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.

This barn, pictured above, was actually built by Walt and was his workshop where he worked on his 1/8 scale live steam train.  Walt affectionately called the barn “his happy place.”

Walt's Live Steam Locomotive

Walt’s Live Steam Locomotive

In 1999, the barn was donated by Walt’s family to the Carolwood Foundation and was moved to the property, where it is lovingly restored, maintained and filled with photos of Walt driving his train around his home, his miniature live steam locomotive, and other artifacts from Disneyland.

On this property sits the “Retlaw 1 Combine.”  In case you haven’t figured it out, “Retlaw” is Walter spelled backward.  The “1” signifies that this is the first train car at Disneyland, and “Combine” means that the car carried both passengers and freight.

Combine "Retlaw 1"

Combine “Retlaw 1”

This car is a replica of the type of train car that Walt worked on as a teenager in Kansas City.  It carried guests around the Disneyland park for a short while, but became impractical as it had limited seating, just a few windows and all the guests had to face forward, not able to take in the full view of the park.  Over the years, cars from the Disneyland Railroad had been acquired by private parties and in 2010, the Norred family sold the combine to the Carolwood Foundation because of its ties to Walt.  The restoration is complete, but needs to reside in a permanent structure to keep it in original condition.

Denny from Big Thunder Ranch

Denny from Big Thunder Ranch

This museum of trains is not owned by the Disney company, but there are occasionally Disney Cast Members and Legends who will drop by.  On this particular day, Disney Imagineer & Legend, Bob Gurr was on site to talk with guests.  There was even a former Cast Member who was entertaining guests to the museum.  Denny, who formerly performed at the Big Thunder Ranch was playing his guitar and singing train songs.

Walt’s Barn is open only on the third Sunday of each month, weather permitting, from 11:00 to 3:00.  Admission is free, but a donation to support the operation and restoration of the displays is highly encouraged.  If you would like to join the Carolwood Foundation, support their efforts, or just want directions to Walt’s Barn, you can click here for more information.

What's This?

What’s This?

There are plenty of restoration projects for the foundation and its volunteers to work on and add to the exhibit.  In fact, on the property is something special hidden under this blue tarp.  If you want more information about what it covers, we suggest you take a trip to see Walt’s Barn.

2 Replies to “Walt’s Barn”

  1. Pingback: Walt’s Barn, 2017 Visit – Mickey After Fifty

  2. Pingback: Walt Disney Family Museum – Mickey After Fifty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.