Happy train – Part 4


Our Disneyland Railroad journey ends on our way from Adventureland to Main Street Station, via the Fantasyland and Discoveryland stations.


In the heart of the jungle

We now travel through the lush jungle of Adventureland, just behind Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril. To recreate this exotic environment, Imagineers worked closely with Bill Evans, the gardener who designed all Disneyland Resort landscapes for Walt Disney. Together, they recreated these humid tropical jungles, similar to those in mysterious India, using bamboo of different varieties and sizes.

We then enter a tunnel overlooking Pirates of the Caribbean, next to the secret cave which leads to the treasure. Imagineer Chris Tietz made sure that from this vantage point Disneyland Railroad travellers are able to get a glimpse of the setting without being seen by the attraction’s Guests. They’re able to peek out and see Barbossa and Captain Jack, all so discretely, their only witnesses being… a few friendly skeletons beside the train. 


Never too late!

Once we leave the tunnel, we immediately see Fantasyland Station – dominated by its elegant clock – in the spirit of the stations from years gone by. Its Victorian-inspired architecture reminds us that we are just behind the Meet Mickey Mouse theater, in the British part of the Land between Toad Hall Restaurant and Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. Yet with its pinkish tones, its proportions and its curves – bringing a touch of fantasy worthy of a cartoon – we are indeed in Fantasyland!

It’s time to leave and enjoy a unique view of the Land, with The Old Mill on one side and Storybook Land on the other. We then arrive at “it’s a small world,” where the train passes just behind the clock tower, inspired by the original one at Disneyland Resort created by legendary Imagineer Mary Blair. This route allows Guests to get up close to the attraction’s extraordinary façade and really appreciate its many details and decorations.


The Kingdom of Visionaries

Guests arriving from Discoveryland access Discoveryland Station via a richly decorated portal flanked by two columns topped with golden metal globes reminiscent of the armillary sphere that dominates the Land’s entrance. A ramp leads to the station’s platform, where one can admire a breathtaking view of the Land and in particular the impressive X-Wing overhanging the Starport. 

As we set off, the music playing in the trains is none other than the Visionarium soundtrack, one of Discoveryland’s emblematic attractions between 1992 and 2004. Performed by the prestigious Sinfonia of London, it is the work of composer Bruce Broughton (Honey, I Shrunk the AudienceSilverado). Its grandiose orchestration is based on film’s great classics, giving the spirit of discovery a timeless dimension. 


On other Tracks…

It is now time to return to Main Street Station. Our journey aboard the Disneyland Railroadhas come to an end, but it’s not yet the end of the journey for rail enthusiasts. Disneyland Paris has many other trains, starting with Big Thunder Mountain, speeding downhill through the famous Thunder Mesa Mine. In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, an incredible railroad system winds through the ruins built by Dr. Arnold, Dr. Jones’ prominent colleague, to help extract precious archaeological material from the site. Let’s not forget Casey Jr – The Little Circus Train, which the Disneyland Railroad greets with a whistle when it passes through Fantasyland. Plus, there’s Hyperspace Mountain’s famous “rocket trains” whose many decorative details – components, sun and stars – recall those of the Columbiad. Even the goddess Diana, represented on the harnesses, is part of the journey!

The most observant remember the flying train that appeared at the very beginning of the pre-show film for the attraction Armageddon: Special Effects (2002-2019) in Walt Disney Studios Park. It was in fact an excerpt from George Méliès’ film Journey Through the Impossible(1904), inspired by Jules Verne’s play by the same name. Its design evokes Albert Robida‘s flying machines, the very artist who inspired Discovery Arcade’s retro-futuristic posters. 

From railroads to skyways, you only need to take one step!

Disney and me, it's a long love story. I fell into it as a child and never got out. From movies to theme parks, through the history of the Walt Disney Company, to comic books, everything fascinates me.