“In some way or another, I have always loved trains.”
Who doesn’t love this sight?
Seeing one of the four Walt Disney World steam trains pulling up in front of the Magic Kingdom means you are about to start a day at the Most Magical Place on Earth! But there is so much more to these trains than a way to bring guests to the various lands of the Magic Kingdom. And you can “get to know” these beautiful trains and the Engineers behind them through The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour.
The tour started off with an opportunity to see something not many people get to see… an empty Main Street, U.S.A.
During the tour, we received an up-close lesson on how these genuine steam trains operate.
We learned about Walt Disney and his passion for trains, how that affection impacted the design of Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, and how trains played a part of the creation of Mickey Mouse.
“He [Mickey Mouse] popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.”
We even went “backstage” to the Round House where the trains are housed and cared for, and had a very unique chance for some cool photo opportunities.
And the best part: we got to know one of the Engineers who shared his expertise and love of the trains with us.
Joe, our Engineer Tour Guide, spent part of the tour explaining how much pressure and force you need to exert to pull a train’s throttle.
“Sometimes when it’s late at night and I’m tired and I’m doing that last run on the train, I swear I can feel Walt’s spirit pull the throttle with me.”
- For a comprehensive list of all tours offered at Walt Disney World, click here. You may be amazed by some of the experiences offered! Pricing and length of time varies per tour.
- Most of the tours bring guests “Backstage,” and are restricted to ages 16 and up so as to not spoil the magic for children. However, a few of the tours do welcome families and one even caters to children. Be aware of welcomed ages prior to booking.
- Discounts for several tours are often available for Disney Visa card holders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Walt Disney World Annual Passholders.
- Tours are held rain or shine, as evidenced by my awesome “Florida” rain poncho, purchased at the Walgreen’s just outside of Downtown Disney moments before our tour !
Information specific to The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour:
- At the time of this writing, this tour if offered from 7:30-10:30 am on select days of the week, and the cost is $49.99. Be sure to call (407) WDW-TOUR for the most up-to-date information and for scheduling.
- Since Magic Kingdom parking may not be open, guests for this tour may park at the Contemporary Resort and walk to the Magic Kingdom entrance (have your confirmation number handy).
- Don’t have time on your vacation to take a tour? You can still chat with a Disney World Train Engineer! Engineers offer free half hour presentations in the Carolwood Pacific Room at the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Currently offered on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, but you can contact the Wilderness Lodge ahead of time to confirm (407-824-3200).