Monday, January 29, 2018

That Nutty Mark Twain, May 1958

I hope you can stand two more photos of the Mark Twain riverboat. Or, more likely, 200 more photos this year, since I have so many pictures of the darn thing. At least today's examples are pretty, in spite of some gloomy skies. 

The riverbank is lined with flowering shrubs. Why, I recognize the common Mountain Liverwurst, the fragrant Apricot Martian, and the always-popular Purple Loup Garou (I don't mean to brag or anything). A raft is about to head over to Tom Sawyer Island, and some guests are dining at the Swift Plantation House (our of frame to our left) so that they get a sweet view of all the action. 

Here's a closeup!

There's plenty of seats down on that lower deck - someday I'm going to have to try sitting there. But only if I can get right up front. That would be an interesting perspective on the river, since I have always raced to the top level (or "hurricane" deck).


TokyoMagic! said...

If the Mark Twain has to make any sudden stops, that little girl in the second pic is going to fly right under those chains and into the water. They need to either add a four foot wall to the bow of the Mark Twain, or seat belts to those deck chairs....or both!

Nanook said...


There certainly are a lot of hat-wearing gents on-view.

It looks to me as if you missed the perfect opportunity for that 'lower deck seating', as there are many unoccupied chairs - with [at least] one of them waiting for you-! And may I suggest that empty seat next to the little girl to help put TM!'s mind at ease. (I've heard those stories about your heroism-!)

Thanks, Major.

Stuart Powley said...

I heard that as an upcharge attraction, they were going to offer "tubing" behind the Mark Twain, but the tow lines kept getting tangled in the wheel. Ok, I made that up, but isn't it frightening how plausible it sounded?

Chuck said...

What's with all of that netting on the shore off the port bow of the Twain in the first two photos? It reminds me of the barriers that keep the great apes and cats in their enclosures at the zoo.

TM!, safety (and avoiding lawsuits) should be of paramount concern, which is why I suggest a five-point harness on every DL attraction. You never know when the Opera House might malfunction and come to a sudden stop.

K. Martinez said...

I've sat on the lower deck of the Mark Twain, exact front in those chairs many times. It's a nice view as you approach every bend in the river. As many times as I've ridden the Mark Twain, I like to switch it around to make it interesting. Doing the exact same thing every time is boring. Heck, once I even went one complete circuit around the Rivers of America sitting down in the second level interior room. It was a different experience and I got to focus on the sounds more. Thanks, Major.

Patrick Devlin said...

Man was the landing for the TSI rafts ever tucked back in there originally!

I always run for the top deck, too, but understood it was the "Unseasonably cool with showers" deck.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, if they just added a chain link fence to the bow of the Twain, everybody would be safe. Chain link is the best!

Nanook, whenever I’ve been on the Mark Twain, people either run to the front of the boat, or they run up the stairs to the top level. So much running. I’m much too cool to run, since I am famous for my “saunter”.

Stuart Powley, be careful what you joke about! They will find a way to upcharge ANTHING.

Chuck, I also recommend that each guest wear a bicycle helmet and clothing with airbags.

K. Martinez, I like your style! Don’t do the same thing over and over. Of course, I do the same thing over and over, but I still like your style!

Patrick Devlin, I’m not sure how long that raft landing was in that spot, but it has a certain appeal; that waterway is also the end of the Jungle Cruise river.

Melissa said...

One of our family photo albums was half full of pictures of a flood at my father's boyhood home; we used to call it “The Forty Poses of the Flood.” Your disclaimer about multiple pictures made me think of “The Forty Poses of the Mark Twain.”

Hey, kid! Don't dangle your guidebook over the top-level railing! That will be worth something someday!

Ken, I rode the Florida riverboat inside the cabin once! It was actually pretty relaxing, and I struck up a nice chummy conversation with some awesome strangers.

I can't help it; I always stress out when I see kids in danger at the Parks! I'm sure I've told you all the story about the harrowing train ride I spent behind a limb-dangling preschooler and her oblivious parents and grandparents.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Now the nearly-invisible chain on the bow of the Twain has been replaced by completely out-of-place looking ugly black railings.

Anonymous said...

Major, any photo of the Mark Twain is cause for rejoicing.

Like Ken, I have ridden almost every part of the sternwheeler at one time or another, but I don't think I sat in the chairs, just stood nearby.

The last trip I did run to the top, just because I wanted the best view to see the old River for the last time.

I like that little interior cabin, thinking how awesome it was to build your own steamboat with a bar for parties, and then build your own River to float it in. Wishing I could have a snort of bourbon in that cabin. Walt Disney really knew how to live, and he shared it with all of us.


Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I wish it was more like “40 Poses” instead of “400 Poses”! It’s amazing how often we see photos of people carrying their guidebooks folded in half or stuck in a back pocket - it hurts. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any kids in real danger at Disneyland, though sometimes they will climb on something that they aren’t supposed to climb. In those cases a cast member usually tells them to get down.

Steve DeGaetano, I would love to know if anybody has EVER fallen off of the Mark Twain!

JG, I am happy to inform you that you will have many causes to rejoice in the future! I always go to the top of the Twain, and to the front. it’s like I have to go there! In fact, I doubt I’ve ever seen the interior cabin area, which is pretty typical of me.

TokyoMagic! said...

Taking a second look at these pics, I think I've spotted twins in that last shot (Melissa!). They are on the top deck, just to the right of center, and wearing matching blue dresses. Actually, one looks taller, so I guess it's possible that they are just sisters wearing matching outfits. I'm going to call them "twins" anyway, because Joan Crawford called her two youngest daughters, "The Twins" even though they weren't.