Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Vault Disney

Happy Birthday Casey Jr. Circus Train!

Casey Jr. Circus Train officially opened on this day, July 31, 1955.  This Disneyland classic attraction is based on the circus train from the animated feature, Dumbo, which was released in October 1941.  

Casey Jr. Train opens on this day, July 31, 1955

He was originally conceived as the park's first roller coaster before plans were eventually scaled back.


Listen carefully and you will hear Casey optimistically chant, "I think I can," as he struggles to climb uphill.  While he chugs along, passengers are given a tour of miniature versions of classic Disney animated film scenes. This tour is similar to the one given on the slower paced Storybook Land Canal Boats but with some variation.

Due to testing, the attraction was opened two weeks later than Disneyland.  On July 14, 1955, the Casey Jr. Circus Train made his first test ride. Poor Casey Jr. was almost sent backwards trying to climb the 25 percent uphill grade. Lead weights were then added to the front which allowed him to temporarily open on the 17th. And finally, after a few more adjustments and testing, on July 31, 1955 the Casey Jr. Circus Train attraction permanently re-opened in Fantasyland at Disneyland. 

He continues to delight crowds young and old.

  • Some pieces of the train were from the original carrousel purchased for King Arthur Carrousel.
  • Walt wanted to make room for more guests so two sled type seats were removed and converted by WED into open air cars on the two Casey Jr. trains.
  • The Casey, Jr. trains uses an internal combustion engine in the calliope car behind the locomotive uses a roller coaster-style chain to pull the train up the steepest hill.
  • The Casey Jr. Circus Train is a quaint reminder of a different era having survived the remodeling of Fantasyland in 1983. 

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