Saturday, March 31, 2012

All Aboard… A Grand Circle Tour of the Trains of Disney

The Disney Gallery, formerly housed above the Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland, was evicted in favor of the Disneyland Dream Suite in 2008. The space it occupied was originally meant to be a private apartment for Walt Disney, much like his apartment over the Fire House in Main Street. Only this apartment was going to be geared more towards entertaining special guests. Sadly, Walt passed away before they could complete it. Twenty years later, in 1987, it opened as The Disney Gallery. And just over twenty years after that, as previously mentioned, it was gone.

But not for long!

The Bank of Main Street opened in 1955, along with Disneyland. For decades guests were able to perform real bank transactions, such as currency exchange, check cashing, and opening actual BofA accounts. One of its claims to fame was that it was the only bank in the United States to be open on Sundays. Around 2001 the Bank of Main Street began focusing on selling Annual Passports, and a few years later it became the official Annual Passport Processing Center. In 2009, it underwent yet another transformation: The new home to The Disney Gallery.

The Gallery is home to paintings, sketches, artifacts, and merchandise often themed around specific exhibits, which last a few months at a time. The current exhibit is: "All Aboard… A Grand Circle Tour of the Trains of Disney." For those of you who read my Disney’s Love of Trains post, you may recognize a few tidbits!

1955 Post Magazine, and conductor hat

Walt Disney presented California Governor Goodwin Knight with a conductor hat (above) to wear for the inaugural run of the E.P. Ripley on July 17, 1955.

Carolwood Barn

The center of operations for the Carolwood Pacific Railroad was a barn fashioned after one on the Disney farm in Marceline, Missouri. Master modeler Jack Verducci crafted the above model to celebrate the relocation of the Carolwood Barn in Griffith Park in 1999.

Conductor Walt

How cool is the above painting? Answer: very.

Train merchandise, and what's that on the right?

Now we see just some of the train-themed merchandise available for purchase. Mugs, shirts and attraction posters are just a few of the items any train enthusiast would love to have. And what's that over to the right? Why it looks like a vault door. Let's peek inside.

Inside the vault


Chicago pennant

Walt Disney and Ward Kimball presented Ollie Johnston with the above pennant when they returned from the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1948.

Walt and Roger

The photo above is of Walt Disney and Roger Broggie at Walt's Carolwood home. Broggie was Walt's first Imagineer.

Crossover

This is the original Carolwood Pacific Railroad crossover from Walt Disney's personal railroad. In 1963, Walt Disney donated the track from his backyard railroad to the Los Angeles Live Steamers, of which Walt was a founding member. Pictured above is the last whole section of track known to be in existence. It was handcrafted in the Studios' machine shop by Roger Broggie, and was one of the first projects done by the then yet to be famous "Imagineers."

This cool exhibit is scheduled to run through May. Well, "May-ish," I was told. If you're in the Disneyland area, stop in and check it out!

2 comments:

  1. Good work!! super-cool info about the one-time bank :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yeah I miss the old bank.

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