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From Plantation to Theme Park



Now available at a special lower price! See below for details.

Destined for a life of toil in the Louisiana sugar cane fields, a real-life "Little Engine That Could" now delights guests at Walt Disney's Original Magic Kingdom.

Introducing a new book by the Steve DeGaetano, author of Welcome Aboard the Disneyland Railroad!

From Plantation to Theme Park
The Story of Disneyland Railroad Engine No. 5, the Ward Kimball

In June, 2005, Disneyland guests were treated to something not seen at the park in over 40 years - a new steam locomotive, resplendent in red enamel and polished brass, began operating on the Park's main line to the delight of Disneyland Railroad fans everywhere.

The new locomotive, christened Ward Kimball after the famous Disney animator and rail fan may have been new to Disneyland, but its history spans more than a century. In his new book Steve takes us along on a touching ride through time as he recounts the history of the little 1902 Baldwin first known as Maud L. That tiny plantation teakettle eventually became Disneyland Railroad No. 5, the first new Disneyland Railroad engine added to the fleet since 1959.

Here are some of the things you will find inside this engaging 112 page hard-cover volume:

  • Foreword by Ward's son John Kimball;
  • A detailed examination of how the engine was purchased by the Laurel Valley Plantation in 1902 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works, including reproductions of seldom-seen correspondence between the plantation owners and Baldwin documenting the purchase;
  • A full-color rendition of the Maud L. as she likely looked in 1902, using the actual Baldwin color and striping specifications for the engine;
  • A brief look at the engine's namesake - Ward Kimball - and his influence upon Walt Disney and Disneyland;
  • A look at Disneyland's first four engines, including previously unpublished vintage color photos of each;
  • A discussion of how the Maud L. was saved from the scrapper's torch, and then restored by Ohio amusement park giant Cedar Point before coming to Disneyland through a series of trades;
  • Blueprint-accurate drawings by Preston Nirattisai of the engine as it looks today, including side, front and rear views;
  • An in-depth look at how the locomotive was restored by Disney and its contractors, including dozens of detailed photographs of the rebuild process;
  • An exciting account of the first time the engine was steamed up in the Disneyland roundhouse;
  • First-hand accounts and rare photos of the private first dedication run of the engine;
  • Photos and text describing John Kimball's official dedication of the engine that bears his father's name during an invitation-only event.
  • Loads of technical details, written in the easy-to-understand style that Steve's writing is known for.

    Publication will be limited to an edition size of only 2,000 books world-wide!


    From Plantation to Theme Park is now available through Burnsland.com for only $24.95! That is $5 off the regular price of $29.95.And that price includes free shipping! To order this book and pay using PayPal, just click on the button below.

    Shipping to the United States is included in the price. Please contact us at about international orders.

    This book is a must-have for any Disney Railroad fan!