"I just want it to look like nothing else in the world...and it should be surrounded by a train" - Walt Disney
Please remove a D coupon from your ticket book and present it to the conductor as you enter the turnstile.
Walt Disney himself was the engineer on the maiden run of The Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad in July 1955. Two 5/8 scale steam engines burned diesel instead of coal - one carried indoor passenger coaches and the other had flat open “freight cars” with benches.
Early feedback indicated that park guests didn't like the idea of being considered freight, and Walt disliked the indoor coaches because they didn't provide a good view of the park; so the next year the passenger cars were put out of service and the freight cars were redesigned with long benches that face the park and an overhead canopy for shade.
The line ran a two mile circle around the park with two stops, Main Street USA and New Orleans Square in Adventureland. As park attendance grew over the next four years, two more engines were added, along with another station stop in Tomorrowland.
In 1974 Relations with the Santa Fe Railroad fell apart and the line was renamed the Disneyland Railroad. Over the years the trains have run far enough to circle the globe more than 150 times.
Your attention please. The Disneyland Limited now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom, with stops at New Orleans Square, Mickey's Toontown, and Tomorrowland. All passengers 'Booooard!
C.K Holliday 1955 - Named after Cyrus Kurtz Holliday (1826 - 1900), founder of the Atchison & Topeka Railroad in 1859. With the E.P. Ripley, one of the two original steam engines built for the park from the ground up by WED engineers.
E.P. Ripley 1955 - Named after Edward Payson Ripley (1845 - 1920), first president of the reorganized Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in 1895.
Fred G. Gurley 1958 - Named after Fred G. Gurley (1889 - 1976), president of the Santa Fe Railway from 1944 to 1957. Partnered with Disney to make the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad the first corporate sponsored and branded park attraction. This engine was originally built in 1894 and working on the New Orleans Sugar Run. It was brought cross-country, refurbished and put into service at Disneyland in March of 1958.
Ernest S. Marsh 1959 - Named after Ernest S. Marsh (1903-1975), President of the Santa Fe Railway from 1957 to 1966. Refurbished from a junker from New Jersey and put into service at the park in July of 1959. Completely overhauled to look like the old Montezuma Locomotive of the Denver and Rio Grand Railway.
Ward Kimball (?) - Named after Disney animator and railroad fan Ward Kimball, this engine has been postponed with no set date of service. It will feature Kimball's paintings of Jiminy Cricket on either side of the headlamp.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome aboard the Disneyland Railroad Line. We're about to start the grand circle trip around Disneyland. So please remain seated, and keep your hands and arms inside the train at all times, and please, no smoking.
You're now riding aboard one of the five genuine, steam-powered trains of the Disneyland Railroad. The forerunners of these trains were the celebrated "Pioneers of the Rail", that spanned our growing nation before the turn of the century.
Kalamazoo Handcart – A gift to Walt Disney from the Kalamazoo Manufacturing Co. An actual working handcart. Currently rests by the station at Main Street USA but can be moved anywhere on the line.
Lilly Belle – The Presidential Parlor Caboose. One of the old closed passenger cars from when the park opened, now used for VIP tours around the park. Named after Walt's wife Lillian and decorated to her tastes – all in Victorian red.
Lilly Belle II – Replica of Walt's backyard steam engine. This 1/8 scale engine is much smaller than the 5/8 scale DLRR stock and does not run on the park's line.
Now, we're heading into the true backwoods. Watch for Indians and wild animals near the water's edge. This is the American West as it was a century ago. Our forefathers who tamed this great wilderness faced many dangers, and there across the river is proof - a settler's cabin afire!
100 Series – Closed parlor cars. Of these, only the Lilly Belle is still in service as a full working coach. Two others are in service as caboose.
200 Series – First coaches to have seats facing the inside of the park for easier viewing.
300 Series - Has forward facing seats
400 & 500 Series – Long benches that face the park.
We're now passing through the outskirts of Adventureland, one of the six thematic lands that make up The Magic Kingdom. We'll see a part of each land along the way and we'll be making several stops before returning to the Main Street Station, and reaching the exciting climax of our trip, a journey through the Grand Canyon, and to the fantastic Primeval World, realm of the dinosaurs!“
Main Street opened 1955 - The first building guests see upon entering Disneyland. Holds a replica of the engine that ran in Walt Disney's back yard named The Lilly Belle II.
Frontierland opened 1955 – This station was modeled after a Disney movie set in So Dear to My Heart. The original set sits across the tracks at the platform in Frontierland. In 1966, that section of the park was refurbished as New Orleans Square. Some signs refer to it as New Orleans Station, while others still read Frontierland Station. There are speakers broadcasting telegraph Morse code Walt Disney's speech from the opening day of Disneyland.
Fantasyland opened 1956 (Changed to Mickey's Toontown Station 1993) – Gateway to Fantasyland.
Tomorrowland opened 1958 – A good place for guests who want to see the dioramas but aren't necessarily interested in riding the train around the park.
In just a few moments, we'll be riding past the enchanting home of It's a Small World, Walt Disney's salute to children everywhere. The boats you will see carry guests along the seven seaways on the happiest cruise that ever sailed; a visit to a fantasy kingdom, where the children of the world sing and dance for your enjoyment. From our train, you can see the boats sailing past the topiary garden, where trees and shrubs grow in the shapes of animals.
Jack Wagner - Known as "The Official Voice of Disneyland” from the park's opening til his death in 1995. Besides providing most of the character voices, introducing stage shows and giving instruction for boarding and safety, Wagner also produced the music for many of the live shows and parades at the parks, including the original Baroque Hoedown for The Main Street Electrical Parade.
Thurl Ravenscroft – Most noted for being the voice of Tony the Tiger and his singing in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Ravenscroft had been singing for the Walt Disney Company for years before taking over Jack Wagner's announcement duties after Wagner's death.
That's the spectacular Grand Canyon as we know it today, but it wasn't always that way. In fact, millions of years ago, warm primeval seas covered the region we call the Grand Canyon. Strange creatures crawled from the seas and one day giant animals thundered over the land and roamed the swamps and marshes. Our ancestors never heard the sounds we're about to hear, nor saw the sights of this fantastic Primeval World!
Animations in the theme park sense aren't drawings on paper, but animated scenes guests see or experience without touching.
From Main Street USA to Frontierland – Mostly simple animations of animals in the woods, then through Splash Mountain. It is a short trip the next station.
Frontierland to Mickeys Toontown – The Burning Cabin is on this section of the trip. Over the years the script and animation have changed. At first there was the body of a settler with arrows in his back from an Indian attack. In the late 1970s the arrows disappeared and he was simply the victim of wild animals (one might wonder how the wild animals lit the cabin on fire...). Finally, the poor fellow disappeared altogether and now it is just a burning cabin (you can still pretend some wild animals with Zippos are in the bushes snickering if you want).
Toontown to Tomorrowland – Just a great view of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, especially Autopia.
Tomorrowland to Main Street USA – a cool dark tunnel and two dioramas!
Grand Canyon Diorama – Yep, it's a big diorama of a big ole ditch. But it is the biggest ditch in the world! The background music is Grand Canyon Suite, movement 3: On the Trail by Ferde Grofe.
Primeval World Diorama – Yep, it's a big diorama of some big ole dinosaurs – I like to call them thunder lizards. There are two really great parts: the baby dinos hatching out of eggs and the Triceratops fighting with the T-Rex with real fake blood!
-note: it is not ok to throw your gum at the diorama glass.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we're now approaching the Main Street Station. To those of you leaving the train here, please remain seated until we come to a complete stop. Check your personal belongings, and watch your step as you leave. Thank you for joining us on the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad and may we wish you a happy day here in Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!
The real working steamers of the DLRR, coupled with the fact that they are some of the few remaining items from the opening of Disneyland, make this attraction a nostalgic favorite. I hope you get to ride one someday.
This node is for all the train boys and steam heads, particularly Dale, John Edgar, and Calvin.
Walt Disney's Railroad Story: The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom by Michael Broggie
E Ticket Magazine - Issue #10 - Winter 1990-91, Issue #19 - Summer 1994