Happy Tuesday, Disney Fans! One of my favorite little tips for Disney newbies is to take some of the fun Disneyland Transportation available in the park.
These transport options are included with your park admission, so there’s no extra cost to ride these fun little vehicles, and they have a totally nostalgic, “Disney Magic” feel. They are my favorites to ride on a hot summer day when more popular rides might have crazy lines or I’m just looking for a quick break.
Main Street Vehicles
The first of the fun transportation you’ll encounter at Disneyland are the Main Street Vehicles. You can choose from one of four different types of escorts to drive you up and down Main Street, USA. I love cruising around with a Mickey Bar in my hand and allowing myself to be transported to the turn of the century. Talk about a hidden gem, the Main Street vehicles aren’t all that unknown, but are totally underutilized. They’re just another of the many immersive details that make Disney feel like Disney.
Ride in the iconic candy apple fire engine on a one-way trip down Main Street, USA. It stops at both Town Square and in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
I love the horse-drawn streetcars! These adorable little things hold up to 30 guests and drop you off right in front of the castle!
The newfangled “automobile” is a vintage-style open air car modeled after the iconic Model T Ford. Catch a ride in Town Square or in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle for a one-way trip down Main Street..
The Omnibus offers some incredible Disneyland views, especially if you get on the second level. Modeled after a 1920 New York City double-decker, the 45-passenger bus makes its trip up and down turn of the century Main Street.
Mark Twain Riverboat
Inspired by the riverboats of the American South, the Mark Twain is something straight out of Tom Sawyer. I love riding the riverboat, since it gives you views of the park you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise, and there are some “hidden” audio animatronics exclusive to the trip.
This ride is perfect if you’re looking for a time to rest your feet and get some shade, or if you just want to enjoy a pleasant ride around the river.
The ride is about 25 minutes around the Rivers of America and docks periodically throughout the day. It is wheelchair accessible and ride times can be found in front of the docking station in Frontierland as well as in your park times guide.
Mark Twain himself narrates your trip as you glide past a a rustic cabin, a Native American village, various wildlife, and even the Haunted Mansion itself, Gracey Manor. You can also listen to idyllic music inspired by American folklore and relax on one of the four decks.
Named for Walt’s wife Lillian, the Lilly Belle is the iconic train car on the end of the Disneyland Railroad Train, the C. K. Holiday. This train car is particularly special for a few reasons. For one, it’s a 1955 original, and Lillian helped design it. It’s decoration and design harken back to the glamorous and elegant victorian age, when the train car was all the rage. It was originally brought to the park for VIP guests and celebrities, but today, anyone can ride the Lilly Belle with a little luck and know-how.
If you want to ride the Lilly Belle, here’s what you need to do:
- Arrive EARLY! Get to the park before it opens.
- Once the park officially opens, head directly to the Second floor of the Disneyland Railroad Station.
- Ask the Railroad Cast Member if anyone is taking reservations for the Lilly Belle Car that day. If it’s available, the cast member will give you a scheduled departure time.
- Arrive early for your scheduled departure time.
It should be noted that the Lilly Belle does not operate everyday, and it’s not available all day long, so it’s best to go there first thing in the morning. You must reserve your ride with a cast member, and you must be escorted onto the train car by a cast member who will share the train car with you on your ride (Club 33 members can ride anytime, and don’t need an escort). Rides are round-trip from the Main Street Station.
Don’t be afraid to ask multiple cast members about the car. If you aren’t able to get on one day, KEEP TRYING! It might be available the next, and a different cast member might give you a different answer. When your trip is over, you will be given a ticket, making your trip official!