For May 19th… On This Day in Disney History!
On May 19th… On this day in 1971, Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes debuts at Disneyland. The attraction is a free floating canoe experience. Boarding from the park’s Critter Country station, up to 20 visitors paddle a canoe around the Rivers of America accompanied by two guides. Inspired by the Davy Crockett Disneyland television show, the guides wear coonskin caps. This is the only Disneyland attraction that is powered entirely by park visitors. The attraction originally opened as Indian Village War Canoes on July 4th 1956 as part of Frontierland’s Indian Village expansion. At the original Disneyland version of the attraction riders embark and disembark from a small boat dock next to the Hungry Bear restaurant in the Critter Country section of the park. Each 35 foot long, fiberglass canoe holds 20 guests, two per row. Guests are given a short lesson on how to paddle the canoe to power the boat properly after leaving the dock. Small children are required to wear life jackets. Life jackets are also available for adults who cannot swim in the event the boat ever capsizes. The canoe travels 2,400 feet around Tom Sawyer Island while the guides point out sights along the way…such as the settler’s cabin and the Indian Chief on horseback. The ride’s length depends on how fast the paddlers are and how much other traffic is on the river. It is the only attraction in Disneyland to be in three different lands without ever being moved!