NEWS FLASH: Kids love trains! Or at least mine does. The monorail at Disney, the kiddie train ride at Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest, and now the Little Florida Coastline Train Ride! If your little one loves trains, we have a quick, inexpensive option for you in Central Florida! The Little Florida Coastline Train Ride is actually outside of the Central Florida Zoo located in Sanford. The best part, is that it’s a really great bolt-on adventure that can be a really fun part of your day while checking out Orlando’s other great entertainment options or as part of a visit to the Central Florida Zoo!
On a recent Sunday adventure, we decided to checkout the Orange County Regional History Center, but they didn’t open until noon. We knew we could kill some time by stopping for lunch, but at 9 am, our little guy was rip roaring’ and ready to go on an adventure. We could have stopped at a number of parks along the way but I had a better idea! Many years ago we visited the Central Florida Zoo and remembered there was some sort of train ride along the perimeter. At the time we didn’t think much of it, as we were with a large group of people and didn’t have any little ones of our own, so we didn’t think about going on what we though was a kidie ride. It turns out this train is known as the Little Florida Coastline Train Ride!
So we pulled into the zoo and took advantage of their free parking and walked right up to the ticket window. After purchasing train ride passes we boarded the train! What makes the Little Florida Coastline Train Ride a great activity is that you don’t need to purchase admission to the zoo in order to take advantage of this adventure. When we were there, the passes were $3 for adults and $2 for kids over two, our infant was free. I thought it was a bit steep, but for $8 we figured it wasn’t a bad deal. Our standard Frugal Florida Fun calculation is based on a family of 4 with two adults and two kids, so even coming in at $10, this is still a relatively cheap excursion. At time of writing however, the zoo has launched a much better deal! You can get 20 ride passes for $20! That’s right, only a $1 a ride! That’s a much better price for the Little Florida Coastline Train Ride than we paid. You can purchase $20 worth of rides that are good for up to a year. Not a bad deal, especially if you want to spread out the fun across multiple visits. The passes are also good for the carousel they have outside as well, but ever since the Gravitron incident of 1994, I can’t handle spinning rides. We didn’t even think of going on it.
So we boarded the Little Florida Coastline Train ride and it’s a bit different than other train rides we have been on. Every other train ride we have ever been on has had a big covering, multiple seats and can get a bit crowded. This was different! We were in an open air train! This is a miniature train, so it’s perfect for your kiddos! The seats were big enough to share with my little guy and when the train pulled out of the station he loved it! We took some video of the ride to help capture some of the view, but it was definitely unique. We didn’t time it or anything, but it felt like the ride was about 5 minutes or so. Because my little guy loves trains, we thought the $8 family price was worth it (since we only paid for 3 people), and with the discovery of the $1 per ride it’s even better!
While we loved the Little Florida Coastline Train Ride, we did discover a bit of a problem that may affect families while visiting. We had to stop and use the restroom. Not a big deal right? I mean they have bathrooms outside of the actual zoo gates, but it’s a bit of a walk from the main ticket gate. That’s not the problem though, it was actually a nice little stroll through a nicely wooded area. The Problem you’ll have is that along this walk, there are other activities and purchase options along the way. In particular, there are the water hamster wheels, the zip line courses, and even a concession stand. Not to mention the actual entrance to the zoo. If your kids tend to always want to do more, more, more, then you may want to make sure you time the Little Florida Coastline Train Ride with a bathroom break right before you get there.
Remember, you may go just for the train ride, but stay for the zoo! It’s been many years since we have been there, but maybe we’ll take a day and head on over!
Little Florida Coastline Train Ride Details:
|Address:||3755 NW Hwy 17-92 Sanford, FL|
|Hours: 10am –
4pm M-F 10am – 5pm S&S
|Estimated Cost For A Family of 4:||$10|
|You can also purchase 20 rides for $20, which is a much better deal!|