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Disneyland Article
River Fun

Haunted Mansion
Robert Baca
July 6, 2010
July 6, 2010
Well hello to all you Disney fans. I want to tell you about some of the exciting times when working on the river. One of the memorable times I recall quite a bit is working the mid-night shift on the rafts. This was a scheduled shift that started at 1am 9am. I know that seems a bit odd but yes the rafts ran at this time. My job was to assist the technicians who worked on the Fantasmic equipment by escorting them to the island as well as equipment too. I also had the occasional facilities staff needing to go over but not to often. The island was a bit scary to be on especially on the back side of the island where the Fort stands. I recall a couple of times being there by myself and rushing to the dock. I felt as if someone was after me or watching me. The only light was your flash light sometimes too. Fun times.

One of the memories that I have is taking the pitch black cruise around the river with a raft which has no form of headlights around the river. You would be surprised how dark it is back there. Without the burning cabins light, there is almost nothing. The Indian village has some lights but usually they did not work as well as the other audio animatronics' around the river. That worked out in the long run because I would sneak light bulbs from the facilities stock of them and go change them out. I was like an undercover repair guy. No one knew I was doing this EXCEPT my area managers. Yes .that's right. They knew and supported me but kept a distance for their job sake. Anyhow this time at night gave me time to take care of things on the Rivers of America that were not considered as a non-priority due to time and cost. This was fine with me. I enjoyed the responsibility which I felt so proud to address.

There is nothing better than being able to walk the train tracks that run the outer edge of the river when the park is closed. Complete silence with only the sound of the water rushing against the rocks by the rapid affects. I would imagine what Walt would think while doing the same thing. Rumor had it that he would do this quite a bit. Walk the river since he loved that part of the park.

I also would park the raft in front of the Fantasmic stage and just stare at New Orleans with all its beautiful lighting. The park is so very beautiful at night. I miss the tranquility of the waters and the surrounding of the magic kingdom. I also got the chance to look at all of the attractions close up. The workings and wonders of each. Oh the memories! I recall walking the old Mule Ride route which still remains behind the Grizzly Bear as well as the remaining tracks from the "Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland". The wonders of that magical place sweep you away when you least expect it and for me, that happened a lot at the calm of night. Now I can also admit, a few times sleeping on the raft which was parked next to the Hungry Bear restaurant or inside the Haunted Mansion when I was trying to recover from a double shift or a long day on canoes.

To this day, I miss every waking moment when I worked there. I think about it so much and the privileges I had which millions would die to experience just once. I now own my own company but hope one day to return to the park and take in everything I oh so miss.
Attractions Referenced

Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes

Disneyland Railroad


Fort Wilderness

Haunted Mansion

Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland

Mule Pack

Restaurants Referenced

Hungry Bear Restaurant

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