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Today in Disney History: Casey Jr. Circus Train Opens in Disneyland Park, 1955

Michael Ramirez

by , Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

65 years ago—just 14 days after Disneyland opened in 1955—Casey Jr. Circus Train rolled into Fantasyland, delighting children and adult guests ever since. Casey Jr., the brave little engine known for his role in the 1941 animated film “Dumbo,” features individually designed and vibrantly painted train cars. Each animal cage and ornate sleigh is special, as guests clamored to ride in their favorite vehicle. 

Casey Jr. Circus train, circa 1955

Train riders in the early days had relatively little to gaze upon, as the colorful train did not traverse through much scenery. However, that changed in 1956, when the Storybook Land Canal Boats opened. The miniature scenes of fairy tale villages and vistas provided the perfect backdrop to passengers aboard Casey Jr. Circus Train as well. 

Casey Jr. Circus train, present day

Since then, this whimsical attraction has remained largely unchanged. A charming addition in 1983 welcomed a lively new voice of the circus ringmaster, which became part of the narration. And, as always, when the train heads back to the station, alert travelers can hear Casey Jr. himself, giving that most famous of pep-talks, “I think I can, I think I can.” 

For additional photos and to learn more about this festive circus train, check out our “Building the Dream” blog story. 

Share your favorite Casey Jr. Circus Train memory with us in the comments below!

Comments

  • Originally it was intended to be a roller coaster.

  • The good old days! Sure wish I had been around back then.

  • Kyle, come to Disneyland Paris, it is a rollercoaster!

  • My kids adored this ride when they were younger, it was just fast and thrilling enough to see all the scenery nearby without a long wait in Fantasyland.

  • Was Casey Jr. considered one of the 18 opening day attractions or not? Too bad they couldn’t get it ready by July 17 but it has been chugging along for 65 years.

  • I’ve always loved that sweet little train. I have many happy memories riding it through beautiful Storybookland with my mom and grandma. The best place to ride is in the caboose.
    On D-land’s 60th, I rode in the caboose through a Storybookland oddly devoid of boats and took some amazing photos. Anyway I hope good ol Casey Junior and his lovely track stay always.

  • I’m 66 and grew up with Disneyland. My first time on Casey Jr I was three and we rode it every time we visited,which was at least once a year as a family. Its was a bit more of a kiddie coaster then and it was so fun as a kid…the Matterhorn was the next coaster for me years later and I was ready for it!
    I was at the park a year and a half ago and went on it again for the first time in years and it still has all the charm and fun i remembered..so good for little ones..and oldies like me
    I love Disneyland
    Robert
    Oh..I worked there too in college..72-75