I thought this was a wonderful moment at Disneyland as an engineer waited for the Disneyland Limited to pull into the station at New Orleans Square. It also seemed fitting to me to use this picture to help build anticipation for our Disneyland Railroad project. If you’re as impressionable as I’m hoping you are, you now have a deep desire and a need to watch our film on Saturday and share it with all your family and friends. If you don’t have that feeling yet, that’s okay. We still have a couple of days to work on you and clever plans are in the works.
There’s something really exciting about the Disneyland Railroad. It’s hard to put a finger on just one thing, however, because there are so many things that make it what it is. You have the friendly wave from the engineers as they drive the train from station to station. The shout of “All aboard!” from the conductors. The grand circle tour of Walt’s original Magic Kingdom. The feeling of adventure as you pass through trees and tunnels. The nostalgia and wonder of being transported by locomotives around a century old. It’s amazing to think that these quiet, steady steel horses were once the cutting edge of getting places. We are working on a special Disneyland Railroad project and have really fallen in love and gained a new appreciation for this attraction and the people who maintain it. Seen in this picture is an engineer filling up the water tank at the New Orleans Square Station.
I was recently a passenger in the Lilly Belle for the very first time. It’s the beautiful red car you sometimes see at the end of a train with “Disneyland Railroad” on it in gold across the top. If you go to the Main Street Station early, you can ask to ride in it too! It’s one of the most magical experiences I’ve had at Disneyland. It’s named, of course, after Lillian Disney, Walt’s wife and is rich with history.
From a child, I have loved tunnels. There was just something extraordinary about them. Traveling into the mysterious unknown gives you such a sense of freedom and I think that really fed the wonder and curiosity of childhood for me. This shot is one I have wanted to get for a long time, a train in the New Orleans Station at night, lighting the tunnel behind the Haunted Mansion. I sat at the station for a while on the night that I took this just enjoying the trains come and go, listening to the voice come through the speaker, “The Disneyland Limited now approaching…” The Disneyland Railroad is still one of my favorite parts of Disneyland. I love seeing it when I approach the entrance, walking under it through that magical tunnel to Main Street U.S.A., and riding it for a grand circle tour of Walt Disney’s Original Magic Kingdom.
I enjoy writing almost as much as I enjoy taking pictures. It’s not often that I find myself at a loss for things to say. Yet it somehow seems impossible to convey with words what this image means and represents to me. This is my happy place.
Trains are amazing. Trains in New Orleans Square are even better. As a kid, my favorite part of climbing aboard the Disneyland Railroad was getting to see the Grand Canyon and Primeval World. As an adult, I continually find myself skipping the grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom and just hitching a ride to New Orleans Square. I still love the full tour and occasionally I make it all the way, but hanging around the New Orleans station is the bees knees. Outside all the charm of the French Quarter and the allure of Pirates and Grim Grinning Ghosts, I believe this train station to be responsible for much of the magic and attraction to this land. From the telegraph office, Walt’s opening day speech tirelessly taps out through the air in Morse code, and it sets the tone.
This picture was a little tricky to get. Trains have a tendency to move, which of course was what I wanted, but it demands a commitment to post-processing. The only place to get this angle that I’m aware of is from the exit only area, which can be risky. I had been wanting to get this shot for a while, but a request for it sealed the deal. Elvis, this one’s for you.