Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Status of Waterfalls

There is something about a waterfall that really adds to the experience of visiting Disneyland, especially since the park is located in southern California where water is not exactly plentiful. To see and hear the thunderous sound of the water cascading over rocks into the river/pool/lagoon below is nothing short of magical...and fairly expensive to maintain. Today's post celebrates the waterfalls of the past and present, beginning with one of my favorites of all-time, Skull Rock in Fantasyland. The first image for today is from April 1961, and is a rare view of the back of the waterfall that came out of the mouth of the Skull:

This particular waterfall disappeared during the 1983 Fantasyland remodel. Don't cry for Fantasyland, folks, as there is still a waterfall left for guests to enjoy. You can see it here in this August 1959 shot of the recently opened Matterhorn:

This night shot that I took reveals that waterfalls look good in the dark, too!

One of the park's most famous waterfalls can be found at Adventureland's Jungle Cruise attraction, shown in this August 1963 photo:

Guests still enjoy seeing "the backside of water" at Schweitzer falls, even if the amount of water it pushes out is at a lesser capacity:

Tomorrowland has twin waterfalls over at The Submarine Voyage, seen in this 1960's vintage photo:

Both waterfalls still cascade over the submarines, which are now yellow in honor of Nemo, who currently resides in the lagoon:

Over at Nature's Wonderland, guests were bedazzled by the funky colors of the now missing Rainbow Caverns and the falls inside:

Today, the Rainbow Caverns of Big Thunder Mountain feature more of a mist effect:

The waterfall outside of the attraction sure is a beaut, though:

Cascade Peak was one of the most impressive falls in the park, located next to the Mark Twain/Columbia dock. It was removed in 1998 due to the unwanted cost of having to refurb it.

I am surprised to discover that my only real shot of the thunderous waterfall at Splash Mountain is this sickly long shot!

Now I have something else to shoot on my next visit to the park! Have I missed any?

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Alonzo P Hawk said...

These are great shots. Always a treat to see shots of Rainbow Caverns as good ones are rare. I also like the aerial of Skull Rock (in full drool).

K. Martinez said...

For current waterfalls not mentioned there's:

- Elephant Bathing Pool
- Critter Country by Pooh Corner(more cascade than waterfall?)
- Snow White Grotto
- small waterfall near Dumbo (former Skull Rock site)

Also, Pirates of the Caribbean has several waterfalls.

- 2 flume drops
- 1 flume lift
- actual waterfall just after the second drop into the cavern.
- Davey Jones mist effect

Some of these might not qualify as a waterfall to some, but they are definitely water elements.

K. Martinez said...

Btw, that first image of the newly built Skull Rock Cove dining area is cool! There's something about the creation of a new area at Disneyland with its freshly planted landscape yet to mature and fill in. Thanks.

HBG2 said...

I recall reading somewhere how much Walt liked waterfalls. I think he was commenting on the then-new Skull Rock addition to the Pirate Ship site. He noted that (1) people love 'em, and (2) they're cheap.

Dave said...

Great post topic and terrific pictures. I really miss Cascade Peak, it added so much life and kinetic energy to the river that is sorely missed today. I hope that someday they find a way to bring it back, perhaps as part of the long rumored Frontierland expansion.

Anonymous said...

I think my skiff would have survived Schweitzer Falls if the volume of water was that skimpy back then. Frontierland is certainly not the same w/o Cascade Peak.

JG said...

There are some springs on TSI originating under the roots of the Disneyodendron Urchinoides tree where the treehouse is built.

The stream goes on to become the source of water for the Old Mill.

I can't remember if there is a waterfall inside Injun Joe's Cave, or perhaps in IASW.


K. Martinez said...

Wasn't there a series of small waterfalls on the Jungle Cruise within the rockwork next to the veldt scene where the baboons were originally located?

I think the rockwork is still there, but the waterfall was turned off once the baboons were relocated.

Davelandweb said...

I am embarrassed to see how many I overlooked...but also glad that there are still so many left. Thanks all for the memory-jog!

HBG2: I wonder with the price of water in Socal these days if Walt would still think that waterfalls were cheap? I still miss the ones that were over at the Disneyland Hotel.

CoxPilot said...

I love the smell of chlorine mist in the morning!

JG said...

I think part of the waterfall reduction is power economy, not water-savings. Electric pumps are expensive to run. Maybe some photovoltaic panels on the attraction building roofs will relieve the pressure.

Also, I wish they would get rid of the "blue rinse" effect in Schweitzer Falls, among other places. It does not convey a positive image to me, rather more like an airport urinal than a natural stream.


Chrissy @ Adventures in DIY said...

I love that picture of Skull Rock! It's too bad it's not there anymore.
There is a nice waterfall at the Tarzan Treehouse. I've used it to practice with my camera settings and got some really great pictures there.