Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Rivers of America, October 1999

There are few things in this world that Mr. X loved more than the Rivers of America, back when the trees were big and lush and blocked out much of the rest of the park, so that one could pretend to be far from civilization. 20 years ago he took a series of photos that I will share today.

It seems almost like pure luck that he took these images featuring the north end of the River - an area that was drastically changed during the construction of "Galaxy's Edge". Past the dangerous rocks you can see the "Storyteller" scene.

Amusement park? Where? Maybe this was just a family's vacation photos of their canoe trip in Tennessee. Maybe the Mine Train tracks to the right would arouse suspicion, though.

Man, there sure are a lot of canoes today. It's like the 405 freeway (the funnest freeway of all) at rush hour.

Say, there's an Indian Village up ahead... I sure hope they're friendly.

Here's one last look at the River and all of those glorious trees!

Many thanks to Mr. X for sharing these photos.


Nanook said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: It sure is hard to believe all this "lushness" is smack dab in the middle of Anaheim.

Thanks to Mr. X

TokyoMagic! said...

In that third photo, I see a beaver gnawing on a tree (just beyond the canoe), and also his or her dam.

As nice as these photos are, I think there were just too many darn trees blocking the view of the outside world. Today, we are lucky enough to have some wonderful views of the Mickey and Friends parking structure from the river, and even from the shore!

Nanook said...

Mickey and Friends is The Best-! (Okay, perhaps not).

Andrew said...

The water is a matching shade of green to the trees! I would've really liked to experience the River when it was this lush at Disneyland. The flashy new waterfalls look cool, but there's a certain charm to the wooded feel. Oh well, I guess there's always Magic Kingdom!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Best viewed with Creedence Clearwater Revival "Green River" playing in the background.

These do kind of pull you away from the fact you're smack dab in the middle of parking lots, hotels, freeways etc.

Boy Anaheim sure grew up fast once Disneyland arrived.

Stu29573 said...

I hate to keep bringing up WDW, but I'm so glad that their river is still lush and remote...ish. The main construction is going on in Tomorrowland for the Tron coaster (which I have mixed feelings about, but at least it's about as far away from the river as you can get!) Hopefully things will stay pretty much the same in the rest of the park...or at least on the west side...

JC Shannon said...

Fantastic pics of the river. The illusion is so complete that one forgets that it is in the middle of a modern city. Alonzo is right, I can hear the bullfrogs calling me as well. Thanks Major.

K. Martinez said...

My disappointment with the trees being removed at the back of the Rivers of America was that there were no telephone poles. I could've sworn there were telephone poles there. All I see is a parking lot tower. Thanks to Mr. X and Major.

Stu29573, my problem with WDW's Rivers of America is that it only has one watercraft (Liberty Belle Riverboat) traveling the route of the River. Other than that the rafts to travel back and forth to Tom Sawyer Island. Not much action.

Disneyland has two major watercraft (the Mark Twain & Columbia) and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes traveling the route of the River as well as the Tom Sawyer Island Rafts. Even without the Keelboats, it still has that active and busy feel.

Anonymous said...

One of the wonderful benefits of working the canoes 'back-when' was that feeling of being removed from the Park's noise, heat and congestion. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I couldn’t agree more!

TokyoMagic!, even now I can only see something that *might* be a beaver cutting down a tree. I wonder if he was repurposed so that he is chewing on the trestle? I honestly don’t ever remember noticing him before. Like you, I hate all trees and wish that they would be removed.

Nanook, I have no real issue with the Mickey and Friends parking structure, but they need to hide it so that it isn’t looming in the distance!

Andrew, the river water has been everything from milky tea brown, to greenish brown, to yellow ochre, to this cloudy green, to purple. Well, OK, maybe not purple, but I wouldn’t put it past them. And yes, Mr. X feels like going to WDW will be worth it just to see their untouched Frontierland.

Alonzo, I don’t know that song! I probably only know CCR’s top five, or maybe 10 in a pinch. Anaheim did grow up fast, but it is still amazing to see Skyway photos from the mid-60’s, and there’s still undeveloped farms and orchards nearby. I guess they were holding out for the really big bucks.

Stu29573, see my comment to Andrew; Mr. X said he wants to go to WDW just to ride the steamboat and ride their train - I honestly think he could just do those two things and go home happy.

Jonathan, I’ve always wondered, at night you can hear what are either frogs or crickets (not sure which) - is it a recording? Or has a population of amphibians established itself on that river? I hope that the frogs are real!

K. Martinez, ha ha, you do love your telephone poles! I never thought about how the Rivers of America in Florida only has the one steamboat. They did have two at one point, right? And the Keelboats of course. Don’t they have canoes in the Magic Kingdom? I agree with you, a busy river has a certain charm, and somehow it seems busiest near the “city” areas, and much less so in the “wilderness” areas. How do they do that?

KS, I can believe it, it must have been wonderful.

Dean Finder said...

Can't help but imagine that this is what Walt envisioned the RoA to be, even if the "big muddy" had been recolorized into the "big algae."

Chuck said...

Major, the MK lost its second riverboat in 1980, its canoes in 1994, and its keelboats in 2001, but at least it still has its trees.

Anonymous said...

The River has a distinct green tone in these Mr. X photos. Really great stuff, Major.

Thanks for the old River.


Anonymous said...

Wow! And I thought that the Florida park had majestic, rustic natural landscaping. This certainly feels more like the deep parts of a state park more than a commercial theme park. WDW is in the heart of the Florida wilderness, and even it doesn't seem as serene and secluded as these photos.