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Cast Member Canoe Race Tradition Continues at Disney World

For guests, the water craft choices on the Magic Kingdom’s rivers of America is down to one – The Liberty Belle sternwheeler. Keel Boats and Canoes are all but distant memories. The dock for the canoes has been converted to a smoking area and the keel boat queue integrated into the haunted mansion line. But there is still one moment where the river comes to life. Every year, Disney breaks a few canoes out of deep storage and organizes a cast member event to help with morale. It’s a great tradition as you can see by this video:

However, I think a better tradition would be for Disney to bring back the Keel Boats and Canoes for guests. I’d even take an exchange, run Keel Boats when it’s hot out and Davy Crockett Canoes only on cool days. What do you think? Good ideas.

10 thoughts on “Cast Member Canoe Race Tradition Continues at Disney World”

  1. Excellent suggestion!

    What Disney fails to recognize is that the pass holder often comes to the parks seeking experiences that would differ from the first time or occasional guest. Our visits are frequently slower paced as we enjoy art, architecture and music in the parks. A slow but charming boat ride around the “Rivers of America” at sea level is just the ticket. A frozen treat and beverage while spending an hour enjoying the ambience at “Polly’s” on Tom Sawyer Island is another favorite location that needs to be resurrected.

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  3. I participated in the Disneyland cast member canoe races way back in 89. I’m glad to see they are still going on in Disneyworld as well as Disneyland.

  4. I went to Disneyland last year for the first time in a very long time. My three favorite memories of that trip were the canoes, the Matterhorn and the Submarines. Being free floating, under the power of our own oars, on the Rivers of America was such a wonderful feeling. My only wish is that we could have stayed out longer :) I think bringing the canoes and the Keel Boats back is important and would make good business sense. It would bring more people to Frontierland and keep them there longer, as there would be more to do. With the new Fantasyland opening, next year, it would be good timing and help with crowd control.

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