Finally! For years and years I’ve wanted to “drive” the Mark Twain Riverboat at Disneyland and the timing just never worked out. But while my better half and I were visiting the Happiest Place on Earth for our anniversary recently, the stars aligned when I asked the dockside Cast Member Danielle if I could drive and she obliged. Woo hoo!
Up the Riverboat staircases we went, then through the narrow door into the Captain’s quarters and up again, step-by-step, on a steep ladder until we arrived – ta da! in the wheelhouse. (The very same place where Walt Disney stood as he drove the Mark Twain!) And what a ginormous wheel it is when you’re up close and personal.
As the boat headed out from the dock, my husband had the honor of pulling the whistle to sound our departure. After tricking me into thinking I was really driving (what can I say, I like to suspend reality) I took Captain Danielle’s orders to give that wheel an ongoing spin with everything I had to keep our passengers and the classic boat from careening into the bustling walkway of New Orleans Square. Crisis averted, we sailed round the Rivers of America, with a spectacular tippy-top view of our surroundings.
Captain Danielle sprinkled our tour with Disney gems, like the hidden Mickey in the river rocks and her favorite Paint horse grazing in one of the dioramas, as well as several punny jokes that I can’t remember but amused us nonetheless. And we felt pretty darn special waving to the guests on the shore of Tom Sawyer’s Island from the wheelhouse.
Special thanks to Captain Danielle for making my Disney wish come true that day, apologies to all passengers for the erratic driving. I’m sure I’ll do better next time!