I’ve been going to Disneyland for my entire life and worked there for four years so I’ve always been confident that I knew it like the back of my hand. I know where every restroom is, the best places to eat and the most peaceful places to relax. If people wanted to know secrets or hidden gems in the park, they always came to me! So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I was asked the question…How do you ride the Lilly Belle? For the first time when answering an inquiry about Disneyland, I replied, “I don’t know”.
I had seen the vintage coach “Lilly Belle” being pulled by the C.K. Holiday train, but I had never witnessed anyone riding it, so I just assumed it was part of the show…boy was I wrong.
After a little research (thank you internet) I discovered that you can actually ride in the Lilly Belle and no you don’t have to be a VIP (although there are many VIPS who have ridden it) and even better it’s FREE! BUT, don’t just think you can roll up at any time and hop right on, with a little bit of perseverance and maybe some pixie dust you just may get to partake in this once in a lifetime ride.
Shhh…don’t tell anyone, but this is the secret to riding the Lilly Belle. Get to the park before the gates open and as soon as you are allowed to enter into the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy head straight (and I mean straight) to the Disneyland Railroad on Main Street. Take the steps two at a time to the entrance and look for the conductor and ask the magic phrase…May I ride the Lilly Belle? If they are allowing riders (it all depends on how many tour guides they have available that day) they will take down reservations on a first come, first serve basis.
OK, remember when I told you to go straight to the train station? Here’s why, some days there are no riding tours available, but there are never more than four per day and each trip holds approx. 12 people. You do the math – out of all of the tens of thousands of visitors to Disneyland each day, less than 50 people will get to be a part of this special trip!
If you are one of the lucky ones to nab a reservation, make your way back to the train station about 15 minutes prior to your ride. Check in with the conductor where you will be given a very cool commemorative ticket and whisked away on a luxurious trip around the happiest place on earth.
Sometimes the simplest things are the most memorable and I guarantee you this ride will be something you and your family will never forget and may just want to do again!
OH, you may be saying to yourself, what is the Lilly Belle? No, I didn’t forget to tell you! This is your homework; go find out about it first hand. Life is about experiencing things, not just reading about them. I think Walt would agree!
Crystal Wishart is an avid traveler with her own blog at You Have Got to Go Here! I highly recommend it and hope you read about some of her other finds!