09-16-2003, 12:19 PM
Would someone who has been on the the Magic Kingdom Magic Behind the Steam Trains Tour, help me out . . .
How do you get to the Magic Kindom by 7:30am?
(We're staying at Caribbean Beach.)
How much walking is involved?
Is there any time to sit and rest?
Can you use an ECV on this tour?
What time does the tour get over?
In your opinion, was it worth it?
Any other information would also be greatly
09-16-2003, 12:45 PM
Check out this link for more info about all Disney tours.
09-16-2003, 12:59 PM
I did see that, I was just hoping someone could give me some more details.
09-16-2003, 01:06 PM
We took this tour approx. Aug. 19th, and we really enjoyed it.
They recently changed it from a 3 hour tour to a 4 hour tour (or was it from 2 hrs to 3 hrs?). They increased the price from $30 to $40.
We were told when we booked to be at Magic Kingdom at BY 7:15am (MK opened at 9am that day). We were told we could take the Breakfast Bus from our hotel, but I KNEW that wasn't right. So I called the front desk at OKW, and found out the Breakfast Bus wouldn't ARRIVE at OKW until 8:15, so that was out. We were also told when we booked that we could park at the Contemporary for the tour, which I called and checked on.
We WERE able park at the Contemporary, but we were only given a 3 hour parking pass, even though I told the security guard the tour was 3-4 hours long. But we parked with that pass, and as soon as the tour was over, I went over to the Contemporary and moved the car to the MK parking lot (be SURE to ask directions at teh security gate before you leave how to do this!!! I got lost, and spent about 20 mins trying to get back to the MK parking lot).
Tour started right at 7:30, we got name tags with a train on them. The guide was GREAT, though really a talker. This was fine during the structured part of the tour (more on this later). First we were told a bit about the trains and the station, then we took the 1st ride on a train all the way to ToonTown. When passing by Big Thunder Mountain, we saw them moving the roller coaster cars onto the tracks - very interesting!
We stopped and backed up from ToonTown into the roundhouse. Got off the train, and heard more about the trains - got to look around very close up to the trains. Then was able to go into the cab of one of teh engines and look around (in small groups). Saw them light the firebox, then took the train back to Toon Town - had a chance to take pictures with the engine (one at a time even), and saw a steam test.
Then took the train back to Main Street - the park had opened at this point (we waited to get back to Main Street until the 1st train with the characters had pulled out of the Main Street Station). We took some pictures of Main Street, adn stopped for a bathroom/water break. We were given free coffee and/or bottled water (I wanted to take home a suvenier FREE bottled water, but we ended up drinking it).
The tour was GREAT to this point. Then after the water/bathroom break, we went over to Main Street Station, and sat in a corner. The guide then spent 90 to 120 minutes talking about the history of Walt Disney and Trains, and had lots of stories he told. I would have been VERY happy to finish the tour at the bathroom break. The guide was very nice, and had good stories, but the benches in the station were uncomfortable, and it was just too long a time to spend sitting down listening to someone else talk.
If you take the tour, I might suggest letting the guide know you'll be leaving after the bathroom/water break (several people left the tour at this point, but they didn't tell the guide they were leaving, so we did spend some time waiting for them to return).
We were given a pin at the end of the tour that said Magic of the Steam Trains, in addition to our name tag pins we got at the beginning of the tour. The pin at the end was a regular pin like you buy for pin trading, the name tag pins were more like rectangular pins like you can make yourself (cardboard, with a colored front and a pin back).
To answer some of your questions:
Not a lot of walking on this tour - walk to and from places (front gate to the train station, train station to teh bathrooms for a break, walk around teh station in toon town for a little while). There is some standing (at teh round house) looking around at the engines, and waiting for your turn in the engine cab.
You ride the train most places you go, so you're able to sit and rest at that time - maybe this is 30-40% of the tour, on the train riding it someplace. Plus LOTS of sitting in the station listening to stories after the train stuff is done.
I don't think an ECV can be used - don't think there are elevators in the Main Street train station, plus you have to get off the train at the roundhouse - bigger step than usual getting off teh train (maybe have to step down 12-16"). Then at the round house, standing around, and it's VERY uneven ground - they are constantly telling you to be careful where you step. Then have to climb back ONTO the train (with that larger step). But you can double check when you call WDW-PLAY and book teh tour if ECV was OK.
Tour can get over any time between 10:30 and midnight - I say that because the guide that gives the tour is basically available all day, and has spoken to people on the tour most of the day before (at least until 4pm, he told us). So you kind of set when you want to leave - if you feel bad, just tell him you have a PS someplace you need to get to.
Hope this helps!!
09-16-2003, 01:10 PM
We took this tour in April 2002 and thought it was great. SO is a real train fan. We also stayed at CBR and we took the early morning character breakfast bus to be at MK at 7:30am -- we were actually a couple of minutes late but it didn't really matter. There isn't a lot of walking around on the tour because a lot of it is on the train. The tour starts in the train station at MK and you're given lots of info about the trains (there are 4 different ones) and the running of them. You also go to the round house which you can't see unless you take the tour. You take the train ride around the park and stop at different locations while more information is given out which was really interesting. I believe the tour was over at about 9:30am or so but we had a great time talking to the tour guide so it might have been later. We felt it was well worth doing the tour esp. if you have any interest at all in steam trains.
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