Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad -- Taking a Ride on a Disney Theme Park Tradition
One of the first things a guest sees upon entering Hong Kong Disneyland is the Main Street Station of the Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad. It's right above the floral Mickey Mouse at the Main Entrance.
Disney theme parks throughout the world have their own railroads. It's a tradition that dates back to the opening of the original Disneyland in California in 1955, and it continues at Hong Kong Disneyland. Not only does the "grand circle tour" on the Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad provide a great overview of the park, it stands as a testament to Walt Disney's love of trains.
Trains are more than just an entertaining attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland. They represent Walt Disney's most passionate hobby. He never forgot one of his first jobs, as a teenager in Kansas City, selling soda pop and candy on the region's passenger trains. For years afterward, Disney was an avid collector and creator of miniature toys and landscapes, including elaborately detailed miniature HO-gauge railroad layouts.
In terms of scale, Disney took a giant step in 1948 when he built his own one-eighth scale "live steam" train, large enough to take passengers around the yard of his California home. This was the Carolwood-Pacific railroad (named for Carolwood Avenue where Disney lived) and its locomotive was the Lilly Belle (named for Walt's wife Lillian). At that time, Disney was already exploring plans for a full-size theme park, and when Disneyland opened in 1955, a Disneyland Railroad was there, ready to take guests around the park.
The naming of the specially built steam locomotives for Disney park railroads is always a special honor. At Hong Kong Disneyland there are three locomotives: the Walter E. Disney (named for Walt Disney, founder of The Walt Disney Company), the Roy O. Disney (named for Walt's brother and co-founder of The Walt Disney Company) and the Frank G. Wells (named for the president of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 until his death in 1994).
Two colorful passenger trains from the romantic early days of railroading travel the Hong Kong Disneyland line. Throughout the day these trains carry Hong Kong Disneyland guests on a scenic route around the park (1,500 meters), through the jungles of Adventureland, the fairy tale villages of Fantasyland and the futuristic landscapes of Tomorrowland. Each five-car train on the Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad can carry 250 guests. During the tour, the trains make one stop, at the Fantasyland Station near Mad Hatter Tea Cups. Traveling on narrow-gauge tracks, the trains feature brass fittings, lantern lights and antique detailing.
Passenger cars on Train No. 1 are named for places important in the history of The Walt Disney Company -- Anaheim (site of the original Disneyland), Burbank (home of The Walt Disney Studios), Glendale (home of Walt Disney Imagineering, which designs and engineers theme park attractions), Los Angeles and California. The cars are painted pale green with dark green trim.
Cars on Train No. 2 have dark red sides trimmed with forest green, and are named for places important in the life of Walt Disney -- Chicago, Marceline, Kansas City (all cities in which Disney lived as a young man), Hollywood and Orlando (the Florida site of Walt Disney World Resort).
The Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad continues a Disney park tradition that was close to Walt Disney's heart. When guests ride the trains at Hong Kong Disneyland, they become part of that tradition.
Source: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Publicity
"I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse." - Walt Disney