Head back in time with the Disneyland Railroad Dioramas

Attention all those who have yet to experience this time warp! Please disregard any web references you may have seen to the Disneyland Railroad Dioramas as being “dated”. In my book, “unheralded treasure” would be more a more appropriate term for them. Allow me to explain.

For one thing, both dioramas on the Disneyland Railroad circle tour were pet projects of Walt Disney – as was the Railroad itself. Walt had a famous passion for steam trains. He also had a deep appreciation for stunning landscapes. Creating the dioramas along the railway in Disneyland was an ideal way for Disney to fuse his hobbies.

As you’re puffing along, keep your eyes peeled for Primeval World. This diorama, featuring 46 Audio-Animatronic dinos, originated from a 1964 World’s Fair attraction. Do not, under any circumstances, let the kids miss the baby Triceratops emerging from its shell. The attraction made a big splash when it opened in 1958 and again in 1966 when it was joined by a second exhibit.

Disney’s short documentary “Grand Canyon”, set to Ferde Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite“, was the inspiration for the second diorama. A selection of the Suite is piped in as the steam locomotives chug past seasonal vistas of the canyon with its taxidermic fauna and critters.


Location: Find the Disneyland Railroad Dioramas as you take the circle tour of Disneyland Park. Make sure not to hop off the train too soon; the dioramas are located in a tunnel between the Tomorrowland and Main Street stations.


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