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Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

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  • [Question] Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

    I have always wondered why Disney decided to close the Discovery River Boats in Animal Kingdom. It seemed like it would be an enjoyable relaxing ride and could just "be there." It like why not have something that is simple and easy to operate that will keep a guest occupied for a half hour? It could also have transported guests around the park like the Epcot FriendShip Boats from one side of World Showcase Lagoon to the other.

    Was it because guests found it boring? Did it ruin the ecosystem of the river? Just wondering. Also why did IOA get ride of its boats?

  • #2
    Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

    I heard that the boats kept breaking down alot and people were tired of waiting in line. I think the boat was an hr long or something.

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    • #3
      Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

      Long lines to see a lot of nothing except a small preview of Beastly Kingdom.

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      • #4
        Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

        I heard it was because the loading was horrendous. Anyways, here's a video:

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        • #5
          Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

          Originally posted by lazyboy97O View Post
          Long lines to see a lot of nothing except a small preview of Beastly Kingdom.
          That's pretty much it. Of people who experienced the river boats, most of them (including myself) can only remember the rock shaped like a dragon's head that spewed fire. IIRC, you didn't even need to ride the boats to see that.

          Just imagine Jungle Cruise with a 30 min.+ wait and no entertaining skipper or animatronics. That's basically what the Discovery River Boats were. I agree with you that it could have just been relaxing transportation, but in a park with few attractions, it got a longer line than it would have in say, MK. When people wait in a line that long, they expect more than the PeopleMover on water with less to see.
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          • #6
            Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

            I'm with you in being upset that it was removed, but logistically a ride like it could never exist in a park with so few rides.... If they ever bring it back, it will have to be a much higher capacity attraction with more stuff to see.
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            • #7
              Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

              Originally posted by lazyboy97O View Post
              Long lines to see a lot of nothing except a small preview of Beastly Kingdom.
              Also the Iguanadon from CTX at the riverside
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              • #8
                Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

                Remember when for a brief time they brought trainers with small animals onboard to show everyone? Scorpions, tarantulas, etc. Funny that the main attraction there was what was going on inside the boats.
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                • #9
                  Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

                  It's really too bad. Looks like a very relaxing ride and a nice place to escape the crowds for 20 minutes. Perhaps if they had more boats continually running it wouldn't have been such a horrible wait. That water does look pretty nasty in some spots now; it'd be nice to see it cleaned up.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

                    Originally posted by SpectroMan View Post
                    It's really too bad. Looks like a very relaxing ride and a nice place to escape the crowds for 20 minutes. Perhaps if they had more boats continually running it wouldn't have been such a horrible wait. That water does look pretty nasty in some spots now; it'd be nice to see it cleaned up.
                    i think they could save it if they turned it into more of a transportation service as well as an attraction like at epcot with the WS. just build docks at say Africa's entrance and in front of Everest, and have the boats loop around discovery island.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

                      It's all about expectations. The friendship boats in Epcot do nothing but scoot across the water, but then you can see the entire path and you know exactly what you're getting. But at DAK people really expected a Jungle Cruise type of experience, and when they didn't get it they were angry about it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Why were the Discovery River Boats decommissioned?

                        Originally posted by danyoung View Post
                        It's all about expectations. The friendship boats in Epcot do nothing but scoot across the water, but then you can see the entire path and you know exactly what you're getting. But at DAK people really expected a Jungle Cruise type of experience, and when they didn't get it they were angry about it.
                        Pretty much that. As a result of those expectations, guests waiting in line for an hour to see virtually nothing led to extremely poor guest feedback, and no attraction is worth a high operation coast if they only lead to bad guest feedback (and vehicles with individual drivers ALWAYS have high operation cost).

                        I think the boats could be revived if either A) Disney put in enough scenery that the attraction felt worthwhile, or B) they set it up as a kind of inter-land transportation service (AK's railroad, if you will), and made it VERY clear with adequate signage that it was just a transportation service.

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