The two classic river keel boats, the Coyote and Raccoon, are still plying the waters, giving guided tours of the rivers at swift pace.
They might have been overtaken in style and comfort by the mighty stern-wheel riverboats, but these keel boats can take you right up close to the fascinating landscape and roaming wildlife of the islands - they've become the transport of choice for the roguish river pirates!
Beyond Big Thunder Mountain Mining Co., through thick pine forests and along winding, confusing paths from the town of Thunder Mesa, the shoreline at Smugglers' Cove comes into view. Here are some of the final remaining rogues in this tamed Far West landscape - the "river pirates" who scurry about the rivers scavaging for prizes and plunder, storing them all in the ochre caves along the rivers' edge.
From the loading dock hidden between two giant rocks and shielded from passing riverboats, you board the Coyote or Raccoon for a tour of the Rivers of the Far West by the river rogues themselves, including a little unrehearsed narration - taking you closer to the wildlife, natural beauties and bounty of the West.
First you pass Old Joe with his barking dog, before turning around the headland and dodging closer to Wilderness Island for a close-up, water-level view of its waterfalls and wildlife. The erupting geysers - including 'Old Faithful' herself blast into the air ahead, as you pass the majestic Rainbow Arch and pick up speed for the darting ply through Thunder Mesa town.
Hurrying past the eerie tombstones of Phantom Manor, the bullet-ready outposts of Fort Comstock and the runaway trains of Big Thunder, you arrive safety back at Smugglers' Cove — another bootlegger's run complete!
Guided keel boat tour around the lively waters of Big Thunder and Wilderness Island.
12th April 1992
Keel boat tour
40 Guests per keel boat,
2 keel boats
A true Disneyland classic: the Coyote and Raccoon are now the only operating keel boats at any of the Disney parks