by Pin Trading Diva
The Disneyland Railroad and its’ trains provide a unique perspective on the park and can be a great way to fill up your day. However, there are couple perks of riding the rails in a special way. For instance there is the option of “riding the tender” or riding upfront with the engineer of the train for a round around the park. This is a must do for any train enthusiast. Another exclusive experience on Disney Trains is riding the Lilly Belle, a separate car named after Lillian Disney. Here is some info on how the Lilly Belle came to be and the purpose it serves today as a grand way to ride the Disneyland Railroad.
Walt is said to have idealized a private car, made especially for his esteemed guests, where he could show off his magical land in a grandiose manner. Unfortunately, this idea didn’t become a reality until almost 10 years after his death with the creation of the Lilly Belle. Knowing that the car was named after herself, Lillian Disney decided to see how the car was being decorated at the time. After rumors of white wicker furniture being prime pieces in the car were proved to be true, she lost it! Surely a car made in her honor would at least meet her taste in furniture! So Mrs. Disney decided to redecorate.
The updated Lilly Belle features Lillian’s love of flowers becoming present in the drapery and decor as well as being etched in the Himalayan Mahogany wood outlay (Walt’s favorite). Her Victorian taste became well featured in the furniture pieces of the car as well. 2 pieces in particular stand out, a love seat and parlor chair said to have been purchased by Lillian herself from the Queen Mary, out of Winston Churchill’s suite to be exact. These 2 pieces are so popular that it is rumored that while on a ride of the Lilly Belle 3 of our favorite celebrities fought over a chance to sit on the infamous love seat. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Nicholas Cage battled it out for the prime seating: Nicholas Cage lost that battle. Even the carpet is special, it is the exact same carpet that it is in Walt’s apartment above the fire house on Main Street. If you never get the chance to see his apartment, the Lilly Belle will provide you with your Disney fix. The most personal piece in the entire car is a simple framed picture of Walt and Lillian. Cheek to cheek they provide warm welcomes to all that enter.
On July 4, 1976, the Lilly Belle, otherwise known as the Bicentennial Car due to its release date, first hit the rails. Esteemed guest, Japan’s Mr. Hirohito took the first inaugural ride around Disneyland in the Lilly Belle. Hirohito was just the man to ride it first as well; being a fond Disney fan he even purchased a Mickey Mouse pocket watch that day in commemoration which he was later laid to rest with.
Now, just like Mr. Hirohito, this lavish historic experience is available to guests! However popular this experience may be, it still has its exclusivity. For a time, anyone could ride the Lilly Belle so long as they signed up that day. However, this experience is now limited to those who take a special tour. It may be worth the price, for taking a ride back in time as if Walt was showing you around the park himself may just be the experience of a life time!
If you make it onto the Lilly Belle, your Cast Member will be able to take many pictures of you and your party in the Lilly Belle so take your time soaking in the ambiance and feeling your way through the experience. As the train makes its way through the park your Cast Member provides you with stories and trivia about the Lilly Belle and the Disney family. As you travel from land to land, the Lilly Belle can take you from a car full of guests and put you side by side with Walt and Lillian exploring the Rivers of America and Grand Canyon, showing you the rich history of Walt’s imagination. This trip back in time provides a heartfelt experience that you and your family will cherish forever.
Anyone can ride the trains here at Disneyland, but only few can say they’ve experienced the Lilly Belle. Make sure to be one of those people on your next trip! There is nothing quite like the grand experience that will show you the Happiest Place on Earth through new eyes. Now get to train riding and share your experience with us!