Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Keelboat, 1996

Disneyland's Keelboats closed forever in 1997, but, lucky for us, Mr. X took a whole lot of pictures of them before it was too late. It's like he had a sixth sense about it. Maybe he is not of this Earth?

I like this first one a lot, with the Gullywhumper near the landing where it took on passengers. I don't have much to say about this photo, except that it is very pretty!

You can't go wrong with a picture that includes a Keelboat and Cascade Peak. Looks like there's a wooden trap for catching crawdads, if any of the guests aboard would take some initiative! And Mike Fink might be a rascal, but he's a patriotic rascal (there's Old Glory flying from the mast). Notice the old Mine Train tracks.

A view of Cascade Peak without a Keelboat is still OK in my book.


Nanook said...

Maybe it's a good thing Cascade Peak left this world when it did, lest some folks who traffic in too much color and 'sparklies' got a hold of it and turned it into a 'magical peak', with pixie dust. Best to be left with its 'rugged memories'.

Thanks to Mr. X, and The Major.

Graffer said...

Not to mention the waterfalls would be reduced to a trickle.

When were the original keelboats replaced with the higher capacity 3 window versions?

Andrew said...

In pic #2, I can't help but notice the lady standing up taking a video on the upper deck. Was that allowed?

Also, the Mine Train tracks are still pretty clear here, even 20 years later. About 20 more years later they'd be barely recognizable admist all the overgrowth.

Chuck said...

Major, I hate to disagree with you, but a view of Cascade Peak without a Keelboat is still CA, not OK.

Graffer, the movie prop keelboats were replaced with fiberglass replicas in 1957. The Gullywhumper had two windows on each side until around 1967. (If you're really bored - or unhealthily obsessed, like me - see the comments on this post and this one for additional reference.)

K. Martinez said...

If I remember correctly, The Gullywhumper was Mike Fink's boat and the Bertha Mae was Davy Crockett's boat. They were featured in "Davy Crockett's Keel Boat Race".

Mike Fink, King of the River meets Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier.


Melissa said...

Now that you mention it, "Mr. X." isn't exactly a regular Earthling kind of name. Better check to see if his feet are on backwards - het Monkees taught me that's how you identify an alien. They've come from outer space to whump our gullies.

Lovely pictures as always.

Alonzo P Hawk said...


I shudder to think of Cascade Peak done in steampunk add-ons like the new tomorrowland. Yuk!

@K. Martinez,

You are very correct about the keel boat names. And on the return trip the Bertha Mae was hauling rocks (and not Yeller Gold) as loudly rumored by Mike Fink (posing as a rich banker).

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yeah, maybe Cascade Peak was spared the indignity of being painted gold, or maybe purple and pink.

Graffer, just like the embarrassment that is now Schweitzer Falls! I know I have read about when the Keelboats were switched to newer versions, but I’ll be darned if I can remember…

Penna. Andrew, I’m sure that the guests were asked to “please remain seated”, but you know how people are. Somehow the Keelboats seemed to bring out the maverick in people, I have at least one photo with a man standing outside one of the windows, hanging on like a San Francisco trolley.

Chuck, curses! Foiled by abbreviations! When did they replace the Keelboats with the Hanna-Barbera Fun-Time Groovy Cruise With Yogi and Friends?

K. Martinez, you know, now that you bring it up, I don’t believe I have ever seen those Davy Crockett programs. I am ashamed. Ol’ Mike Fink, you don’t see characters like him in movies these days!

Melissa, every three years Mr. X sheds his skin (after an especially large meal) and emerges slightly larger than before (not to mention glossier). He is now 11 feet tall.

Alonzo, a steampunk Cascade Peak, eh? Paint it brown, add fake rivets, and voila! It’s so easy I don’t know why we didn’t do it years ago. Yeller Gold!? That’s the best kind!

JG said...

Keel Boats were the best boats.

I miss all of this so much.

Thanks Major and Mr. X.


JC Shannon said...

I have long suspected Mr X is an alien. His history of photographing soon to be gone attractions, kinda gives away his other-worldly powers. If you look really close in picture 3, you will see the leaves rustling as a phantom Mine Train passes by. Spooky. Many thanks to Mr X and Major.

stu29573 said...

That's another good thing about WDW, all the water features are chugging along at full blast! I guess it helps to build in a swamp after all...
Also, if there's one thing that the Dick van Dyke show taught me, it's that aliens love walnuts and have eyes in the backs of their heads! Heck, Mr. X was probably facing the other way in all these pics! Creeeeeeeepy.....

K. Martinez said...

Well, they did add glass beads to the "snow" on the Matterhorn to make it glisten and sparkle, Not sure it was necessary, but they did it.

BTW, Thanks, Mr. X and Major.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-

Only my best of friends are aware of it - but I too use glass beads on my skin for that little *extra* glisten and sparkle-!

Melissa said...

They showed the Mike Fink/Davy Crockett movie a while back on Turner Classic Movies' "Teasures From the Disney Vault." It was awesome.

K. Martinez said...

Melissa, The whole "Davy Crockett" series is awesome! Anyone who's a fan of early Disneyland should enjoy the Walt Disney produced series. It really gives more meaning to early Frontierland and the Rivers of America. "El Fego Baca" and "The Swamp Fox" are enjoyable too.

Another favorite of mine is "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" from 1938. That one reminds me so much of Frontierland with the riverboats and rafts. The island Tom, Huck and friends spend time on overnight is right in the middle of the Mississippi river just like Tom Sawyer Island is in the middle of Rivers of America. Walt really had it down when he imagined Frontierland.

JG said...

@Chuck, now I am wondering where I was in December 2015 because I missed both of those back threads you cited. Thanks for reposting those.

This is a link to a picture of me with my Dad at the Keelboat dock, circa 1964-5 (not sure). It is the "two-window" Gullywhumper.


Dave was kind enough to include some of my comments on his Keel Boats page.

Dad was a rascal who surely sympathized with Mike Fink.


JG said...

Or, per your nomenclature, the "four-window" Gullywhumper.


Chuck said...

JG, wow, your dad was short.

He is the one on the right, right?

JG said...

Ha, I grew to be taller and eventually, bigger around, than Dad.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, When you think about it, Keelboats were basically the Rolls Royce of the river. (It makes sense to ME, anyway).

Jonathan, sometimes people standing near Mr. X will find that their ailments have vanished and even broken limbs have mended. It might have something to do with the blue glow that he exudes.

stu29573, it is true, I am pretty jealous of the WDW Frontierland in many ways. I never thought I’d say that! ;-) As for that episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, I remember seeing it when I was really little and it kind of scared me!

K. Martinez, I think I’ve read that they used glass beads (or glass of some form) in the pigments of the sub lagoon as well.

Nanook, people probably think you are one of the “Twilight” vampires.

Melissa, if the Disney Plus streaming service really delves into the archives and shows some truly rare stuff, I may just have to subscribe - how about you?

K. Martinez, I haven’t see “El Fego Baca” or “The Swamp Fox”, I guess I have bad memories of some truly bad Disney product from the late 1960’s and into the 70’s. From what I’ve heard, both of those shows are quite good though. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, yet another classic movie that I haven’t seen, I’m sure I would love it.

JG, I can barely remember where I was last week, much less in December of 2015. Thanks for the link to Daveland, I don’t remember seeing that photo before!

JG, are you telling me that I have to count ALL of the windows? I don’t have all day!

Chuck, no, that’s definitely a girl to the right.

JG, ha ha, not many of us look much like our little kid selves.