Main Street USA

Main Street USA is the section visitors walk through as they enter and leave the Magic Kingdom.  There are no rides or attractions here other than the Walt Disney World Railroad station and characters inside town Square Theater, but you will find plenty of places to part with your money and the majority of the Magic Kingdom’s sit-down restaurants.  The Photopass center is housed inside of the Town Hall Exposition Center and guest relations is located inside of City Hall.  You will want to agree on a meeting place in case one of the members of your group gets lost and the City Hall is an excellent choice because there will also be people here that can help reunite the lost with the rest of their group.

Main Street is themed like an early 20th century small town and is inspired by Walt Disney’s own childhood.  The buildings look taller than they actually are due to the clever use of forced perspective.  In other words, the second and third floors are shorter than the ground floor, giving the impression that they are taller.  A similar technique is used throughout all of Disney’s theme parks and is most apparent when looking at Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom and Expedition Everest at the Animal Kingdom.

For my full reviews of all of the Magic Kingdom’s sit-down table service restaurants click here and for counter service locations click here.

In short, the Plaza Restaurant is the cheapest sit-down meal at Disney World and serves mostly sandwiches and ice cream.  It’s an excellent and relaxing alternative to a counter service meal with prices in the same ball park.  Tony’s Town Square Restaurant serves basic Italian food similar to what you would receive at the Olive Garden or similar restaurant, but the atmosphere is hard to beat.  The Crystal Palace serves an excellent breakfast buffet and a decent lunch and dinner buffet featuring characters from Winnie the Pooh.  With an early breakfast reservation before the Magic Kingdom officially opens, you will be allowed to enter the Park before anyone else and get some fantastic photo opportunities on Main Street, USA with few other people in the picture (though you won’t be allowed to leave Main Street).  Casey’s Corner is the baseball-themed counter service location at the end of Main Street that serves below average hot dogs, corn dog nuggets, and not much else.  Finally, the Main Street Bakery serves delicious snacks and desserts and is an excellent location to use Disney Dining Plan snack credits.  The only downside is the slow service and limited seating.

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Walt Disney World Railroad

Opened: October 1, 1971

Location: Main Street, USA with stops in Frontierland near Splash Mountain and Storybook Circus near Barnstormer

Extra Magic Hours: No

FASTPASS: No

Type: Public transportation

Similar To: Unique

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Zero

What to Expect: The Walt Disney World Railroad is a scenic train ride around the perimeter of the Magic Kingdom.  You can get on at any of the three stations and ride for as long as you like around the 1.5 mile track.  It’s an excellent attraction when you need a cool, seated break from the crowds and heat, but don’t want to sit in a theater.  The train travels at about 10 miles per hour and it takes about 20 minutes to make a complete circle, including stops.  Be aware that rental strollers are not allowed on the train.  You will need to remove your belongings, name card, and have your receipt handy to pick up a new stroller at your final destination.

When To Go: Visit whenever you need a break or want to travel to Frontierland, Storybook Circus, or Main Street USA without walking.  The trains usually stop running one hour prior to the beginning of the fireworks show due to the track’s proximity to the fireworks staging area and may not resume service after.

Expect to Wait: Waits are rarely longer than it takes for the train to arrive, which is usually every seven to ten minutes, depending on the number of trains running.  Consider walking where you’re going if you’re in a hurry – it will probably be quicker.

Length: 20 minutes for a full rotation, but you can stay on as long as you like or get off at any of the stops.

Rating: 7/10

Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia: The four trains that service the Walt Disney Railroad are authentic, originally built by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia between 1916 and 1928.  In 1968, The Disney Company purchased the trains from the Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatan where they hauled freight and passengers on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.   The trains carry more than 1.5 million people per year, making this one of the busiest railways in the United States.

Commentary: The Disney World Railroad is a relaxing way to get off your feet for a while and end up in another part of the Magic Kingdom.  It’s a fun chance to see parts of the Magic Kingdom that you might miss by simply walking around in a hurry.

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