This past Saturday, I visited Disneyland to see the newly refilled and reopened Rivers of America, with it just wrapped up four months of being drained for enhancements. Sadly, the Mark Twain riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia aren’t running yet (the riverboat is scheduled to reopen on May 22), but the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes and the Tom Sawyer’s Island rafts were open.
It is so nice to have the awful construction walls down and the water back where it should be. I took these pictures from the shores along Frontierland and New Orleans Square:
On the opposite side, here’s a view of the Rivers of America from Tom Sawyer’s Island:
While on the island, we saw this momma duck with her 11 babies! So cute:
Later in the day, I went on over to the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes. It is located next to The Hungry Bear restaurant, near the entrance to Critter Country. I’d never tried this attraction before, as I expected it to be a lot of work and not a very pleasant experience. But I was wrong.
The loading area for the Canoes is efficient, which was surprising to me. Getting in and out of any two-person canoe is usually awkward, given the risk of falling in. With 20 or so people boarding, I expected chaos but, as always, Disney had it organized and completely safe for all guests. Amazingly, you can even bring babies on this attraction, though little kids do have to wear life preservers. My 17-month-old nephew came along with us.
The Canoes are so much fun. The guide at the front of the boat was really funny, with a “spiel” that reminded me of The Jungle Cruise.
My only complaint with the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes was that it was over too quickly. We paddled around the Rivers of America pretty fast and, because you have to keep rowing, you don’t have time to take in all of the new changes around the Rivers. I’ll have to wait until I ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia to see all the new improvements (though in the photo below, in the distance, you can see some of the new deer drinkings from the river).
In the meantime, I highly recommend everyone give the Canoes a try. You may get a little wet from inexperienced rowers splashing around, but with the summer months almost upon us, you likely won’t mind.
Jeremiah Daws and his brother Josh are theme park fans and filmmakers living the dream in California.
Follow their adventures at DawsBrothers.com.