Mark Twain Riverboat Frontierland Disneyland
Enjoy a slow cruise around the Rivers of America aboard an authentic steam-powered paddlewheeler. The Mark Twain Riverboat is located in Frontierland just across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Come aboard the Mark Twain and pick a spot on any of the three levels of the riverboat. Your voyage on the Rivers of America around Tom Sawyer Island features a narration by your riverboat guide. You’ll hear the leadsman singing out the river depth…”Mark one, mark two, half twain…mark twain” – “mark twain” means “safe water.”
Your guide will point out landmarks along the way, like a mansion that’s said to be haunted, Splash Mountain, the canoes, and Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. There are several Native American sightings, including a chief on horseback, a shaman, a boy and his dog, and the inhabitants of a village.
Be on the lookout for wildlife like deer, elk, moose, raccoons, eagles, and mountain lions. There’s even an enterprising beaver hard at work below one of the train trestles.
This is a fairly quiet and peaceful ride – a good place to take a break and get away from the crowded walkways. The journey takes about 15 minutes, and the riverboat departs twice an hour. On busy days the Mark Twain shares the boat dock with the Sailing Ship Columbia, and one of the two departs every 15 minutes.
There are a few chairs on the bow of the riverboat on the lower deck and a couple of benches inside a salon on the third deck. This is the only seating on-board. Arrive and board early to get a chair.
The top deck gives you an excellent vantage point for photos of Tom Sawyer Island, New Orleans Square, the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain.
Wheelchair/ECV users go to the gate to the right of the turnstiles and wait for a cast member to direct in boarding.
You’ll see the Mark Twain filled with characters in one of the final scenes of Fantasmic!
Disney characters like Tiana, Naveen, and Louis from “The Princess and the Frog” are sometimes found cruising on the Mark Twain. Woody and Jessie from Toy Story make frequent appearances in Frontierland near the Mark Twain’s dock — check the Times Guide for times and location.
The appropriately named River Belle Terrace restaurant, serving southern specialties like ribs and barbecued chicken, is located nearby. Rancho del Zocalo, offering a selection of Mexican food, is also close by.
Nearby shops include:
Bonanza Outfitters – Western apparel for men, women, and children.
Pioneer Mercantile – Frontier-themed souvenirs such as Davy Crockett hats and Western style character merchandise.
Westward Ho Trading Company – Candy store with fudge, hard candies, boxes chocolates and cookies.
In 2016-2017, all Rivers of America attractions were closed while the river was re-routed in support of the construction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The Mark Twain re-opened on July 29, 2017 with a new narration to go along with some new scenes along the river.
The Mark Twain was christened by actress Irene Dunne (Magnolia Hawks in the 1936 movie “Showboat”) on Disneyland’s Opening Day.
Walt Disney and his wife celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary aboard the Mark Twain four days before Disneyland opened in 1955.
Thurl Ravenscroft (the voice of Tony the Tiger) provided the original voice of the riverboat guide.
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