Monday, April 29, 2013

Cruising at Disneyland

Debuting as the Speedboat Ride/Tomorrowland Boats/Phantom Boats, the funky little vehicles shown here look like something right out of Batman (the 1966 TV version). I love 'em!

Known for their technical issues and for stranding guests mid-ride, the boats were shutdown and "re-imagined." Signs proclaimed that a Florida Everglades-type attraction would replace them. The new boat was built and tested, but ultimately vetoed due to (once again) technical issues, so as a last resort, the Phantom Boats came back for one more chug around the lagoon in the summer of 1956.

In 1957, the Motor Boat Cruise began its tenure. This very sedate “B” Ticket attraction took away any control that guests had over the boats by putting them on a track. No steering or acceleration. Guests leisurely road around the Fantasyland/Tomorrowland lagoon while the Viewliner, Autopia, Monorail, and PeopleMover “sped” by (depending upon what year you were riding the boats of course!). Cast members operating the attraction wore cute sailor outfits.

The boats disappeared for good in 1993 with the construction of Toontown. Remnants of the dock are still visible.

See more vintage Disneyland Motor Boat Cruise photos on my Motor Boat Cruise web page.


Edward Allen said...

Great pictures, Dave. I rode (or should I say "piloted") the Motor Boats in 1963 when I was 7 years old. My Dad convinced my older sister and me that there was no track and we were really steering the boat. When we left the dock he shouted BE CAREFUL.Needless to say, that was the most stressful 8 minutes of my life since I was terrified I was going to crash the boat and we'd have to pay for it!

K. Martinez said...

The water version of Autopia, I rode the Motor Boat Cruise well into my adulthood. I never tired of cruising through the waterways passing under the Autopia and Monorail. It was a classic park experience and a simple pleasure.

...But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

I very fortunate to have caught the Moto Boat Cruise before it's excavation. I love the little life preserver (official term?) left at the end of the dock.