The World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour
The shows feature:
- 100,000 square foot exhibit hall
- 50,000 square feet of huge operating model railroads
- Walt Disney’s Railroad Story by author Michael Broggie
- Free riding train for kids
- 200+ Booths of manufacturers and retailers
- 100 Trains for kids to play with
- Demonstrations, seminars and new products
The show only returns every 5 to 10 years.
Be sure to go when it's in your area!
Walt Disney’s Railroad Story
Michael will give his highly popular presentation, "Walt Disney's Railroad Story," which is based upon his award-winning book of the same title. Based upon exit surveys, his presentation was consistently rated among the top five attractions of the tour.
This year marks the release of Michael's revised 4th edition of his book that chronicles the lifelong connection between Walt Disney and America's railroad history.
The Broggies are cofounders of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society, a global membership organization dedicated to preserving the personal history and railroad legacy of Walt Disney. Michael presents each day at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.
World’s Greatest Hobby Program
Common Questions About Attending the Show
No, we only accept cash at the door, as an alternative on line registrations can be purchased until the close of the show using a smart phone and on line registrations accept credit cards as a form payment. On line registrations can be scanned from your smart phone.
Kids under 16 are admitted free with paying adult and do not need tickets.
While it is faster if you have printed the tickets, we can scan the bar code image on your phone or look it up on line.
Yes you can however tickets are discounted when purchased online. Tickets purchased at the door are $15 for adults and kids under 16 are admitted free with paying adult. Since kids under 16 are admitted free with paying adult they do not need tickets.
The World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour is a high-quality model railroad show designed to introduce the general public to model railroading. We target both consumers and die-hard modelers. The WGH on Tour features many exciting attractions for attendees including a Thomas the Tank Engine riding train and play area, operating model railroad layouts, product demonstrations, hobby shops, how-to seminars and much more. It’s NOT a swap meet, flea market or junk show.
Since 2004, World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour has been promoting the hobby across the country. Our staff is dedicated to providing the best events that truly promote the hobby in a positive way. We want people attending our shows to leave so excited about model railroading they can’t wait to start building a model railroad!
No, it is a free ride for kids.
This varies by facility. Many facilities have wheelchairs available for loan. Usually they will ask for a drivers license to keep on hold for the duration of the wheelchair use.
Go to the page for the show you want to attend and there will be a link to the facility. Most facilities will have information about wheelchair availability listed on their website.
The World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour travels around the country every January through March visiting 4 to 6 cities each year. The show only returns to cities every 5 to 10 years so be sure to visit the show when it is in your area.
Absolutely! The show encompasses all aspects of the model railroad hobby.
Yes, the show has emphasis on reaching out to new people in the hobby but the show is not just about Thomas the Tank Engine toys and train sets. We can all agree the hobby of model railroading is one that should be shared and promoted.
Obviously, every model railroader had a first encounter with the hobby of model railroading. Maybe it was a relative or neighbor with a large layout in the basement. Maybe it was a department store train display. Maybe it was a model train set for Christmas. Maybe it was simply a visit to a hobby shop.
The show aims to be that first impression for people to see the hobby. Who better to show what the hobby is about than the seasoned model railroader? That’s why the shows attract the leading model railroad manufacturers from the smallest companies to the largest manufacturers. They understand the need to promote the hobby to the new hobbyist as well as their most loyal customers.
So, yes of course, the show has plenty for the scale modeler!
General Questions About Model Trains
Getting started in model railroading is easy thanks to shows like the World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour and the internet. Like anything new, you may have questions. At every show there are hundreds of people at the show who can answer your questions about the hobby.
The World’s Greatest Hobby program has a wonderful page with plenty of information on where to begin.
The hobby of model railroading is fun and rewarding.
HO Scale is the most popular model railroad scale.
There are several common sized model train scales. Here is a description of each:
Guide to model railroading scales and gauges
If you inherited a collection of trains you may feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start understanding the value of what you have.
The best thing you can do is educate yourself on what you have. Speaking with our experts at the show is a great way to get first hand of the market value of your collection. Books like the Greenberg price guides are somewhat useful as well – although prices have fluctuated in the past several years and since the books are printed they can only show you the estimated value at the time the book went to press.
The one thing we always stress is to not sell your collection to the first person who makes you an offer. We can’t emphasize this enough.
If you have decided you want to sell your trains there are really two ways to approach it. If you sell your trains yourself piece by piece you will get the most money out of the collection because you will be selling to the end user.
If you sell your collection in one lump sum to a reseller you may only get 50 cents on the dollar since this person has to sell everything piece by piece, carry the inventory from show to show, and pay out a large amount of money to you in advance to purchase the collection.
There are way too many stories of people only getting 5 to 10 cents on the dollar from a reseller because they didn’t know the value of what they had.
It pays to do your research and understand what you have!