Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing


Board the elegant steamboats "Mark Twain" and "Molly Brown" embarking on a gentle cruise around the Rivers of the Far West from the Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing. Slowly meandering their way around Big Thunder Mountain the two steam powered paddle wheel boats offer guests a relaxing trip with scenic views across Frontierland and beyond.

Guests can board one of the two beautiful paddle steamers from the riverboat landing on teh shores opposite the Silver Spur Steakhouse just a short distance from the gates of the once stately grounds of Phantom Manor. Once all guests are aboard the "Mark Twain" or its sister ship the "Molly Brown" the steamer embarks on its 15 minute journey. During it guests get the opportunity to examine Big Thunder Mountain a little more closely and at a more leisurely speed than aboard the mine trains. With its carved faces and weathered features it looks as though it could have stood here since time began. On the other side of the steamers guests can look out over Thunder Mesa and its buildings, from Fort Comstock all the way to the Cottonwood Creek Ranch.

Behind Big Thunder Mountain the small Wilderness Island comes into sight with a small stream meandering between the trees in which the birds shirp undisturbed by any humans. Further down the stream, past the Smuggler's Cove guests may catch a glimpse of Joe fishing in front of his hut with his dog on his side barking at the passing steamers. Next up is Settler's Landing - a dock where new supplies await daring settlers. However, the wild west they are encountering is not always the lush green landscapes with its plentyful wildlife as can be spotted along the shores - there are also the barren sand and rock desserts, in which many trecks of aspiring settlers lost all their posessions if not even their lives. Tragedies of which only the barren skeletons of their carts are silent reminders nowadays - signs of untold stories worth looking out for, when the steamers take guests past the outskirts of such landscape shortly before the majestic "Rainbow Arch", a rock arch spanning a side arm of the Rivers of the Far West, comes into sight, from the side of which a coyote is howling at the steamers.

Before the cruise takes guests back from the serenity of the wild west's open landscapes into the bustle of Thunder Mesa the steamers pass by the Geyser Plateau inspired by the landscapes of Yellowstone National Park. From these rock formations and steaming crevices water spouts skywards at regular intervals. Sharp eyed guests may even spot the skeletal remains of a prehistoric dinosaur within the rugged rocks. The final sight before the steamers return to the riverboat landing are the boot hill and the decript grounds of Phantom Manor. As if nature was trying to free the ghosts trapped in the manor the waters of the Rivers of the Far West are slowly but surely eating away at the hill here and even unearthed the first graves already...

The paddle steamers offer a relaxing journey in an elegant surrounding - a great way to escape the more hectic pace of the surrounding lands and the crowds for a few minutes and instead enjoy the serene, lush landscapes and discover new sides of Frontierland from the decks or one of the luxurious salons. Especially at sunset when hundreds of lights illuminate the steamers festively the cruise offers one of the most romantic moments at Disneyland Parc. On the other hand a cruise on a foggy day in October, when the rocks of Big Thunder Mountain only become visible in the last second, has a unique otherwordly, ghostly atmosphere...


Young guests may ask cast members to visit the captain in his steering cabin and - with a bit of luck - can steer the steamer for a segment of the cruise themselves to receive their official captain's patent.

Riverboat Landing offers two covered waiting areas, with very limited seating. Each waiting area holds the amounts of guests that can board one steamer. But depending on the season and time of day only one of the two steamers may be in operation.


  • Ride Time: approximately 15 minutes
  • Capacity per steamer: approximately 400 guests
  • First sailing of the "Mark Twain": 1992
  • First sailing of the "Molly Brown": 1992 (major rebuilding in 2005/6, return to service in 2007)
  • Waitingtime: Waitingtime: 2 of 5


Both paddle steamers where specifically constructed for the Disneyland Parc. They represent the two traditional types of streamers that plied the Mississippui respectively the Sacramento at the time of the Gold Rush: the stern-wheeler (the "Mark Twain") and the side-wheeler (The "Molly Brown"). Both are steam operated and guests can get a look at the machinery powering the steamers on the boarding level. While all Magic Kingdoms around the globe with the exception of Hong Kong Disneyland do include a steam boat ride, the "Molly Brown" is the only side-wheeler in any of these parks.

The "Mark Twain" - obviouse - name patron is the famous American novelist Samuel Clemens better known under his pseudonym Mark Twain. Clemens, born in 1835 and raised in a small town along the Mississippi became probably the most famous American author of the 19th century in particular due to his books "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Clemens also made himself a name as humorist and popular lecturer and travel all over the world. Twain, who is still one of the most beloved novelists for young and young-at-heart readers, died in 1910.

The "Molly Brown", on the other hand, was named for Margeret Brown, whose claim to fame were her heroic actions during the sinking of the Titanic (1912) . Margeret Brown, born in 1867, secured herself a place in history when she helped to command a lifeboat and nursed the survivors of the "Titanic" aboard the "Carpathia". (However it has to be mentioned that she was one of the most active people to create a myth about her own...). She was married to a silver-mine manager in 1886 but after his death and with her "Titanic"-fame fading died in 1932 in genteel poverty in a New York City hotel. And just like the real Margeret Brown the steamer "Molly Brown" had its share of unlukcy encounters. While the steamer did not sink like the Titanic on May 16, 2006 a fire in the engine section forced an evacuation of the steamer (with the help of the River Rogue Keelboats) and put the "Molly Brown" out of service till 2007, when it returned fully refurbished.


Neither of the steamers is offering toilets or other hygenic facilities. Also seating is very limited.

Guests in wheelchairs must be able to transfer out of their wheelchair in the case of a transfer to another boat during an evacuation. Also guests in wheelchairs are limited to the boarding level of the steamers as the upper decks can only be accessed via rather small and steep stairs. votings

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