Gotta love vintage. Just as turn-of-the-century jitneys, fire engines, omnibuses and horse-drawn streetcars set the scene on Main Street, U.S.A., the Red Car Trolley graces Buena Vista Street in Disney’s California Adventure. Reminiscent of the vehicles that criss-crossed Los Angeles when Walt and Roy Disney arrived in 1923, a ride on this “Hollywood Car” style trolley not only moves you around the park, it directly transports you back to that time and place nearly a century ago.
I can’t wait to again take passage as a time traveler during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. As with all-things in the Disney Parks, doing some homework before you leave always leads to a fuller appreciation of the stage that all Disney Imagineers set for us. I thought I’d share some Red Car Trolley Tidbits with you, as everything about them is chock-full of history!
– The trolleys provide transit to and from the front of Disney’s California Adventure, Buena Vista Street, to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Hollywood Tower Hotel) in Hollywood Land. This one-way trip can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the crowds and boarding patterns. Walking is faster by far, but oh, what you’ll be missing.
– These trolleys are the same models as those shown in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988); the Pacific Electric Railway and its fleet of trolleys are featured in the plot to buy Toontown. (Maybe you have spotted the Jolly Trolley in Disneyland’s Toontown!)
– The trolleys travel the rails and are attached above by classic cables, or Catenary lines, which are for show only. Like it’s original cousin from the Pacific Electric Railway, the Red Car Trolley is emissions-free and powered by electricity; in the Disney version, this is achieved via rechargeable batteries.
– There are two, looping trolleys on duty most days. It should come as no surprise that their numbers have deep significance to this resort and Walt himself.
#717 is a nod to the day Walt Disney dedicated Disneyland Park; July 17, 1955.
#623 marks Pacific Electric’s 600 series and is a tribute to the summer that Walt arrived in Southern California; 1923!
– There are four official trolley stops: Buena Vista Street, Carthay Circle, Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard.
– Top PT Tip: The Red Car Trolley operates an ADA-compliant lift for wheelchair accessibility. There is room on the car for one wheelchair/ Electric Convenience Vehicle per ride, and unless there is an unusual weight issue, I was informed that transfers are not required.