Disneyland Railroad – an iconic attraction revisited

As an opening day attraction, the Disneyland Railroad is a key part of the story of Disneyland and all its magic. The route takes guests on a scenic tour around the Magic Kingdom on an authentic steam-powered train.

In 2017 the attraction re-opened with an adjusted route around the park that includes the railroad’s first eve left turn. The new magic includes travel across the rocks on a trestle that extends out into the Rivers of America and a view of the remade Tom Sawyer Island.

Along the tour, guests enjoy picturesque scenery and breathtaking views, and it’s the ideal place to admire the landscapes inspired by four of America’s majestic rivers–the Mississippi, the Columbia, the Missouri and the Rio Grande. Or guests can travel back in time through Walt Disney’s legendary Dioramas of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World, which were carefully restored to their original splendor in 2017, with some new magic added to both.

Don’t miss these Fun Facts about the Disneyland Railroad

  • A noted train enthusiast, Walt Disney built his first railroad in his backyard. Called The Carolwood Pacific Railroad, this 1/8-scale train debuted in 1950 and featured a custom-built, steam-powered locomotive that encircled his property.
  • The engine that ran along Walt Disney’s private track was named the Lilly Belle, for his wife Lillian Disney. A model of the Lilly Belle engine is on display at Main Street Station.
  • The Disneyland Railroad includes five meticulously restored, working narrow-gauge trains and four sets of passenger cars.
  • Each engine has been thoughtfully named after a selection of locomotive legends. The lone exception is the Ward Kimball, named after the Disney Animator who fostered Walt Disney’s passion for the railway.
  • The oldest locomotive is the Fred Gurley, which was built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1894 and owned by the Godchaux Sugar Company in Reserve, Louisiana.
  • The Primeval World and Grand Canyon dioramas both were featured in the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair.
  • Many families challenge each other with the diorama scenes, vying to see who can find the most animals along the rim of the Grand Canyon. Those on the lookout may spy a mountain lion, porcupines, skunks, a golden eagle, rattlesnakes, rabbits, deer, crows, wild turkeys, sheep and a hard-to-spot armadillo.
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