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“Disney’s A Christmas Carol” train tours the United States wrapped in innovative HP graphics


“The train tour seemed like a perfect way to give a wide range of audiences across the country a sneak peek at the movie and the technology behind it.”

— Paul Baribault
Vice President, Special Events
Walt Disney Motion Pictures

A journey begins

While his rich imagination has captivated readers for generations, Charles Dickens probably never imagined the day when people could see his characters fly through the air in three dimensions. But a new feature film from The Walt Disney Studios and ImageMovers Digital does just that. “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” adapted from Dickens’ classic tale, is directed by Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis and presented in Disney Digital 3D.

Quick Facts

  • Walt Disney Motion Pictures created a unique 40-stop train tour experience to promote its new movie, “Disney’s A Christmas Carol.”
  • HP technology helped make the outside of the train look distinctive and the inside interactive.
  • Hundreds of thousands of guests toured the train, used HP TouchSmart PCs and saw the stunning train wrap, printed using the HP Scitex, up close.


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To promote the film, Walt Disney Motion Pictures decided to tour the country by train. According to Paul Baribault, vice president of special events for Walt Disney Motion Pictures, “The train tour seemed like a perfect way to give a wide range of audiences across the country a sneak peek at the movie and the technology behind it.”

Walt Disney Motion Pictures turned to HP to help make the train tour experience as innovative as the technology that went into the making of the movie. “HP was part of the idea for the train tour from the very start,” Baribault says. “We asked HP if they could help bring the train tour vision to life, and they jumped right on board with us.” As title and technology sponsor, HP helped Disney bring the tour to life both inside the train and out.

An epic in the making

The tour was a monumental undertaking, grander in scale than practically any whistle-stop tour done before. The Special Events group wanted the train to capture the magic of the movie, and that vision needed to be communicated on the outside of the train. They decided to use HP Scitex printing technology to wrap the entire train in images from the movie.

As the train traveled more than 16,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York City, stopping at 40 cities in just 24 weeks, the first thing people saw was its striking graphics. From a distance, the cars’ brilliant blue—distinctive from any other train—stood out from the variety of landscapes the train passed through. As the train approached, the front of the engine became visible, bearing a likeness of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Thanks to the wide color gamut of the HP Scitex, the vibrant colors of the prints were impressive from a distance and up close. When next to the train, visitors could see the magical wintry scene with giant snowflakes and the Disney Train Tour logo that were intricately detailed on the sides of each train car.

“Beyond the print quality, the material on the cars
needed to survive extreme sun, heat and cold, hailstorms and high winds. Through it all, the high-quality HP Scitex-printed graphics endured beautifully.”

HP on board

To make the experience unique inside and out, HP also provided technology that helped transform the train into an interactive museum. Guests got to see the movie’s performance-capture technology in action on HP monitors. HP TouchSmart PCs ran an interactive application that let guests morph their face into one of the film’s characters, while HP ProLiant servers and HP ProCurve switches provided the computing power that allowed people to collect and upload photos.

In addition to the technology, the train cars featured historic artifacts such as Dickens’ handwritten notes and writing instruments, as well as a virtual flyover of 19th century London. After leaving the train, guests saw a preview of the film in a state-of-the-art digital 3D theater that was set up and taken down at each city.

“HP could not have been a better partner. From the very beginning they looked for every possible way to use their technology to make it the best possible experience. HP was not just a title sponsor but a partner.”