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Fantasmic! downtime allows rare evening cruises aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat

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When the Sailing Ship Columbia began its scheduled refurbishment earlier this year, it gave guests the rare opportunity to circle the Rivers of America well into the night aboard the classic Mark Twain Riverboat. Interested parties should certainly consider hitting up this classic attraction before the nighttime cruises come to an end once more.

The first big paddle-wheeler to be built in the United States since the early 20th century was of personal importance to Walt Disney. Financed by Disney himself when studio funds ran thin, Walt and his wife Lillian celebrated their thirtieth wedding anniversary aboard the ship days before the park's grand opening. The grand old vessel was a common sight on the Rivers of America during the day as well as night, even making appearances in the park's Dixieland at Disneyland events as a floating stage for the likes of Teddy Buckner and the Disneyland Stawhatters. Louis Armstrong often joined the festivities, playing a memorable set aboard the Twain as part of the Disneyland After Dark episode of Walt Disney's World of Color television show.

While the Fantasmic! refurbishment continues, guests will be able to ride the stately steamboat from 9AM to 9:45PM most days. The opportunity will likely expire sometime in mid February, when the Columbia returns and Fantasmic! resumes.

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