Walt Disney fans, train enthusiasts, and families alike are welcomed at Walt’s Barn, the home of Walt Disney’s Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Walt’s Barn, referred to as “the birthplace of [Disney] Imagineering,” is a small Walt Disney train museum. It offers a look at Walt’s personal railroad history, Disneyland history, and miniature live steam and other models.
Walt’s Barn is located at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Museum complex at Griffith Park. It is open for free to the public on every third Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are free, although donations to the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum are accepted.
Carolwood Pacific Railroad and Walt’s Barn
Walt Disney was a train enthusiast and in 1950 built the Carolwood Pacific Railorad at his home, a 1/8th scale model. The railroad was named after Carolwood Drive, the street of his house in Holmby Hills, Calif. It featured 2,615 feet of track, a 46-foot long trestle and a 90-foot long tunnel. The scaled barn was also part of the railroad set-up, and it functioned as Walt’s machine shop and an informal gathering place for friends.
The Carol Pacific Railroad became well-known to Walt Disney fans, who would show up at the house knowing Walt would more willing to let people take a ride on his private train. And the barn itself served as a place where Walt would work out ideas, not only for his hobby but his public projects and ideas.
Walt’s Barn in Griffth Park
After the Holmby Hills property was hold, actions were taken to secure the Barn as a valuable part of Disney history. Diane Disney Miller, Walt’s daughter and co-founder of the Walt Disney Family Foundation, worked with the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society to save the Barn. The City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Live Steamer Railroad Museum worked together to make the park available to guests.
In 1999, Walt’s Barn opened in Griffith Park, welcoming those who would like to learn more about Walt Disney, railroads and Disneyland. The Barn is situated near tables and benches, amid the park’s greenspace, and welcomes picnickers.
The Walt Disney Family Foundation owns the Barn. Carolwood Pacific Historical Society and the non-profit Carolwood Foundation operate Walt’s Barn, with its members working as volunteer hosts at Walt’s barn to serve the public. The society and foundation’s joint mission is to preserve Walt Disney’s railroad legacy through research and archiving of materials as well as the operation of the museum.
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