The Casey Junior Circus Train
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    The Casey Junior Circus Train



    If you asked Disney Imagineering’s legendary Tony Baxter, he’d probably call the new Casey Junior Splash ‘N Soak Area in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World “an homage.”

    That’s because Casey Junior, a Disney character who’s been around since the 1940s, is enjoying a revival of sorts.

    Casey Junior was one of the big stars of the 1941 Disney classic “Dumbo.” Casey Junior was the hard-working tender engine who hauled the circus train filled with animals from town to town.

    Although he was voiced by a woman (Margaret Wright), he’s best remembered for his muffled “All aboard! Let’s go!” cry, as well as his determined “I think I can ... I think I can ...” as he lugged the packed train up steep inclines.

    While Casey Junior enjoyed instant fame in “Dumbo,” his character sat went into semi-retirement for about 15 years before he was tapped for a starring role at Disneyland’s Storybook Land section in 1955.

    The Casey Junior Circus Train attraction was — and still is — a big hit with young and old. The miniature train ride gives passengers a great overview of the many scenes from classic Disney films on display along its winding route.

    Aside from Disneyland and “Dumbo” reruns, however, the Casey Junior character languished for years.

    He did make an appearance in the classic Main Street Electrical Parade. Casey, with Goofy at the controls, can be seen pulling the giant drum with the parade logo.

    And then, like the character he played in “Dumbo,” Casey Junior seemed to reach the top of the hill and began picking up speed in the 1980s and 1990s.
    He made a cameo appearance in the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” — he can be spotted in the chaotic final scene — in 1988.

    Then the folks at Disneyland Paris decided to add a Casey Junior attraction of their own — Casey Jr. Le Petit Train du Cirque — in 1994.

    In 1998, the wagons that transport P.T. Flea’s Circus in the Disney/Pixar movie “A Bug’s Life” are actually old boxes of Casey Junior cookies, giving him even more exposure.

    And now we have the Casey Junior Splash ‘N Soak Station, part of the Storybook Circus area of the new Fantasyland.

    Casey Junior is a key component of an area that now features two Dumbo attractions and a reimagined Great Goofini roller coaster.

    A key component of the Dumbo attraction is a new queue area, modeled after a circus big top.
    It’s a “no queue queue,” as Disney CFO Jay Rasulo called it in announcing the Fantasyland expansion several years ago.

    The queue area allows guests to immerse themselves in circus lore in a series of fun, interactive experiences before taking a spin with their favorite circus pachyderm.

    As they enter the Big Top, guests receive a circus ticket pager that virtually holds their place in line and notifies them when it’s their turn to board either Dumbo. While they wait, fun-filled games and experiences are theirs to enjoy — in air-conditioned comfort.

    Guests electing to use the FASTPASS option bypass the tent en route to their flight with Dumbo.

    Along with the two Dumbos, Storybook Circus now boasts the Barnstormer coaster, the re-themed to Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station water play area and the Fantasyland Train Station, a rebuilt stop on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

    The Fantasyland Train Station design pays homage (there’s that word again) to both the elegant train travel of America’s past and Disney history, complete with a Casey Junior-inspired weather vane and Carolwood Park sign. The sign reads “Fair Weather Place,” a nod to “Fair Weather Route,” Walt Disney’s tag line for the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, the steam engine he had running through his own backyard.

    “Fantasyland is a place where a very special kind of memory is made,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France. It’s a place “where children just old enough to understand the moment come in contact with princesses and heroes and meet their most beloved friends.

    “We are excited about sharing our treasured stories in new ways and giving guests the opportunity to interact with their favorite characters like never before.”

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Casey Junior Circus Train-casey.jpg   The Casey Junior Circus Train-casey2.jpg  
    Last edited by Winkster; 07-20-2012 at 10:05 AM.
      
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