Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Casey Jones Jr.

Over the last few years I've heard rumors (in the comments section of this very blog!) of the possible demise of Storybook Land, which makes me appreciate its charms even more than usual. 

Today's photos feature the Casey Jr. Circus Train, one of a dwindling number of attractions that go all the way back to 1955. Not all rides have to be high-tech or feature the latest IP; a fun ride on a train that looks like an antique toy, passing through scenes of famous stories and fairy tales is more than good enough. I love the color on this one! Casey just managed to climb that steep hill thanks to some heroic effort.

Here's another fun angle, with the cages of monkeys and wild animals, as well as the more open "sleigh"-type cars. I wonder if those plants are some of the famous weeds that I've heard about from those early years (when the ride's landscaping left something to be desired)?


Nanook said...

Yes, the color is lovely. I believe Casey's "heroic effort" is due to getting an off-camera assist from none-other-than Sisyphus himself-! (Bonus points for the power lines, too).

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

2nd photo: Apparently those weeds were famous, as you can see Elsie’s pointing them out to her friends behind the fence.

Andrew said...

That's what I was going to say, Sue! "Elsie" was a seasoned gardener, so no shenanigans like this ever got past her!

This is a view that I guess that you can't get today due to Dumbo being here. Of course, if I'm right, then that means our photographer probably turned around and snapped about 10 pictures of Chicken of the Sea right after this!

Try zooming in so all you can see is the train and the sky - cool effect. Thanks for the pictures today.

Chuck said...

Love the color on these. Note the canal boat in the first photo, hiding in the less-than-dense undergrowth as it prepares for an attack by the Lilliputian natives.

Weren't the "sleigh" cars (or at least some of them) repurposed from the merry-go-round that became King Arthur's Carrousel?

This is one of my favorite attractions, one that I have a specific memory of from my first trip at 2½ (although for years I conflated it with the DLRR). Thanks, Major!

Stu29573 said...

It would be a shame to see this one go- especially since it has no duplicates in any other parks! I really need to get to Disneyland... Sigh.

DrGoat said...

Very happy pics Major. The first one is desktop worthy. We always rode Casey Jr., especially when we were older. Tended to appreciate it more. I want to say those are Oleanders the gardener lady is pointing out, but I don't think they would put a poisonous plant that close to the crowd.
I must say, if they get rid of Storybook Land, I might just lose that last shred of hope. It's the quaintest thing in the park, next to the dark rides.

JC Shannon said...

I really hope they don't get rid of Storybook Land. The Canal Boats were always a must ride. I read somewhere that the canal was just a dirt banks and weeds when it opened. The miniatures came later. I always thought it was kinda like a model railroad layout sans train. Anyhow, it's iconic and beloved by everyone. Thanks Major.

Stefano said...

Thanks Major, the first pic is the best Casey Jr. photo I've seen, the effect is just like in the movie "Dumbo" as Casey gamely went up, down, around and through the landscape to his own catchy tune. The only movie where one roots for a train!

Stu29573, Disneyland Paris has a Casey Jr. which looks to be a mild roller coaster, the original plan for Anaheim Casey.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I had no idea that Chad Sisyphus was helping Casey Jr.! What a mensch.

Lou and Sue, the only reason Elsie’s there is for the weeds.

Andrew, my best friend is a “plant person”, he loves to tell me about the plants we see on hikes! Especially if you can eat them. “This one has an edible bulb! This one was propagated by Native Americans. This one is highly toxic.” And so on. It’s actually pretty interesting, I’ve picked up some knowledge by osmosis.

Chuck, I get the feeling that these photos were taken before all the charming miniature scenes were added to Storybook Land, meaning that guests got a good view of dirt and weeds. I’ll take it! I think you’re right, I’ve heard that story about the sleigh cars as well. And it makes sense that a 2.5 year-old would combine two train rides into one.

Stu29573, it would really hurt if they removed this attraction. It’s SO “Disneyland”, and harkens back to Walt’s love of both trains and miniatures. But I’m assuming that it doesn’t have a huge capacity (I once waited in line for a long long time), which might mean that it has to go, to some dummies.

DrGoat, I always rode the canal boats, so Casey Jr. was something that I didn’t experience until relatively recently. I loved it, although (as I’ve related before), we thought we’d scored when we got the seat right behind the calliope, and wound up getting a face full of hot exhaust the entire ride! Kind of spoiled the experience.

Jonathan, yes, my understanding is that the ride had virtually nothing to look at in that first year or so. I can only imagine how puzzled the guests were when they got off their boats. And the ride is definitely related to model railroads!

Stefano, “Dumbo” is one of my favorite Disney animated features. It’s short (just over an hour), but it looks so beautiful, and I love the circus theme. And Timothy is such a great character. Maybe I’ll watch it again today!

Anonymous said...

This combination of rides is the best thing left in Disneyland.

My earliest Disney memories are of Storybook Land. I credit it to some extent for my choice of profession in architecture, since I always have loved little model buildings, and I think this is where I learned it.

If this goes out, I will never return.

Thanks for these pictures, Major. Good stuff from the early days.


K. Martinez said...

Gorgeous photos of Casey Jr. I still go for a ride on Casey Jr. whenever visiting Disneyland. I love that attraction and Storybook land. Gotta support Storybook Land or else. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

The most fun seat on Casey Jr. is the caboose seat which faces backwards. It is an odd sensation.