to be visible by train (especially near Frontierland), so keep your eyes peeled!


Four authentic, vintage steam-powered trains have been in operation at the Magic Kingdom since opening day in October of 1971. They are appropriately named the Walter E. Disney, the Roy O. Disney, the Lilly Belle and the Roger E. Broggie, after Disney family members and Broggie, a Disney Imagineer.





The Main Street Station was a proud, important focal point of the Magic Kingdom, long before its completion. Walt knew this would be the entry point for his park, and he wanted it to be a sight to behold. In this, he succeeded. The theming harkens back to the elegance of the Victorian-styled depots of yesteryear, and a careful eye can find numerous little details to appreciate throughout the station. The sights and smells of the station are just the beginning! Personally, I enjoy the sounds! There's just nothing like the sound of that whistle or  the "all aboard" holler.




The second level platform of Main Street Station offers a surprisingly overlooked secret as well. Aside from being a quiet, out of the way place to people watch and relax, this hidden nook is one of the best places to catch the nighttime fireworks show! Although the station is hard to miss, so many guests seem to arrive anxious to charge down Main Street, essentially bypassing the unique sights and welcome benefits that pepper the path.


If you fancy yourself a train aficionado, the Magic Kingdom has yet another surprise in store for you! Check out the "Magic Behind Our Steam Trains" tour for an added burst of locomotive adventure. This two hour, behind-the-scenes tour takes you backstage with the railroad crew as they prepare the trains for the day, and allows a firsthand look at how Disney stores and maintains these mammoth machines. The cost of the tour is $30 per person and availability is limited (to keep tour groups small). Advance reservations are strongly recommended. For more info on this one-of-a-kind experience, click here.


Did you know? Find a mailbox on Main Street and drop in your outgoing mail for a Disney postmark!



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