So I need to preface this by saying that this is NOT a rant nor a complaint. It's just an interesting experience that we had at Disneyland on Friday, and one that I doubt has happened to many people so I thought I'd share.
Friday morning we were over in Adventure Land and having a great time. We had just finished Haunted Mansion and Pirates and decided to go on The Jungle Cruise. The line wasn't long at all, and we got right on the boat. We started going just like normal, and the skipper was telling all his normal jokes, though I thought it was funny because he was telling them 'wrong.' For example, instead of saying "Oh man, look what these gorillas have done to that jeep! They left the lights on! Now they'll never get it to turn over..." He said "Oh no, those gorillas left the lights on on that jeep... now they'll never get it to start." It made me laugh as I thought how sad it was that I probably knew the classic/standard jokes better than he did. I go to Disneyland a lot . So anyway, just after we past Schwitzer Falls (named after famed explorer Alexander Falls) I started hearing a strange scraping noise, like metal on metal. The boat was slightly lurching as we were going past the African elephants (just before the sleeping zebra part). It was noticeable, but not violent at all. Then just as we were coming into the savannah area, the boat felt like it hit something underneath and stopped dead. It was a quick stop, but nobody got tossed over or anything. I was pretty sure what was going on, but was surprised as I had never had this happen to me or anyone I knew before (the skipper said it happens about every other month).
The skipper then pulled out his gun and fired 6 shots into the air, and then went under the bow to get a radio to let someone in 'jungle control' know that our back pin came off the track and we needed assistance. They made a PA announcement to have all boats return to the dock and we sat and waited. And waited, and then waited some more. We waited probably 20-30 minutes there. Finally a boat came up behind us with about 4 cast members in their jungle attire (I'm assuming other skippers who had dropped off their guests) and 4 mechanics. The mechanics came on board and tried to get things corrected but couldn't do it right then and there, and opted to transfer everyone to the boat behind us. It was a fun experience to climb out the back of one of the boats and onto the bow of another, especially for my wife who's 8 months pregnant (did I mention we're Disney nuts?). Everyone made it fine, and we backed up all the way to the dock. It was kind of fun to see all the animatronics turned off. The waterfall where Bertha the elephant is bathing was turned off, and she wasn't moving, the upside down jeeps tires weren't spinning, etc. It was pretty neat to see.
When we got back to the dock there were several more Jungle Cruise cast members waiting there, along with several of the cast members wearing plaid (I guess they're called 'plaids'). They ended up giving everyone a fast pass to get up to 6 people on any attraction in the park (except Haunted Mansion or Space Mountain). They also gave everyone vouchers for $10 in Disney dining (we got 3 of them, and were pretty excited as this was entirely unexpected). They were very apologetic, though I think everyone on the boat was understanding, and nobody seemed to be upset in the least by the experience.
Overall, it was actually a lot of fun. Not many people get to have this sort of experience, and we actually consider ourselves lucky to have had it. We were able to make a fun, unique memory and have a really good story to tell now. I guess what had happened was the boat was slightly over crowded on the left (so it was leaning left), then we came around the right turn at the Falls and caught the wake of a boat that was passing underneath the falls. It made sort of the perfect storm to lift the back pin off of the track.
Anyway, I may write up my first, full and complete trip report later on, but I just wanted to at least share with everyone our experience here, because I'm sure some on here would be curious to know what happens when a jungle cruise boat comes off the track. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!