Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Frontierland River, August 1963

This first photo reminds me of the famous story told by Dick Nunis; as he and Walt Disney looked out over the Rivers of America, Mr. Nunis was concerned that things might have gotten a bit too congested out on the water, with the Mark Twain, the rafts, the canoes, and the Keel Boats. Then Walt said, "Look at that! Now that's a busy river!". At which point he decided that they needed yet another big boat... the Columbia. Here's that busy river with the beautiful Columbia, as well as a full raft and a canoe. I love the painterly reflections in the water.

And there's the "big boat" all by herself; Walt must have been proud of this impressive addition to his park.


Nanook said...

Nice-! When The Rivers of America really looked like The Rivers of America-! The Columbia may never have looked finer. Those were the days.

Thanks, Major.

Nancy said...

Beautiful colors on these, love how the pretty blue of the sky reflects on the River.

The COlumbia is one of the adventures I really wish we had at Walt Disney World. It is always a must-ride for me when we get out West :-)

K. Martinez said...

Nice capture of the Columbia, raft and canoe all together in view on the Rivers of America. The raft looks so low and close to the water. Is that the Pack Mule trail in the background? Sure looks like it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that darn Fantasmic! - I know people love it, but I am not wild about it, in large part because of what it did to the landscape. The charming mill is gone, replaced by that ugly stage (disguised during the day - sort of), and the shore on the "mainland" no longer has that smaller, intimate feeling.

Nancy, I always love it when the pictures are sunny days with blue skies... it makes all the difference.

K. Martinez, yes, that is the Pack Mules to the left, although I can mostly just see the people riding the mules, and not the mules themselves!

Nanook said...


Don't get me started on Fantasmic. I understand its popularity and all, but it still strikes me as yet another excuse for Entertainment to blow stuff up, throw-in a new piece of entertainment technology (mist curtain), etc., and somehow "tie it all together" with a contrived "story". And that's without making any changes to The Rivers of America.

Yes, you could say it's not quite my cup 'o tea. But then - that's just me. And what do I know-?

PsySocDisney said...

With all the activity it still has a relaxing feel to it... at least to me :)
The Disney History Institute blog had a great article posted yesterday about Walt's dream to travel down the Mississippi and when that dream didn't play out he decided to build his own. The article leads into a series about his St. Louis park plans.
Here's the link if you're interested!:

K. Martinez said...

I remember when Tomorrowland was the happening place at night and the western half of Disneyland was more quiet, relaxing and romantic. Long gone are those days.

I did enjoy Fantasmic! at one time, however the “water shows" at Disneyland Resort tend to bore me after one or two viewings. Funny thing is I never tire of seeing the fireworks over Disneyland!

And yes, that smaller intimate feeling is definitely gone from that area.

Melissa said...

I can practically hear the water lapping at the side of the boat.

Chuck said...

I can remember quiet, relaxing evening dinners outside the River Belle Terrace, watching the Twain chug by in the moonlight. Those are great - and unreproduceable - memories now. But thank you for bringing back the memories.