One fan's quest to ride and review every attraction at the Disney Theme Parks.
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Grand Circle Tour – Disneyland Railroad – Disneyland – Attraction Checklist #62

January 7, 2019 | 0 Comments – Join John B. deHaasand I as we take the Grand Circle Tour on the Disneyland Railroad!  One of Disneyland’s opening day attractions!  Recorded on December 2, 2018.


Welcome to Attraction Checklist.

It’s time to take a gran circle tour of Disneyland on the Disneyland Railroad.  Disneyland’s website says, “Embark on a relaxing 18-minute scenic journey aboard an authentic steam-powered train around Disneyland Park.”  There are no age or height restrictions to ride the train and the Thrill Level describes the attraction as being Slow, dark and loud.  Before we climb aboard, here are five fast facts about the Disneyland Railroad.

Before we begin our mountain climbing adventure, here are five fast facts about Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds.

1. The Disneyland Railroad began operation on Disneyland’s opening day on July 17, 1955.  In fact, Walt Disney himself pulled the train into Main Street Station that morning on his way to give the park’s opening dedication.

2.  The Railroad features five restored steam locomotives named C.K. Holliday, E.P. Ripley, Ernest Marsh, Fred Gurley and the Ward Kimball,  The first four are named after American locomotive legends, the fifth, the Ward Kimball, is named after the Disney animator who is credited for inspiring Walt Disney’s love of trains.  The older locomotive, the Fred Gurly, was built in August of 1894.

3. One of the most anticipated parts of the Grand Circle Tour is the journey through the Grand Canyon and Primeval World Dioramas.  The Grand Canyon diorama debuted in 1958 and features an amazing background mural painted by Delmer J. Yoakum that is 306 feet long and 34 feet tall.  The Primeval world diorama opened in 1966 and features audio animatronic dinosaurs that were build for the Ford’s Magic Skyway attraction in the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

4. The Railroad features a special train car, the Lilly Belle, named after Walt Disney’s wife Lillian.  It is the last remaining ‘opening day’ car that is still in service, albeit only occasionally.  Guests can pay to ride in the car as part of the separately ticketed Gran Circle Tour.  Sometimes the first 14 guests in line at Main Street Station when the park opens in the morning will get a chance to ride in it as well.

5. On January 11, 2016, the Disneyland Railroad closed for over a year to accommodate construction of Disneyland newest land, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.When the train resumed operation on July 29, 2017, the new line line had the trains making a left turn for the first time in the attraction’s history.

Now let’s ride the Disneyland Railroad for a Grand Circle Tour of Disneyland.  Along for the ride is John B. deHaas and after we ride we’ll give you our thoughts on this opening day attraction.  This is a binaural recording so if you have headphones, put them on now as we take a ride on the Disneyland Railroad.

The attraction audio recorded for this episode is available exclusively to the Saturday Morning Media Patron Patron.  Support the show and get fun Bonus content over at

Episode edited by Stephen Staver





Show ©2018 Saturday Morning Media/Grant Baciocco


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