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Disneyland Railroad: Grand Canyon Diorama

Paul Hiffmeyer

by , Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort

You’ve probably already guessed that the trains are one of my favorite subjects to photograph at Disneyland park. Besides bringing back the great memories of riding the train around the park when I was a boy, there are some really interesting sights and sounds to be enjoyed when you’re on the Disneyland Railroad.

In my first train post of this series, I asked what your favorite part of the Disneyland Railroad is. Well, mine has always been the Grand Canyon diorama, and since we couldn’t locate any archival photos showing the diorama with a train, I decided to take one myself to share with you here on the Disney Parks Blog.

So, turn up Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite,” sit back, and enjoy… “The next leg of our trip takes us along the rim of the Grand Canyon. The wildlife around here is rather sheepish, so please, no flash photography.”

Grand Canyon Diorama

If you think of it, the next time you ride the trains, let the Engineers and Conductors know how much you appreciate all that they do to keep these beautiful historic steam trains running. They also make these photos possible.


  • Beautiful photo. Although the recording and the conductor said no flash photography,the warnings didn’t stop the guy in my row from taking a flash picture every 10 seconds.

  • Great photo. Love this series…and love those steam trains! If I’m not mistaken, the train in this photo is the engine only, correct? I don’t see the passenger cars.

  • I love the treat of getting to see the America Sings guys inside Splash Mountain without getting wet! :)

  • Such a wonderful shot. I love the train and the grand canyon feature. I also love the dinosaurs. I am so glad they keep it the same it never gets old to me.

  • This series makes up some of my very favorite posts on the Disney Parks Blog.

  • Great picture! My family loves riding the railroad at night. We look forward to it – it’s relaxing & beautiful

  • Great pics of the Disney RR the train at Disneyland is so much better then the train at WDW
    Thanks keep them coming.
    Daniel D.

  • I always had to go on the train to see this. I still enjoy it.

  • Fantastic shot!

    The diorama has a special place in my heart. At first, I had a kind of “hohum” attitude to it… The dinosaurs were really what sparked my imagination. Then I found out that there was an actual historic steam train that ran from Williams, AZ, to the Grand Canyon. I did manage to go and ride the steam train, and I loved every second of it, crediting the adventure to the DLRR.


  • Paul, you always take such amazing pictures! Keep em coming!

  • Wow, Paul your railroad photos get better with each post! Thanks for sharing!

  • I tell folks all the time, you have to ride the train all the way around because there’s something more to see, after the last land stop and before you get to the station.
    I love train travel no matter how short the trip. :-) Love this photo!

  • Love the trains, the Diorama and your pictures. Post some dinosaur shots, please. What’s more fun than Disneyland?

  • I have found that the conductors are the best source of information on the park. A very un-tapped resource…

  • Very nice!

  • yeah i think its only the train front car. Since shooting photography in very low light you need to shoot with non moving objects so that might be one reason . Looks great i love the train and i love the photography. amazing it would be awsome to be a photographer for disneyland … i wish one day :) I love the dinosaur part :) so old fashion im happy they kept it :)

  • This is my fav of the train ride, as well! Love this cat!

  • Mary from Santa Barbara, CA
    I love going on the train at Disney. Not only for the little rest to take the train on the opposite side of the park. But to see all the park offers and the Dreams Walt had. This last trip to Disneyland in Aug 2010 we were on the last car next to the Lilly Belle Train so my husband took a few pictures and I will cherish those pictures for the rest of my life, like the pictures that are taken by the photography for Disneyland, that should be made in to a book where the guest could cherish them as well.

  • I would sure love a high resolution copy of that. Wallpaper!

  • I love the railroad. I accidentally had my flash on when taking a picture in the tunnel, and sure got reminded! lol

  • Is that the train without any passenger cars on it?

  • What a great perspective! Thanks for sharing.

    I hope someday Disney puts out a book from the Disney Photographers. Tips and Trick at the Disney Theme Parks, because I know I always learn something as a photographer from Disney photos.

  • Amazing photos, as always! Thank you for sharing!!

  • That is a really great picture! 😀

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