I have always been fascinated with trains since I was very little. The idea of something that large screaming down the tracks, blowing the horn and steam rolling out the top was always very exciting. I always wished I would have the opportunity to ride one someday. However, as I got older, trains went away and were not something that was easily accessible anymore. I thought that I would never get a chance to mark that off of my "bucket list". Luckily one day in December, I came across an advertisement for the America's number one movie train - the Orange Blossom Cannonball - and I knew this was the opportunity I had been waiting for. I could mark off another item from my "list" and I could do something cool to promote on the blog.
Upon checking out their site, I noticed they had several different ride options - from one to two hour normal train rides, to the "Pizza Express" where you get unlimited pizza and drinks while you ride, want to do something way out of the normal - try the Wild West Train Ride and Hoedown or the Rails and Ales tour.
We decided to go to the first one that was available so we decided on the Saturday one hour excursion - this ride takes you a half hour out and then you turn around and come back to the station. The two hour ride goes to Lake Jem -
Upon entering the train you are allowed to sit anywhere - they have several carts to sit in and every seat has a table - there is a cafe on the train where you can purchase beer, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. You can even bring your own dinner to enjoy on the train.
Closer to the rear of the train is the Copla section - it was a birds eye view of the train - these seats were a few dollars extra - but the area was really neat to get a new perspective of the train from -
- Only standard gauge wood burner currently in year round active service in the US
- Was built in 1907
- Top speed of 50 mph
- Engine will use over 100 gallons of water per mile for steam
- Uses over 3500 pounds of hardwood for every 16 mile trip
The Orange Blossom Cannonball has been in over 100 movies - such as Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer (2012) ; True Grit (2010), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), Oh Brother Where Art Thou (1999); Long Riders (1979); Box Car Bertha (1972) - to name just a few
Don't know what to do before or after your train ride? Well why not check out Wooten Park that is right next to the train station - They have an entire fenced in play area that has many items for your kids to run around and play on.
Is it really hot out and you need to cool off? check out the Splash Park right next door - they are open from April to September -
Want to check out some of the other items that are offered in Tavares?
- Guided Nature Tour Boat Ride - Daily tours at 11am, 2pm, and sunset - stroll through the Dora Canal
- Sea Plane ride excursions - from a 10 minute flight around Mt Dora to a build your own 2 hour package -