Here is a new Disneyland Paris update and, folks, i'm sorry to say that this one is bringing you bad news from the park, and more precisely from Frontierland Rivers of the Far West attraction. Let me tell and show you what it's all about.
Recently the Molly Brown went again in refurbishment and the other riverboat - the Mark Twain was removed from the hangar where it was staying. We now can discover the appalling state in which the riverboat currently is and you won't believe how bad is the condition in which the Mark Twain currently is. In fact in such bad condition that if Disneyland Paris don't start a complete renovation anytime soon it might be too late to save it. As they say a picture is better than thousand words, so have a look at the pics below and i warn you that it's really depressing to see this magnificent riverboat in such terrible condition.
But that's not all because at the other end of the Rivers of the Far West another major problem awaits visitors when the Molly brown - when it is sailing - arrive at the geysers. As we know, the geysers don't work since many years - which in itself is extremely regrettable - but now the state of the outside of them is appalling. Not only the original paint of the geysers has almost disappeared everywhere but now it's the concrete part beneath the paint which is attacked and it is hard to believe that a Disney park could leave a major element of an attraction in such terrible state (something that would NEVER happen in American parks and even less at Tokyo Disneyland ).
If you don't remember how the geysers looked at opening day, here is a picture showing how they looked and how they SHOULD look now if DLP was doing the necessary refurbishment they haven't done since years.
Finally, just a few meters from the geysers, the stone arch that guests can see before arriving to Big Thunder Mountain Island when they are sailing on the river boats is also in terrible condition and didn't had any refurbishment since a looong time, including when Big Thunder Mountain was in renovation. As you'll see the arch is unbelievably dirty.
Here is how the arch looked at opening day to show you the difference.
Since months, if not years, the park is supposed to renovate the geysers and have them working again, and same for the Mark Twain, but nothing is coming and if nothing is done anytime soon - translate: if DLP don't decide to finally put the necessary budget to do it - there is a real risk that one day they'll finally announce that both were in too bad condition to be renovated and just had to be destroyed. And believe me, they can do it. This reminds me when 12 years ago i saw backstage an old plane - i think it was a DC3 , the legendary plane from the 1930's - which was supposed to be used for the Indiana Jones temple theming when they built it and the plane was finally not used. They left it in open air backstage for years and years and one day as i was not seeing the plane anymore i asked what happened. And the answer i had was: "well, it stayed outside during ten years and then the plane was in such bad condition that it was thrown away! ". I couldn't believe it...
The other reason why it's urgent that DLP do something is because, if the geysers disappear, there won't be a lot to see anymore when DLP guests will sail on the Rivers of the Far-West. Even with the geysers there is much less elements to look at than at DL, WDW or TDL Frontierlands where you have all along the river Indian camps, many AA animals, the famous burning house, etc... By the way, you may not be aware about it but the WDI Imagineers who created Frontierland had actually designed a real - and spectacular - "show" for the geysers, and i mean a real show, much better than what we saw when the geysers were working. And Wilderness Island - the island that is on the left when the boats are heading to the geysers - was supposed to welcome an Indian camp as well as river animals ( such as beavers, etc ...) all audio-animatronics, of course. To save money on the initial budget at park opening this was postponed to a later date, but nothing prevents to finally do an update of Wilderness Island, which would provide to the attraction many additional visual elements sorely lacking , especially when compared to its counterpart in the U.S and Japan Disney parks.
Also, to tell you how the "Rivers of the Far West" have become the shadow of what they were when the park opened in 1992 i remind you that at park opening day the Indians Canoes, the River Rogue Keelboats and BOTH riverboats - Mark Twain and the Molly Brown - were sailing on the Rivers of the Far West bringing life and "kinetic" elements to Frontierland. A few years later, the Indian Canoes were removed, then it was the turn of the River Rogue Keelboats and then the Molly Brown went under renovation and once restored the Mark Twain was withdrawn from circulation. Right now there is NO boat at all sailing on the Rivers of the Far West...
In the current situation, there is two options for the park: the first is to continue to leave things as they are and to let the Mark Twain and the geysers to rot, and the second is to finally put the necessary budget to bring back to the Rivers of the Far West their original splendor.
Tom Wolber, as you've seen in my previous update, is now the new DLP CEO and although we can't blame him for the situation - he just arrived last week - i think we need to catch his attention on how serious the problem is before it is too late. So i hope that the DLP team looking at the articles posted on the net will forward to him this one and that we will have good news from Tom anytime soon, which i will let you know.
Pictures: copyright Disney and more, Altitude, Disney