I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Walt Disney World many many times over the years. My first visit was back in 1986 on a family vacation, and now in my adult life I moved very close to the magic and can visit pretty much any day I have spare time. During all those years and visits to the park I’ve experienced all the attractions, some are no longer around, while others have been here since the beginning. Like all other guests we have our favorites that we experience each time we visit, and others we kind of take for granted would always be there for us to enjoy.
The Walt Disney World Railroad was one of these attractions, we didn’t do ever time we went but if we had some spare time or needed a quick ride to the opposite side of the park this was a great option. Then in December of 2018 the railroad closed down due to the on going construction of the new TRON Lightcycle coaster. The track was going to need a bit of rerouting around the coaster which was understandable. However the closure extended through the pandemic and numerous construction delays. Literally years have gone by without the railroad and I almost forgot what it was like to take a tour around the park on this classic mode of transportation.
Finally it was announced that the railroad would be reopening standing in December of 2022 and guests were ecstatic. I don’t think I had seem lines for the train ever in my time like I did when it reopened. Now that a few months have passed the lines are back to normal and Disney surprised us with a new set of medallions.
There are four different stations along the Walt Disney World Railroad line and if you are looking for the new medallions you need to head to the Main Street USA station right near the front of the park. Head upstairs towards where you load on the train.
Sorry I can’t help myself, we will get to the coins shortly, but first let’s take a relaxing tour around the park.
Here in Walt Disney World all the passenger cars have rows of seats that face forward toward the front of the train. I wish that at least a couple of the cars would be like the Disneyland version in California where some faced to the side so you could look right into the park. I guess that’s just another unique experience only for that park.
We made stops at the Frontierland Station, New Fantasyland Station and eventually passed by the new TRON Lightcycle coaster. They built a new tunnel for the train to go underneath some of the coaster track and they gave us some nice cutouts in the tunnel so you can get a close up view of the coaster flying by but you need to quick with your camera. I hear that coaster launches you up to 60 miles per hour.
Once we made it back to the Main Street Station just inside the main building on the second floor you can find the medallion machine in-between the central set of doors.
The cabinet of this machine is a nice dark wood that I think fits in well with the theming of the train station and period of time we are supposed to be experiencing in this area. There are four medallions, and something I do want to mention is that the price had increased on these. If you thought they were expensive before, well I’ve got news for you. They are now $6 for one coin, or $20 for all four.
Above are one side of the medallions, each with a classic Disney Character along with the Walt Disney World Railroad and 1971 when it debuted in the park. Another nice detail is the plaque and number at the bottom of each coin matches the Engine number for each train in the fleet.
A unique feature of this set we haven’t seen before is that the reverse images are different on each coin. Remember that Engine number I mentioned above, well that matches up with the Engine details now listed on the back. Engine #5844 is the Walter E Disney and was built in 1925 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works company in Philadelphia. It’s known as a 4-6-0 Ten Wheeler because of it’s design with four wheels at the front of the engine, six in the middle and one at the rear. Similar details are listed for each of the other three engines in the fleet named after Walt’s Older Brother Roy O. Disney, Walt’s wife Lilly Belle and Famed Disney Imagineer Roger E Broggie. This is really amazing details, and to be honest something I didn’t really know about. I actually thought all the trains and engines were the same.
I was so fascinated by this that as I wondered around the Main Street Station I found down on the bottom floor along the walls were photos and detailed information about each of the four engines. So the next time you are in the Magic Kingdom make sure to stop by and check these out, there is so much detail here and I can honestly say I’ve walked passed it many times not even realizing what I was bypassing.
This new set of medallions are fantastic. As much as I love Disney Characters and the ones on these coins are cute in their Train themed outfits, it’s the details on the reverse side about the Engines that really made these special. I hope we seem more of this in future designs, although the new higher cost is starting to make these not at appealing to collect. They may have reached the upper most level of what they can charge for these in opinion, if they go much higher I think guests and collectors will loose interest quickly regardless of how great the designs are.
Keep on Collecting!