In its day, the Disney family home on Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills was something special.
How many homes do you know with a soda fountain, swimming pool and a backyard railroad that inspired a theme park? While the property may not look today as it did when Walt, Lillian, Diane and Sharon called it home, visitors to the Walt Disney Family Museum have the chance to step back with the exhibit, “Home for the Holidays at Carolwood”, through January 9th, 2017. With the Lilly Belle locomotive and Carolwood on display in Gallery Nine, guests can share Walt’s railroad fascination. But this new display takes visitors one step further into that world.
Several years ago, Bachmann Trains released a special train set that recreated Walt’s Carolwood Pacific Railroad train set. And it ran on HO scale track. I have one in my collection and you can find one for sale on eBay right now. They were popular with both Disney and train fans. If you couldn’t own a full size replica, then this was the way to go.
Using that train, you can see the scale of the model that the Museum had built. Impressive is the word for it.
Complete with all of the details, you have the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. It’s all there. The barn, the trestle over Yensid Valley – even the tunnel under Lillian’s flower gardens. The model makers did a fantastic job in recreating it. I thought the only thing missing was Walt’s Mercedes 230 SL sedan in the family garage. One of the docent’s mentioned that Ron Miller thought the same thing!
Honestly, you can spend hours just watching the little train run around the scale model of Walt’s estate. A bit of holiday magic.
Ron Miller (Walt Disney’s Son In Law and former Disney CEO) lights the Holmby Hills Christmas lights in this wonderful Youtube video:
Were any of you able to visit?