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

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

When the iconic Disneyland Railroad and the Rivers of America attractions return to Disneyland park 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 woodpecker taught the Indian chief to make a flute.

We’ll have more to share on these returning attractions soon – including opening dates – so keep an eye on Disney Parks Blog.


  • I am hoping that the Columbia Gorge section has a Multnomah Falls and the petroglyph “She Who Watches” in it. That would be amazing!

  • Can’t wait to see it. Planning a trip on the same day 50 years ago my husband and I had our first date at Disney and our first kiss on the train. Woohoo

  • This sounds good, but I’m a little disappointed that Walt’s idea, of the train circling the ENTIRE park, isn’t going to happen. In other words, the train is not going around the perimeter of Star Wars Land, nor is there a new Star Wars Land station. However, looking forward to experiencing it °o°

  • I can’t wait to experience this new rendition. Though my favorite, is the dinosaur Grand Canyon scene. It’s in Dire Need of an Update.

  • It might be better to say the train is making a left turn FOR the guests. The train has had , for a long time, a service track that is a left turn( under the Monorail Barn) . I am surprised that there hasn’t been anyone explaining why there are so many waterfalls being added. Two words: white noise. It will help mask any sounds leaking over from Star Wars Land.I have been visiting Disneyland since 1955, and always love to see new things, older attractions improved, and best of all, the landscape.

  • oh my goodness! we live in portland and take our RV camping in the columbia river gorge all the time. pretty awesome to have a section of the park now named after the area!! already went to disneyland this last January but i will not be able to resist going back for my bday this october. see you then DISNEYLAND

  • Will we still be able to see the Grand Canyon and dinosaurs between Tomorrowland and the Main Street train station? It would be really sad if that’s gone!

  • How soon is “soon”? When will you be able to announce the opening dates?

  • I am really excited to see the railroad and river reopen. As a local to the Columbia River Gorge
    I LOVE that our area will be part of the story. In regards to the remarks it won’t look right or that it was just built to hide Star Wars which is also going to be amazing btw. The Grand Canyon and Jerassic areas of the story are still fun even though they are not spot on adaptions.

  • On a recent visit, we asked a castmember at the NOS Station who told us that the train is set to reopen on July 31st — IF nothing goes wrong.

    Between the train and the monorail, this is a bad summer for transportation at the Disneyland resort. At least we’ll all be getting our steps in.

  • I visited the Columbia Gorge once not too long ago and it was magnificent. Anything Disney can do to remind us of America’s natural beauty is appreciated.

  • So glad to get the Indian camp back! I’ve missed it ever since Bear Country replaced it.

  • Jeff Johnson, I, too, am a Gorge native and am a bit skeptical. I’ll check it out in December and see how they’ve done.

  • Yay. I was pretty bummed thinking my son wouldn’t be able to experience this during his first year at Disneyland (AP Member), But I’m so glad it’s back and better than before! Can’t wait to get in those canoes and the mark twain.

  • Any word on the return of the Living Desert or Rainbow Caverns?

  • Hi Erin…thanks for sharing…but this summer means June…July…August? I understand specific dates will be shared soon but are least an estimate…what month

    Thanks in advance

  • Is the burning settlers cabin coming back?

  • As a huge Disney freak I can’t wait! I wish they’d also paid homage to one of my favorites of the past…..the painted desert with the geysers and paint pots! I loved and miss it! But the train ride will definitely be upgraded and hopefully it’ll meet Walt’s standards!

  • I don’t think that is quite true that the railroad has never made a left-hand turn before. When the Park was first built, the back stretch made a very slight left-hand jog–probably not even noticeable as a curve to passenger, but a left-hand curve nonetheless.

  • Excited to get back on the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America. The left turn will be disorienting and wonderful all at the same time. Can we talk about renaming “Indian Village?” Have you spoken with tribal leaders from the regions represented about their feelings regarding this?

  • I’d also like to know what is happening with TSI. The refurbishment on the fort started something like ten years ago.

  • What’s going on with Tom Sawyer Island?

  • So that means the Train will be in full operation?

  • “I’m not an ambi-turner. I can’t turn left.” -Derek Zoolander and Disneyland Railroad (pre 2017)

  • As someone who actually lives in the Columbia Gorge and loves it here, I am a bit skeptical of this “Columbia Gorge” section. Yes, we have waterfalls here, but that section looks absolutely nothing like our beautiful, grand Gorge. What it actually looks like is more “We need to build a wall to hide Star Wars. Let’s build one the looks like rocks and maybe some waterfalls. We’ll just call it the Columbia Gorge. Nobody at the park knows what that place looks like anyways.”

  • Obvi, after the trestle bridge, the train will turn left to reconnect to original route behind fantasyland theater.

  • Please get the dates for the RR and the Rivers of America dates ASAP. We need to reserve Hotel and Air …..

  • The left turn is part of the NASCAR tribute you be going by on the route.

  • So the railroad is becoming more like Space Mountain. Mostly Right turns but some left hand turns.

  • I’m sooo hoping it opens when we’ll be there!!!! Beginning of June!!! So Happy!!! Our Beautiful park is coming back!!

  • @Margaret Anglade:
    Think of the left hand turn as an arc rather than a turn. The route is no longer a triangular curve around the perimeter of the park(which was “all right hand turns” (or curves/arcs)).
    It now makes a sharper turn to cut into the new ROA trestle area mentioned, then curves back left (and also right again) to get back up to the (roughly) original path behind Fronteirland as it heads toward IASW.

  • I hope primeval world is still there?

  • A LEFT hand turn? How is that possible??????? Sounds cool with the waterfalls – I dont recall there ever being waterfalls before – when were they removed? I love the canoes – will we be able to take the canoes behind the waterfalls?

  • As an Oregon resident, I love the idea of a Columbia River tribute in the RoA! Can’t wait to see it!

  • I can’t wait for the river to reopen! Some questions that perhaps deserve their own blog post:
    1. Is the order you listed (Mississippi, Columbia, Missouri, Rio Grande) the order in which they are encountered by guests on the river?
    2. What real-world features (if any) inspired the scenery and landmarks along the Rivers of America – especially in the new Columbia Gorge section?

  • when this summer? Some time in June?

    • We’ll have dates to share soon.

  • I’m really looking forward to having the river open again.

  • SO thankful Disney refrained from adding Spiderman or Captain America somewhere as the “new magic”.

  • So stoked for that Left Turn!!!!!!!

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