Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America Attractions Return to Disneyland Park this Summer with New Magic

When the iconic Disneyland Railroad and the Rivers of America attractions return to Disneyland this summer, guests will discover new magic aboard these classic experiences. As we first shared last year, and seen in the artist’s rendering below (courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering), the gorgeous new north bank of the Rivers of America will feature a beautiful new waterfront and an elevated trestle over which the iconic Disneyland Railroad will travel.

The Rivers of America will continue to celebrate the Mississippi, Columbia, Missouri and Rio Grande rivers, enhanced now with a new Columbia Gorge section, highlighted by thundering waterfalls – signaling the return of large waterfalls to the rivers. Longtime Disneyland park fans will remember Big Thunder River Waterfall and Twin Sisters Waterfall; five spectacular new waterfalls along the Rivers of America harken back to these favorites – all on display for guests aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes.

Guests will also experience these features from aboard the Disneyland Railroad, which will travel across the rocks on a trestle that will even extend onto the river, providing a breathtaking view of the new waterfalls. And, for the first time ever, the Disneyland Railroad will be making a left-hand turn as it circles the park.

The Indian Village Found Along the Rivers of America

In addition to the new waterfalls, Disneyland park fans will spot some familiar faces along the Rivers of America as well as throwbacks to Frontierland’s past. The Indian Village, now in a new location, will include a more prominently featured Shaman, seen telling the story of how the hummingbird taught the Indian chief to make a flute.

This Day in Disney History – 100th Anniversary of the Fred Gurley Steam Train No 3 Celebrated at Disneyland in 1994

“Your attention please…” the Disneyland Railroad‘s “Fred Gurley,” Steam Train No. 3, celebrated its 100th anniversary on this day in 1994. In 1955, the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad, as it was then known, featured two locomotives, each of which were constructed at the Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The attraction was so popular that the train of thought was that it made sense to put a third one on the track. This time, rather than building the new locomotive from scratch, Disney designers found a sweet old train which had been used to haul sugarcane in Louisiana, and they rebuilt it to run on the happiest tracks on Earth. Named after Fred G. Gurley, president of the Santa Fe Railroad at the time, the refurbished engine took its inaugural voyage for a complete trip around Walt Disney’s magic kingdom in 1958 and has been on the right track ever since.This

Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America Attractions to Reopen Summer 2017 at Disneyland

Over the past few weeks, The Disney Parks Blog has been sharing stories about the original Disneyland park attractions that guests have loved for more than 60 years. Today, Disney announced that the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America will reopen summer 2017 at Disneyland park.

This includes all attractions along the Rivers of America:

  • “Fantasmic!”
  • Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes

DL Mark Twain

The new northern bank of the Rivers of America is the latest in a 60-year evolution of this classic waterway. This Disneyland original has been taking guests on a journey along four iconic American rivers since it opened on July 17, 1955. On opening day, there was just one way to travel the rivers … on board the Mark Twain Riverboat.

658-DL-15H.tif

One year later, in 1956, traffic on the Rivers of America picked up significantly with the addition of Indian War Canoes (now known as Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes) and Tom Sawyer Island Rafts (which took guests to the newly opened Tom Sawyer Island).

DL Rivers of America Columbia

Then in 1958, another large watercraft joined Mark Twain Riverboat on trips around the Rivers of America. Sailing Ship Columbia is an exact replica of the 18th century merchant vessel, Columbia Rediviva, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe, and the namesake of Oregon’s Columbia River.

The next significant change to the Rivers of America came in 1966 with the addition of New Orleans Square. Now guests could take a genteel stroll along the banks of the Mississippi River (one of four sections on the waterway), enjoying live music along with a lovely view.

DL Rivers of America Fantasmic

In 1992, the quiet New Orleans Square nights were replaced by a fantastical journey into Mickey Mouse’s imagination with the debut of “Fantasmic!” Quickly a guest favorite, the show went on to also delight guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.

And next year, history will be made on the Rivers of America once again with a gorgeous new riverbank and an elevated trestle over which the iconic Disneyland Railroad will travel. For now, be sure to stop by the Main Street and New Orleans Square stations now to get an up-close look at the steam engines of the Disneyland Railroad, and we’ll be back with a look at how the railroad has changed through the years while remaining a Disneyland icon.

Get ready to hit the rails and the water again when Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America attractions reopen, summer 2017!

Disneyland Releases Concept Art for New Rivers of America

The Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland park in Southern California have closed temporarily as Disneyland prepares to bring an all-new Star Wars-themed land to the park.

To carve out space for the new land, the company is rerouting the Disneyland Railroad, shortening the Rivers of America and likely shrinking Tom Sawyer Island.

When these areas reopen, the north bank of the Rivers of America will have a beautiful new waterfront.

DL - New Rivers of America

As you can see from this artist’s rendering, courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering, this gorgeous new riverbank will also feature an elevated trestle over which the iconic Disneyland Railroad will travel.