Cruising the Rivers of America

Theme Parkeology: Cruising the Rivers of America

Let’s take a few moments and spend some time dissecting an amazing postcard from the first few years of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.


The majestic Admiral Joe Fowler, an authentic steam-powered sternwheeler, sets sail from Liberty Square on a scenic cruise of the frontier “Rivers of America.”
This is an amazing shot of the Admiral Joe Fowler on the Rivers of America with the Haunted Mansion in the background. Notice that the canopy has not been installed at the Haunted Mansion to protect the guests from the Florida sun. It affords a much nicer view of the mausoleum entrance and the front of the mansion. This dates the postcard from the first year, since the canopy was installed in 1972. The first canopy was green and would be replaced with the red one we see today.
You can even glimpse one of the buoyant or river markers to the left of the Admiral Joe Fowler.
In the following image, it’s easier to see the design choice that was made to seem as if you were entering a family crypt. One that sat off to the side of the Mansion.
 Any good theme parkeologist will be sure to check out the other details in the postcard. The following is a good shot of the planters by the river and what flowers were planted originally.
As the card continues, you can see the fence and the netting on the fence. This is all important, right? The netting on the fence gives the area more of a New England feel.
You can learn a lot more about this postcard and the Admiral Joe Fowler by visiting Brian Martsolf’s Walt Disney World in Postcards site.

What’s your favorite detail from the Rivers of America postcard at the Magic Kingdom?

2 thoughts on “Cruising the Rivers of America

  1. You forgot the best part of this particular postcard, which is the beacon out in the river where Aunt Polly’s would be built a few years later. This is one of those “missing” beacons I was talking about on Passport a few months ago. =)

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