Monday, September 28, 2020

Walt and the Mark Twain

The Mark Twain Riverboat obviously held a special place for Walt Disney; its maiden voyage was on July 13th, celebrating his 30th wedding anniversary to his beloved wife Lillian. Imagine having that boat all to yourself and 300 of your closest friends for a private tour around the Rivers of America! This vintage shot shows Walt himself at the dock of the Twain on December 20, 1959. No security in site; no huge entourage; no paparazzi. Just Walt, the guy who dreamed up the most magical theme park ever created.

This photo was taken at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon on the night of his anniversary with Lillian:

To pad out the post, here are a few other previously unposted shots of the Twain. This one is from July 10, 1957:

In the closeup view you can see some of the Native American figures along the banks with the Disneyland Railroad taking a Grand Circle Tour around the Park:

I believe I have posted this one from 1956, but it is so breathtaking it deserves a second view:

See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland Mark Twain Riverboat photos at my main website.


Stu29573 said...

The shot at the Golden Horseshow reminds me of the stories Diane Disney told about that night and how Walt got a little loose on the excitement and libations and climbed down from the family box onto the stage. Later, as she drove him home, he rolled up his program and used it as a trumpet in the back seat, obviously as happy as a big kid could be. He never lost the kid in himself. That's important.

Anonymous said...

Stu, that's an interesting story since all they served the public was sarsaparilla! That last shot is one of those reminders of how much I loved to see the park after-hours after a shift on Pirates. How lucky I was. KS

Stu29573 said...

Yeah, Walt and Lillian's pre-opening day Anniversary party was probably one of the only times real hooch was served, lol!

Anonymous said...

...while a younger Walt watches himself from a seat on the Mark Twain. Odd how much that guy in the white jacket looks like him.

Daveland said...

I had not noticed the guy in the white jacket but yes...that could be a Walt Disney outfit! Wouldn't it have been great to be at the Horseshoe for their Anniversary? What a night.

Max said...

the last is from 1956 ?
the evening colors are so vivid
can almost smell / feel the time