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Walt Disney World Railroad Now Open After 4 Year Closure

The Walt Disney World Railroad in Disney’s Magic Kingdom had been closed since December 3, 2018, that’s 4 whole years. After all that time waiting, it’s finally back! That’s right, The Walt Disney World Railroad is back up and running for guests in Disney’s Magic Kingdom and we have all the details including some new additions.

Mickey Mouse in front of the Walt Disney World Railroad Magic Kingdom

The Walt Disney World Railroad originally closed due to construction on the new TRON roller coaster which is being built in Tomorrowland. The track had to be taken up and moved in order to make room for this new E-Ticket attraction in the Magic Kingdom.

On December 23, 2022, the Walt Disney World Railroad finally returned to the Magic Kingdom and welcomed guests onboard for the first time in 4 years. The attraction now has a completely refreshed track looping the park and through a new tunnel near TRON.

Walt Disney World Railroad Magic Kingdom

The new loop wasn’t the only change to this 100-year-old steam train, however. Walt Disney Imagineering took the opportunity to revisit the narration of the attraction 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.

“The familiar whistle of its steam engine will be complemented by exciting new sounds and voices,” the team of Imagineers shared. “A new conductor has assumed the role, carrying on the long tradition of warm welcomes and amusing anecdotes while adding fresh commentary and story to the journey.”

The Disney Parks Blog goes on: “The creative voiceover process is as detailed as the train operation itself, and it all starts with our conductor. For these meticulously restored steam trains, we know the scenic grand circle tour must be guided by a voice our guests can envision and resonate with. Someone who grew up on Main Street, U.S.A., dreaming of the day they’d be on the railroad.

They’ve now achieved that dream, and they know everyone and everything at Magic Kingdom … an unofficial mayor of sorts. This conductor is humble, genial, and knowledgeable, and he’s eager to help passengers of these iconic steam trains get to their destinations around the park he loves so dearly.

While our conductor points you to the familiar sights on your left and right, we embrace what makes Magic Kingdom a place unlike any other, where you can escape into completely new worlds and celebrate with characters you love.

This legacy attraction now holds true the very nostalgia of opening day and blends it with the wonder of new adventures, immersing you into story after story as it loops around the park. You may even encounter a character or two along the way!

Mickey Mouse driving the Walt Disney World Railroad Magic Kingdom

After checking Disney’s operational calendar, it looks like The Walt Disney World Railroad will run daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. It’s possible those times could change seasonally, but for now, those are the regular times.

We’re just happy that it’s finally back and we can ride the railroad around the park whenever we want.

Disney had to build out the infrastructure of the TRON coaster in that area and across the train tracks, since the two attraction footprints overlap. Hence the reason why it was closed for so long.

There was delay after delay getting The Walt Disney World Railroad back up and running. For a long time we thought it would be opening at some time in 2021. However, Disney continued to push that off due to the delay in the TRON roller coaster construction. In the end, we had to wait all the way till the very end of 2022.

There is only a little work left to do in connection with the TRON coaster as it’s opening in Spring 2023. Let’s look at a few details of how these two attractions will co-exist.

Concept Art for TRON Lightcycle Run Roller Coaster

Even since the beginning of the construction, plans have continuously changed for the Railroad.

At first, the train was going to pass directly under the coaster, unprotected. Now with the latest concept art for the TRON coaster, you can see the tunnel that was instead built under the coaster, keeping the Tomorrowland theming of the future intact, instead of a turn-of-the-century locomotive passing by.

tunnel for Walt Disney World Railroad under TRON coaster

In the past, we have seen the Frontierland and Fantasyland stations listed on the calendar as having earlier openings than the rest of the Railroad. At times, the train in Disneyland has operated in “shuttle mode,” only going back and forth between these two stations and not making the entire loop.

The good news is that right now you can ride the Walt Disney World Railroad yourself, so make sure to hop onboard and appreciate one of Walt’s favorite toys on your next visit.

Stay tuned to Ziggy Knows Disney for the latest updates on the Walt Disney World Railroad refurbishment. In the meantime, check out the full Walt Disney World Refurbishment Calendar for all other closures and reopenings around the parks!

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. We will update you with any changes to Walt Disney World Railroad, and share the latest vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

Your Thoughts:

I want to know what you think about the Walt Disney World Railroad opening…

  • What do you think of the new changes?
  • Where does the Walt Disney World Railroad rank among your favorite attractions?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

Meet the Author of Ziggy Knows Disney!

John

Saturday 31st of December 2022

Extremely glad it is back in operation. Was the first thing my family would do upon arriving at the park to get over to Frontier Land and ride Thunder Mountain. Unfortunately it will not be operating when we arrive at the park due to its new operating hours. My family have been vacationing at Disneyworld since it opened but more and more they are giving reasons to end the family tradition . We have our reservations made for spring 2023 but have not decide to go . Now that is a first!

Michelle

Friday 21st of October 2022

Well, now it is almost November 2022 and the train still hasn't opened. I hope it opens by Thanksgiving. That would be so cool if it would be.

ADP

Friday 16th of September 2022

Looks like into 2023 now.

ADP

Saturday 8th of October 2022

@ADP, You guys still think the train will be back in 2022 ? 🙃

Kenneth M.

Monday 13th of December 2021

Hi,. As a die-hard fan of the Disney trains, myself and hundreds of others who feel the same, a decision was made that none of us will go back to Disneyland, Disney World, etc. until the trains are running regularly. We are taking our business elsewhere to places that have trains running. Walts love for trains should have been honored ahead of other things and designing engineers should have designed and built safely around the railroad first, to keep it operational even if it meant rerouting it. To completely close the most important attraction at Disney parks for such a long time, is out of line and quite frankly disrespectful to the patrons who have loved, supported and used it for all the years it was in service and I know Walt and family would not be happy at all!

Grumpy

Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

Your 2019 story on price increases at WDW confirm all the negative feedback and justify the greed aspect of commenters on this site. Even you Ziggy warned The Corporation of times ahead, with the price increases PRIOR to the covid shutdown.

It has turned into a free for all.

And complaints of alienation from financially strapped customers THEN were being shouted to the rooftops.

Long since forgotten but with a catch-all excuse of a virus greed is full steam ahead at the parks. And the customers can balance the ledgers, for the boys in the accounting office.

This pricing thing, is nothing short of a colossal joke.

Sorry to use this space to sound off, off topic but after reading the old 2019 price increase article, I lost it.