Saturday, August 21, 2010

Davy Crockett Explorer Canoe, April 1974

I'm glad that the Canoes still run at Disneyland, at least during the busy seasons. Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes are good, but I think I liked the Indian Warrior Canoes (pre-1971) even better. That's just me. I've read that these canoes could hold up to 20 guests... but from the look of it, I'd say maybe 16 guests and two cast members is right. Unless some of those rows could hold 3 people? Still impressive though. Was there ever an instance of a canoe capsizing?


The friendly Indian Village is always a veritable beehive of activity. That woman is busy grinding corn (or whatever), those dudes are working on a tiny boat. I think that some meat is drying on the racks in the foreground, while a baby is drying in its papoose.

14 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, you call it corn....we call it Maize.

That is not the proper way to dry meat...or a baby. They should both be in a Ronco Food Dehydrator (only one payment of $39.99 plus shipping and handling!)

Chiana_Chat said...

Ah yes. An attraction Nancy must get to doing.

It's fun! I can almost feel being there so close to the greenish waters... the reeds... the Old Mark Twain... the one ton water logged paddle... but it was fun I'd do it again. :)

Neat Indian scene. The fellow with the paddle is honing the other end, so both ends can be used as needed when that baby starts growin'.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I am ashamed to admit that I remember those Food Dehydrator commercials. Wasn't it basically a plastic box with a little fan in it?

Chiana, are the paddles actually pretty heavy??

Katella Gate said...

This is one of the very few attractions at Disneyland I skipped as a kid.

First, it looked like work. (Trust me, 60's kids KNOW what work looks like, because we still had to).

Second, I learned from shuffleboard that you can't do weird new exercises without hurting all over, and that wasn't gonna happen and ruin my day at Disneyland.

Rich T. said...

Last time I rode the canoes was 20 years ago with my younger sister. We were in front. Half way around the river, our arms felt ready to fall off. We glanced back at the dozen lazy sunburned slobs behind us and realized we were the only ones paddling!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, they actually still make the Ronco Food Dehydrator...they are round now with multiple levels. You can make beef jerky, turkey jerky, dried fruit, etc. They really do sell for one payment of only $39.99. And no, I don't have one and I am not a spokesperson for the company.

Progressland said...

On May 29, 1990, a canoe took on enough water that it basically sank:

"Rather than panicking, most of the riders remained stoically in their seats as the canoe took on water, apparently in the belief that getting very wet was part of the adventure, said Brian Burnap of Sacramento, who witnessed the sinking from a perch on a high point on the island."

Anonymous said...

What happens if a canoe capsizing? How deep is the Rivers of America. At its deepest can someone stand up without the depth being over their head? Kids too. Kids are not as tall. How deep is the river? Hopefully they do not let infants or toddlers on the canoes.

Major Pepperidge said...

I always thought that the canoes might be pretty easy, if you have 10 or 14 people paddling, "many hands make light work". But there are always the freeloaders!

I only want a Ronco Food Dehydrator to make "shrunken heads" out of apples, which I liked to do when I was a kid!!

Jason, thanks for the info about the canoe sinking, I knew it had to have happened at least once! I'm not sure what I would do if I was in a canoe that was going down.

Anonymous, there is probably a height limit for the canoes, just like most attractions. I've heard that the river is about 4 feet deep, but one or two people have drowned in it, so I don't really know. Guess you can drown in 6 inches of water if you panic!!

Chiana_Chat said...

@ Major, yes the paddles are heavy. They float - in order not to loose paddles in the river - but are none the less heavy enough that you'll tire out muscles you didn't know you had before you get far if you get too enthusiastic. It's not the work of paddling, it's the weight of the paddles.

Or they were; perhaps they have been replaced by lighter fiberglass or something?

@ Anon, the river is so (even and) shallow that if you or even a child as small as they will allow in the canoes fell into it for some reason, you could stand right up and be ok. Disney did everything reasonably possible to make it safe for adults and kids, including making the river as shallow as practically possible and keeping all traffic at a safe speed, but of course there's no way to account for panic or unforseen tragedy like heart attack for instance.

Personally I think that a person ought to know how to at least wade safely in water if they are getting on any water craft anywhere. If for no other reason than to avoid panic. But that's just me, Disney can't test people out first or anything, just try to weed out infants, too small children, too visibly unhealthy etc. People need to use their sense.

But it's not a dangerous ride; the canoes would have to be very deliberately forced to tip (which wouldn't be easy) and everybody has a formidable paddle to easily push off and fend off any idiots (I doubt it's ever happened). One can sit it out and not paddle if they feel too fatigued. If one did fall in the river one could get themselves out or simply wait there and they will pick you up.

JG said...

Canoes are the best, I rode the long ones with my dad, pre 1971, and the shorter ones with high school friends after that.

Don't miss the canoes in summer. Winter, not so much.

Too bad the indian village was lost. I remember it from my first visit, gone by the next.

The dioramas on the river always made me wish we could walk into them, like the old village. Still the replacement improvements are more exciting and dynamic.

However, drying a wet diaper with the infant still in it is a new trick to me. Those native americans were more advanced than you might think at first glance.

JG

Anonymous said...

Better late than never...I'll chime in. I was a CM in a canoe that "sank" in the RoA across from the MT dock on a busy summer afternoon in front of thousands. Have to check my book, but I'll say it was in September 1974. In this case, we had an impromptu canoe race between two "van clubs" Channel Islands vs. San Diego. Big guys in both boats. Ours failed to coordinate their paddling halfway around and the canoe began to gradually fill. By the time they realized that it was futile to continue...and as I steered the canoe to TSI my front partner stood up...they all stood up and down went the boat with the sheer momentum. They then jumped out while the boat quickly rose to meet the level of the river due to the ballast in the craft. I was like a dipped cone in chocolate staying with the craft. It was deep enough (and the bottom slippery enough) to cause them to swim to TSI. Can one drown? Absolutely. It's deep enough in spots. Anyway, the River was shut down for 2 hours and I understand the club was charged for the lost revenue. I was exonerated. Great attraction and muscle builder to pull an 8 hour shift. Some football players worked it along with me...one of them being Jim Zorn.

Anonymous said...

P.S. That could be me in the front of the boat in the picture....

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the great story of your sinking experience, anonymous!