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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Carolwood Foundation Offers Fall Rail Trip

Hello everyone,

Our friends at the Carolwood Foundation are putting on a rail trip this October that includes some very special and very unusual events that may appeal to some of you, so we thought we'd pass this along. Hope to see some of you there!

Paul Schnebelen
Editor, Fantasyline Express


"Together Again" - Fall 2010 Carolwood Foundation rail trip

The Carolwood Foundation is excited to announce the Fall 2010 Rail Trip on October 30 and 31. This excursion will feature some of the elements that made our Spring 2010 event wildly successful -- outstanding guest speakers, tantalizing cuisine, excellent company, all aboard beautifully restored private railcars. But what will make this trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience is a chance for our guests to actually ride aboard the original Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad's combine coach!

By special arrangement with the Pacific Coast Railroad, we will reunite the combine with the other passenger cars of the fabled "Retlaw 1" consist. This is something that has not happened in over 35 years, and there are no guarantees that it will ever happen again after the combine moves to its permanent home by Walt Disney's Carolwood Barn in Griffith Park. The combine has not carried passengers since 1974, so this event presents a very rare opportunity to ride aboard what Walt himself proclaimed to be his favorite part of the SF&D railroad.

A first for this trip is that we will have two separate Amtrak trains pulling private cars to San Luis Obispo. The domed observation car Silver Lariat will originate in Oakland and includes presentations by Disney Legend Floyd Norman and Pixar story artist and voice talent Jeff Pidgeon. The Silver Splendor, the domed car from our Spring trip, will depart Los Angeles and features talks by Walt Disney Imagineering SVP Tony Baxter and WDI Principal Concept Designer Ray Cadd. Whichever train you chose, you'll start your journey Saturday morning, enjoy lunch on board and arrive in San Luis Obispo that afternoon.

You'll have Saturday afternoon free to explore charming "SLO" and enjoy dinner on your own at one of their quaint restaurants. That evening, all four of our guest speakers will participate in a panel session entitled, "Story is King: the Magic of Disney Storytelling". This event also includes the screening of rare Disney shows and the live auction of some wonderful treasures. With Halloween the next day, we may experience a few "spirited" surprises as well.

Sunday morning, busses will take guests out to the storied 1775 Santa Margarita Ranch for rides aboard the Pacific Coast Railroad behind an authentic steam engine. Be sure to bring your camera to record this historic event! We'll enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch before boarding the busses for the trip to the SLO Amtrak station and the journey home, including dinner aboard the coaches.

As another first, we are able to offer a very limited number of seats aboard the famed Scottish Thistle, a meticulously restored business car built for the senior executives of the Canadian National Railway. With seating for just 16 passengers and the services of a private chef, a journey aboard the Thistle is an elegant, intimate experience. Also departing from Los Angeles, guests on this "rail yacht" will enjoy quality time with Tony and Ray, one speaker each direction.

Due to the popularity of our last trip and the truly historic running of the SF&D combine, we expect this trip to sell out very quickly! The price for this amazing weekend is just $575 for passage aboard the Silver Lariat or Silver Splendor, and $875 for the Scottish Thistle. A 50% deposit is required by September 24, but we encourage you to make your reservation right away because the tickets will not last long.

To book your trip, please send an email to railtrip@carolwood.org. Please indicate if you want to ride on the Silver Splendor out of Los Angeles, the Silver Lariat out of Oakland, drive yourself to SLO or book passage aboard the Scottish Thistle, also out of Los Angeles. We'll respond with a message confirming your reservation, ask you for special requests and contact information, and provide instructions for payment. We gladly accept credit cards, Pay Pal or checks. Because we expect this event to quickly sell out, we'll take reservations on a "first-come, first-served" basis from mail sent to railtrip@carolwood.org.

For your stay on the night of October 30, we've arranged a special discount rate of $139 at our headquarters hotel, the SLO Embassy Suites. Please mention "Carolwood" when making your reservation to obtain this rate. You can reach the Embassy Suites at 1-805-549-0800.

We hope that you'll want to be a witness to Disney history and join us for what promises to be an amazing weekend. Please remember, the Carolwood Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and all proceeds from this trip will help build a brand new home for the Retlaw 1 combine next to Walt's Barn.

We look forward to seeing you on board!

P.S. We understand that some of you might want to be home for Halloween and it is not likely that our trains will return early enough on Sunday night for Trick-or-Treating. We regret that we were unable to find another date this year that would work for all of our speakers and venues.

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