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PTR: A trip on the Lilly Belle


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So, last weekend, I went to Disneyland with some out of town friends visiting from Arizona and San Diego. Well, they happened to know some people working at the park, and arranged to get the "VIP car" on the Disneyland Railroad at 1pm. Luckily the park was pretty dead on the Friday, so we had already hit the major attractions that were open before we even headed over that way.

 

Now I had no idea that there even was a VIP experience on the DL Railroad, but I was glad I had taken my camera. Well, we got there a few minutes before 1, and when the 1pm train came, it wasn't the one with the "VIP car", so we waited a few more minutes, and it rolled on in.

 

So the VIP car is actually the parlour car, named The Lilly Belle (after Walt's wife). It was another way for Walt to impress his friends when they were in the park visiting (and we all know how much he loved his train). However, it wasn't finished until after he died, but Lilly did enjoy riding around the park in it (she hated crowds).

 

It was in service for special guests of the park (and those with connections) until about 15-20 years ago (I can't remember the dates). It was falling into disrepair, and termites had done quite a number on the car. So until they found funding to fix it, it sat in the Roundhouse for a number of years. The employees eventually raised enough money to have it refurbished since it wasn't a priority for the company.

 

It came back to Disneyland in 2003, and again serves as a "VIP" car. When you ride in it, you take a full grand circle tour, and get a railroad cast member as a guide telling you all about the history and such. It was a very neat experience.

 

And now on to the pictures.

 

EDIT: Sorry, the pictures are backwards in order. I thought I remembered having to load them in reverse here, but I must have been just been thinking about the order they're displayed in after you load.

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I think I hear it coming!

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Courtney and Cass decide to sit down to wait.

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A picture of the interior of the car. Very Victorian in theme. Plush velvet seats, designs carved into the legs and backs of the seats, stained glass windows and lamps.

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A portrait of Walt and Lilly.

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A piece of needlework art that Lilly herself completed.

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The train was probably a nice place to relax for the day for Lilly. Curl up on the plush parlour chairs, read a book, and appreciate the happy people enjoying the park.

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Walt's smoking jacket on the left. The family allowed it to be left on display.

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Hmmm.........No smoking, then why is Walt's smoking jacket in here.

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Looking down the length of the car during our ride. The carpet is the last scrap of his original apartment carpeting.

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Looking back towards the train. You can see the Lilly Belle attached to the back. I actually snapped this because of Goofy and the Omnibus though.

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Through a friend, who's a cast member at Disneyland, my wife and daughter were able to take a round trip in that car. As a railfan, I'd do almost anything to have a chance to do that.

 

Nice Photo TR. Glad you had fun.

 

Eric

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Wow Kyle, that's really cool! I'm not a train enthusiast by any means but as a Disney fan that'd be totally awesome. I love that the carpet is from his apartment.

 

PS - Regarding posting the pics backwards... This is the second time in as many months that you have failed at using teh internetz.

 

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^^Lou, why did you edit my post? Too much work to click "quote"?....LOL

 

And I'm not sure if you can pay for it. I didn't ask. But I'd guess you might be able to. Maybe one of the Disney cast members around here knows.

 

DAMN IT, that's TWICE I've done that. Seriously, REALLY sorry about that Kyle. (And Robb and Elissa: regretting your decision yet? )

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Through a friend, who's a cast member at Disneyland, my wife and daughter were able to take a round trip in that car. As a railfan, I'd do almost anything to have a chance to do that.

 

Nice Photo TR. Glad you had fun.

 

Eric

 

I was thinking the same thing. My Dad would have a coronary as a railfan and a Disney nut!

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