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Red Cars bring Life, History to Buena Vista Street at DCA

Red Car Trolley

The new entrance to Disney California Adventure is meant to evoke that period of Los Angeles history as it might have been experienced by Roy & Walt Disney as they arrived and lived in Hollywood during the 1920s and 30s. The Red Car Trolley is one of the key elements to recreating that moment in time. Historic, picturesque, and something guests can actually ride, the Red Cars also add a sense of motion to what would otherwise be a static avenue.

Here are some more details:

  • The Red Car Trolleys are inspired by Los Angeles’ historic Pacific Electric Red Cars from the 1920s and ’30s.
  • Two Red Car Trolley cars operate daily, traveling from Buena Vista Street through Hollywood Land and on to the Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror. The trolleys traverse back and forth, making several stops along the way
  • The Red Car Trolley route passes the new icon of Disney California Adventure, the Carthay Circle Theatre, inspired by the site where Walt Disney premiered “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937.
  • Two conductors operate each Red Car Trolley, engaging riders with fun details about Disney California Adventure, including architectural, design and historical facts about the Red Car Trolleys and Carthay Circle Theatre.
  • The trolley interiors showcase the soft green and cream colors of the time period. Guests also find vintage-looking ads highlighting food locations and shops in the park.
  • Each Red Car Trolley has a bell and a whistle, adding to the melodic sounds of the street.
  • The “Red Car News Boys” roll into town on one of the Red Car Trolleys singing “California Here I Come!” and other fun songs inspired by the spirit and style of Disney’s Broadway show, “Newsies.” Even Mickey Mouse joins the show.
  • From the Red Car Trolley, guests can wave to “citizens” of Buena Vista Street, resplendent in their period attire and filled with the optimism of the era.
  • The Red Car Trolleys are 26 feet long, 8 feet wide and 11 feet tall. They seat 20 passengers with an additional space for a wheelchair.
  • Each Red Car Trolley has a number. The 623 car, with “23″ as a nod to the year 1923 when Walt Disney arrived in California, is based on the 600 series of trolleys built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1922. The 717 car is inspired by the 700-750 series manufactured by the J.G. Brill Company in 1925 (7-17 also refers to the birthday of Disneyland Park, July 17, 1955).
  • Catenary lines – the classic above-vehicle electric cabling ­- have been added above the trolleys to enhance authenticity. The trolleys are actually powered by onboard 12-volt batteries and they are fully recharged in the Red Car barn each night.
  • The Red Car Trolleys were engineered from the ground up to meet today’s industry standards, operating efficiently with steel wheels on steel rails.
  • When necessary, the trolleys recharge at one of the stops using inductive power transfer. This technology is used on Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and also used to recharge consumer products such as cell phones.

Have you experienced the Red Cars yet? What did you enjoy the most?