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.
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.
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!“
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.
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.
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!
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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!
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