Mouseketeer Alison's
Walt Dated World

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Discovery River Boats/Radio Disney River Cruise

Discovery River Boats/Radio Disney River Cruise

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Discovery River Boats concept art

 These battered-looking boats were an opening day attraction and could be boarded at either the Safari Village dock or the Upcountry Landing dock in the Asia section of the park.  The boats were slow to load and the lines were long.  Guests were further aggravated because boats would often pass the dock they were waiting at (if you were waiting at Asia and a boat from Safari Village went past, it would not stop at Asia since it was on a round trip from Safari Village).  The park tried to emphasis that this was mainly a transportation option and not an attraction by changing the name of the boats to Discovery River Taxi in November of 1998.  Names of the boats included The Darting Dragonfly, Otter Nonsense, Leaping Lizard, Crocodile Belle, and Hasty Hippo.
 Once on the boat, visitors could get an up close look at the Tree of Life and sometimes encounter a dragon near Camp Minnie-Mickey ( I say sometimes because I didn't see it when I was on the boat but on a later trip to the park after the boats were gone, I could hear the dragon as I crossed the bridge to Camp Minnie-Mickey) or a dinosaur near the shore of Dinoland, U.S.A.  A keeper would also roam the aisle of the boat and show off such creatures as spiders or snakes.  
 The boats became the Radio Disney River Cruise in March of 1999.  The boats played commentary from Radio Disney DJs Just Plain Mark and Zippy, who were "broadcasting" from the top of the Tree of Life until they were closed on April 21, 1999.  

Here's the Asia loading dock for the boats.

Discovery River Boats dock   

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See ya real soon!