There is so much to talk about when it comes to the Walt Disney World Railroad, I hardly know where to begin! As most of you know, Walt Disney was an avid railroad enthusiast, and even had a train setup in his backyard! It was called the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, and he loved to navigate around his yard on his trains! Additionally, as you all know, Mickey Mouse was created by Walt Disney as he was on a train from New York, after he lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Universal. So it is no surprise that Walt Disney incorporated trains at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
The Walt Disney World Railroad was in operation on Day One, October 1, 1971. The four main locomotives were built between 1916 and 1928 by Baldwin Locomotive Works.
No. 1 Train: “Walter E. Disney”
Of course, the number one train in the fleet at Walt Disney World was the Walter E. Disney, a 4-6-0 “Ten Wheeler”. This train was built in 1925, and is identical to the No. 3 Train that I’ll discuss in a bit.
No. 2 Train: “Lilly Belle”
This train, built in 1928, the same year that Mickey Mouse was created, is a 2-6-0 “Mogul” train.
No. 3 Train: “Roger E. Broggie”
Roger Broggie was instrumental in acquiring the locomotives for Walt Disney World, and in fact, actually worked with Walt on building the Carolwood Pacific Railroad line in Walt’s backyard. The No. 1 train and the No. 3 train are one serial number apart, and as such, they are known as the “twins.”
No. 4 Train: “Roy O. Disney”
This locomotive is a 4-4-0 “American” built in 1916, and is the oldest of the four trains. When the trains were being named, the story goes that the Imagineers asked Roy if he wanted to have his name on the No. 3 Train since they were identical. Roy declined, saying that he “didn’t want to be compared to all the great things Walt had done.” This blogger would like to tell Roy that he did some pretty great things himself.
The Walt Disney World Railroad has three stops — one at Main Street, U.S.A., one at Frontierland, and one at Fantasyland, which used to be the stop for Mickey’s Toontown Fair. You can get on and off at any of the three locations, and you can also, to the best of my knowledge, stay on the train for multiple loops around the Magic Kingdom. One complete loop around the Park is about 20 minutes in length.
The Walt Disney World Railroad plays an instrumental role during the Magic Kingdom “Rope Drop” ceremony that opens the park. Mickey, Minnie, and a whole slew of characters will welcome you to the park, and Mickey will count down from 10 for the park to open!
The Walt Disney World Railroad is a classic Disney attraction, and is well worth taking a ride on. As you navigate the park, you’ll see special areas that the Imagineers have created to feature on the ride. This relaxing trip will allow you to take a load off your feet while still enjoying all that Disney has to offer. Enjoy!