Sunday, July 05, 2009

Frontierland 1964

Lucky guests prepare to take Huck Finn's Turbo Raft across the shark infested waters of Death River, to take their chances on Murder Island. There are hunters on the island - hunters who only want to track and kill The Most Dangerous Game! I really don't understand the appeal of this attraction at all.

Now isn't this purty? I don't know how often the Mark Twain operates at night anymore, but I have a fond memory of going to the park in the winter - no Fantasmic - and finding that the steamboat was still chugging away even though it was dark. I was thrilled! I dragged my puzzled date onto the attraction, where I froze on the top deck, happy as can be. The river was quiet, Frontierland was deserted, and I soaked it all in. It was the best ride on the Twain that I've ever had!


TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks for the early morning laugh, Major! I haven't seen that movie, but I'm familiar with the plot and it's on my "list" of movies to see.

Beautiful pic of the Mark Twain!

HBG2 said...

Great shot, but it's definitely earlier than 1964. The river inlet to Adventureland is still there, and so is the Plantation House (far left--the blue umbrella and lights). That puts it no later than the beginning of 1962, but with the Colombia there it's no earlier than 1958.

Major Pepperidge said...

HBG2, I try to be somewhat careful when I scan and label these, but I generally do a whole bunch at a time, so it is possible that I messed up the date. Alas, it has been returned to the warehouse that you see at the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Hrundi V. Bakshi said...

There's no Skyway in the first pictures so it must be after 1994. ; )

Hey! I saw that episode about the guy that hunts people on Gilligan's Island.


Nancy said...

a very cool picture of the Mark Twain there ;D

i always enjoy seeing pictures of the Columbia. is that a teepee to the left of it there in the trees? i never saw the Indians there, would have been pretty neat, i think

Chiana said...

Love 'em. Magical Twain pic and the scene looks splendid in the top pic too... plus, oleanders! ;D

Zanuck said...

Aaahhhh, pre-Fantasmic Twain. During the Summer, usually sometime after 9pm, you could catch the Fireworks Cruise. I wanted to describe it, but I found a blog that did it for me-from Jungle is "101" :

In the summer, we would stop our vessel out here in the back country. It was dark and wonderful. Above the trees to the port side, the sky would erupt in explosions of color and sound as the Fantasy In The Sky fireworks show began. The Fireworks Cruise was one of those Disneyland "secrets" that even seasoned cast members relished. I always hoped that my place in the rotation would have me piloting the Mark Twain for the Fireworks Cruise during my shift. As I think of it now, there was no better spot in all the world to view the fireworks. We were stopped and we shut off our lights. The trees in that area of the river were tall, established and kept things nice and dark. Consequently, the bursts of fireworks above the tree tops were all the more brilliant. Most of our passengers were in the know, but the few who weren't were instantly amazed and pleasantly surprised when they learned why the ship suddenly stopped and went dark. No, were weren't "101." We were providing a special "plus" to our guests.

Happy late 4th!

Major Pepperidge said...

Just great, Zanuck, I only wish I could experience that for myself!

Ron Schneider said...

In the early eighties I was understudy to Wally Boag at the Golden Horseshoe and picked up a lot of night shifts during the 25th Anniversary year. I would often finish my shift with a smooth, silent ride through the wilderness sitting on the bow of the Mark Twain.

With all the ship's lights behind me, I seemed to fly through the night just above the black water. I SO miss that sensation.

And THAT's why I've always resented 'Fantasmic'... That noisy plotless spectacle stole my river!