I’ve seen this mentioned in passing, but not in any great detail, so I thought I would throw it out there. If anyone knows where this has already been mentioned and discussed, please direct me to the right place.
With all of the talk about the re-building of the entrance plaza to 1920’s LA, with the intend of making something that would be reminiscent to what Walt would have seen when he stepped of the train from Kansas City, I started to think: Will it be possible to step on a train? So here’s my idea.
The entrance gets built to some mission moderne style station, similar to Union Station (but not exactly since it wasn’t built until the ‘30s) as has been rumored. But instead of only looking like a station that you step through into another time, it is an actual station. \
Similar to the entrance at Disneyland, we now have the California Adventure line, leaving from Los Angeles on a grand circle tour of the Golden State. Once stepping through the entrance to 1920’s LA, you could walk up the stairs to the boarding platform and hop onto the Santa Fe Super Chief.
Now, for the purists, I know the Super Chief didn’t come online till ’36, but I think that it is the perfect choice for a DCA train. For many people who came to California in the first half of the 20th century, this is how they did it. Billed as “the Train of the Stars” it was the symbol of travel to the West Coast. And since it was in operation from the 30s until the early 70s, I think that it will blend nicely with all of the various districts in DCA.
So, you would board the Super Chief which would then take off in a clockwise direction, taking you through the Golden Era of 1930’s Hollywood, past the farm regions of the Central Valley, through the Wharf and around the Victorian Pier, finally winding through the Sierras along route 49 before returning to the Los Angeles station.
There would be either 3 or 4 stops. If 3, you would have the Los Angeles Station, a stop at the wharf, and a stop on the Westside of Paradise Pier, possible incorporated into the Victorian beer garden and new Ratatouille ride that Al mentioned in his most recent update. If there are 4 stops, then one next to the Tower of Terror, one located in a more central location at Paradise pier, and one in the route 49 area, possible where the Redwood Creek trail is.
Now I know that this loop will have some tough spots to work through, especially around the west side near the Grand Californian. Since it sounds like there will be some fair amount of demolition to go along with the re-building, I’m hoping that will allow some room for a track. Perhaps the train could run along an elevated wood bridge above route 49, with a look similar to various mountain pass bridges.
Additionally, I know that this loop will provide some not so savory views of the park. So, there should be various show buildings that hide these views from the passengers. These buildings could be shaped like rolling hills on the outside, which would provide a berm for the park. These show buildings could be connected on the outside by tracks that are built to look like the coastal bridges that we have, such as the Bixby bridge.
Inside these show buildings, there could be a progressive history of California, or perhaps local histories and stories about the various parts of the park that you are approaching. Or, maybe you could have some great dioramas that showcase the various parts of the state that you would have seen looking out of the window on board the train.
Lastly, as part of the glamour of the Super Chief, a unique dining experience could be provided with an elegant dining car on board. This could potentially be the Blue Bayou of California Adventure.
Reservations would be required and you would board at a single station. Perhaps there would be a single train devoted to this, made up entirely of dining cars. This train could run on its own track that is parallel to the main passenger track, there by avoiding all of the other stops. The dining train would only stop at the single station where dining reservation passengers would be picked up. You could ride round and round while you eat your meal, and then step off when you are finished.
Alright, there it is. It’s a little rough because I haven’t had a lot of time to think about it, but I hope you get the idea. I would love to hear what you all think and any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks for taking a look.