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Plaza Swan Boats

657 bytes added, 15:30, 2 September 2020
/* Attraction History */
The Plaza Swan Boats were an attraction on [[Main Street USA]] in the [[Magic Kingdom]]
==Attraction History==
Unlike many of the Magic Kingdom's attractions, the history of the Plaza Swan Boats is shrouded in mystery. While the Plaza Swan Boats would eventually open in in 1973 (supposedly), the attraction seems to have been originally intended as an opening day attraction <ref name="passport"> </ref>. Herb Ryman concept art from 1970, and the Paul Hartley map of the Magic Kingdom both feature references to the attraction<ref name="passport"/>. Although non-operational on Opening Day, the Plaza Swan Boat's original loading dock could be seen just outside of the [[Plaza Ice Cream Parlor]], and two large swan topiaries stood nearby<ref name="dated/>.
While Disney has always stated that the opening of the Plaza Swan Boats came in 1973, photographic evidence seems to indicate that the attraction actually ran in 1972, from its original dock<ref name="passport"/>. This version of the Plaza Swan Boats may have run on an underwater electrical guidance system, that was rumored to have been replaced with the jet guidance system that the 1973 version of the Swan Boats opened with<ref> </ref>. Based on photographs of the time, it also appears as if the Swan Boats originally traveled counter clockwise around the hub, which made the expedition around the [[Swiss Family Treehouse]] the attraction's climax<ref name="passport"/>. While the boats were clearly used for promotional photographs and testing at this time, it is unclear if guests rode the attraction.
Nevertheless, by on May 20, 1973, the Plaza Swan Boats were officially open<ref name="D23">,peak%20periods%20until%20August%201983. </ref>. At this time, Disney repurposed the original Swan Boat dock as seating for the extremely popular [[Plaza Ice Cream Parlor]]. In conjunction with this change, and a new dock was constructed for the attraction near the Tomorrowland bridge<ref name="passport"/>. While the reasons for moving the attraction are unclear, the new dock had a much longer queue, which combined with the new location, would help alleviate some of the crowd by the [[Plaza Ice Cream Parlor]] and the [[Plaza Restaurant]].
The Swan Boats ran seasonally until 19931983, when the attraction was permanently closed<ref name="D23"/>. At this time, many of the attraction's boats were sold off to private collectors<ref name="dated"/>. Following the closure of the attraction, the Swan Boat loading dock became the entrance to the Magic Kingdom's Rose Garden. During the 2014 refurbishment of the park's hub however, the structure was demolished and part of the canal was filled in<ref></ref>.