LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Roy O. Disney locomotive has an incredible story.
The locomotive, formerly No. 251 of the United Railways of Yucatan, was one of five engines Disney officials purchased in 1969 in Mexico for potential use in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
The locomotive, named for Walt Disney’s older brother, Roy Oliver Disney, is a 4-4-0, which is commonly called an American style steam engine. It was built in 1916 by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia.
During the preparation of the locomotive for park duty, all did not go according to plan. During the initial refurbishment, a major crack in the Roy O. Disney’s frame had to be repaired by a master welder.
Officials were not sure the repair would hold, but luckily, the fix held. However, the steamer has the distinction of being the only Walt Disney World Railroad locomotive not in service when the park opened on Oct. 1, 1971.
The Roy O. Disney was not placed into service until Dec. 1, 1971.
The locomotive was taken out of service circa 2001 to be overhauled. While a rumor indicated the locomotive would not be returned to service because of repair costs, the locomotive was rededicated on June 6, 2002, at Main Street Station and returned to regular service.