Disneyland's Mark Twain Steamboat attraction is a true Disney icon.
Even in the earliest concept drawings, Walt knew he wanted a large
paddle ship. In fact, Walt felt so strongly about its inclusion
in the park that forked over his own cash to complete its construction
when production costs were running high. But, did you know
The Mark Twain Steamboat was the first large paddle wheeler built
in America since the early 20th century, sits 105 feet long, weighsv150
tons and can hold over 350 passengers
Although the steel hull was constructed out of Long Beach, CA, the
fixtures and superstructure was built out of the Disney studio in
Burbank. The parts of the ship were assembled inside the park.
In the early days of the Mark Twain Steamboat there weren't any
'limits' set on how many guests could ride the boat on a single
trip. As a result, there are tales of cast members accidentally
overloading the boat leading to experiences where the boat nearly
capsizes when too many guests rush to one side of the boat!
The Mark Twain made it's first trial run on Walt and Lily's 30th
wedding anniversary party - July 13th, 1955. Four days later, on
Disneyland's opening day, Irene Dunn, an actress at the time, christened
the boat for all to ride.
Throughout the time of A-E tickets offered at Disneyland, the Mark
Twain Steamboat has been both a C and a D ticket
which a short
period of time as an E ticket!
The 12-14 minute journey around the Rivers of American is about
a half mile long (the same length as the track for Big Thunder Mountain
Railroad) and is actually powered by steam and is propelled by the
giant paddle wheel.