Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sailing The "New" Rivers of America

The Rivers of America at Disneyland were recently filled after being drained for for several months. I had a chance to stop by the park today and check it out. The Columbia was closed when I got there and the Mark Twain was still in drydock, so I went over to Tom Sawyer Island.....oops, I mean the Island Formerly Known as Tom Sawyer. It seemed that the border of landscaping around the island has gotten much wider. Didn't the water used to come right up to the dirt with just a thin border of plants growing in the water?

The Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes weren't open yet. A few of them were parked over at the island near the cardboard cutout that's supposed to be Fort Wilderness.

This duck wants the real Fort Wilderness back. He told me so!

I was trying to check out any of the new audio-animatronics that might have been added along the river during the rehab, but I could only see a few things from the island. Then all of a sudden, I noticed that the Columbia had opened!

I got off of the island pretty quickly, but just missed the first boat......

.....but got on the next one!

Here it is, Mike Fink's Keel Boat....supposedly made from part of the Gullywhumper Keel Boat that sailed the river for years.

And here's Mike Fink's cabin.....formerly "The Burning Cabin."

There were voices coming from inside the cabin. I think there was a Hootenanny going on. Either that or a card game.....I don't remember since I was busy taking pictures. The sign out front reads, "Mike Fink, King of the River, Traps-Tradin'"

Here are a couple Indian scouts. I can't remember if these figures already existed before the river rehab.

Bambi and family! This photo and a few of the others from today were taken facing the late afternoon sun. My camera apparently didn't like that, so some of these are a bit out of focus....sorry! There were a lot more deer around on the shores and also plenty of moose and elk, but they really didn't appear to be any different than the ones that existed previously, so I am not posting those photos. They didn't turn out well anyway!

The Chief still sits on his horse and waves.

The boy and his dog also returned along the river, although the dog is now two-toned instead of all white and the boy is now facing the same direction as his dog. I have photos of this scene from 1997 and also from 2006. I will try and get those posted in the future. Oh, and there is still a "jumping" fish in this scene.

The Indian village is still there and so are the Village's People.

I had heard something about live ponies that were supposed to be in this area, but didn't see any. Maybe they are only going to be out certain times of the day.

I believe this is the same area where the bear was scratching his back against a tree. It has been replaced by an eagle's nest in a tree.

The baby eagles pop up and down (cute!) and all three squawk.

Two racoons watch a skunk on a log. These figures are all static.

There was a beaver in this same spot before the rehab, but I thought its movement seemed a little bit more realistic now. New figure???

The rockwork from the old Mine Train tunnel is now reddish in color.

But the old Mine Train vehicle is missing! If you look closely however, you'll see a couple new animals along the river.

Mountain lions! Could these be original residents of Nature's Wonderland?

The shot below was taken from Tom Sawyer.....uh, WHOEVER'S Island!

I say, bring back the old Mine Train vehicle! Better yet, bring back the ENTIRE Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland attraction!

Last up is a bird of some sort and it's nest.

The second old Mine Train tunnel can be seen on the right (boarded up) in the photo below.

This figure is also static.....at least it wasn't moving today.

And we're back to the dock.
I hope everyone enjoyed this cruise around the Rivers of America! I do plan on reposting Part 1 of my Club 33 series of posts and then I will continue on with the other parts of that series without further interruption!


Daveland said...

Thanks for the tour. It's good to have the river back, although I would say that the changes seem somewhat minor, it does appear that a lot of work and care went into this rehab. That Keelboat does not hold a candle to the detailed originals though!

TokyoMagic! said...
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TokyoMagic! said...

Yeah, the changes seemed pretty minor to me too, Dave. The Keelboat had been used as a prop in recent years...and it's still out there as a prop. A few new animals have been added, but none of them were moving except for the eagles.....and I don't even know if they are brand new or not because years ago there was a family of eagles sitting in a nest next to the burning cabin. I have a photo of that that I need to post. I didn't have time to do a "then and now" comparison like I had wanted to do.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Thanks a ton for the tour! I was at the park Monday, but the Columbia had huge lines, I wanted to see the river, but not that bad....

I suppose the keel boat probably looks more authentic this way, but I wish they would have restored it to its authentic Disney version.

It is nice to see such care and time spent on this area, Walt would be happy. I heard the live horses will only be out for a few hours a day?

I wonder why the Mine Train is gone? Yes it was a mess, maybe they are cleaning it up and going to put it back on display? Or maybe we better be checking eBay for a slightly used Mine Train?

Thanks for the "Village's People" reference, now I've got YMCA running thru my head!

Joel said...

It may appear minor, but they did theme each area with new plants to different areas across America. Now vegetation and animals fit into each area. Also the shoreline looks hell of a lot more realistic. Sad to see the train go, but it was probably too much in despair and some may have found it in bad taste due to past incidents at Thunder.

As for the pony's, they do have them there and I believe one is in your picture toward the back. The photo without the chief in it.

Dan Alexander said...

Great mega post! The figures along the River are great--even the static ones!

TokyoMagic! said...

VDT, they better not even think of getting rid of that Mine Train vehicle! I just hope it's somewhere safe so that maybe someday in the future it could be used again as a prop or maybe placed in the Disney museum.

Horizons T., I thought that might have been a pony in the pic too, but I looked at the original unresized pic and that's just a very large rock back there. As for the shoreline, in person it looks really "concretey" (if that's a word) and it's high. I noticed some baby ducks that were unable to get up out of the water to join their mom on the shore. They kept jumping and trying, but couldn't make it to the top of the concrete "wall" along the shoreline.

Dan, yes...even though most of the figures are static, I'm still glad to see the additions....especially the mountain lions!

SundayNight said...

Excellent tour. Thankf=s for taking the time to share it with us.

Connie Moreno said...

Awwesome post! I got there too late yesterday to ride the Columbia but your shots gave me a great view.

TokyoMagic! said...

Thank you, SundayNight and Connie...I'm glad you enjoyed the pics!!!