Monday, May 25, 2015

A Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World - Mike Fink Keel Boats

By Keith Mahne

Are you ready to take a seat on the Gullywhumper, the legendary keel boat of Mike Fink, King of the River? If you’re partial to Davy Crockett, you might prefer a seat on the Bertha Mae, the legendary keel boat of the King of the Wild Frontier. Either way, the Mike Fink Keel Boats are just a distant memory of WDW's past. Thanks to our Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World tour, we'll get to revisit the keel boats for one last ride! What do you say, ready to go? Remember, don't stand up or this keel boat might keel over and we'll all be keeled...

Part 7: Mike Fink Keel Boats

(If you haven't had a chance to listen to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of our musical journey of vintage Walt Disney World, please check them out before continuing. Also, be sure to pause the Disney Avenue Music Player in the top left-hand corner of this page if you are on a desktop computer.)

Here are Foxx's notes on the creation of Track 7 - Mike Fink Keel Boats:

7) Mike Fink Keel Boats
Since the Jungle Cruise ended up being represented in this track collection primarily by sound effects, I decided that the other great original Magic Kingdom spiel attraction, the Mike Fink Keelboats, should have a fuller representation of a spiel. The initial plan was to reconstruct the entire ride, but I was deterred from this goal by the excellent fan compilation “WDW40”, which did the same thing about as well as I expected I could.
Instead, I used the Keelboats to transition from Liberty Square to Frontierland, with a stronger emphasis on the Keelboat Dock’s atmosphere. The music here is a collection of six tracks running about 18 minutes associated with the Keelboat attraction and dated 1973 – the music is unidentified and its use in-park is unconfirmed. Still, the music is very evocative and probably comes to us through the same collector’s circuit as the other early music loops.
At one point, a bugle call can be heard. This effect emanates from the fort on Tom Sawyer Island and the actual sound effect I used here is inauthentic. The source cues WED used for the 1973 Tom Sawyer Island are unavailable, in this case I substituted an identical bugle call downloaded from the internet. The timing of the calls was important to me, and the authentic spacing and order heard in Version 2 of this collection is thanks to Andrew Bates, who recorded a live reference track on Tom Sawyer Island in October 2012 to help in this recreation.
D23's Michael Crawford, of Progress City USA, provided the on-board narration, based off a script I compiled from old park documents, home videos, and Keelboater recollections. The sound of the Keelboat engine is a pitch-corrected version of the Jungle Cruise engine noise I mixed, using a recording by Mike Lee as reference.
New to this revised track is a brief pass-by of the Diamond Horseshoe show in progress. This comes from a 1986 home video uploaded to YouTube by user "Seanb".
The bird chips heard in this track and the next are actual vintage in-park sound effects recorded by WED and played on Tom Sawyer Island and around the fort. They were released on the "Treasures of Fantasy" Tokyo Disneyland box set.
Ya'll didn't get wet now did ya?!? I swear, I close my eyes while listening and it honestly feels like I'm on a keel boat on the Rivers of America! I can't thank Foxx Nolte enough for this wonderful creation! Let's keep this momentum going; tomorrow we'll hear the sounds of Frontierland circa 1973. Although I cherish each of these tracks dearly, this next Frontierland loop we'll hear tomorrow is one of my favorites!

The Mike Fink Keel Boats track has been added to the Disney Avenue Music Player for you to listen to it whenever you'd like. See you right back here tomorrow where we'll continue our tour of vintage Walt Disney World for a walk through old Frontierland...

Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.

Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.

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