Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Disneyland 1987 - Whoa, Nellie! - Jungle Cruising Past The Big Elephant

When your Jungle Cruise boat trips the animation of the Big Elephant---the one located just after the Sacred Bathing Pool of the Elephants---he WILL come up and he WILL discharge a non-stop jet of water from out of his trunk.

If your skipper fails to throttle back your boat into reverse to stop its forward movement..., and anyone in on board who might be in the path of the Big Elephant's stream of water, WILL be squirted and drenched.

Sometimes a drenching of guests occurs accidentally, as when a new skipper forgets to slow his boat in time and the physical law relating to "momentum" refuses to be violated.

In such a case, the befuddled and slightly horrified skipper (who is almost universally doomed to share the fate of several of his soon-to-be-soaked guests/crew members) will frantically slam his boat's throttle into reverse.

This has the unfortunate effect of stopping the vessel dead in the bullseye of the elephant's watery trunk---utterly and hopelessly drenching the guest(s) seated roughly amidships.
Yikes.Let's just say that when such a skipper drippingly pulls back into the dock with a row of drenched guests, it makes for no small amount of unbridled ribbing by the skipper's fellow cast members for the entire remaining balance of his or her shift. The skipper's customer satisfaction index (CSI) rating is also known to take a dip under such circumstances.

Such is life.

I am going to say that this never happened to me.

This, of course, isn't true, but I'm going to say it nonetheless.

And, as for those folks who were sitting on the elephant's side of my boat on or about June 1, 1987...

I do apologize.

However, I warned you the Jungle wasn't safe after we left the dock...
...and NONE of you elected to get off my boat.



jogjacartoonvisit said...

Nice place...

Okie said...

That's awesome. In watching the skippers with the boats, I knew they had some control over the progress of the ride, but for some reason, I thought contingencies like this were handled through some larger "track" system. It's very interesting and funny that such a thing can happen. It's never happened to me, but now I'll know to pay extra special attention...and maybe try to distract the skipper at an opportune moment. ;)

Anonymous said...

Yep. And you could also fool a rookie if his boat was behind yours by timing the trigger just right where the "squirter" would bypass your boat and drench his! :)

Namowal said...

I never got hosed by the big elephant. All these years I'd thought the thing was automated to stop when the boat got too close. I didn't know it took special maneuvers to stop him!
Talk about a false sense of security! :)

Namowal said...

Whoops, the above should have gone with the elephant post.

Anonymous said...

There is also another way that boats got soaked by the squirting elephant, and it was in no way the fault of the skipper (well, not the skipper in the boat).

If your fellow skippers were knowledgable, and feeling bored on a shift, they might have snuck back into the jungle on a break, and got into the rockwork behind the squirting elephant.

Once there, it was possible to see through the rockwork, and see when the boats were coming. Then, all one needed was a short piece of wire.

A boat would come by, the elephant would squirt, and then when the elephant comes up for the second time, the pranksters behind the rockwork would short the leads on the pump, and the elephant woould squirt a SECOND TIME, drenching the skipper. If the pranksters were feeling more daring, they would drench the whole boat, and the unknowing skipper would get yelled at upon his return for not stopping at the squirter, because "it can't possibly squirt twice."

Anonymous said...

My sig was omitted from the squirting prank story.

Although it is anonymous, it is also submitted by Skipper Steve.