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Complete Guide to the Walt Disney World Railroad at Magic Kingdom

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Complete Guide to the Walt Disney World Railroad at  Magic Kingdom

All aboard! It’s time to talk about one of the best attractions at Magic Kingdom — the Walt Disney World Railroad.

Yes, we truly believe the train that travels around Magic Kingdom is not only iconic, but also worth hopping on at least once during a park visit — especially if you’ve never done so.

Because of the TRON construction, the beloved train was closed for several years, but that’s not the case anymore!

Here’s what’s new:

  • Although the path is mainly the same (with some small changes near TRON Lightcycle / Run), the entire track has been refreshed.
  • In addition, the 100-year-old trains themselves have also been refreshed.
  • One of the most noticeable changes will be what you hear when riding. The train features a new narration and voiceover. Disney says, “Walt Disney Imagineering also seized this moment to revisit the narration and introduce an all-new voice to bring guests into the beloved stories they encounter as they travel from one magical land to the next.”

It’s no secret that Walt Disney was a big lover of trains. Riding the Walt Disney World Railroad is a great way to honor the man who started it all with a mouse.

The train might not be a thrill ride or an attraction everyone runs to, but it’s special and not to be ignored.

Plus, it’s a great way to get around the park without having to walk, perfect for little ones, and offers views that you can’t see anywhere else in Magic Kingdom.

So if we could have your attention please as we present to you our guide to Walt Disney World Railroad.

Walt Disney World Railroad Quick Facts

  • Location: Magic Kingdom, stations at Main Street U.S.A., Frontierland, and Fantasyland
  • Height requirement: None
  • Suitable for: Everyone
  • Attraction length: 20 minutes
  • Do we recommend? Only as a time filler, not a high priority (but we think everyone should ride it at least once!)
  • When to visit: Anytime
  • Lightning Lane available: N/A
  • Eligible for Early Entry: N/A
  • Scheduled Refurbishments
  • Tip(s): This is a great attraction to ride if you have a little one who needs to rest since you can stay on it as long as you like. You can get on and off on any of its 3 stops so it is also a good way to save some steps if you need to cross the park.

Description: The Walt Disney World Railroad is a 20-minute slow-moving, 1.5-mile scenic round-trip train ride around the Magic Kingdom. You can ride on 1 of 4 restored, vintage narrow-gauge steam trains that were originally built between 1916 and 1928.

Location

There are 3 different places to find the Walt Disney World Railroad, including:

The Main Street, U.S.A. station

This is the main station for the railroad and located in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A.

walt disney world railroad main street station

You’ll see this station as soon as you enter the park. You can even see the train arriving and departing as soon as you scan into Magic Kingdom.

walt disney world railroad frontierland map location

There’s a lot of history here thanks to photos and other memorabilia on display. Be sure to walk underneath the train station too for more history!

  • The stop after getting on at Main Street, U.S.A. is the Frontierland station.

Frontierland Station

The Frontierland station is located in – you guessed it – Frontierland.

walt disney world railroad frontierland station

You can find it sitting between Splash Mountain (soon-to-be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure) and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

walt disney world railroad main street usa map location

Hopping on here offers cool views of the Frontierland area, especially Thunder Mountain.

  • The next stop after getting on at Frontierland is the Fantasyland station.

Fantasyland Station

walt disney world railroad fantasyland station

The Fantasyland station is located in the Storybook Circus area behind Barnstormer.

walt disney world railroad fantasyland map location
  • The stop after getting on at Fantasyland is the Main Street, U.S.A. station.

Download the PDF

Magic kingdom map
magic kingdom map

How to ride the Walt Disney World Railroad

The Walt Disney World Railroad only has a Standby Line. There is also no Single Rider Line.

Typically, the train doesn’t have extremely long waits. A lot of people can ride at once due to plenty of seating and the number of railroad cars. And with groups of people getting off and on, the wait is never too lengthy.

A complete roundtrip is about 20 minutes, with each Walt Disney World Railroad line arriving at each station every 5 to 10 minutes.

Typically, 2 or 3 trains run each day.

Do I need to use Genie+ for the railroad?

No, you do not need to use Genie+ for the railroad, especially because there isn’t a Lightning Lane available here.

Be sure to check out our touring strategies for Magic Kingdom for more Genie+ advice.

Rider Switch/Child Swap

The Walt Disney World Railroad does not have Rider Switch, but several attractions in Magic Kingdom do.

Learn more about Rider Switch.

What to expect when you ride

Queue

The queue for the railroad doesn’t have any interactive elements or games and is pretty standard, but each one has its own theming depending on where the station is located. All of the station queues are also outdoors and mainly covered/in the shade.

Ride Vehicles

There are 4 steam locomotives:

  • Walter E. Disney
  • Lilly Belle
  • Roy O. Disney
  • Roger E. Broggie

Each locomotive has 20 passenger cars, with each train holding about 365 passengers total.

All of the trains have benches that face forward and can fit around 3 to 5 guests.

Accessibility Information

Guests in ECVs must either transfer to a manual wheelchair or onto a train seat.

ECVs must stay at the station after guests have transferred, meaning you will have to go back to that station to pick up the ECV.

Folded strollers can be brought on board, but in-park rental strollers and any other stroller that can’t be folded must be left in the nearby designated stroller parking.

Handheld captioning is available for guests with hearing disabilities.

walt disney world railroad accessbility

On the Ride

Here’s a breakdown of the ride as if you’re leaving the Main Street station and taking a roundtrip.

When you exit the Main Street station, you’ll come upon a lot of foliage, along with different themed props and a brief peek into backstage areas as you make your way through Adventureland on your way to Frontierland.

As you approach Frontierland, you travel through a tunnel that overlooks the finale scene of Splash Mountain where the animatronics sing on the riverboat. For the best view, sit on the outside of the bench where you enter and exit.

Once you exit the Frontierland station, you’ll come upon Thunder Mountain and see some awesome views. You might even get a glimpse of the roller coaster in action.

The train then crosses a bridge that offers views of the Rivers of America and the Liberty Square Riverboat.

Next, the train pulls into the Fantasyland station before heading through Tomorrowland, where you’ll see unique views of Space Mountain and TRON!

After you leave Fantasyland, you’ll head to Main Street. If you’re on the inside, you’ll be able to see the Contemporary and views of the Magic Kingdom park entrance.

Is the railroad kid-friendly?

Yes, the railroad is kid-friendly.

It also makes for a great attraction if you have a little one who needs to rest since you can stay on it as long as you like.

Strollers

Folded strollers can be brought on board, but in-park rental strollers and any other stroller that can’t be folded must be left in the nearby designated stroller parking.

If your stroller doesn’t fold and you have to park it, be sure to take your valuables with you and cover your stroller to protect it from those almost guaranteed Florida rainstorms.

History

The Walt Disney World Railroad and all 4 steam locomotives debuted on October 1, 1971 – opening day of Magic Kingdom.

walt disney train

The fleet of locomotives were manufactured by the Baldwin Automotive Works of Philadelphia between 1915-1928 for the United Railways of Yucatan. The trains transported jute and sugar through the Yucatan Peninsula.

The locomotives were then restored and repainted for the park’s opening.

The Walt Disney World Railroad fleet has 3 locomotives named after members of the Disney family – the Walter E. Disney, the Roy Disney, and the Lilly Belle (after Lillian Disney). The fourth train is named after Imagineer Roger E. Broggie.

Other fun details

  • Characters appear throughout the day at the Main Street station for distanced meet and greets. This is a fun way to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, and Chip ‘n’ Dale. They don’t appear at set times, but sporadically throughout the day.
magic kingdom main street railroad characters
  • If open and available, you can watch fireworks from the Main Street station. This makes for a great view, but know that you won’t be able to see the projections on the castle as well. This is also a popular spot, so you’ll want to plan accordingly and grab a spot a decent time ahead of fireworks showtime.
roger e broggie walt disney world railroad
  • While currently unavailable (and it also remains unclear if this is returning), there was once a behind-the-scenes train tour called – The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour. It was a 3-hour tour prior to park opening that offered a peek at the railroad’s operations, led by a tour guide who was also one of the engineers.

Attractions near the railroad stations

Frontierland

Fantasyland

  • The Barnstormer
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
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