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Thread: WDW Railroad

  1. #1

    • Fit Cat
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    WDW Railroad

    Steve,

    First of all, love your columns... wonderful work. Walt and Ward would have been extremely proud. Looking forward to receiving your two books this coming Father's Day (it's on the request list at any rate).

    Question for you... The girls and I (1 spouse, 2 daughters) will be visiting WDW in June, and I have made plans to take the Steam Train Tour offered at MK early in the morning. Do you have or is there a place to find the kind of richly detailed information on the WDW fleet? Also, would you happen to have information on any "special" experiences I could enjoy while there? I've heard rumors that, at DL at least, one can ask to see the locomotive interior or ride on the Lilly Belle, but I don't know if one can make similar requests at WDW (other than riding in the Lilly Belle, of course).

    -Tony

  2. #2

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    Re: WDW Railroad

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for the kind words. You should easily have your books by father's Day. I'm hoping to ship most everything this weekend.

    To answer your questions, there really isn't a detailed account of the WDW trains, like you can find in "Welcome Aboard the Disneyland Railroad!"--yet. I know one person who is working on something, though.

    The best account yet can be found in Michael Broggie's "Walt Disney's Railroad Story." There are some great photos of the engines as they looked early in their careers, and several pages of text detailing their stories. The book is also a treasure trove of photos and text about Walt's love of trains, and should be in every Disney fan's collection.

    You will have a very special experience in the roundhouse tour. You will be allowed to visit a locomotive cab, and the CMs on hand will stay as long as you want after the tour to answer any questions you may have. You'll also get a commemorative pin.

    Something new, and a little more informal, is the monthly "Conversation with a Magic Kingdom Steam Train CM" held in the Iron Spike Room at the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge. This usually happens around 11:30 am. I'm not sure when the June one is.

    Anyway, ahve a great time, and I hope this helps!

  3. #3

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    Re: WDW Railroad

    There are several little things you can do to enjoy the WDW Railroad more. I don't know that they are necessarily "special", because anyone can do them, although not everyone thinks about it, or even wants to.

    Of course, the Magic Behind Our Steam Trains tour is the best way to get up close and personal with the WDWRR. The tour changes often, due to the fact that the railroad is a working operation. But you do get to visit the roundhouse, and usually you get to climb inside the cab of one of the locomotives (but not while it is steamed up). And you get to hear lots of great stories about Walt's love of railroads, as well as the history and operation of the WDWRR.

    Other fun things to do include visiting the Iron Spike Room at the Wilderness Lodge. Steve D. mentioned the "Conversation with a Magic Kingdom Steam Train CM". But even if you can't make that, the Iron Spike Room is worth a visit. It even has two cars from Walt's backyard Carolwood Pacific Railroad on display. There are some pictures on this page at Burnsland.com to give you an idea of what is there.

    A while back, I wrote a story found at StartedByAMouse.com about some other things you can do, such as taking a ride on the last train of the evening, and great places to photograph the trains. You might want to ask a CM when that last train might be - it depends on the fireworks schedule, among other things.

    And one more thing that I have done since I wrote that was to stand on the back of the last car of the train. You can ask the conductor if they might let you do that. I know at least some of them will. It gives a great view of where you have been! Here are some of the pictures I took on that trip.

    Hope that helps some, and I hope you have a great time!
    Steve Burns
    Burnsland.com - Disney Railroads and more! Home of the Disney Railroads Discussion Board.
    Burnsland Blog - Pictures and new stuff daily!

  4. #4

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    Re: WDW Railroad

    Gentlemen,

    My thanks to you for the suggestions; sounds like it'll be a great time. We're staying at the Wilderness Lodge, so I'll definitely have to take a walk over to the Iron Spike Room. Also, I'll have the camera humming along all during the trip, so I'll send along some WDWRR photos when we return. Now that I think about it, it might not be a bad idea to chronicle the tour experience and perhaps do a write-up for Miceage with the photos.

    Again, you have my thanks.
    -Tony

  5. #5

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    Re: WDW Railroad

    Steve... Just got back from the trip week before last, and the tour was most excellent. I took plenty of photos, recall most of what happened during the tour and thought it might not be a bad idea to do a write up on the experience for the boards here. What format would something like that take, and could I call on your expertise to ensure I'm getting some of the terminology right?
    -Tony

  6. #6

    • Geoff London
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    Re: WDW Railroad

    PLease write up your experience. We're booked in on this tour in October and I really casn't wait. I'm mad about steam trains - last year we spent two days with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge. To actually be able to "explore" Disney's trains at WDW and visit the roundhouse will be a great moment for me. I understand that you get to do a circuit of the park before it opens - that must be weird to see an empty park.
    Now I'll turn that little mouse's dream into a nightmare Fantasmic !



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