Walt Disney World Railroad Reopening Day: How Did it Go?

Walt Disney World railroad
Photo courtesy of BrianAndAmanda.net

During a time when the price of Genie+ hit another all-time high, guests have another attraction to enjoy. The Walt Disney World Railroad at Magic Kingdom reopened for all guests at 10 am on December 23. Walt Disney World fans have been waiting for this attraction to reopen. With test cast and then cast member previews, the anticipation increased for the Walt Disney World Railroad to reopen to all guests. For example, at the Main Street Train Station, for one of the first trains of the day, guests cheered to be able to ride this attraction. After over four years without the railroad, some remarked that this return made things feel normal again at Magic Kingdom.

Walt Dosney World railroad
Photo courtesy of BrianAndAmanda.net

The operating hours for the Walt Disney World Railroad for December 23 were 10 am until 6 pm. The posted hours for the next few days are as follows:

December 24 – 29, the hours are 9 am – 6 pm

December 30 & 31, the hours are 9 am – 4 pm.

The Walt Disney World Railroad opened on December 23rd with two trains. Cast members indicated that the plan for the rest of the day involved having three trains by the middle of the day. We anticipate that three trains will run on the busiest days.

walt disney world railroad
Photo courtesy of Brian AndAmanda.net

So how did things go on opening day?

The Walt Disney World Railroad ran smoothly on its reopening day. The crowd showed excitement to be able to ride these refurbished trains again. Several people waiting to ride were heard joking about why everyone was so excited. The number of train riders never created a long queue for this attraction despite its first day open in so long. We expect this attraction to develop a long line as more guests realize it is open.

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

The loading procedures resemble the previous pattern. The cast members encourage orderly boarding. Guests continually receive instructions to remain seated until the train completely stops. The train narration encourages adults to monitor the children in a polite Disney way.

Once the train starts moving, guests could notice some new narrations. For example, while passing by Splash Mountain, the narration still points out Splash Mountain despite the closing of that attraction next month. Guests hear the familiar tune of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Those allusions remain even though Splash Mountain is re-themed to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in January 2023. However, we would expect those references to change once the refurbishment of Splash Mountain begins. We base this on the fact that all other mentions of “Song of the South” disappeared from Walt Disney World. For example, characters from that movie stopped appearing during the “Boo To You” parade this year.

walt Disney world railroad
Photo courtesy of BrianAndAmanda.net

As Walt Disney World Railroad riders travel through Fantasyland, a new narration can be heard. In this new narration, Peter Pan wrestles with his shadow.

Since the Walt Disney World Railroad closed in December 2018 for the TRON Lightcycle Run construction, some notable changes have occurred as you pass under this attraction. The railroad was refurbished and rebuilt through the TRON Lightcycle Run construction site with a new tunnel. Before you enter the new tunnel, you see a promotional sign for TRON Lightcycle Run. This sign features standard graphics used in other promotional materials.

The unique narration as guests ride through the tunnel connects to the Tron Lightcycle Run theming. The narrator starts speaking about Tomorrowland. Then, some futuristic sounds interrupt the narrator. A new voice announces “Spaceport 75″ and then is interrupted by techy sounds and another voice announcing, “Spaceport 75.” The TRON-like voice indicates that some unidentified users have entered the upload conduit area. It sounds like the train is being scanned in a science-fiction movie. As the train reached the end of this tunnel underneath the TRON coaster, the sound appeared to indicate that the passengers were no threat to the operation.

As guests pass through the tunnel, they might receive a glimpse of the indoor section of the TRON coaster. Some small openings allow guests prepared to view a chance to see the coaster in action quickly.

walt Disney world railraod
Photo courtesy of BrianAndAmanda.net

Veteran fans of the Walt Disney World Railroad should be happy to hear that cast members continue to wave as you ride on the train by them. After over four years without the Walt Disney World Railroad, that touch resumes.

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

My theme park friends that rode the Walt Disney World Railroad on reopening day enjoyed it. Several of them rode it multiple times. This classic attraction brings back some sense of routine to Magic Kingdom. Overall, guests appreciated having the train back. At least for opening day, the train operations ran smoothly. Since this time of year brings the largest crowds, Magic Kingdom, with this railroad, has one more attraction to spread out the crowds.

How excited are you to see the Walt Disney World Railroad running again? How many times will you ride it on your next trip to Magic Kingdom? Please let us know in the comments below.

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.