Fans of the Disneyland Railroad will be happy to know that the Lilly Belle, Walt’s Private Car, is back on the tracks after a 7-year abense and complete overhaul. Pictures of the restored interior are on LaughingPlace.com. You’ll have to check them out there, since The Lilly Belle is not available to the general public for rides. Guests must have special tickets obtained through Guest Relations to experience Walt’s Private Car.
Interesting Fact, Most claim that The Lilly Belle is named after Walt’s wife, Lillian. That’s only partially true. In fact, the Lilly Belle is named after Walt’s first model train engine, which was in fact named in honor of Walt’s wife.
Even more news this week is the debut of a 103 year old engine on the Disneyland railway. The Ward Kimball is a completely restored steam engine converted to run on diesel instead of wood. Ward Kimball was one of the nine old men of Disney animation and a train afficianado. The legend is that he turned Walt on to the idea of building a backyard train set. That trainset became the spark for the idea that eventually grew into Disneyland.
Now to complete the trifecta we need to return the Retlaw Passenger cars to the Disneyland tracks. The only problem with that is they are currently in use up in San Luis Obispo. If I recall, I think they were traded to get the engine that became the Ward Kimball.
Preston is also co-author on "Welcome Aboard the Disneyland Railroad!" a must have book for any fan of the Disneyland Railroad.