DISCOVER THE WALT DISNEY WORLD RAILROAD

Florida Guide > Magic Kingdom

As you approach Magic Kingdom, the Walt Disney World Railroad will be one of the first things you will see. If you are lucky the old-fashioned steam train may even be in the station, and so, if this is your first visit you could be on your first ride of the day before you know it! The rail journey is a good way to get a feel for the park, its size and its layout. There are only two stops before you return back to the beginning and the entrance to the park once more.

Main Street Station is where you will board, if you do decide to take the train, followed by Frontierland Station and then Mickey’s Toontown Fair. You can hop on or off at any station or even stay on for a couple of circuits if you so wish. If it’s towards the end of the day it can be a welcome rest for those tired feet and aching legs. The round trip takes approximately twenty minutes and the track is about a mile and a half long.

A recorded narration, accompanied by music at various intervals, explains the sights as you make your way around the park. There are a total of four engines but they usually only have two running at any one time. They are named Lilly Belle (after Walt’s wife), Walter Elias Disney, Roy O Disney (after Walt’s brother) and Roger E Brooge (a Disney Imagineer). The engines were built at the turn of the century and are the second oldest attraction in the park. The oldest being Cinderella’s Golden Carousel.

As the train blows its whistle and the stationmaster shouts “All Aboard” you slowly depart from the station. Be sure to wave to the stationmaster, on the platform, as you leave. As you emerge from a tunnel you enter Frontierland followed by another tunnel, inside which you will see the final scene from Splash Mountain. You are then travelling through the foothills of Big Thunder Mountain and the tiny town of Tumbleweed. You will get a much better view from the WDW Railroad, as you slowly pass the ride, than when you are actually on the ride itself. This is because the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad train travels at high speed and you will be too busy holding on to your hats to notice much of the scenery!

The backwoods of Virginia, home of Pocahontas, are next and if you listen carefully you can hear her singing in the woods as you pass an Indian camp complete with wigwams. Before you know it, you have arrived at Mickey’s Toontown Fair, the last station before you are back at Main Street once more.

The railroad usually stops running just before Disney’s evening fireworks display called Wishes. If you are around this area at that time you may wish to walk up the steps to the station platform for one of the best places to view the fireworks and the nighttime parade.

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Page added on: 16 October 2010
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