Thursday, July 19, 2012

Disneyland - Steps In Time: Casey Jr. Circus Train

When Disneyland opened in Anaheim, 57 years ago this week, a number of things weren't quite ready. One of those was the Casey Jr. Circus Train, in Fantasyland, which opened two weeks later. Even then, the scenery the train passed through wasn't really ready for prime time. Happily, things have improved over the years.

Today's concept/yesterday/today photos show the jaunty depot from this attraction. The 1950s concept art above was done by Disney artist Bruce Bushman. The image immediately below shows the same location in 1955, shortly after the ride opened. And the third photo (way below) shows the depot as it appears today.
Based on scenes in the movie Dumbo (1941), the Casey Jr. Circus Train, like the Storybookland Canal Boats, (which overlaps this ride) takes guests past scenes from various fairy tales that have been animated by Disney. It only lasts four minutes and is one of the few Fantasyland attractions that keeps operating during Disneyland's fireworks shows. Note the old eucalyptus windbreak in the background of the 1955 photo. Those trees still stand today, although they no longer have any orange groves to shelter.


Major Pepperidge said...

That drawing is so nice! Bruce Bushman?

Chris Jepsen said...

Bruce Bushman. (See

Tris Mast said...

I heard that depot was based on the one in the Disney short "Pigs is Pigs" from 1954. If you check it out on YouTube you'll see the similarity -- especially all those crazy finials on the roof.

Anonymous said...

Mr Bushman was also responsible for designing the size of most of the Fantasyland ride seats. His ample frame was considered large enough to seat one adult and one child together.
Also the Casey Jr train station was used as a ticket booth in the early years. After the 1983 Fantasyland make-over and indroduction of the no tickets passports the station was used to hold castmemeber jackets.

Mouse Insight said...

That drawing at the begining is awesome. Thanks for sharing this post. Good work.