While many were busy celebrating Mother’s Day last weekend, we were busy celebrating Patrick’s birthday, which happened to fall on Mother’s Day this year, just as it did when he was born. Now, that isn’t to say we didn’t think of our mothers that day! So don’t sit there thinking we totally ignored them! Anyway! But as it was Patrick’s birthday, I allowed him to decide what we did with the day, and we spent it at Disneyland exploring the unique train offerings that are currently going on due to Star Wars land construction, as he loves the Disneyland Railroad. Gear up for a pretty picture and history heavy post!
Typically Disneyland offers the opportunity for Guests to board real steam engine trains and embark on a Grand Circle Tour of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom, stopping at Main Street USA, New Orleans Square (originally was the stop for Frontierland), Toontown (originally the stop for Fantasyland), and Tomorrowland, as well as a visit to the Grand Canyon and a trip back in time and see some dinosaurs. However, Disneyland is undergoing some massive changes, including its first expansion to the park in over twenty years, with the addition of what everyone is simply calling “Star Wars Land” (whether or not that is going to be its real title is still up for debate, but I digress). The construction is having an impact on the railroad and thus excursions on the Disneyland Railroad have been temporarily halted. But Disneyland has made up for the lack of transportation by offering a unique opportunity. Guests can now get up close and personal with the trains (I was in awe of the hand-painted details!), even sit inside the cab of the train, where the engineers sit, and talk with them!
The train parked at the New Orleans Square train station is C.K. Holliday, and the first train at Disneyland. It was built at the Studio in 1954, and was there for opening day in 1955. It’s named after the Santa Fe railroad founder, Cyrus Kurtz Holliday.
You can also cross the tracks at the New Orleans Square Station and approach the telegraph office. Before construction of New Orleans Square, the area was still part of Frontierland, and the station featured a yellow and brown color scheme and was used as the ticket booth for Guests wishing to ride the train. (check out some pictures from Daveland here) The station moved across the tracks in 1962 to make more room for New Orleans Square, where it sits today and serves as ambiance and a break room for Cast Members. This gave me a chance to get close to one of my favorite details, the telegraph that sits in the window, which is continually “sending” Walt’s opening day speech in Morse code.
Also available on the opposite side of the tracks is a cutaway engine and both boards and an engineer to explain how a steam train works. Plus Guests can actually blow the train whistle!
At the Main Street USA Station Guests can view boards that discuss Walt’s love affair with trains and feature many photos. He loved trains so much so that he built his own personal miniature, 1/8th scale train (though large enough to sit on and ride) in backyard of his Holmby Hills home.
Frontierland tee: Mickey’s of Glendale booth at D23
Skirt: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Cowboy boots: Buffalo Exchange