Friday, July 07, 2017

The River, July 1963

Today's photos are date-stamped "July 63", but they have a very "June gloom-y" look about them. Make of that what you will! Both photos were taken from the Mark Twain (since the Columbia is having work done in Fowler's Harbor).

This first one is my favorite, showing the always-placid Rivers of America, with a months-old Haunted Mansion exterior, looming in the distance. We get two rafts (for one low low price) - one nearly at the landing on Tom Sawyer Island, while the other is nearly ready for its 5 hour journey across the river. The one in the distance might head toward another landing on the west side of the island, while the foreground raft is on its way to the one near the mill.

I love zooming in on the people; it's fun to look at their clothing and hairstyles, or to observe their expressions of excitement (or boredom), or even trying to see if they are carrying any souvenirs - I see a hat or two, and a couple of balloons, but that's about it. 

It seems to me that in almost every photo of the rafts, the cast members are in a "head down" posture, for some reason. Are they looking out for snags? Or man-eating snapping turtles? If we have any former cast members out there who know, please chime in!

Notice the Bertha Mae, apparently out of service in the distance. There are still construction walls around the Mansion.

Here's another photo, taken a little further to the east. There's the southernmost dock for the rafts to the left, with the infamous fishing dock to our right. That one guy is using two bamboo poles, he must be really hungry!


K. Martinez said...

Oh yeah! This is great! Rivers of America with all its watercraft was a special place in the Park.

I was actually looking for myself in today's pics as it was possible I'd be in these photos. No luck!

And check out the pre-Fantasmic! front riverbank of TSI. Those were the days.

Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


That first image is pretty nice - especially with the HM in the background. I'd have to say the expressions on those folks on the raft look pretty typical for Disneyland guests. As for the 'downtrodden' CM, it turns out most 'em are painfully shy-!

And the gentleman who appears to be 'two-fisting those fishing poles' is actually confusing them with a divining rod.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

What I thought appeared to be a "skull balloon" between two boys on the raft in that first pic, appears to just be a white "ear-less" Mickey Mouse balloon in your close-up. Darn!

And the River might look Placid, but that CM is actually watching out for crocodiles...and a four letter word-spewing Betty White!

Chuck said...

Note that the gates to the drydock are closed in the first two pictures, with a ladder descending into the depths of Hades (or maybe just to the bottom of the drydock).

I like these. Thanks, Major.

Unknown said...

Where else would I get to point this out? Yes the waters are always placid but after a sufficient time of both big ships running (say middle of Summer) the river picks up a counter-clockwise drift.

Chuck said...

Patrick, that's only because Disneyland is in the Northern Hemisphere.