Tour of Disneyland Railroad

There are many who lament the loss of Big Thunder Ranch and the subsequent shutting down of the Disneyland Railroad, The Mark Twain Riverboat, the Columbia Sailing Ship and Fantasmic while the imagineers and contractors build the new Star Wars Land.  But we found a serendipitous opportunity that would have never come along without these closures – a special up close tour of the Disneyland Railroad.

Disneyland has brought out the locomotives and cars for guests Continue Reading →

Walt’s Barn, 2017 Visit

“Yes, in one way or another, I have always loved trains.” – Walt Disney

It has been a year since our last visit to Walt Disney’s Barn in Griffith Park.  Little has changed, but it was nice so see some Disney friends and make new ones.  On this day in January, visitors were treated to the chance to meet and visit with Disney Legends Bob Gurr and Floyd Norman.  More on these two in a moment.

Walt’s work bench.

Trains were such a large part of Walt’s life.  As a boy, he worked on several railroad companies in 1916 selling newspapers and snacks.  Once the Walt Disney Studios were running, Walt’s love of trains carried on to the point that he had a model train in his office.  He became interested in scale model live steam trains after discovering that two of his animators, Ward Kimble and Ollie Johnson had railroads at their homes.  Walt eventually created his Carolwood Pacific Railroad that ran Continue Reading →

Walt Disney Family Museum

A must-see for any Disney aficionado, the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco is a place containing everything one would want to see or know about the man himself.

One of three walls displaying Walt’s lifetime of achievements, awards and citations.

Created by Walt’s daughter, Diane in 2009, the museum tells about the Disney family history, from their migration from Ireland, through Walt’s childhood years and his eventual rise to the icon that he has become.

Entering the museum, a visitor is brought into the award gallery.  In here are the awards, achievements and citations that Walt received during his lifetime, including a Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.  We always associate Walt with his Emmy awards, including the special one created for Snow White, but it’s amazing to see all the Continue Reading →

Walt’s Barn

Walt Disney had another love that was in addition to his family and a certain mouse.  Walt loved trains.  He even had a miniature live steam railway that ran around his property in Holmby Hills, California, that he affectionately called the “Carolwood Pacific Railway.”  In fact, when he began to design Disneyland, it was imperative that a train encircle the park.

Walt's Original Barn

Walt’s Original Barn

Long after his passing, Walt’s other love lives on.  On the north side of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California, a group of volunteers have kept his memory alive with an attraction called “Walt’s Barn.”  Here, they celebrate and remember his affection for trains with displays, pictures and other memorabilia. Continue Reading →