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  1. #31

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    Re: May 28, 2010: Mike Fink Keel Boats

    Werner-

    I didn't have a chance to read your article until today, so I hope you're still following this thread.

    Something is not quite right with your timeline for WDW's keel boats. My one and only visit there (to date) was back in September of 2000. On one of the days we were in the MK, the keel boats were definitely operating. I vividly remember this because I never got to ride them at Disneyland--my timing always seemed to be off, and they were never operating there during my annual trips (it became a running joke!). So, I was very excited to finally be able to circle the river in one. We eagerly boarded and took our seats, and then--a distant thunderclap. Since we hadn't left the dock yet, we were immediately ordered off the boat! The operator told us all water craft had to shut down at the first sign of a thunderstorm (makes sense for safety, but I was still very upset). It rained during the remainder of our time in WDW, and I never saw them operating again. I guess the universe didn't want me to ever ride a keel boat!

    Anyway, perhaps WDW just ran their keel boats seasonally after 1997, just like Disneyland.

    -Jon
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    Did someone say pictures?!? http://triesch.smugmug.com

  2. #32

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    Re: May 28, 2010: Mike Fink Keel Boats

    Give it back to Disneyland so that Tony Baxter can put it back where it belongs. Now that he is running the show and Jay Rasulo is out of the picture, I'm sure this boat could have a new (old?) home in the Rivers of America once more. It would sure fit in with the new river scenery now that Mike Fink has taken over.

    Things are VERY different than 10 years ago at Disneyland, the regime is much more sympathetic to the park's individual needs. Giving it back would result in a much different fate for the attraction than under Paul Pressler.

  3. #33

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    Re: May 28, 2010: Mike Fink Keel Boats

    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon View Post
    Give it back to Disneyland so that Tony Baxter can put it back where it belongs. Now that he is running the show and Jay Rasulo is out of the picture, I'm sure this boat could have a new (old?) home in the Rivers of America once more. It would sure fit in with the new river scenery now that Mike Fink has taken over.

    Things are VERY different than 10 years ago at Disneyland, the regime is much more sympathetic to the park's individual needs. Giving it back would result in a much different fate for the attraction than under Paul Pressler.
    I agree with the sentiment, a boat ride like that really should be running today. The activity really adds to the vitality of the River.

    Pressler's opinion of "It had an accident, I don't care why, it's Gone!" was incredibly short-sighted - they don't have to worry about their insurance premiums going up, they self-insure for the little stuff. You re-train all the skippers so they won't even think of trying that again, possibly add some more flotation to the boats, Done.


    But the fact is that the Bertha Mae belongs to the Kraft's now, and that should only change if they want it to. Perhaps Nicky wants to own and operate a R.O.A. tour-boat concession at Disneyland? He's already got the first boat for his fleet, they just need to give the Bertha Mae a quick refit and it's ready to go. Then build a new Gullywhumper...

    There is precedence - If I recall my Disney History correctly (and I do) there were many outside concessionaires and vendors in the early years of Disneyland. Walt personally (through Retlaw Inc.) owned and operated the Steam Trains and Monorails for the first fifteen years or so, then Disneyland Inc. bought them out. Don Defore, Arribas Brothers, Histories Revealed, Diane's Estate Jewelry, etc.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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  4. #34

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    Re: May 28, 2010: Mike Fink Keel Boats

    What a great thread to start my MiceChat day!

    I had wondered where the Bertha Mae had gone. I followed the eBay auction, even putting a bid in the opening days! Hey, I could dream....we have a large enough backyard...

    Even if she came back to Disneyland just as a prop on the River, much like they did with the Gullywhumper (ok, better than they did with the Gullywhumper), it would be wonderful seeing her again.

    But as a running ride? I know just the man to train the new pilots for the best spiel - my co-author Dave. He was awesome. It was actually on that ride that we met 29 years ago.

    I have added this picture to other threads, but it seems to fit here. Enjoy! And thanks for the interest in the Keel Boats. They are deeply missed.


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  5. #35

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    Re: May 28, 2010: Mike Fink Keel Boats

    Quote Originally Posted by triesch View Post
    Something is not quite right with your timeline for WDW's keel boats. My one and only visit there (to date) was back in September of 2000. On one of the days we were in the MK, the keel boats were definitely operating.
    I fixed the paragraph about the Keel Boats at WDW. Yes, it was a seasonal attraction. The ride actually closed in April 2001. Thank you for bring the error to my attention.

    Unfortunately, the 1997 closure date appears on numerous websites, including Wikipedia. It's probably a case of someone confusing the ride's closing at Disneyland with its closing at WDW. I put the 1997 date into the article as a placeholder, intending further research. Then I forgot about it.

    I wonder where WDW's Gullywhumper and Bertha Mae are today? My guess is that they're backstage in storage somewhere. As far as I know, they were never sold on eBay or anywhere else.

    Does anyone know more about WDW's Gullywhumper and Bertha Mae?
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  6. #36

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    Re: May 28, 2010: Mike Fink Keel Boats

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Weiss View Post

    I wonder where WDW's Gullywhumper and Bertha Mae are today? My guess is that they're backstage in storage somewhere. As far as I know, they were never sold on eBay or anywhere else.

    Does anyone know more about WDW's Gullywhumper and Bertha Mae?
    I don't know. But I want to say, that would be a good guess to where they are now . Back in 1996, I went backstage for the Grads Night in MGM ( still was MGM at the time). I remember seeing the Ninja Turtles Van in the back there. I think they changed it into the Green Toy Soldiers van for Toy Story. It's a big enough place for the boats to be there too.

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