A Disneyland Cast Member confirmed that the Lilly Belle will no longer be open for regular park guests and that no requests for rides would be fielded at the main Disneyland Main Street station any longer.
While the Cast Member wouldn’t confirm that it was specifically for Club 33 use, they did confirm that it would be used for special groups and events.
My hunch and the most likely situation is that the public had become very aware of the car, and the demand has dramatically increased. MAYBE (That’s a big maybe) Disney decided to change the availability of the car because they believed that they could allow for a better experience on the car by adding it to one of their guided tours.
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Michael Schwartner and Kristina Vess Watkins, Walt Disney’s first guests at Disneyland on opening day in 1955, returned on July 17 to help Mickey Mouse celebrate Disneyland’s 20th anniversary. Via Vintage Disneyland Tickets.