Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hidden Gems: New Orleans Square Station

With so much history at Disneyland, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that even the train station at New Orleans Square has its own backstory. While it's no longer accessible (it was once used by guests as an actual train station in Frontierland), it does house a cast member lounge and a functioning water tower. Additionally, the message that can be heard being tapped repeatedly at the telegraph office is a Morse-code version of Walt Disney's famous opening speech.

"To all who come to this happy place, welcome."
The most interesting bit of trivia however, is that the train station is actually a replica of another fake train station. More specifically, the movie set from the 1948 Disney movie So Dear to my Heart. Walt Disney intended for the train station built for that movie to be the one used in Frontierland, but he had given it as a gift to Disney animator Ward Kimball. Kimball had already done some work on the station, so Disney had another one constructed in the park. The train station has changed over the years in shape and form, expanding in size and receiving an entirely different coat of colors, but Kimball's movie prop station still provides an accurate idea of how the New Orleans Square Station looked on opening day.


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