Monday, June 17, 2013

Riding in the Lilly Belle at Disneyland

Dave and I decided to take a weekday trip to Disneyland last week.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity as I'm at a slower pace at work and Dave had a few free days before he was to start his summer job.  We chose to go during the week as this one way we could avoid some of the summer crowds.  As always I had a few things in mind that I wanted to try to do at the park that I've never done before.  Today I was determined to ride around the park in the Lilly Belle.

The Lilly Belle was built in 1976 with the aid of Lillian Disney's interior decorating influence.  It was to be used as a cab to host celebrities and dignitaries providing them with a nice private ride around the park.  The design is described best as early American Victorian.  Lots of reds, maroons, golds and burgundys.  One of the first riders was Japanese Emperor Hirohito. 

You never know when the Lilly Belle will be on the tracks so there is never a guarantee that you will be able to ride in the car.  I would suggest that you do as we did and make the Main Street Disneyland train station your very first stop (first thing when the park opens at 8am).  Find a railroad engineer or similarly dressed cast member and kindly ask if the Lilly Belle is on the tracks today.  If the answer is yes than ask if you may put your name on the list to ride.  We were gladly told "yes"!  We got on 12pm list and were told to return twenty minutes before departure.

I can hardly contain my excitement arriving at the train station.

Main Street USA Train Station

We were given tickets to ride as souvenirs. 

Very proud ticket holder.

All aboard!

We rode in a full car with other Disneyland guests.  We all shared the same excitement in enjoyment of learning about the history of the car.

Here is Steve who was our gracious and excellent host and historian.

Beautiful wood details throughout.

Dave sitting in a chair which came from the Queen Mary ship.

The smoking jacket was a replica of the one that would have been worn by Walt Disney.  The side table was also filled with a button board that I noticed Steve occasionally managed.  I'm not sure what it did but presume it was perhaps a system of keeping contact with the engineer of the train.

I just fell in love with these harp side tables.  So elegant.

Here is the view looking ahead out the front window towards a "normal" car in front of the Lilly Belle.

We were told the major reason why the Lilly Belle is kept on the down low is because of the carpet.  This is the original carpet and less guest flow means the carpet will last longer.  Have you spotted the hidden Mickey's yet?

Such a pretty candy dish.

Walt and Lillian Disney.

We were told that these books were the influence for Walt's obsession with trains.

It was a game of musical chairs as we were only permitted to stand up in the car while the train was stopped at the four stations.

Till' Next Time,

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