This is the Guide Book from April 22, 1998 – Opening Day. My wife and I went to Animal Kingdom after we both got off of work for the day. It was crowded, but we managed to pick up this guide and one of the opening day posters. We had been to Animal Kingdom for preview days, but we wanted to be there on the official opening day.
My wife and I loved going to the preview days for Animal Kingdom, mainly because it wasn’t too crowded and we experienced all of the attractions.
Do you know why they got rid of the Discovery boats? I remember seeing them when we went one time, but we didn’t ride them. When we went back they were gone. Just curious. Thanks for sharing your Disney memories.
Jaimie–good to hear from you!
From what I understand, Disney designed the boats as transportation around Animal Kingdom. However, most people thought it was more of an attraction than actual transportation. Especially since there were very few attractions when AK first opened. There were very long lines for the boats, and the waits were crazy. Then the majority were disappointed when the boat just brought them from one point to another with not much to see.
And unlike in the Magic Kingdom with the train and in Epcot with the Friendship boats actually providing a transportation service because of the large distances of walking that they save, you could almost always get around Animal Kingdom much faster by simply walking vs. taking the boats.
Disney tried to improve the signage and had greeters at the line to try to make sure everyone knew what to expect. But it didn’t help much. The tried turning it into a Radio Disney boat ride to provide some entertainment, but it didn’t help.
I think the demise of the boats was more due to the lack of attractions in the park than any real problem with the boats themselves.
Tammy and I rode it once when the line was short. And it was fun, but wasn’t anything spectacular. It was a simple boat ride. You didn’t miss much.
Thanks. I just realized I hadn’t said that yet. I understand why they got rid of it, but we’re the kind of family who would take the long way sometimes just for the experience.