Choo Choo! The Disneyland Railroad celebrated 63 years earlier this month! Let’s take a closer look at this iconic Disneyland attraction!
Main Street Station is the first thing that guests see as they enter Disneyland park. This Victorian-style station is framed with a centered sign including both the elevation of 138 feet above sea level and the population of Disneyland, which is updated periodically to reflect the number of guests who have visited the park since it opened in 1955. The Kalamazoo handcar, a fixture in the park since 1958 is in front of the station. this unique addition to Walt’s collection sits on the former passing track.
Once you step inside Main Street Station you will be wowed with the period details, railroad memorabilia and photos demonstrating Walt’s love of railroads. You can all see a reproduction of the Lilly Belle,Walt’s original Carolwood Pacific locomotive, in the center of the station. The original 1/8-scale “live steamer” was named for his wife, Lillian Disney, and was the main engine for the half-mile track around his family’s home in Holmby Hills.
The New Orleans Square/Frontierland Station is the first stop on the Disneyland Railroad. Buildings, including a functional water tower and a loading platform, make up this station. Across the tracks from the loading station is the original Frontierland depot that existed before New Orleans Square was built. The original Frontierland station was inspired by the wooden depot featured in the 1949 Disney live action film, “So Dear To My Heart.” Walt Disney initially wanted to re-use the actual set piece that had been built for the film, but when he learned that his friend and fellow animator Ward Kimball had already modified it into a fully functioning building for his personal Grizzly Flats Railroad—thus making it difficult to move—Walt asked his designers to build a new one just like it.
The ride continues along the Rivers of America where you can see landscapes that were inspired by four of America’s majestic rivers—the Mississippi, the Columbia, the Missouri and the Rio Grande. You’ll pass waterfalls, wildlife and some familiar sights of the old west. Keep your eyes open for some familiar logos from a ranch that once was located around these parts.
Pulling into the Mickey’s Toontown Train Depot you may get dejavu! The station is a cartoon version inspired by the original Frontierland Station. It has the same basic design with a similar roof style and a small fenced-in section for luggage and other freight.
You’ve got one more stop before your return to Main Street in Tomorrowland. As you pass through the 306-foot-long Grand Canyon Diorama, be sure to keep an eye out for landscaping, ancient ruins and various examples of indigenous wildlife. As the trains move past the Grand Canyon Diorama, they make their way to another diorama, this one taking guests to the mysterious Primeval World. The Primeval World Diorama and Audio-Animatronics dinosaurs were originally designed and built by Disney for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair and were added in 1966 to enhance the Disneyland Railroad experience.
This is a classic Disneyland attraction that everyone should experience at least once. Have you taken a ride on the Disneyland Railroad?!
Source and Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog