Tag Archives: Disneyland Railroad

Locomotive Tender Seat

This is one of those things that I never knew about before I started this blog, much like the Lilly Belle. The tender seat is a seat directly behind the steam engine.

It's right next to the Fireman in this picture

Like the Lilly Belle, the tender seat is a “hidden” attraction subject to availability. Also like the LB, you approach the cast member at Main Street Station and just ask if you can ride it. Not every locomotive has a tender seat, and most importantly, they don’t run it when it’s hot. Because you’re sitting in front of a boiler and when it gets hot, it gets SERIOUSLY HOT.

The steam engine is 5/8ths scale of a regular steam engine. It runs quite literally on fire:

Dude, that's like ACTUAL fire at the bottom there

The whole engine part is really complex and if you’re not a train nut (like me), the best word to describe it is…


The train is run by two cast members–the fireman, who is in charge of the water levels that drive the steam:

This guy builds and repairs authentic antique steam engines as a hobby. No joke.

…and the engineer:

This guy was a cast member for well over a decade before he moved into this position

Here’s a better look at the tender seat:

That's Me!

And here’s a closeup of the shiny things that make the train go:


The speedometer is up on top. It’s nice to know that they don’t go like 60 miles an hour, although it would be pretty awesome if they went 60 miles per hour.

Let's keep it slow, guys.

And another extremely important instrument is the pressure gauge. There’s something really important and relevant about this little feature, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is, so I’ll just toss up a picture and let you train buffs go at it (and let the others use their imaginations).


Many people looked my way in jealousy. I rubbed it in by taking a picture of all of the people behind me.

Cause I'm nice like that

This part I thought was interesting. There’s little numbers at the station and each train can be a different length. The numbers indicate where to stop so the train aligns with the handicapped platform.

Now that's precision!

Overall the tender seat ride was FABULOUS!!! It’s important to keep in mind that it’s adult-only, and for two people, and very dependent on availability and weather. I ended up waiting about 40 minutes for my ride, but it was totally worth it.

Woo hoo!!!

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.

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