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  1. #1

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    Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    According to Wikipedia, the Mark Twain Riverboat jumped its track a few days after Opening Day in 1955:

    Disneyland's opening day brought further problems for Mark Twain. Actress Irene Dunne, star of the movie Showboat, had trouble breaking a bottle of water (from many major American rivers) across the vessel's bow for her christening on Dateline Disney. During the riverboat's first official voyage, when the crowd moved to one side of the boat to view a passing scene of an Indian encampment or other sight, the boat would list from the side and water poured over the deck, as no one had determined Mark Twain's maximum safe passenger capacity.

    This oversight caused the Mark Twain to almost capsize on a voyage a few days later when ride operators continued to wave more than 500 guests on board until the deck neared the water line. As the ship traversed the sparsely vegetated river route, it came loose from its track and got stuck in the muddy banks. Immediately, the park established a maximum capacity of 300 passengers, which remains in effect today.


    Which begs my question -- has the Mark Twain ever jumped its track since? How about the other riverboats at the other Disney parks?

  2. #2

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    re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Okay...THAT freaked me out when I saw that headline. I thought this was a recent reporting.

  3. #3

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    re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by CASurfer65 View Post
    Okay...THAT freaked me out when I saw that headline. I thought this was a recent reporting.
    You're not alone, I freaked out too

  4. #4

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    re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    And if the Internet had been around in 1955, within a few minutes of the Mark Twain coming off its underwater guidewheels there would be a hundred Tweets and a dozen pictures on Instagram of the boat floating in the water at a weird spot on the river.

    Then a few hours after that Mark Twain downtime, a good half-dozen people who weren't there would have jumped on to this message board to proclaim that Disneyland was a failure and that Walt Disney was a greedy businessman out to rob working class families of their entertainment dollars while he laughed all the way to the bank from his fancy mansion in Holmby Hills.

    Good thing the Internet wasn't around in 1955. Walt never would have gotten Disneyland to make it to Labor Day, let alone 1956.

  5. #5

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    re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    My first (sarcastic) thought after reading the headline:

    If only someone would invent a boat that doesn't run on a track.

  6. #6

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    re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    /\ LOL, where's the like button..

  7. #7

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    Re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by CASurfer65 View Post
    Okay...THAT freaked me out when I saw that headline. I thought this was a recent reporting.
    Fixed to reflect accuracy.




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    all you need to know about the mommy stick is.. out of all the bad things that could happen to you... it's right between wetting yourself and death.

  8. #8

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    Re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    I doubt virtually every fact presented in that article.

    If you can't get the fact correct that Irene Dunne had NO trouble breaking the bottle across the capstan (not the bow), even though that fact is easily verifiable, then the rest of the article's "facts" are in serious doubt as well.

  9. #9

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    Re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I doubt virtually every fact presented in that article.

    If you can't get the fact correct that Irene Dunne had NO trouble breaking the bottle across the capstan (not the bow), even though that fact is easily verifiable, then the rest of the article's "facts" are in serious doubt as well.
    I cut & pasted that section from the Wikipedia article. If any part of it is inaccurate, I encourage anyone with the facts to contact Wikipedia and make the recommended changes.

    As for the misleading title, well, hey -- I got you to read it, didn't I?

  10. #10

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    Re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorQ9 View Post
    If any part of it is inaccurate, I encourage anyone with the facts to contact Wikipedia and make the recommended changes.
    I've given up trying to correct misleading or incorrect information on Wikipedia.

  11. #11

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    Re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I've given up trying to correct misleading or incorrect information on Wikipedia.
    You don't want to hire 10,000 people to work 24 hours a day on that?

  12. #12

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    Re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I've given up trying to correct misleading or incorrect information on Wikipedia.
    As a Fellow MiceChatter, I tell you what -- if you will send me the corroborating documents that show the Wikipedia errors, I will submit the changes myself. Sound good?

  13. #13

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    Re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I doubt virtually every fact presented in that article.

    If you can't get the fact correct that Irene Dunne had NO trouble breaking the bottle across the capstan (not the bow), even though that fact is easily verifiable, then the rest of the article's "facts" are in serious doubt as well.
    Well here is the source article for the claim

    Man who sank the Mark Twain | Deseret News

  14. #14

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    Re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Juni View Post
    Well here is the source article for the claim

    Man who sank the Mark Twain | Deseret News
    Maybe I should get new glasses, but I read the article and I could not find anything that disputed the Wikipedia article. There was no mention of the Irene Dunne + bottle incident, and the interviewee said that the ship did go off the rail.

  15. #15

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    Re: Mark Twain Riverboat Jumps Track After Opening Day

    Sorry folks, that Deseret News yarn is old news -- it was joked about on MiceChat back in 2005.

    A number of points make the story eligible for "exaggerated mis-recollection" status. The main point is its complete lack of corroboration: in 57 years there have been no stories of the Mark Twain "coming off the tracks" and "sinking in the mud" other than this one.

    Besides the technical issues of how the boat's attachment to the tracks makes a detachment-and-sinking improbable, there also is the illogic of O'Brien's claim that the Mark Twain sank with 508 aboard, but was up and running "20 to 30 minutes" later. There is the illogic of how the flagship of Walt Disney's famous new Disneyland sank with 508 aboard, and the story didn't even make even the local press at the time.

    The fact that the story appeared in the Deseret News under the byline of a community interest writer does not make it authentic. The fact that it has been repeated many places including Wikipedia lends it no authenticity.

    Bottom line, Mr. O'Brien was probably exaggerating for his hometown newspaper, in an embellished conflation of the famous Irene Dunn "we're sinking" event (no, it didn't sink then, either), and his own memories.
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