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  1. #46

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by sbk1234 View Post
    Actually, it's my understanding that the Lily Belle was made in the 1970s, after Walt passed away, so he never actually rode it. It was made out of a bus chassis, if I remember correctly.
    That's what the conductor told me as well on our ride in the LB. The history pages on it seem to disagree however.

    Lilly Belle Presidential Train Car

  2. #47

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    The Lilly Belle debuted in 1976, 10 years after Walt died. It was converted from the "Grand Canyon" observation car that was part of the original Disneyland passenger train.

  3. #48

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    seeing as how it has regained its exclusivity, as Walt had intended it.. i don't mind this one at all.
    Learn How To Lose Weight While Still Eating All Your Favorite Disney Foods! --> http://www.youtube.com/theantidietsecrets


  4. #49

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    That's what the conductor told me as well on our ride in the LB. The history pages on it seem to disagree however.

    Lilly Belle Presidential Train Car
    The Lilly Belle was NOT made from a bus chassis, it was converted from the Grand Canyon observation car on the Disneyland Retlaw 1 Passenger train, which was built in 1954 from SCRATCH, so its possible that Walt could have physically been inside in the car.
    "Hello folks, welcome aboard the Disneyland Railroad..."
    "The Gods have been angered by all the celebratin'..."

  5. #50

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    I got lucky to ride the lilly train a few years back with some fellow mice chatters. its nice but its not the greatest thing. its just train. sucks to hear about this. oh well.

  6. #51

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by TFN5459 View Post
    The Lilly Belle was NOT made from a bus chassis, it was converted from the Grand Canyon observation car on the Disneyland Retlaw 1 Passenger train, which was built in 1954 from SCRATCH, so its possible that Walt could have physically been inside in the car.
    Yeah, but I'm just saying what the conductor on the LB told me that day, which is obviously wrong.

  7. #52

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    Yeah, but I'm just saying what the conductor on the LB told me that day, which is obviously wrong.
    Oh okay. I have no idea where that conductor could have possibly gotten that explanation.
    "Hello folks, welcome aboard the Disneyland Railroad..."
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  8. #53

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    And now for the correct history of the Lilly Belle:
    This is the Grand Canyon car, before it was converted to the Lilly Belle.

    You can read about this accident over at Davelandblog. (Many may not realize that the track where the handcar sits, and the mainline track were once connected by a switch.)
    The information that is passed on by the conductors about the history of the car is not always correct. On our last trip we were told that there were no pictures in existence of the interior of the Grand Canyon Car before it was converted to the Lilly Belle.

    I present to you the interior of the Grand Canyon car, the only way Walt ever saw the inside of the "Lilly Belle" since he had passed away before Lillian decided to convert it.


    The rumor of the bus chassis construction probably has its roots in the fact that the cars used school bus windows and school bus seats. The Grand Canyon car, however did not use the same school bus seats as the rest of the yellow Retlaw cars. As you can see from this picture, the windows opened exactly like the school bus windows - the young girl probably was well aware of how the mechanism worked!

  9. #54

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F View Post
    And now for the correct history of the Lilly Belle:
    This is the Grand Canyon car, before it was converted to the Lilly Belle.

    You can read about this accident over at Davelandblog. (Many may not realize that the track where the handcar sits, and the mainline track were once connected by a switch.)
    The information that is passed on by the conductors about the history of the car is not always correct. On our last trip we were told that there were no pictures in existence of the interior of the Grand Canyon Car before it was converted to the Lilly Belle.

    I present to you the interior of the Grand Canyon car, the only way Walt ever saw the inside of the "Lilly Belle" since he had passed away before Lillian decided to convert it.


    The rumor of the bus chassis construction probably has its roots in the fact that the cars used school bus windows and school bus seats. The Grand Canyon car, however did not use the same school bus seats as the rest of the yellow Retlaw cars. As you can see from this picture, the windows opened exactly like the school bus windows - the young girl probably was well aware of how the mechanism worked!
    Fantastic post.

  10. #55

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    When we rode it several years ago, the CM told us the framed picture on the table was stolen, pretty disrespectful I thought.
    I was told by former imagineer / now professor (who designed and installed everything from scenes in Spacehip Earth and Horizons to lots of attractions in Paris) that most of these items are often taken by EMPLOYEES!!! He said it happened so frequently things had to be bolted down (they were often items that guests could not even reach).

  11. #56

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by traumwelt View Post
    I was told by former imagineer / now professor (who designed and installed everything from scenes in Spacehip Earth and Horizons to lots of attractions in Paris) that most of these items are often taken by EMPLOYEES!!! He said it happened so frequently things had to be bolted down (they were often items that guests could not even reach).

    That is possible, as I know that CM's are constantly rearranging things on the ballroom table in the Haunted Mansion for example, but the items in the Lilly Belle were accessible to guests, though how they would manage to make off with an item or two with two or more CM's in the car is beyond me.
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  12. #57

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    One thing the conductor also told us was the the divided bench seating was from the Queen Mary. Does that hold any water?

  13. #58

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    One thing the conductor also told us was the the divided bench seating was from the Queen Mary. Does that hold any water?
    I did a quick Google search, and nothing of any substance comes up. However, and old MiceChat post from 2012 did and a former member who knows quite a bit about the Disneyland trains had this to say on the matter:

    The furniture is is the same used when the car was converted in the mid-1970s. No single data source in my possession states that the furniture was from the Queen Mary--but it's a good story.
    Most of the tour guides are fantastic, but many of them simply (and with good reason) rely on information passed on to them from other guides. The often (mis) information then continues to be spread. I don't believe there is any ill-will here--just people taking what they hear from their superiors and colleagues at face value.

    The ones that go above-and beyond, conducting their own in-depth research on the subjects they enjoy, usually end up discovering the truth.

    The furniture usually referred to would be the setee, chair, and tables. The "bench seating," with four seats facing the center of the car, are original seats from when the car was the "Grand Canyon." They traded in their green naugahyde upholstery for crushed red velvet, but are otherwise original.

    As for the "Queen Mary furniture" story, I first recall reading this on the Internet in just the last few years. As I've said, in all my years of researching the trains of Disneyland, and amassing a massive archive of documents, not one reference is made about any furniture from the Queen Mary. One reference states, "A Victorian setee and side chairs were added after buying them at auction." Another--a "fact sheet," states that, "Furniture was provided from antique stores and shows."

    Aside from no hard documentation, one has to wonder why Victorian furniture would have been installed on the wonderfully Art Deco/steamline moderne Queen Mary.
    With that information, and the fact that nothing on Google comes up other than two blogs I am going to have to agree that the furniture was not brought in from the Queen Mary.

  14. #59

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    So Club 33 is getting the blame on this when the change has nothing to do with club 33. There are several groups that have access to the Belle and the Club is just one of them. Guest relations and attraction operations also have access. The change is in how attractions is providing their access and it doesn't have anything to do with the other two. Attractions railroad cast, if they were an extra for a trip were encouraged to make some magic and grab a family or group and take them for a trip in the Belle.

    And there were a few requests from the very small 'in the know' Guests and operations would try to accommodate if possible. Then the Internet made these requests more and more common. The number of requests far exceeded the available 'spots'. The 'reservation' thing was never exactly planned out and was just attractions trying to handle the exploding number of requests that would come in, considering that there were few options through the day of providing an attraction escort scheduling them out at the start of the day made sense. It also meant no one had to do the math for escort availability later in the day, they'd just say the scheduled spots were full.

    However the reservation thing pushed the magic out the door as the extra trips were filled instead with 'reservations' from people who would line up at the station before park open and even at times bust into the front door demanding a trip. The experience was that conductors found Guests were taking their second, third or more trip on the belle and weren't often getting the enjoyment and magic from the trip as the unexpected magic making of the past. An experience that had been some extra happiness for unsuspecting Guests had instead become something people would demand.

    The removal of the reservations is NOT a removal of regular park Guests riding the Belle, it is simply a return to how the car was intended to be used when restored for the 50th.

    A ride on the Belle is not something that can be demanded, it is something that is offered.

    I know this may not be the answer everyone here wants. This means that 'being in the know' via the Internet is no longer an advantage over the tens of thousands who visit the park on any one day.

    Most will never ride the belle, but a few still will. But they will be magical moments and I can't stress again how a magical moment is not something demanded, not something requested nor hinted at; it is something offered unexpectedly out of the blue.

  15. #60

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    Re: The Lilly Belle returns! but not for everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by SloppyJoe1492 View Post
    So Club 33 is getting the blame on this when the change has nothing to do with club 33. There are several groups that have access to the Belle and the Club is just one of them. Guest relations and attraction operations also have access. The change is in how attractions is providing their access and it doesn't have anything to do with the other two. Attractions railroad cast, if they were an extra for a trip were encouraged to make some magic and grab a family or group and take them for a trip in the Belle.

    And there were a few requests from the very small 'in the know' Guests and operations would try to accommodate if possible. Then the Internet made these requests more and more common. The number of requests far exceeded the available 'spots'. The 'reservation' thing was never exactly planned out and was just attractions trying to handle the exploding number of requests that would come in, considering that there were few options through the day of providing an attraction escort scheduling them out at the start of the day made sense. It also meant no one had to do the math for escort availability later in the day, they'd just say the scheduled spots were full.

    However the reservation thing pushed the magic out the door as the extra trips were filled instead with 'reservations' from people who would line up at the station before park open and even at times bust into the front door demanding a trip. The experience was that conductors found Guests were taking their second, third or more trip on the belle and weren't often getting the enjoyment and magic from the trip as the unexpected magic making of the past. An experience that had been some extra happiness for unsuspecting Guests had instead become something people would demand.

    The removal of the reservations is NOT a removal of regular park Guests riding the Belle, it is simply a return to how the car was intended to be used when restored for the 50th.

    A ride on the Belle is not something that can be demanded, it is something that is offered.

    I know this may not be the answer everyone here wants. This means that 'being in the know' via the Internet is no longer an advantage over the tens of thousands who visit the park on any one day.

    Most will never ride the belle, but a few still will. But they will be magical moments and I can't stress again how a magical moment is not something demanded, not something requested nor hinted at; it is something offered unexpectedly out of the blue.
    Thanks for clearing this up. This perspective on the changes actually makes sense. It keeps the car from being over-used and keeps it "special" while not making a ride virtually unobtainable like how most view a Club 33 membership.

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