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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More, more, TRAINS!

What a way to combine our passions! Disney and trains! The photo above is the boy at the Germany Pavilion at EPCOT where a lovely G-gauge train layout/garden exists. We have seen the trains during the day and at night. Disney changes the scenery a bit for each season or celebration.

The following is more information about trains:
Illinois:
Galesburg has an Amtrak station with a railroad museum just north of the station. Then, just steps away is Discovery Depot, a children's museum aptly named. One of our favorites at Discovery Depot is the water room.

Texas:
Galveston hosts the Galveston Railroad Museum. There's a working hand car, railroad cars for birthday parties, and several rooms of model train layouts. Check out the snow room and the night room. The location of the museum adds to its authenticity. It is easy to make a day of Moody Gardens and the Galveston Railroad Museum. You could add a visit to Schlitterbahn Water Park located next to Moody Gardens.

Florida:
Orlando, as a frequent stop for our family, offers much for train lovers.
Train Land International is centrally located on International Drive or as locals call it "I-drive." The location of Train Land International allows for access via the I-drive Trolley--another plus for train enthusiasts. Train Land International boasts the largest indoor G-gauge layout. There's a scavenger hunt. Outside a track circles the property for rides on their trolley.

Walt Disney World Resort has many train highlights. One is the train garden/layout located in the Germany Pavilion at EPCOT--pictured above. We typically visit this spot two or more times during our trips to the World.

Another is the Walt Disney World Railroad located at the Magic Kingdom. This steam locomotive circles the park making stops in Frontierland and Toontown. We have friends who have been selected twice to open the Magic Kingdom and ride in on the train to the Main Street Station with the characters. The "Good Mornin' "song is going through my head right now.

Magic Kingdom is home to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad a well themed roller coaster.

The Monorail also counts as a train. Part of the Walt Disney World Transportation system, the now 11 Monorails help transport guests from the resorts to the park and make stops at the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center). Our family has ridden in the front of the monorail on 3 different occasions.

Animal Kingdom has the Wildlife Express Train which takes riders to and from Rafiki's Planet Watch. This train is designed like a steam train in the wilds of Africa, so passengers face to the side rather than the front of the train.

Animal Kingdom is also home to Expedition Everest, a train inspired roller coaster. Have you seen the Yeti?

At Wilderness Lodge, there is a room dedicated to Walt's model trains in the Villas section of the resort.

Downtown Disney has a small track and train ride for youngsters. Located next to Pin Traders, the ride-on train makes 4-5 loops around the track per ride and is a hit with the under 10 set.

Since Disney and trains go together like peanut butter and jelly, the Walt Disney World Resort offers a special The Magic Behind the Steam Trains Tour for guest 10 and older. There is a fee for this tour and special reservations are required. This tour is definitely on our wish list.

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