Category Archives: Frontierland

Disneyland Railroad

Kevin is a huge, huge, huge train fan, and unsurprisingly the train gene was not lost on Theo. This makes the Disneyland Railroad a constant favorite in our household.

The DLRR is a scaled down version of a real railroad. There’s a lot of history to the DLRR, but I’m just going to cut to the chase by summing it up as such: Walt liked trains. He could often be seen in the engine waving to his many fans. When he was alive, of course.

There will likely be other DLRR posts, but I’m going to start you off for now.

The DLRR has four stations: The Main Street station, which is the iconic station right above Flower Mickey’s head when you walk in, the New Orleans Square station, Mickey’s Toontown station, and the Tomorrowland station.You can get on or off the train at any of these locations, or you can ride the whole loop. Most people start at the Main Street station, but am I most people?

Of course not. Most people don’t blog about their quest to do everything there is to do at Disneyland.

We got on at Toontown station.

You'll never guess where the stroller parking is

This happened to be the same visit where we met the Princesses.

Princess Katie is ready for her ride around Disneyland

Leaving the Toontown station, you immediately come across the back of Small World. Be sure to wave–people always wave back.

Hey, guys closer to the train--the other line is actually slightly shorter!

You do pass through a lot of generic back-side-of-water kind of stuff on the DLRR. You don’t actually get glimpses into the backlot where the Magic Happens, but you do get a lot of this:

Welcome to my corrugated steel quonset hut

And this:

Look, a fence! GET THE CAMERA!!!!!

After moving through the Tomorrowland station, which is very forgettable so I didn’t take any pictures of it, but it’s right by Autopia, you get to go through the Grand Canyon/Dinosaur dioramas.

First, you hit the Grand Canyon as it is today.

The actual Grand Canyon is somewhat larger

And then, according to the highly trustworthy Wikipedia, some of the animals in the Grand Canyon diorama are actually taxidermied real animals (the only ones in the park).

So THAT'S what happened to Bambi's mother!

Once you’re all peaceful and one with nature in the Grand Canyon, you get Dinosaur land. It wasn’t a very friendly place.

"You are what you eat!" "Dude, it doesn't matter what we eat--we're going extinct anyway"

This is supposed to be some pterodactyls or something, but through the power of my superior photography skills, it’s just a really badass picture:

This picture looks like it should be the cover art for some post-apocalyptic fantasy novel about giant bats living in the area formerly known as the Grand Canyon

Disneyland even puts you right in the middle of a prehistoric battle:

Are you Team T-Rex or Team Stegosaur?

Sadly, we’ll never know how that turned out. Well, we do. In the end, everyone lost.

Including Bambi’s mother.

Following the dioramas, you end up at Main Street station. Now this is a really cool station so if you’re going to take the DLRR, it’s a great place to start.

This is not the actual guest capacity of Disneyland

I'm not sure if this is the exact elevation of the DLRR either.

There’s a telegraph office on the south side of the train at Main Street station. Sharp-eyed MYWTMouseketeer Marce correctly identified the location of the telegraph office at New Orleans Square. (I meant to do that. No, I’m just kind of lame sometimes) It’s constantly clicking, which makes you wonder how anyone could sit in a chair and decode Morse code all day. My friend Kelli tells me that the message being clicked out is actually Walt Disney’s speech from Disneyland’s opening day. That’s kind of cool.

Click click click click click click click

After Main Street is the New Orleans Square stop. The only thing I found surprising about this is that New Orleans Square is apparently part of Frontierland, which means that Frontierland must actually sweep around and enclose Adventureland.

Okay, it was interesting to ME anyway.

There is really nothing at all interesting in this picture.

From the New Orleans station, you go through the inside of Splash Mountain. It’s actually quite cool and I would have taken a picture for you, but Splash Mountain is currently closed, so you’re going to have to settle for this very boring picture of the Rivers of America instead.

These deer are fake

Following THAT, you end up back in Toontown, which was where we left our stroller.

The DLRR takes approximately 20 minutes to ride the loop. It’s a great way to see the park, get from one side of the park to another without walking your feet off, and just take a break and let your train-obsessed toddler feel special.

The North(ish) Side of Frontierland

First, let’s talk about my sense of direction. Or lack thereof. I am not one of those people with a strong internal compass. Fortunately, Disneyland happens to be located with the front and back of the parks pretty much on a straight North-South axis. How convenient for me.

And rather than add a map of the park, I’m just going to point you to the official one. To orient you, the Main Gate is on the South side of the park. Main Street goes due North (more or less) ending in the Plaza ending at the castle. I will tend to give my directions based on the Plaza facing the castle.

Which is all just elaborate set up to say that today I’m going to talk about Frontierland, particularly one side at the entrance to Frontierland. From the Plaza facing the castle, Frontierland is on the left, and I’ll be talking about the right-hand side, so basically the North side.

Oh my god Shelby, can we just GET to the interesting part already???

The entrance to Frontierland is meant to look like a fort.

Welcome to Frontierland! Here there be cowboys.

Frontierland has a nice little touch on the ground–horseshoe and wagon marks in the concrete. Theo found this endlessly fascinating.

A horse has been here, or something

The first thing you come across is an informational sign on the door of the fort.

Translation below

For those lacking in acute visual skills, I’ll provide the text at the end of this post. Suffice to say it’s about the flags of the Revolutionary War, and supposedly all 13 of them fly above the fort. I was honestly only able to find, like, four.

There's a few--upper middle

There’s a different informational plaque on the other door into Frontierland, which I suppose I will talk about when I review the South side.

Once inside the gates, the first thing you come across is a pin store. Pin trading is really big at all of the Disney parks. I’m just going to have to make a whole separate post for pin trading. Let’s just leave it at there’s a pin store. Also, there are barrels outside so guests can do their own trading. Which I will cover later. Sometime.

Past the pin store, there’s the shooting gallery, or the Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition.

Rootin' Tootin' Shootin'

Disneyland really lacks in arcade-style games and there are only a handful. The Shootin’ Exposition is one of them. It only costs 50 cents too, which quite frankly is seriously cheap for Disneyland.

50 cents??? Yee-haw! I'm gonna shoot me some miniature fake tombstones!

And if you’re worried that you’re just throwing away your money on the guns (as opposed to generally throwing away your money in Disneyland), Disney does their best to help you be successful.

Look folks, the guns shoot straight, so if you're not hitting anything, don't blame us

You know, it just occurred to me right this very second (I think as I type) that I have never actually paid the money to shoot these rifles, and I didn’t do it this time either. I’d like to say it was because I didn’t want to leave Theo stranded in his stroller while I went on a shooting spree, but it’s actually just because I didn’t think about it.

Hey, I never claimed to be, like, thorough and organized, okay?

Anyway, if you don’t have a couple of quarters on you, you can use those old-fashioned change machines you never see these days anymore.

Disney aims for authenticity. If there were change machines in the Old West, this is probably what they would have looked like.

Like any shooting gallery, you aim at your standard Wild West scene. This one has large tombstones in the foreground and small houses in the back. I know that’s to visually create a sense of depth, but honestly it just kind of looks like the tombstones are freakishly large in proportion to the rest of this little town.

Apparently it's okay to shoot at people at Disneyland, as long as they are already dead and buried

And the rifles to indeed appear to be straight.

They're attached to the counter so you don't steal them

And then once you leave the shooting gallery, you get to the Rancho del Zocalo restaurant. This is (shockingly) a Mexican restaurant and is Kevin’s favorite restaurant in the park. The entrance is kind of tucked away and there are tables inside and outside. It’s a pretty good place to eat.

The restaurant entrance

Seating area

After that you are on your way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is another post. And that’s pretty much what you see on the North(ish) side of the entrance to Frontierland!

I'm pretty sure this is no longer politically correct

———————————–

The text of the sign on the fort (the capital letters are theirs, not mine):

FLAGS OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR

The 13 Flags displayed along the top of the log stockade are like those carried by American troops in the REVOLUTIONARY WAR. These standards represent the home counties, colonies, divisions and regiments of the soldiers.

One of the first flags to be unfurled bore the motto “LIBERTY AND UNION.” The famous rattlesnake flag with the motto “DON’T TREAD ON ME” was carried by the Minutemen in 1775.

For nearly a year after the founding of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the country was without an official national flag. So on JUNE 14, 1777, Congress approved a flag with thirteen stripes, alternating red and white, and thirteen stars in a blue field, representing a new constellation.

And thus, the STARS AND STRIPES became our official national flag, and has since been a symbol of freedom, courage, hope and unity of America and her people.

 

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