Dragon animatronic at Animal Kingdom

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Why was this ride closed after a year? There are some terrible rides that have lasted waaayyyy longer than a year ( example: sounds dangerous, SGE). It just seems like such a waste?
There was a huge number of guest complaints. The boat was never meant to really be an attraction. It was meant to be transportation from one end of the part to another with a little bit of plusing along the way. People would wait for 1/2 an hour or more and basically got little more than the AK equivalent of a ride on the Friendship boats at Epcot.
 

CinderellyKelly

Well-Known Member
There was a huge number of guest complaints. The boat was never meant to really be an attraction. It was meant to be transportation from one end of the part to another with a little bit of plusing along the way. People would wait for 1/2 an hour or more and basically got little more than the AK equivalent of a ride on the Friendship boats at Epcot.

Oohhh ok, thank you!
 

Can we go yet?

Active Member
Sadly he is now for some odd reason at Disney Studios Paris on the Backlot Tour scrapped of his skin..And rots in the sun..or rain...or whatever they get...
Iguanodon+DSP.jpg


Here's 2 more pictures of the Iguanadon by the river I found..
drb7.jpeg
drb8.jpeg
A pathetic waste of money. What was the point of scraping it? It was a AA, it's sorta expensive Disney! They could have added the Dragon and the Giant Squid (I think that was an older concept also) later! Ugh, it es me off that this is pretty typical.
 

macbethfl

New Member
I opened Animal kingdom in DinoLand at Countdown to Extinction. Discovery River Boats was meant to be an attraction giving a glimpse inside each land at the park. The issue was the boats were too cumbersome for their size, and with the waterway being scaled back they were hard to manage and very slow. At opening the ride went; you boarded at the Down River Landing dock by the main bridge onto Safari Village as it was called then. You would pass under the main bridge and proceed into the "Beastly Kingdom" area. On the left in a small lagoon there was a statue of a Unicorn on a hill as you first entered the Beastly Kingdom area. Then there were ruins (glyphs) carved in the rocks under the bridge of camp Minnie Mickey and a small stone "house" holding up one side. Next you passed rocks that were arranged to look like a dragon with a waterfall out of its mouth. Next was the dragon cave. All that ever came out of it was a roar and a fireball, the AA figure was cut long before anything got built. They did add lances, shields and suits of crushed or burnt armor just after opening, but those were not in place for the previews. As you went into Africa there were geysers that would erupt and shot water into the air. As you passed under the Africa Bridge there were storks on the river’s edge on a sand bar by the Tree of Life. The sand bar many times caused the boats to run around because of how unwieldy the boats were. Leaving Africa, you came to the "Upriver Landing Dock" you could stay on or disembark. Staying on you passed under the Asia bridge and though what was to become Mint Everest. There where live cattle on the riverside in the large lake area. On the river’s edge be Safari Village were large colorful fountains of animals made from cut metal that would spry water. As you passed under the DinoLand Bridge there were lawn chairs and other items from the "college kids' that worked on the dig sites. After you went under the bridge there was the Iguanodon drinking and splashing water. He also was added after the parks opening because he wasn’t ready yet. Then the boat returned to the first dock.
The problem with the ride was the speed of the boats, the heat and lack of excitement. It took 30 minutes from one dock to the next and the boats were totally open with no fans. Add to that, that what the guests saw was a lot of plants and few static items and some fire. Eisner came on a ride through just after opening and told them to "fix it" so; they added animal handlers onto the boats with smaller mammals, reptiles and insects to entertain. He and the guest didn't like that either. They tried renaming the attraction "Discovery River Water Taxis" to show they were just transportation, that didn't appease the guest complaint. Eisner road again and said to rework it. In stepped Radio Disney with a "Live broadcast from atop the Tree of Life" The voices were those of Flik and friends from Tough to be a Bug. Eisner’s final ride ended with him stating "This barely classifies as transportation, shut it down" And so died Discovery River Boats.
Some pictures are attached. Oddly I cannot find ANY pictures of the suits of Armor or the Unicorn. Both did in fact exist, but I can't find any photos. If anyone has any PLEASE post. I have a picture of the Unicorn....but only because it is sitting in my garage having just bought it from Disney. If anyone has any of it in the park, love to see them posted.
 

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doctornick

Well-Known Member
See the post by @macbethfl makes me disappointed I missed out on the brief period that the river boat was running. To me, it actually sounds kind of interesting.

I guess the issue is that it couldn't decide if it was transportation or an attraction. And in a park that had few rides at opening (and still has too few), people treated it like a ride and this led to disappointment. I'd like to see it return as more pure transportation with some small things to see on the water. Given the size of the park, I think there would be some interest in transport that traveled from (say) Asia to Pandora or between Africa to Dinoland (picking lands that are on opposite sides of the park).
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
See the post by @macbethfl makes me disappointed I missed out on the brief period that the river boat was running. To me, it actually sounds kind of interesting.

I guess the issue is that it couldn't decide if it was transportation or an attraction. And in a park that had few rides at opening (and still has too few), people treated it like a ride and this led to disappointment. I'd like to see it return as more pure transportation with some small things to see on the water. Given the size of the park, I think there would be some interest in transport that traveled from (say) Asia to Pandora or between Africa to Dinoland (picking lands that are on opposite sides of the park).
I can honestly say you did not miss much.

Imagine a 30-40 minute long Jungle Cruise with no jokes that stopped in the middle to take on and let off passengers and had only 4, essentially static, show scenes. That was the River Boats in a nutshell.

It was fine for transportation from one side of the park to the other, (which is all it was intended to do) but it failed miserly as an attraction (which is what guests expected it to be).
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
It was fine for transportation from one side of the park to the other, (which is all it was intended to do) but it failed miserly as an attraction (which is what guests expected it to be).

Sure. I think just bringing it back for transportation would be good though, especially once Pandora opens and expands the footprint of the park (yes, CMM was there, but Pandora will be larger). Plus, it would add a kinetic element to the water.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Sure. I think just bringing it back for transportation would be good though, especially once Pandora opens and expands the footprint of the park (yes, CMM was there, but Pandora will be larger). Plus, it would add a kinetic element to the water.
I would not mind it either, but chances are you would end up with the same problem as the average guest IQ does seem to have increased in the last 16 years. You would still have people at guest service demanding lifetime annual passes and a 10,000 point DVC membership because their vacation was ruined by a 1/2 hour boat ride they thought was an attraction.
 

Cmdr_Crimson

Well-Known Member
Imagine a 30-40 minute long Jungle Cruise with no jokes that stopped in the middle to take on and let off passengers and had only 4, essentially static, show scenes. That was the River Boats in a nutshell.

Sounds like the Friendship Boats from Epcot's International Gateway/Boardwalk/Y&B Club/Swan & Dolphin/DHS to me....And I have no problem with it...
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Sounds like the Friendship Boats from Epcot's International Gateway/Boardwalk/Y&B Club/Swan & Dolphin/DHS to me....And I have no problem with it...
But those don't look like an attraction and that was the problem. Guests were expecting an attraction when they were in reality boarding AK's version of the friendship boats.
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
wouldn't it be awesome... if they were working on Avatarland AND brought back up beastly kingdom at the same time.. then opened the both up at the exact same time?? That would drive in both the Avater movie-goers AND the nostalgia/regular parkers! :) Just saying... That would be a HUGE upgrade to AK.
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
I would not mind it either, but chances are you would end up with the same problem as the average guest IQ does seem to have increased in the last 16 years. You would still have people at guest service demanding lifetime annual passes and a 10,000 point DVC membership because their vacation was ruined by a 1/2 hour boat ride they thought was an attraction.

I would consider it once Pandora opens. The attraction count at DAK will be a lot higher at that time, so there would be less stress on finding another ride for guests. And it could be advertised strictly as transport, the way the lagoon boats are at Epcot. Have a sign at the dock say "boat to Asia" (or wherever). Maybe have smaller boats that travel quicker and load/unload faster.

I dunno. Other parks seem to be able to run transport fine. It doesn't seem like DAK should be an exception if it is advertised properly.
 

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