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  1. #1

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    Speed of Mark Twain and Columbia during Fantasmic!

    Does anyone know how fast the Mark Twain and Columbia travel during Fantasmic! ? Roughly they seem to be about twice the normal speed. Is it their top speed? Did they have to be specially outfitted to go that fast? Was the track modified to handle the faster ships?

  2. #2

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    Re: Speed of Mark Twain and Columbia during Fantasmic!

    I don't know their exact speed but I do know they both have 3 speeds.
    1.) Slow
    2.) Fast
    3.) Fantasmic! (This is the fastest)

  3. #3

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    Re: Speed of Mark Twain and Columbia during Fantasmic!

    The Mark Twain has a booster propeller to assist with the speed.

  4. #4

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    Re: Speed of Mark Twain and Columbia during Fantasmic!

    the Columbia has two speeds, normal attraction speed and what is known as show speed for Fantasmic! These speeds only affect the forward speed of Columbia. Show speed is almost twice the normal attraction speed. The speed of Columbia is changed by a setting on the motor controller that allows the props to spin faster.

    The Mark Twain also has two speeds, normal attraction speed and show speed, but a different approach needed to be taken with the stern wheeler. The paddle wheel alone could not generate the speed needed for the show so a bow thruster was added in a pod on the port side next to the paddle wheel. It is electric and powered by a bank of batteries in the hold of the Mark Twain. The thruster can inly be run while the Mark Twain is visible during the show because the batteries do not hold enough charge to run all the way around the river and do more than 1 show. I believe that 4 shows is the maximum the batteries can do before needing to be charged.

  5. #5

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    Re: Speed of Mark Twain and Columbia during Fantasmic!

    ^^^ Excellent info, thanks!

    Did the rails of the ROA have to be upgraded to handle show speed? Also, how long does it take to get up to show speed?

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    Re: Speed of Mark Twain and Columbia during Fantasmic!

    I'll still stick with my observation of 4 speeds:
    -Slow
    -Fast
    -Fantasmic!
    -Reverse
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  7. #7

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    Re: Speed of Mark Twain and Columbia during Fantasmic!

    Just went back and checked the Archives, and this was all been hashed out in the last few years with several real experts (including one MiceChatter who is a Marine Architect and knows the DL river fleet intimately) - here's the "Cliff Notes" version so you doin't have to go find it...

    The stern thruster on the Mark Twain is a "Temporary" measure. They added the Onan Diesel Genset for running all the 120V lights and running gear on the ship, and added all the Fantasmic! gear in all the storage closets at the stern of the vessel - without adding any more flotation at the stern of the vessel. Therefore the paddlewheel sits too low in the water and loses too much efficiency pushing into and pulling out of the water.

    If Disney would finally decide to make a simple and inexpensive permanent repair and build simple wedge blocks to shim up the paddlewheel ends (and shim the steam engine beds to keep the thrust alignment), they could eliminate the auxiliary electric thruster motor and easily do it all with the paddlewheel. But this has been under discussion for several years, and nothing has happened...

    They also flip a switch before the show and boost the Mark Twain boiler pressure slightly for Fantasmic, to give them a little more power in reserve.

    The boiler and the two steam engines probably have enough horsepower to tow water skiers but for the fact that the curves are too tight to take them that fast. And that problem with sitting way too low.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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