More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Sights & Sounds at Disney Parks: Walter E. Disney’s Love of Steam Trains

What makes a blissful, breezy ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad such a magical – and authentic – experience? And what was the deal with Walt Disney and trains, anyway? Did he really have a whole railroad in his backyard? Let Disney historian Jim Korkis, author of The Vault of Walt, be your guide for a fact filled journey ‘round the Magic Kingdom Park and into the heart of what brought joy to the man who brought so much joy to others.


  • If only we could have the magic behind the steam trains tour out here at Disneyland.

  • Love the video! Last time we were at WDW MK I videoed the entire WDWRR trip! Great pick-me-up on a rainy day. I highly recommend the “Behind the Steam” tour! Great for all train lovers. And added bonus is you get to be in the MK before any other guests arrive! Seeing Main Street empty of people is a unique perspective for non-cast members. Be sure to check out the Iron Spike Room @ the Villas at Wilderness Lodge- great display, including two original cars from Walt’s actual backyard railroad, the Carolwood Pacific! I also highly recommend membership in the Carolwood Pacific Society for any Disney Train buffs, as well as a trip to Walt’s Barn near Griffith Park in LA, CA, if you really want to see how it all started. Happy rails!

  • More Jim Korkis!!! This man is such an incredible storehouse of Disney history and I’d love to hear more tales. He has done such a great job on the WDW Radio Show with Lou Mongello and shared many interesting stories that might have been lost if not for Jim’s passion. Thanks for this great video!!

  • I have done the Behind the Magic of the Steam Trains tour three times including one special one as a member of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society. Steam engines are magnificent machines and the fact that WDW continues to run and maintain them is a true tribute to Walt and to Roger Broggie who was his “go to” man for the railroads at Disneyland and WDW. He was truly the first Imagineer. There continues to be a crew of dedicated cast members who thrill people every day with een a simple ride from Main Street to Frontierland or “around the Magic Kingdom.” THANKS to all of them.

  • Thanks for posting. My little boy loves trains and we will be there this Sunday!

  • My wife and I took this tour on September 14th this year. Joseph was our Tour guide. You could feel his passion for the railroad as he gave the tour of Walt’s Railroad. For anyone who loves trains this is some thing you don’t want to miss. The history of those engines and to see where and how they are maintained by a dedicated crews. Here is where special magic of Disney is.

  • I too, have taken the “Magic Behind The Steam Trains” tour and I absolutely loved it! If I ever get employed again (I am out of work currently) I really would like to take that tour again! I can never get enough of the steam railroad at WDW! I could spend the entire day riding the train! (I almost did!) My goal if anyone from Disney reads the blogs that get posted…is to get employed by Disney and work on the WDW Railroad! This is my personal dream and if I could make it come true……well, this would be my dream job and I would do anything to get it! Walt was and always be my hero for knowing that trains are a great way to travel and steam trains are truly awesome and thanks to Walt, Steam trains will always be at WDW and I am so glad that he made it come true for all to ride! 🙂

  • Thank you for posting this and thank you to Jim for sharing the stories with us. I love riding the train around the MK and my 2 year old does too – it’s his favorite ride!

  • Yes! I am a huge fan of the Walt Disney World Railroad. My favorite engine is the #4 – the Roy O. Disney. I once spent 3 hours riding around the park in car #401. The Magic Behind the Steam Trains tour is awesome, I’ve gone on it twice. Also, Jim Korkis is such an amazing wealth of Disney history knowledge… more videos like this, please!!!

  • I highly recommend the Behind the Scenes tour of the WDW Railroad. Very interesting stuff! Too bad my favorite WDW Engineer of all time, Ed Medina, isn’t working the trains anymore … he was a fantastic and enthusiastic tour guide!

  • Woo Woo! Gotta love the classics! Nice work on the video!

  • Wow! Jim Korkis! I know him! That guy’s AWESOME!

  • Love the begining of the video as it transports us through time into Disney World. We have a 2 man hand car at Thunder Mesa in Paris disneyland just like Walt’s but entertainment has never used it as planned, to entertain guests while rolling on its track. Had a great experience in the mid 80’s,of riding on Ward Kimball’s Nevada after it had been at rest for too many years. I’m glad Roger Broggie was able to save these 4, as I saw so many in the 50’s in Minnesota being scraped out. I will have to see the exhibit at the Wilderness Lodge. Wish they would get one of the Fort Wilderness trains rolling again, as that was a great experience. Rusty

  • I have taken the Magic behind the Steam Trains Tour and loved it. Like all Disney tours, it is fun, informative and always a great experience. I am thinking about doing it a second time!!

  • Yay! It’s Jim Korkis. I love that guy. Meet him on my last trip to WDW.

    There is something soothing about listening to a steam train in the distance.

  • As a trainspotter…this was an awesome story. I only wish they had a similar tour for the “trains” above on the second story of the Roundhouse. I would love to just talk to the guys at Monorail Shop about the Mark VI’s for an hour.

  • Hello,
    I’m 69 but still take a train ride on each visit! This video
    was well done and I appreciate your sharing. I have read Walt
    Vault too and it’s good reading.

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