Ever glance at that big Train Bulletin on the inside east wall of the Main Street Train Station in Magic Kingdom Park? Some of you probably guessed that the arrivals and departures have historic Disney connections.
The top listing, appropriately, refers to Disney Legend and master animator Ward Kimball, who shared Walt Disney’s love of trains. Ward and his lovely wife Betty kept a lovingly restored private railroad train, Grizzly Flats, in their backyard.
The remaining listings are each a nod to classic live-action Disney movies, all of which share a small town, early 20th century setting not unlike Main Street, U.S.A. In the film Follow Me, Boys!, Fred MacMurray played Lem Siddons, who settled in the town of Hickory.
The next one is easy for Kurt Russell fans: Medfield was the college where Dexter Riley’s wacky experiments always saved the school in three comedies starting with The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes – and it was also the college where Fred MacMurray, as The Absent-Minded Professor, used “Flubber” to win a basketball game against rival college, Rutledge. Dean Jones ran for District Attorney of the town of Medfield in The Shaggy D.A. and Robin Williams saved its college in his Flubber remake.
Special Oscar-winner Hayley Mills might be so very “glad” that you recognized “Harrington” as the last name of Pollyanna’s Aunt Polly (Jane Wyman, also an Oscar winner). The town is named for her very prominent family. And Mr. Pendergast (Adolphe Menjou) was the mean old recluse who turned out to be a kind-hearted adoptive father to Jimmy Bean (Kevin “Moochie” Corcoran).
Last but not least, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin starred Roddy McDowall as an English butler who finds himself in the wild west.
Feel free to point these out to amaze and dazzle your friends and family!
See the posts below for more “Sights & Sounds at Disney Parks”:
This is great. I actually was looking at this sign right before I left the Magic Kingdom with my wife on October 1st. I knew the first reference and proceeded to give my wife more information than she would care to know about Ward Kimball. But I did not know the rest of the references. This was perfect timing on this post. Thanks a lot!
They should have a reference to the trip (by train) from Manhattan to LA that Walt was on when he thought up Mickey Mouse.
take the “keys to the kingdom” tour & if you have a good guide you will learn many pcs of trivia
I love hearing and finding the “hidden” Disney references in the parks!
The Departing Trains are part of the same reference like it was Ward KIMBALL that had the Grizzly Flats train set in his yard. If you re-read each one you will see where the Departing Trains get their reference
I had always looked at that sign and snickered at the refernces after watching many Disney films myself. I never knew about the first listing so that was very refreshing. It’s also given me pause to the fact of how many kids of the current generation have no idea what some of these names are. I hope they don’t change it!
I always find the “hidden” Disney references throughout the parks fascinating.
What can you tell us about the departing trains on the other side of the board?