One of the distinct advantages Disneyland Resort has over Walt Disney World is its rich sense of history. From that feeling you get when walking in Walt’s footsteps down Main Street U.S.A to seeing the candle in the window at above the Fire Station indicating the private apartment where Walt used to work, the park is steeped in Disney lore and history. Nowhere in the park is this more evidenced than in the iconic route that the Disneyland railroad takes around the park. Undergoing refurbishments last year, the railroad has returned to its roots with an upgraded route that features breathtaking views of the Rivers of America, elevated trestles and a return to restored sites such as the dioramas of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World
Whether you’re a railroad enthusiast, a Disney historian or just like to try something new when you visit the parks, we thought we’d share the details with you of the slightly under-the-radar The Grand Circle Tour available to book at Disneyland Resort.
What’s covered in the Grand Circle Tour? – The newest addition to Disneyland’s tour line-up The Grand Circle Tour goes behind the scenes providing visitors with a closer look into Walt’s love-affair with trains. It includes a walk through the park where you will be regaled with stories about Walt’s train creations. You’ll gain insights into the impact that trains had on Walt Disney’s dream from animation and film through to the creation of his beloved theme parks. After the walking tour guests will have an opportunity to climb aboard Disneyland Railroad’s special parlor car the Lilly Belle which isn’t usually available for the public to ride! You’ll get to explore the new scenic route along the Rivers of the America where you’ll take in landscapes inspired by America’s four majestic rivers: Mississippi, Columbia, Missouri and the Rio Grande. You’ll discover how each landscape was carefully created right down to the rock formations.
How long is the tour? The tour lasts approximately 2 hours long.
When does the tour take place? Unlike Walking in Walt’s Footsteps or some of the other seasonal tours on offer at Disneyland, The Grand Circle Tour only takes place on weekends. The current schedule shows offerings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:15 am.
What is the cost to attend? The cost to take part in this exciting railroad adventure is $85 per person.
Is there a discount for Disneyland Annual Passholders? Yes! Part of the privilege of being a Disneyland annual passholder is that you get to save 15% off any guided tours that you book!
Do I need theme park admission to enter the park? Yes. As with all onsite tours, theme park admission is required to enter Disneyland theme park. This must be purchased on top of the $85.00 for the tour itself.
Is the tour suitable for children? There are no age restrictions for the tour however parents should remember that it does involve a great deal of walking. It should also be noted that guests 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult during the entire tour.
Is the tour wheelchair accessible? Yes. However, some transfers may be required.
Is there any food and drink included in the tour? Yes. As with most of Disneyland’s tours, the event includes a beverage and specially-themed treat (in this case a donut) to help get your morning off to the right start.
Are there any special keepsakes or souvenirs handed out during the tour? Yes! When you go on a Disney theme park tour you typically get a wee memento to take home with you. In this case, all the guests on the tour will receive a copy of the Disneyland Railroad map and a credential!
Where to do we report for check in? On the morning of your tour guests enter through the Disneyland Park Main Park Entrance and head to the Disneyland Tour Gardens kiosk which is left of City Hall to check in. It is recommended that arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your tour. Late arrivals will not be accommodated. Be sure to have your photo ID with you when you check in at the kiosk. You will then meet your Tour Guide near the sign that says “Guided Tour Guests – Please Meet Your Tour Guide Here.”
Will the tour be cancelled if the weather is bad? Disney cautions that the tours will take place rain or shine. Since a large portion of the tour involves walking through the park guests should always dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes!
How do I book? The tours are available to book beginning 30 days before you are due to arrive at Disney. Booking can be made by contacting your travel agent or calling 714.781.TOUR to make a reservation. Full payment is due at the time of booking and is non-refundable.
Does the tour accept walk-ups? Yes. If there is availability on the tour, walk-ups are accepted.
This is just one of the many incredible tours offered by Guest Services at Disneyland Resort. If you’re heading there for Halloween also check out the details of Disneyland’s Happiest Haunts Tour!
Experience The Grand Circle Tour firsthand by planning your next Disneyland getaway. There are still fantastic 2018 packages to be had and vacations can currently be booked through until the end of 2019.
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