Sunday Spotlight: Walt Disney World Railroad

.The Walt Disney World Railroad is a train that normally circles the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. Currently, however, this isn’t accurate. Due to construction on an upcoming Tron Lightcycle Power Run attraction at the Magic Kingdom, it is a walk up attraction where guests can check out the trains at the Main Street Station.

Walt Disney World Railroad History

The Walt Disney World Railroad is a narrow gauge 3-foot heritage railroad. Before going under construction, it circled most of the Magic Kingdom on a 1.5-mile track. It has three stops during this trek: Main Street, Frontierland, and the Fantasyland Station. Traveling around the park takes approximately 20 minutes.

The Walt Disney World Railroad is comprised of four trains. Its development was led by Roger E. Broggie. The engines were acquired from the Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatán, a narrow gauge railway in Mexico. They were originally built between 1916 and 1928. They were shipped to the United States and refurbished to resemble locomotives from the 1880s. Passenger cars were built from scratch for each locomotive. A fifth engine was purchased from the Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works but it was unable to be restored. Both the restoration of the engines and construction of the trains were completed in less than two years. They were delivered to the Magic Kingdom ahead of its opening on October 1, 1971.

When the Magic Kingdom first opened, the trains originally just ran the circle tour with the only stop being the Main Street Station. On May 1, 1972, the Frontierland Station opened. This station was demolished in 1990 to make way for Splash Mountain. The current Frontierland Station opened in 1991 just North of the former’s location.

A third station was opened in 1988 at Mickey’s Birthdayland Station. In 1990 the station was renamed Mickey’s Starland.  During the construction of Splash Mountain, the train went back and forth to this station, earning the name the Backtrack Express.  During this time, only one train operated. Then it was changed to Mickey’s Toontown Fair in 1996. During these changes, the signage changed but the station remained the same. However, in 2004 the station was taken down and rebuilt to look exactly the same as the original. In 2011, Mickey’s Toontown Fair was closed to make way for the expansion of New Fantasyland and the Storybook Circus. This new station opened in 2012.

Walt Disney World Railroad Today

The Walt Disney World Railroad closed on December 3, 2018, to make way for the Tron Lightcycle Power Run attraction that is being built in Tomorrowland. Train fans are enjoying getting to go up close to the trains at Main Street Station but also eagerly await its return!

Watch a live circling of the Magic Kingdom on the Walt Disney World Railroad here:

YouTube player

What’s your favorite part of the Walt Disney World Railroad? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.