All aboard! One of my favorite things to do at a Disney park is hop onto the train and take a leisurely ride around the park when my froggy legs need a break from all the hopping. Did you know the creation of the Disneyland Railroad stemmed from Walt Disney's love and passion for trains? During this secret history of the Disney World Railroad, we'll learn this and a tad more!
The Secret History of the Disney World Railroad
As I mentioned before, Walt Disney had a love for trains ever since he was a young tadpole. In fact, once he and his wife bought their family home, he asked her if he could have a train running throughout the yard! From that point on, Walt was busy constructing his very own train in their backyard. He named this the Carolwood Pacific Railroad.
One of the very first designs of Disneyland Park included a real railroad operating around the park. Roger Broggie, who helped with the construction of Walt's miniature railroad, also lent a helping hand in the creation of the Disneyland Railroad.
Once plans were in the works for Walt Disney World in Florida, Disney Imagineers began searching for locomotives and passenger cars to use for the park's own railroad system. Four trains were purchased from Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatan (United Railways of Yucatan) and restored. These trains are each named after a Disney icon: Walter E. Disney (Walt Disney), Lilly Belle (Walt's wife), Roy O. Disney (Walt's brother) and Roger E. Broggie (Disney Imagineer).
Of course, modifications and such have been made throughout the years to the trains in order to maintain them! However, they still maintain the classic atmosphere of railroads. And we always make sure to ride the train at least once during each visit!
Disney World Railroad Fun Facts
- Roger Broggie was considered the first Disney Imagineer!
- According to DisneyParkHistory.com, the Disney World Railroad trains played "Mickey's Birthdayland Express" Rollin' On the Walt Disney World Express" during the years of 1989-90.
- Each train has a tender, and the tenders on the Disney World Railroad can hold up to 1,837 gallons of water and 667 gallons of fuel oil! This means the trains are steam-powdered.
- Ask a Cast Member about the trains' whistles! According to DisneyFanatic.com, the trains have various whistles that mean different things (like when a train is approaching, etc.).
- The loop of the Disney World Railroad around Magic Kingdom Park encompasses around 1.5 miles and stops at three different stations: Main Street, U.S.A., Frontierland and Fantasyland.
- We talked about how the trains were bought and restored, but we didn't talk about exactly how old they are; they were originally made sometime between 1916 and 1928!
- On the first floor of the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge is the Carolwood Room, named after Walt Disney’s outdoor model railroad, and it includes a mini-museum!
What's your favorite memory of the Disney World Railroad? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, check out our Disney World Railroad wait times and more!