This was one of the tours I went on, on last visit to Disney.
I have done a lot of the backstage Disney tours offered, and am always keen to do more. I knew of Walt’s love for trains (who doesn’t?!) and decided to book this one too.
It was a very early start, you had to be at Magic Kingdom for 7.15am! No transport was available, so we drove our hire car to the Contemporary Resort, and then walked over.
We met outside the entrance, and then walked into a very empty park – bliss! The tour guide let us stop for a while and take some photos.
I can’t remember the name of our guide, but she was so enthusiastic and passionate about the steam trains! She clearly loved her job.
It starts off with a ride on the train, one was already set up and in use. So we went round the park, until we got to the roundhouse exit. (This is located at the Fantasyland Station). You then go backwards, so you are now backstage and arrive at The Roundhouse. The train we was in and looking at was the Roger E. Broggie.
This is where the steam trains are kept overnight, maintained and serviced. We was encouraged to take photos, but not to touch or lean on the train as it was so hot!
We was broken up into groups of 3 or 4, and took turns going up into the cab, where our tour guide explained how the train starts, works and the jobs of the two cast members. It sounds like a very hard working role, and when she said how hot the cab can get in those summer Florida month’s – wow! That’s dedication.
When you are there, you get to see a cast member light the engines – you actually see the flames, and you also get to witness “a pop-off”. I will let you experience that for yourself!
After this portion of the tour, we got back on the train and headed to Main Street.
Under the Main Street station is a section, with posters and information on the four people the trains are named after. Walter E. Disney, Lilly Belle, Roy O. Disney and Roger E. Broggie. Our tour guide went quickly through the stories and how they got chosen. I personally hadn’t noticed this before, and think it’s a very nice touch to honour the people. If you haven’t noticed this either – maybe go check it out on your next visit!
We then went upstairs to the station, and took a seat on a few benches. There was then a flipboard with old photos and more information about steam trains. For example Walt’s own train in his garden and the story behind that.
The tour finished here, and we was each given a pin. The tour itself lasts approximately three hours, and you need a valid ticket to get into the park.
I did enjoy the tour, and I always love hearing stories about Walt Disney. The bonus of an empty park in the morning, and going backstage are always highlights for me.