Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Keelboat & Twain, 1996

Mr. X took some wonderful photos of the Keelboats back in 1996, and I am glad to share them with you today, some 23 years later. There goes the Gullywhumper, full of happy guests - based on this image, the Keelboats were not wanting for customers. 

This is a neat one, with the 'whumper about to scoot past the Columbia (the photo was taken from Tom Sawyer Island). From this angle you can see the hanging antique-style lanterns inside the boat; I can't remember, did this attraction close at dusk, as some Frontierland attractions did? Or could you ride it at night? If so, what an experience that must have been! It seems shocking that this Keelboats would only be around for another year before being closed for good. It's always seemed to me that they could have just added more ballast if they wanted to make the boats less prone to tipping over.

Aaaaannnd... an almost-obligatory photo of the Mark Twain. But it's pretty. And look at that forest! Why, there ain't no settlements for hundreds of miles.


Nanook said...


All the images are lovely - but the second one is the prize.

Thanks to Mr. X and you.

Andrew said...

It would've been amazing to see all of the rivercraft together on the water at once, big and small - the real "busy" river! Those keelboats were one of the Disneyland classics; it's too bad they were removed for very little reason (besides the tipping over, of course).

"Lou and Sue" said...

Being on the ROA is always so relaxing . . . these pictures bring a nice peaceful calm to our busy days! Thank you Mr. X and Major!


On a side note: When I first started reading GDB, about 6 months back, I thought everyone was joking when mentioning the keelboats that "keeled over." When I googled it, I was surprised to find out that they really did!

JC Shannon said...

Great river scans today. I too miss the Keel Boats, they were unique. The Mark Twain is definitely frame worthy. It does really look like an unspoiled wilderness on the river. Thanks to Mr X and Major.

Anonymous said...

The Keel Boats (along with the canoes and rafts) closed at dusk.

DrGoat said...

Three great pics from Mr. X. Lovely Mark Twain pic, but I'm still trying to recover from the fact that 1996 was 23 years ago. Feeling a bit like a Soylent Green resource.
Thanks Major and Mr. X.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, Most of us, here, at GDB are in the same boat with you! :) (Except for Andrew . . . he's an exception to our crew - he's a very wise soul in a very young body - and we're very glad to have him aboard!)

Along that same line, I was talking with my dad (Lou), a few days ago, and he was sharing a couple memories he has of being at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933-1934, as a very little boy, with his family. Now that's going back in time!


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I agree, that’s a very unusual (and nice) view!

Penna. Andrew, I really do regret never riding the Keelboats; I think that I (and many others) just assumed that they would always be there. If they hadn’t been in a huge hurry to get rid of them, but instead brought them back after a short absence, I’ll bet ridership would have increased.

Lou and Sue, one of our regulars once said that there used to be a tentative plan to fill in the Rivers of America, making the Mark Twain a static restaurant. If they did that, it really would be the end of Disneyland for me, I don’t care what they put on that newly-available land. And yes, the Keelboats really did keel over!

Jonathan, the worst thing about the removal of the Keelboats is that I have no doubt that they could have taken steps to make them more stable and safe. It was just cheaper to remove them.

Anon, thank you; I was too lazy to look at one of my old ticket books!

DrGoat, ha ha, I know what you mean. If this was Logan’s Run, we would have gone to Carousel long ago.

Melissa said...

"Out of our way! We've got gullies to whump!"

I, too, in my youthful hubris, put off riding the Keelboats until it was too late. Same deal with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. What fools these mortals be!

DrGoat said...

That soul will serve you well young Andrew. Revel in your time. You're certainly a refreshing reminder that good thoughts dwell in a lot of us, regardless of age. Good to have your input.
PS If you have the inclination, watch some Rocky and Bullwinkle episodes. A little bit of sarcasm never hurt, but use it wisely.


MAJOR: that Frontierland concept - to cut the Rivers Of America in half and use the Riverboat as a static attraction was for Walt Disney World - not Disneyland. And there were plans for a different “River” attraction. Variations of this redo still get reviewed and revised.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, WOW, I am so jealous that Lou got to see the Chicago World's Fair! It's right up there with the two New York Fairs as the ones that I most wish I could visit (if I had a time machine). I recently watched some rare color footage from the Chicago Fair, it's so amazing how the buildings are every color of the rainbow, oranges, yellows, deep blues, turquoise... after seeing endless black and white pictures, it's easy to forget that the world was a colorful place in those days.

Melissa, I can understand skipping the Keelboats (since I did it too), but I'm surprised you never wanted to ride the 20K attraction! Do you suffer from squidophobia?

DrGoat, you aren't kidding! I trust that Andrew sees things a lot more clearly than many people his age, and that's a pretty special gift. I agree, Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons are well worth anybody's time.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, thank you for mentioning the color footage of the Chicago World's Fair! I had never seen any of it before - so I started googling and found the site I listed below - which has an 11-minute video of great color footage. Did you see the "animatronic" gorilla and dinosaurs?! I liked the footage of the car test track demonstrations, along with the commentary! I'll have to show it to my dad (he'll LOVE it), and also scan the crowd to look for him. :)