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Throwback Thursday: The Plaza Swan Boats

On May 20, 1973 Disney World visitors had a new attraction to visit, the Plaza Swan Boats. The Swan Boats operated seasonally and during peak seasons visitors could board one of the 11 (12 were fashioned by one was take out of passenger use) Swan Boats that took them on a 17-minute boat ride past the Swiss Family Treehouse and around the hub before disembarking. You can still see the docking station where you boarded your boat. It’s the dock that faces Tomorrowland when you are on the pathway that connects Tomorrowland to the hub.

Plaza Swan Boats

Once upon a time...the Swan Boats sailed the waters of the Magic Kingdom.

Originally a “D” ticket ride, the Swan Boats had their swan song in August of 1983. Many different reasons were formulated about what hastened the demise of the popular (and tranquil) attraction; including the theory that the ride was too popular and the queues became unmanageable. Given that by the end of it’s lifespan, the Swan Boat fleet had been reduced from 11 to 5 due to constant issues with the engine and guidance systems, the prohibitive maintenance costs of continuing to operate the Swan Boats is the most likely explanation.

I remember the Swan Boats fondly and often look down at the dock, hoping to see them once more. Alas, it has been many years since i have seen a Swan Boat in the waters around Cinderella’s Castle but if Disney has taught me anything, it’s that there is always room for a dream! Do you have a ride, show, or attraction that you miss from Disney World or Disneyland? Send us an e-mail here at Mickey by Mel or contact us over on Facebook, and we will do our best to bring back to life, if only for a minute, your favorite rides and attractions of long ago!


  1. I don’t remember them at all, but I wish they were there now!

    • I remember being a little kid riding them, I am with you, I wish they were there now. A nice peaceful boat ride around the hub – works for me. The dock is still there, who knows – maybe one day!

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