Carolwood – Walt’s Home Returns

Written by Roger Colton. Posted in Disney History, Roger Colton, Walt Disney Family Museum

Tagged: , ,

Published on January 05, 2017 at 1:30 am with No Comments

In its day, the Disney family home on Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills was something special.

DSC_0927

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.

cp173

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.

bachmannset

Using that train, you can see the scale of the model that the Museum had built. Impressive is the word for it.

DSC_0918

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?

About Roger Colton

Roger Colton has been a fan of trains all his life. With family in the business of railroading it was only natural. He has volunteered at railway museums in California, Nevada and Hawaii. Along the way he has operated steam, diesel and electric trains as well as being involved in a number of restoration projects. As part of a great team, he offers tours on chartered private railroad passenger cars. href="http://www.privatecarservice.net">privatecarservice.net He is also a member of the Carolwood Historical Society and was involved with several railway excursions the Society operated. Disney is only one of many interests as well as trains. Others include history of the American West, World War II aircraft, classic film and television, and collecting/trading Disney pins. His online world included managing a member community for AOL, participation in various newsgroups and websites. He also writes his own blog - theblueparrot.info - on a variety of topics.

Browse Archived Articles by

Share11
Tweet
+11
Pin
Stumble