Magic Kingdom

December, 2007

— Steam Trains

One of the most interesting things we did during our visit to The World was to take several back stage tours. "The Magic Behind our Steam Trains" tour was a real treat. The tour started about 7 in the morning and lasted for 3 hours. We rode on the train, visited the repairshops, and got a chance to really check out the old steam engines (see photo #1, at left).

Our tour guide was one of the conductors. He is retired from another occupation and has a passion for steam trains. He told us all about Walt Disney's love of steam trains, the search for real steam engines (they found these in Central America), and the process of preparing them for use at the Magic Kingdom. We learned about the effort required to operate and maintain these old engines, and the procedures they follow to assure a safe operation. We had a great time! Here is another photo, this one of the engine interior. We rode the steam train again during our stay, and it was fun to know all about what was happening and why.

— Liberty Square

If you have ever visited a Disney theme park, you know how much effort they put into getting everything just right. The "Liberty Belle" stern wheeler is a great example. It does not sound like much, a short boat ride around Frontierland and Liberty Square. Nothing much happens, just a quiet boat ride in a surprisingly lovely setting. But Disney does it right. The boat is beautiful (see photo #2), with all the little details that make it seem like it belongs in the time and place to match its surroundings.

Along the waterfront, there are so many little details that help to set the scene, like these globe lamps on a post near the Liberty Tree Tavern.

— Cinderella Castle

The Castle is the center of the Magic Kingdom. It is the landmark at the heart of the park. Everything else connects through the hub at the front of the Castle. There are numerous shows here each day (photo #3), and all the parades go past here. If you look around, you will find many little details that really add to the feeling of the place, like this small bronze statue of Goofy.

As we were visiting during December, the Castle was fitted with beautiful icicle lights for the holidays. During the daytime, the lights were nearly invisible against the Castle walls, but at night the give Cinderella Castle an icy beauty.

— Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

We paid a bit extra to attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) during our stay. It was a lot of fun, and there were a lot of other people who joined us for the event. We did not take part in all of the activities on offer, there are so many. One highlight for us was the evening parade (photo #4). We got into position early, so that Jim could have a front row seat for pictures. The parade was great ... just like all of our experiences at Walt Disney World.

Here are some more photos of the parade:

Goofy   |   toy soldiers   |   Woody & Buzz

There is, of course, much more to the Magic Kingdom. We hope to return soon and experience as much of this magical place as we can.

— return to the 2007 Journal Archive.