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Oct 28

Disney “Traveling Around The World”- Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland – Part 1 – Walt Disney World Railroad

 

The New Fantasyland

Welcome back “World” travelers! I hope you enjoyed your trip to the future of Tomorrowland. It’s now time for a little fun as we get to travel to uncharted territory. Our next stop is the much anticipated “New Fantasyland”. For the first leg of our journey we will be boarding a train, but not just any train. We will be traveling on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

The Walt Disney World Railroad takes you on a 20 minute scenic tour around Magic Kingdom theme park on one of 4 antique steam-powered engines, with stops at Main Street U.S.A., Frontierland, and Fantasyland. Today we’ll begin our trip at the Main Street USA station. You may recognize it as the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.

The Walt Disney World Railroad serves both as an attraction that takes guests on a tour of the Magic Kingdom and as a form of transportation, with its three stations making for shortcuts around the park. The three stations are Main Street USA, Frontierland, and our final destination, Fantasyland. The train departs each station every 4-10 minutes and the complete journey around the park takes about 20 minutes.

The Disney World Railroad includes four railroad trains that are all meticulously restored antique freight trains. The 4 trains are named Walter E. Disney #1, Lilly Belle #2, Roger E. Broggie #3, and Roy O. Disney #4. They were built in the United States around the turn of the 20th century and taken to Mexico. They enjoyed long careers working for the United Railways of Yucatán hauling sugarcane, until they were spotted by Disney scouts in 1969 and were restored and brought to Walt Disney World Resort for opening day on October 1, 1971. They have been happily circling the 1 and half-mile track around the Park ever since.

Walt Disney was a train enthusiast, long before he had thoughts of theme parks, with a scale railroad in his backyard. Though Walt Disney died before much work had been done on the Walt Disney World railroad, he personally signed off on the project and worked with Imagineer Roger Broggie on a plan to find and convert existing steam engines. Broggie went on to oversee the entire project and engine number three bears his name.

Each train consists of a steam locomotive, a tender (storage for fuel and water), and five passenger coaches with a total capacity of approximately 365 passengers and 2 wheelchairs. The tender has a capacity for 1,837 gallons of water and 664 gallons of fuel oil. The tender must be topped off with water every three or four trips (or circuits) around the park, which is done at the water tower located at Fantasyland Station.

Walt Disney World Roundhouse

On most days, the railroad uses two of the steam trains and three on really busy days. For safety reasons, the railroad is closed during the evening fireworks show due to the tracks’ close proximity to the fireworks staging area, which is located behind Fantasyland. The trains are moved back to the roundhouse about one hour before the fireworks show begins. Additionally, the railroad does not run during special events such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. At the end of the evening the conductors at each station announce the departure of the last train. All guests may ride until the train finally arrives at Main Street Station for the last time. After unloading at Main Street USA, the train heads to the roundhouse till the next day. The roundhouse is where the trains and the monorail trains are serviced and stored.

So now that we know where we’re going, let’s gather our stuff and load up. All aboard! Next stop Fantasyland!!!

Fantasyland (Storybook Circus) Station 

 

 

 

 

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