To those with even the slightest knowledge of Walt Disney, it can be of no surprise that a railroad was an important component of the initial plans of Disneyland. Fulfilling that need, the Disneyland Railroad was built to surround the park.
The railroad opened along with the park on July 17, 1955. Since then, it has been operating almost continually giving guests a quick ride to their destination further back in Disneyland, or allowing them to take the “Grand Circle Tour” around the park.
To Walt, the concept of the railroad was paramount. His love for the idea was so great that park plans would always include “…and it will be surrounded by a train.” He even went so far as to personally own the railroad to insure the greatest control over it. As such, in the first days of Disneyland, railroad employees would receive their paychecks directly from Walt.
The Disneyland Railroad currently has four stops as it circles the park:
- Main Street, U.S.A.
- New Orleans Square
- Mickey’s Toontown
Of course, the most noticeable of the four stops is Main Street, U.S.A. as it sets at the opening of the park. Disney describes the Main Street Station with:
“Step back in time with this gem that perches on a berm above the Park entrance. With its turn-of-the-century architecture and lush gardens, the station offers the first point of entry for those who wish to soak up the scenery on this grand circuit tour.”
From there, guests circle the park, getting on and/or off at any of the above listed stations. The train not only allows for a quick, yet leisurely, way to get around the park, it also allows for an excellent glimpse into each of the lands of Disneyland.
In addition, and in true Disney style, guests are also treated to a few extra special surprises in the form of dioramas. There are two with the first being a 306 foot long Grand Canyon diorama and the second being the Primeval World diorama.
The Disneyland Railroad is perhaps the best way for guests to get an over-all idea of the park as it makes the 20-minute Grand Circle Tour. It is also an ideal way to rest those weary feet.
A similar railroad was constructed at the Magic Kingdom in Florida – for information see the Magic Kingdom’s Walt Disney World Railroad.
If you are planning a visit to Disneyland, you may want to check out the All Things Mouse Disney Park Hours page.
Special thanks to the excellent video shown above provided by www.toursdepartingdaily.com.