Central Florida Zoo brings back classic family-friendly train ride

It’s full steam ahead at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. The Sanford nonprofit’s new train brings back a beloved guest experience, based on a historical train route.

Central Florida Zoo train ride returns, with new historic train design.

The Central Florida Zoo held a ribbon cutting for the train, which carries guests on a loop through natural Florida landscaping, across realistic crossings, and into the depot near the main entrance. The train will run approximately every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. daily.

Central Florida Zoo train ride grand opening moment.

“It’s always exciting when we can bring something new to the Zoo,” said Richard E. Glover, Jr., the Zoo’s CEO. “We know the families and community members who love the Zoo will be excited to have this attraction back and will look forward to taking a ride on our new train.”

Based on a Historical Train Route

The train, called The Champion, was built in 2021. This mini locomotive is a one-quarter scale model of a real Atlantic Coast Line Railroad streamliner. The real-life version of the train provided daily service from New York to Miami starting in 1939.

NEW Central Florida Zoo Debuts Family Train Ride Based On Historical Train Route

“This exciting partnership with the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens demonstrates our commitment to supporting communities throughout Central Florida and providing our members with unique opportunities to enjoy top local attractions,” said VyStar Credit Union SVP, Florida Market President, Lysa Barbano. “We are thrilled to be working together to create amazing experiences and look forward to seeing our members enjoy train rides, animals, and other attractions at the Zoo.”

Train Rides for $5

Rides are now available for guests for $5 per person ($4 for Zoo passholders). VyStar Credit Union members receive a $1 discount on train rides when they show a VyStar debit or credit card.

The Central Florida Zoo train takes off with new passengers.

“Cutting the ribbon on this attraction today is sure to be one of the highlights of our year here at the Zoo,” Glover said. “We look forward to seeing all of the smiling faces on the train in the weeks and months to come.”

To purchase tickets, learn about special celebration offerings, and get directions, head to the Central Florida Zoo website.


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