||Last revised Tue, 04-Jul-2006 5:09|
In the same vein as the Skyway ride took Magic Kingdom guests on a bird's-eye tour of the park while getting them from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland and back, the Discovery River Boats took Animal Kingdom guests from Safari Village to the Asia "land" and also give one of the best roundabout views of the park. But visitors beware; the river isn't as safe as it used to be. (What is?)
Unfortunately the boat-ride was relatively uneventful, and was badly received by most guests that rode it, partly due to the long loading delays, that after a short while the attraction was briefly renamed to "Radio Disney Boats", (with guests riding whilst a host/hostess pointed out interesting items around the park, to the background of the Radio Disney radio station), before eventually being cancelled altogether.
The two docks are still in place, looking almost as pristine as they were on days one, but neither have yet found another use.
The Discovery River Boats were boarded at either of two docks. The first is in the Safari Village area near Dinoland USA. The second called Upcountry Landings is located near Asia across Discovery River. On average the launches operated from each landing every 10 minutes, for a one-way cruise that lasts for around 7 minutes. All guests were expected to disembark at the opposite landing stage, thus needing to queue twice for a round-trip (another reason that the ride wasn't very well received).
The Discovery Boats were more transportation than an actual ride. When Disney president Michael Eisner toured the park in March 1998, he is rumored to have charged Imagineers with jazzing up the "ride" portion of the boats. You do get to view some animals, and it makes a great diversion from all the walking.