A Few Riverboat Sightings
There has been numerous rounds of riverboat relocation, rebranding, repainting and repurposing over the years since the attraction closed. In this post, I’ll cover a few of the sightings I’ve had of the riverboats long after the attractions was retired.
July 2003 – Safari Village Dock / Upcountry Landing
In July 2003, the Hasty Hippo (at Safari Village dock) and Darting Dragonfly (at Upcountry Landing) were spotted. The boats were tied up to the docs, empty with no activity seen. Oddly enough, the tires from the sides of the boat had been removed and would later re-appear in the shots from 2004.
August 2003 – Seven Seas Lagoon
The following pictures were taken in 2003 from the Magic Kingdom boat dock looking out over the Seven Seas Lagoon. Unfortunately, I did not get any shots of the rear of the boat and was unable to see it’s name. The sign from the side had been removed. I had heard that one or two boats were transported over for transportation and special events and/or fireworks parties.
August 2003 – Safari Village Dock
Seen just the day before the shots above from outside the Magic Kingdom, the following boat was docked at the Safari Village dock. The paint scheme matches the shots from the Darting Dragonfly seen in the October 2004 pictures further below as well as the July 2003 pictures. I’m unsure what it was used for at this stage…. possibly a fun way to bring in the characters now roaming freely at the Safari Village — I mean Discovery Island — dock.
July 2004 – Seven Seas Lagoon
Back at the Seven Seas Lagoon, a boat with the name “Magic Kingdom II” was seen. The paint scheme was different than the one seen here in 2003.
October 2004 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lake
In 2004, the Darting Dragonfly was seen jamming out in the lake. Chip and Dale were waiving at the guests along the shore while a live band was playing from the boat. The boat had been updated with additional decorations along the roof line and railings. The tires hanging from the sides to protect the boat missing in 2003 were back again.
2017 WDW Transportation Collector Card
The following card was picked up in January 2017. If you were not aware, most transportation drivers at Disney World have Transportation Collector Cards. If you ask, there is a chance the driver may be able to give you one. This card (numbers 12 of 27) features the Discover Riverboat as it has been renamed the Magic Kingdom I and Magic Kingdom II, matching the pictures above from 2003 and 2004. There are a few facts on the back, including a nod to it’s roots as an “African River” style boat. Next time you have a chance, be sure to ask and see which card(s) you are able to collect.
September 2018 – Seven Seas Lagoon – Calm Seas
Another riverboat sighting in the Seven Seas Lagoon was spotted in 2018. This time the riverboat was painted blue and white with the same Calm Seas.
July 2020 – Seven Seas Lagoon – Fair Winds
Once more, a riverboat was spotted with a another name and paint scheme. The Fair Winds had limited seating available in July 2020 due to COVID-19 precautions. Many benches had a sign labeled “For Your Safety, Not Available”