Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Columbia

Here is a trio of Instamatic photos featuring the Columbia, a faithful replica of the world's first supersonic sailing ship. Or something.

The Columbia is so bitchin' that it doesn't even need sails to move; instead it uses a secret propulsion system that is still classified to this day. Some say it involves "pixie dust", a colloquial name for tachyons. Once activated, the ship becomes invisible to radar, sonar, and even smellar.

While under way, guests can wander and explore as they desire. See that guy going down the steps? He's hoping there's a bathroom on board. There isn't. Just some old pinball machines and a jar of giant pickles. The cast member up on the mast climbed there as a dare, and now he's too scared to come down. They finally had to send animatronic Abe up to pry him down.

She's no Chicken of the Sea mermaid, but that figurehead is pretty swell anyhow (still, why couldn't she be a mermaid?). This figurehead represents "Columbia", which was commonly used as at poetic name for the Americas (North, Central, South, and the other one) back in the day.


Nanook said...

Oh Major-

I thought it was common knowledge that the power source for the Columbia was the fine, Italian-made Ultim Parvo Engine® - which runs on olive oil. Very temperamental.
(Pixie Dust - far from it-!)

Nancy said...

The first photo is my favorite (except for the stray who got caught crossing in front of the camera)

The tree adds so much to the warmth of this one for me....just lovely!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Hate to debunk the rumor but I have it on good authority that it is just a guy (in full scuba gear) towing the ship with an underwater golf cart and a rope. Like they say the most simple answer is usually correct. And lord knows I'm about as simple as they come.

Melissa said...


Chuck said...

Awesome post and comments. What an awesome way to start celebrating Disneyland's birthday!

K. Martinez said...

I've always loved on-board shots of the Columbia. It's like you're right there in the scene.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that's what I get for checking my info on Wikipedia.

Nancy, the lady is there for scale.

Alonzo, perhaps the Columbia used different methods of propulsion over the years.

Melissa, HA HA!

Chuck, Oh yeah, it's Disneyland's birthday! I didn't even get it a present.

K. Martinez, I like those too, and they are much less common than pictures of the ship itself.

Anonymous said...

The highlight of this ride for me as a child (the last time i rode it) was the soundtrack starring Thurl Ravenscroft.

Having the music now makes missing the ride a little easier.

Thank you Major.