The Casey Jr. Circus Train is a classic attraction located in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park. Based on the train from the 1941 Disney film Dumbo, this ride takes guests on a leisurely 3-minute tour around Storybook Land, offering views of miniature scenes and buildings from various Disney movies. In this comprehensive review, we’ll explore the history, ride information, and the enchanting experience of the Casey Jr. Circus Train.
Location and Average Wait Times: The Casey Jr. Circus Train is situated in the heart of Fantasyland, making it easily accessible for visitors of all ages. Its central location allows guests to weave it into their Fantasyland exploration effortlessly. Given its popularity, it’s not uncommon to encounter moderate wait times, particularly during peak seasons. Average wait times can range from 20 to 45 minutes, making it a reasonable choice for families with young children who may not want to endure longer lines.
Height Requirements and Accessibility: One of the remarkable features of the Casey Jr. Circus Train is its inclusivity. There are no height restrictions, making it suitable for everyone, from toddlers to grandparents. This is a true family-friendly ride that invites riders of all ages to partake in its whimsical charm. The accessibility of the attraction also extends to guests with mobility challenges, as the ride is wheelchair accessible.
Genie+ and Lightning Lane: Genie+ and Lightning Lane are not currently offered on this ride.
Single Rider and Rider Switch: Single Rider is not available on this ride unfortunately. However, Disneyland provides an alternative solution for families with young children, known as the Rider Switch service. Rider Switch enables one adult to ride while the other waits with the child, and then the waiting adult can experience the attraction without having to wait in line once the first rider returns. This makes the Casey Jr. Circus Train accommodating for all family dynamics.
Disney’s Disability Access Service (DAS): Disneyland is committed to providing a magical experience for all guests, including those with disabilities. The Casey Jr. Circus Train is no exception, as it is part of the Disability Access Service (DAS) program. DAS ensures that guests with disabilities can enjoy the attractions with accommodations tailored to their specific needs. If you or a family member requires DAS, inquire at Guest Relations to receive a return time for this enchanting journey.
History and Design
Casey Jr. Circus Train opened in July 1955 as one of the original attractions in Disneyland. Walt Disney himself was highly involved in the design and creation of the ride, aiming to provide a charming, family-friendly experience. The train was originally conceived as a small rollercoaster, but the steep hills and high speeds made it difficult for riders to appreciate the miniature scenes. The four train cars were adapted from the original King Arthur Carousel, giving Casey an old-timey aesthetic.
The engine features a smiling face and bold colors to bring the anthropomorphic train to life. As Casey travels the tracks, he exclaims “I think I can!” when climbing the hills, a reference to the classic children’s book The Little Engine That Could. The Storybook Land scenery was inspired by Disney’s animated films, with buildings recognizable from Cinderella, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland and more. Bonsai trees and meticulously landscaped gardens surround the scenes, creating an immersive environment. There are 2 circus trains that run around the track making wait times a bit shorter.
The Casey Jr. Circus Train queue is uncovered and can get hot on warm days. Switchback ramps lead up to the loading area, where guests can choose to sit in open-air cars or in “animal cages.” The cages, meant to carry circus animals, are enclosed with bars and often a popular choice for kids. As the train departs the station, the upbeat, circus-style Casey Jr. music begins playing. Casey exclaims “here we go!” as he starts his journey. The train makes a left turn out of the station, passing by the spinning teacups of the Mad Tea Party ride.
The first miniatures visible are the village houses and windmills from Pinocchio. Next, Casey travels along the Storybook Land canal, offering views of the castle and villages seen on the Storybook Land Canal Boats. The music switches to a relaxed version of “Casey Junior” as Casey rolls through the countryside. Turning right across a bridge, guests see the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage and the entrance to Snow White’s Scary Adventures. The train then passes beneath a large bonsai tree, rounding the corner to the finale hill.
As Casey climbs the steep incline, he excitedly shouts “I think I can!” reaching the top with ease. The ride concludes as Casey returns to the station, reminding guests to “please watch your step” as they disembark. The entire experience lasts just over 3 minutes, providing a pleasant, gentle ride for all ages to enjoy.
As you tour the tiny countryside, be on the lookout for these famous sites:
The village of Arendelle and Elsa’s ice palace from Frozen
The straw, stick and brick houses from Three Little Pigs
The manicured London park from Peter Pan
The Alpine village from Pinocchio
The English village from Alice in Wonderland
The royal city of Agrabah and Cave of Wonders from Aladdin
Prince Eric’s palace and King Triton’s underwater castle from The Little Mermaid
The Cottage of the Dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The French countryside village and mountaintop castle from Cinderella
The Giant’s patchwork quilt from Lullaby Land
Toad Hall from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Best Times to Ride
Since Casey Jr. Circus Train is popular with families, mornings are typically the best times to ride. Wait times average around 10 minutes from park opening until 10am. Afternoon waits climb slightly to 15-20 minutes between 1pm-4pm.Wait times drop off significantly after 5pm, with the last hour before closing often being walk-on. Nighttime rides are especially atmospheric, with the Storybook Land buildings lit up against the night sky. Weekdays, particularly Tuesdays and Wednesdays, also see lower crowds and shorter lines at Casey Jr. Avoid visiting on weekends or during peak seasons if possible, when waits can extend to 30 minutes or longer.
Tips for Riding
Try to ride early or late when waits are shorter. Morning and evening are less crowded.
Sit in the animal cages for a more unique experience, especially fun for kids.
Look for hidden Mickey silhouettes painted on miniature buildings throughout the ride.
Listen for Casey’s encouraging quotes and upbeat circus music.
Compare the Storybook Land scenery to the views on the Storybook Land Canal Boats.
See if you can spot landmarks from Disney movies like Cinderella, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland and more.
For great photos, ride at night when the miniatures are lit up against the dark sky.
With its gentle pace and charming theme, Casey Jr. Circus Train offers a pleasant break from more intense rides. Park guests of all ages can enjoy this lighthearted journey through Storybook Land. The short ride time means waits remain manageable, even on busier days. Casey Jr. Circus Train is a beloved classic attraction that continues to entertain generations of Disney fans.
Casey Jr. Circus Train Attraction Review and Tips
The Final Word
Casey Jr. Circus Train at Disneyland is a timeless and heartwarming attraction that captures the essence of classic Disney storytelling. With its rich history, accessibility, and enchanting design, it's a must-visit for families and Disney enthusiasts of all ages.