Several cherished Disneyland attractions, including the Disneyland Railroad, the Mark Twain Riverboat and the Rivers of America, return to the Anaheim theme park Saturday after being closed for more than a year.
The attractions were closed during preparations for the 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which is scheduled to open in 2019.
Those preparations included reconstruction of Frontierland, a new route for the railroad and a shortened Rivers of America. Other returning attractions include Sailing Ship Columbia and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes.
The Disneyland Railroad and the Mark Twain Riverboat are two of the best-remembered attractions for Baby Boomers as both rides were around in the park’s early days. And the Davy Crockett canoes were always special at the time, bringing to life the super-popular coonskin cap-wearing Davy Crockett from TV episodes starring a young Fess Parker. Parker is now 85.
On Friday, John Lasseter, principal creative adviser for Walt Disney Imagineering, put on a conductor’s hat and took the newly refurbished train on its first trip around its new tracks.
“Today was a historic day in the history of Disneyland,” Lasseter said. “We got to reopen the Disneyland Railroad by honoring two of the nine old men who inspired Walt Disney’s love of railroads — Ward Kimball and Ollie Johnston.”
Kimball and Johnston were iconic Disney animators.
The new train route follows along the north end of the river and crosses a new trestle and is along the riverbank, which now boasts five waterfalls. For the first time ever in a Disney-themed park, the train will make a left- hand turn, officials said.
The Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davey Crockett Explorer Canoes are once again traveling the Rivers of America attraction.
The nighttime fireworks show, FANTASMIC!, returned July 17 at the Rivers of America.
—City News Service
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