The magic began back in November 1971 when Disney opened Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Nestled on Bay Lake offering pristine Florida wilderness and resort level amenities, Fort Wilderness created a paradise for everyone to enjoy.
Realizing the need to transport individuals around the property for the three attractions: River Country water park, Discovery Island animal preserve and around all the camping areas, theFort Wilderness Campground Railroad was put in place in 1973. This included four steam trains with open air cars built to a 4/5 scale. This beautiful mode of transportation ran on a 3-1/2 mile track looping around the property.
Unfortunately many operational and functionality issues caused Walt Disney World to discontinue the trains in 1977 and utilize alternate transportation methods. Disney Parks Blog wrote a wonderful article to tell the history and show photos of the railroad’s past.
With the closing of the trains, this left the question of what would become of the now unnecessary tracks. While some of the locations required removal for roadways or future camping areas, many of the locations were allowed to melt back into the wilderness.
Take time when at the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground to explore the old trails and see for yourself where once the railroad existed.
This is a photo from Disney World showing the time when the steam engines ran!
Be certain to stay in areas accessible for resort guests, if in doubt ask a Castmember at the Outpost or Reception Check-In area.
Check us out at JenGaryNewAdventures.com and follow us on Pinterest.