The Lilly Belle at Disneyland is a unique and exclusive experience that offers an intimate connection to the park’s history and Walt Disney’s passion for trains. Named after Walt Disney’s wife, Lillian Disney, the Lilly Belle is a luxurious Victorian-styled train car that was originally designed as a VIP perk in the parks. In this comprehensive guide, we will take a deep dive into the history of the Lilly Belle, how to increase your chances of riding it, and what to expect during the ride.
To ride the Lilly Belle at Disneyland, plan to arrive at the park gates an hour before park opening, head straight to the train station, and be one of the first 14 people in line in the morning. Then, politely inquire with a conductor if the Lilly Belle is running that day. If you get a spot on the Lilly Belle, ask for a souvenir ticket and sign the guest book. Please note that the Lilly Belle may not run on days with heavy rain, high heat, or incredibly high crowds.
The History of the Lilly Belle
The Lilly Belle has a rich and fascinating history that is intertwined with Walt Disney’s love for trains. It was part of the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, a miniature steam-powered train that Walt Disney built in his backyard in 1950. The train and its tracks were popular among celebrities, neighbors, and studio friends of the Disney family.
The original Lilly Belle and its freight cars have been on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco since 2009. Disneyland Railroad features a traditional ornate Victorian Era parlor car, also named the Lilly Belle, which was introduced in 1974. This car, designed by Lillian Disney herself, has been used to ferry VIPs, Club 33 members, and those who take the park’s up-charge Grand Circle Tour.
How To Access the Lilly Belle
The Lilly Belle is not always available for rides. It may not run on days with heavy rain, high heat, or incredibly high crowds. However, regular Disneyland guests may sometimes have the opportunity to ride the Lilly Belle if they arrive early in the morning and it is running that day.
To increase your chances of riding the Lilly Belle, follow these steps:
- Arrive early: Plan to arrive at the park gates an hour before park opening to be inside for Rope Drop.
- Head straight to the train station: Once inside the park, go directly to the train station without getting distracted.
- Be one of the first in line: You need to be one of the first 14 people in line in the morning to get a reservation on the Lilly Belle.
- Inquire with a conductor: Ask a conductor if the Lilly Belle is running that day. Remember to be polite, as they don’t have to give you a spot to ride.
- Get a souvenir ticket and sign the guest book: If you get a spot on the Lilly Belle, ask for a souvenir ticket and sign the guest book.
What To Expect During the Ride
The Lilly Belle offers a luxurious and exclusive experience. The Victorian-styled car features varnished mahogany paneling, velour curtains and seats, a floral-patterned wool rug, and Disney family pictures, all personally overseen by Lillian Disney herself.
While riding the Lilly Belle, you can enjoy the beautiful interior, learn about the car’s history, and appreciate the attention to detail in its design. A conductor will ride with you, answering questions and providing the history of the car.
Riding the Lilly Belle at Disneyland is a rare and exclusive experience that offers a unique connection to the park’s history and Walt Disney’s passion for trains. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of riding this luxurious and historic train car, adding an extra layer of magic and exclusivity to your Disneyland visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Grand Circle Tour?
The Grand Circle Tour is a two-hour guided tour of Disneyland Park where guests can learn about the history of the Disneyland Railroad and Walt Disney’s love for trains. The tour includes a ride on the Lilly Belle, if it’s running that day.
How long does the ride on the Lilly Belle last?
The ride on the Lilly Belle takes around 20 minutes. It’s a grand circle tour around Disneyland Park, which includes stops at New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, and Tomorrowland.
Is there an extra charge for riding the Lilly Belle?
No, there is no extra charge for riding the Lilly Belle. However, it’s only available to a limited number of guests each day, and priority is given to those on the Grand Circle Tour, which does require an additional fee.
Can I ride the Lilly Belle if I am not a member of Club 33 or a VIP?
Yes, even if you’re not a member of Club 33 or a VIP, you can still ride the Lilly Belle. It’s available to regular guests, but it’s best to arrive early and ask a conductor for availability.
Is the Lilly Belle wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, due to the historic design of the Lilly Belle, it is not wheelchair accessible.