The "wildest" of the Disneyland Railroad's four stops on its circuit around the Magic Kingdom.
Hidden away in the furthest corner of Frontierland guests, behind the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue can explore Cottonwood Creek Ranch with its historic windmill visible from deep inside Frontierland already. Amid its wide landscapes the ranch is home to three attractions: Critter Corral with Woody's Roundup Village, The Chaparral Theater, home to spectacular Disney shows - and finally the Frontierland Depot, with its authentic western structure and water tower next to the small freight area of the station, where the latest products of the ranch wait to be picked up.
Often overlooked the Frontierland Depot is one of the four stations at which guests can board the beautiful steam trains of the Disneyland Railroad circling the theme park. From this stop trains enter Adventureland, passing close to Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril and through two scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean before moving onto Fantasyland Station behind to the Fantasyland Festival Stage and onwards to Discoveryland finally calling at Main Street Station situated close to the entrance of the park before completing its circuit through the Grand Canyon diorama and returning to Frontierland Depot.
The Depot itself is considerably smaller than its Main Street U.S.A. counterpart and offers only a small undercover / indoor queuing area. However there are countless small details to keep guests occupied during the wait times. Take a look at the small office / desk of the conductor, check the scheduled arrivals and departures of today's trains (there seem to be some delays already) or take a closer look at the real telegraph machine and the last messages that arrived.
All aboard ... don't miss your train!
Most guests tend to board the train from the Main Street Station therefore lines at the Frontierland Depot (and the stations in Fantasyland as well as Discoveryland) tend to be shorter. Lines tend to grow only when a show at the Chaparral Theater next door ends. However, it should be noted, that the Frontierland Depot on most days will open only at 12.30 pm.
If you happen to be around the area when one of the four trains of the Disneyland Railroad pulls into the Frontierland Depot take a closer look at the locomotive and the water tower behind the tracks. All four locomotives are steam powered and refill their water tanks from this old western style water tower! With a bit of luck you may be able to watch the procedure.
Trains played an important role in developing the United States of America.
They connected the large cities on the East Coast with Kansas
City and Chicago, brought settlers and adventurers to the wide
territories west of the Mississippi and allowed a quicker communication
within the Union and a better administration of the then young
country. Establishing the railroad links between the east and the west coast
was one of the most impressive accomplishments of the 19s century. Two companies were involved into building the first transcontinental railroad
of the United States of America: the Union Pacific Railroad was supposed to
build its track from Omaha, Nebraska, toward the west, while the Central
Pacific Railroad was supposed to build its track from Sacramento, California,
toward the east.
Although construction of the Union Pacific Railroad was started in 1862 the outbreak of the American Civil War interrupted the work. It wasn't before the war had ended that the Union Pacific Railroad - with the help of mainly Irish workers and Civil War veterans - made any progress. However, it still wasn't easy. The construction crews had to fight against frequent Indian attacks as well as scale the heights of the Rocky Mountains, which posed the most difficult segment for the Union Pacific. Construction on the Central Pacific was started in 1863 and progressed nearly uninterrupted throughout the civil war.
It's interesting to note, that its construction also caused a new wave of immigration to the United States of America- this time from China. The Central Pacific Railroad company hired thousands of Chinese farmers (mainly from Canton) and brought them to San Francisco as cheap workers for the construction. While the Union Pacific Railroad struggled with the Rocky Mountain, the Central Pacific Railroad had to mount the rugged Sierra Nevada mountain range. Finally, on May 10, 189, the tracks constructed by the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific met at Promontory, Utah. Thousands of workers had completed 2,900 kilometres of track and accomplished an important step in bringing the east and the west coast closer together.
When approaching the Frontierland Depot from Cowboy Cookout Barbecue guests have to circle a small duck pond with a historic windmill located next to it. The windmill dates from 1880 and was used on a US-farm before being bought by Imagineering specifically to become part of Frontierland at the Disneyland Parc. The windmill is just one of hundreds (if not thousands) of antiqus and historic tools found throughout Frontierland.
Wheelchairs and strollers may be stored in the back of each wagon, however, sotrage space is limited and not protected against wind and rain. If the storage space is fully occupied strollers and wheelchairs must be left at the Frontierland Depot requiring guests to stay on the train for a full circle around the Disneyland Parc.
The Frontierland Depot on most days will open only at 12.30 pm. Prior to that time, guests can board the Disneyland Railroad only at the Main Street Station. However, guests may step off the train at all stations at all times, including Frontierland Depot.