Thursday, September 11, 2014

Walt's Trains are Coming to the Walt Disney Family Museum

"I decided that all my life, I'd wanted a miniature train and I made up my mind to have one, even if I had to make it myself" -- Walt Disney

The Lilly Belle at the Walt Disney Family Museum
The Lilly Belle at the Walt Disney Family Museum
For Walt, it always came back to trains. His father, Elias, and his Uncle Mike both worked for the railroads at one time. One of Walt's first jobs as a teen was as a news butcher selling magazines and snacks on the trains that criss-crossed Kansas City and the surrounding areas. Trains would find their way into Disney films from Casey Jr. in Dumbo to the Civil War adventure The Great Locomotive Chase.

Early plans for Disneyland changed often in size and proposed locations, but the one constant was always the presence of at least one train, usually circling the park. "Grand Circle Tour" would one day embed itself in the Disney vernacular as a memorable and magical train trip.

And then, of course, there was Walt's beloved Lilly Belle, the 1/8th scale model train that wound its way through his backyard in Holmby Hills in the 1950s.

Trains. Always trains.

The Walt Disney Family Museum will celebrate Walt's railroading passion with the new exhibition All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt's Trains. It will run from November 13, 2014 through February 9, 2015 at the museum's Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall. Curated by Michael Campbell, president of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society, the exhibition will contain more than 200 artifacts, firsthand accounts, archival videos, images of Walt with his trains and actual model trains that will run throughout the show. It will also spotlight two of Walt's "Nine Old Man" who shared his love of trains, Ward Kimball and Ollie Johnston, not to  Imagineers, Roger Broggie and Bob Gurr, who were instrumental in making the trains at Disneyland a reality.

For tickets and more information about the Walt Disney Family Museum, visit

The Walt Disney Family Museum

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