Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Take a Up Close and Personal Look at Disneyland's Steam Trains

By Daisy Sparks

In preparation for the new Star Wars Land construction, various Disneyland attractions and areas have had to be temporarily closed. One attraction that will be affected the longest is the beloved Disneyland Railroad as its tracks have to be removed to accommodate the new Star Wars area. While the railroad is down, Disneyland has come up with an amazing way for guests to still enjoy the Disneyland trains with a special exhibit along Main Street called Disney's Steam Trains, along with a couple of other opportunities to see the trains like never before. Let's head to Disneyland and see for ourselves these wonderful exhibits as we get an up close and personal look at the Disneyland Steam Trains in today's new article...

During the construction of Star Wars Land, the Disneyland Railroad is going to be nonoperational. While this is taking place, guests have the opportunity to visit two different train stations where they have two specific trains parked. There are Disneyland Railroad Cast Members and train engineers available to answer lots of questions. You can actually examine the stationary train cars and get some fun photos.


When you visit the Main Street Train Station, the big attraction there is the Lilly Belle train car, named after Walt’s wife, Lillian. It is on display for everyone to get a very up close look into this most famous Disneyland caboose car. Although you can’t actually go inside the Lilly Belle, you can peek through the windows and the doorway.

The carpet is still the original and if you look closely, you can even spot a couple Mickey shaped designs...

Can you spot the Hidden Mickey?!? See photo below for the location.

From the Main Street Train Station, you can get some interesting views and photos. You never know what Disneyland characters will show up... 


The New Orleans Train Station is special in that it has the honor of being the original Disneyland train depot. When the steam trains made their debut in 1955, guests had to go to this train station, known as the Frontierland Station, to board the train. It was renovated in 1966 when New Orleans Square opened. Since the steam trains are technically grounded due to the “Star Wars Land” construction, you can actually cross over these particular train tracks and visit the original train depot.

Here are some photos of what you can see of the original train station...

Remember, it is from this train station where you can hear the sound of a telegraph message transmitting a paraphrased version of Walt Disney’s opening day speech. They also have the steam train boiler on display for a closer look. There is usually an engineer to answer technical questions as well. You can even get a chance to blow the train horn... 

Currently, the No. 2 train, named after E.P. Ripley is stationed at New Orleans Square. It made it’s debut on opening day at Disneyland, July 17, 1955. The engineers speak fondly of this train.

The No. 2 train is also the one that Walt favored and actually drove when he put on his train engineer hat and badge to drive.

You can also get close to the working water tower. There is also an old-fashioned Kalamazoo car on the tracks that Walt drove years ago...

Walt riding the Kalamazoo car pictured in the previous photo

The other two train stations, Toontown and Tomorrowland, have no trains to visit. You can visit the Toontown Train Station and see the themed location. It’s fun to get some time to see luggage that looks like it would belong to certain characters. The Tomorrowland Train Station is currently completely inaccessible as it is also affected by the renovation of the Autopia attraction.


Guests wanting to see and learn more about the Disney Steam Trains can now visit a pictorial exhibit over at the Disney Gallery (located inside the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln). There are lots of photos to give you a brief overview of the history of the Disneyland Steam Trains. You will also find some really wonderful framed art featuring the many steam trains at the Disney Parks worldwide. Finally, there are a couple glass cases that feature some historical Disneyland memorabilia related to the steam trains such as vintage tickets and even stationary.... 

It was very interesting to see some of the printed Disneyland materials that were distributed over the years since the existence of the steam trains.


If you want to dig deeper into Walt’s love for trains, visit the Carolwood Foundation. They are a group dedicated to preserving Walt’s railroad legacy through education, photos, stories and people.  Next time you are able to get on board and ride a Disney steam train, enjoy all the love and history that goes beyond the railroad tracks.

See you in the Parks!

- Daisy


Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her "college job" led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 

Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy's Duck's help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland's Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it "the happiest place on earth."

You can read more about Daisy's Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy's articles here.

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