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4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

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  • 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Steve DeGaetano comes on board MiceAge with the story of the Disneyland Railroad Roundhouse. Join me in welcoming him, and discuss his column here...
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  • #2
    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Ah, what a treat to have Steve's vast knowledge of this railroad. Very interesting about the Roundhouse. I always wondered what had happened to the plans for this.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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    • #3
      Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

      I can't say enough good things about Steve's two books. The new one, though more narrow in focus by necessity, is just as good as the first one. I really wish we had a Steve for every ride in the park. I'm delighted he's joining us at MiceAge!!
      Kevin Yee
      MiceAge Columnist

      I am the author of several Disney books:
      Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
      Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
      Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
      Mouse Trap
      Tokyo Disney Made Easy
      101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
      Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

      The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious. Dan Rather

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      • #4
        Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

        Thank you, gentlemen. I apprecaite the kind words. It's a true pleasure to be part of this team!

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        • #5
          Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

          AWESOME STEVE! You always exceed expectations ;-) I love the pix of the first roundhouse and wonder if it is still standing as a shell for the backstage staff or machine shops. What do the tiny banners say on the coaches? Great job and thanks for sharing.
          "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

          [FONT=Arial Narrow]

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          • #6
            Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

            You know I've never really been a big fan of railroads. I like them and enjoy the one at Disneyland, but after reading Steve's post today I honestly can't wait for the rest.

            I've read enough through the history of Disneyland and how it all came to fruition, and now I'm enjoying learning about all the details of how the railroad came about. Thanks Steve for a great read!

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            • #7
              Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

              Thank you for another great column Steve! It is always a treat when you are on the front page of MiceAge. We look forward to seeing much more of you in the future.

              I'd also like to take a moment to encourage people to check out your book, Welcome Aboard the Disneyland Railroad, which I absolutely loved. You really are an engaging writer and make the subject matter approachable and entertaining.
              Thank you and welcome to the team!

              -Dustysage
              MiceChat 101: Be NICE! If you don't play well with others, you are in the wrong sandbox.

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              • #8
                Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

                Wonderful article, I'm just curious if you have the same in depth knowledge of WDW's railroad or if it is solely Disneylands. If so, any chance we might get some articles about our railroad system out east?

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                • #9
                  Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

                  Congrats on being a Columnist, Steve! I'm looking foward to read each and every one with interest!!!

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                  • #10
                    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

                    Thank you everyone!

                    Cousin, to answer your question about the status of the original roundhouse, yes, the structure still stands--it is used as a "cycle shop," which I once thought was where all the CM bikes were repaired, but in actuality, it's where ride vehicles are taken to be "cycled" through their maintenance. Embedded in the asphalt nearby, barely-visible, are the shiny railheads that used to be the lead tracks.

                    The banners on the last train coach read "Grand" and "Canyon." between them will be installed an oval painting of the Grand Canyon.

                    The sign on the rear window reads "KEEP OUT--Walt Disney"!

                    TikiRoomLiz, while sometimes I may write with more jargon than I wish, people like you are really my true audience. I want to write in a style that's easy enough for folks who aren't "into" trains to understand, but will also appeal to the "train geeks" like me.

                    Thanks, Dusty, as always for your great support.

                    kcnole, I know a little about the WDW RR trains (mostly because they operate almost the same as ours do, with some interesting differences). My good friend, Steve Burns, is the closest we have to an expert, and he and I may in fact collaborate on some articles about those trains.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

                      Only the best from MiceAge. Steve's book was excellent, it was filled not only with every detail you'd ever want to know about the railroad, it also had fascinating tidbits of trivia that make you take a step back and think about it some more.

                      It will be great having him as a regular columnist, his insights into the Disneyland Railroad are by far the most far-reaching and interesting that I have heard. Are they still running those trains on vegetable oil? I know diesel engines are designed to run on that stuff, but a Disneyland train without the smell of diesel is like a sports car without the sound of the engine. Sometimes when you grow up with a smell, even if it's inherently repulsive, you not only get used to it, you tend to miss it when it's gone. I still haven't gotten over the park not smelling like cigarettes anymore, it honestly did give the park an overall smell that I grew up with and learned to love.

                      But diesel, they can't take away that smell from the Disneyland Railroad. It reminds us what a purely mechanical thing a steam train is. In this era of computers doing every single function of a "mechanical" device nowadays, it's great to have something that runs off absolutely nothing but metal, steam and physics...that smell reminds us of its ingenious simplicity (that's probably an oxymoron, but it really is a marvel of both complexity and simplicity, especially considering the era it came out of).

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                      • #12
                        Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

                        They have converted at least the E.P. Ripley to burn Bio-diesel. This definitely smells different (although I've yet to smell it myself). Some have stated that it smells faintly of french fries, although maybe not too strongly, since animal fat has more of that familiar french fry scent--not the vegetable-based Bio-diesel being tried.

                        But yes, that signature diesel, oil and steam fragrance upon entering the park may only exist as a cherished memory very soon, if not already.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

                          Originally posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
                          Cousin, to answer your question about the status of the original roundhouse, yes, the structure still stands--it is used as a "cycle shop," which I once thought was where all the CM bikes were repaired, but in actuality, it's where ride vehicles are taken to be "cycled" through their maintenance. Embedded in the asphalt nearby, barely-visible, are the shiny railheads that used to be the lead tracks.
                          Not sure if this is still true, but there was some evidence in the landscaping of the former line out to the old roundhouse. Look to your left and behind you as the train is just about to chug up to Big Thunder Ranch, and you used to (still can?) see a clear shot to the old roundhouse. I've seen those rails in the asphalt backstage - a real touch of history there.
                          Kevin Yee
                          MiceAge Columnist

                          I am the author of several Disney books:
                          Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
                          Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
                          Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
                          Mouse Trap
                          Tokyo Disney Made Easy
                          101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
                          Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

                          The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious. Dan Rather

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                          • #14
                            Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

                            Great article Steve! Glad to have you on the MiceAge team. I will definitely be getting your books, had been meaning to get the first one, will definitely do so now and await the next one. Keep up the great work!

                            ErikAnders.smugmug.com

                            Fratsor Brother - ΔΜΧΑ


                            1519, 4066, 423, 600, 2469, 378, 5044, 888

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                            • #15
                              Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

                              In essence the railroad is the heart of Disneyland, wonderful insightfull column Steve. I cant wait for my next visit to DL now!

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