"The Mark Twain"
Have you ever noticed who is driving the Mark Twain? If you look up at the wheel house on top of the Mark Twain you will probably see a park guest driving. If you ask the Cast Member on the dock nicely before you board the Mark Twain if you can go up to the wheel house, sometimes the Cast Member will be nice and tell you to go on up there as soon as you get on the Mark Twain.
Once you get on the steamboat just go up to the second floor and knock on the door that says private.
The captain will open the door and escort you up a ladder to the wheel house where you will get to drive the Mark Twain.
Up there is a guest book which you will be asked to sign. Look through it and you will probably find some celebrities.
The captain will tell you to ring the bell and to blow the horn at certain moments during your trip. At the end of your ride the captain will fill out a certificate stating that you are trained to pilot the Mark Twain.
Interested? Take a look at the Webmaster's piloting trip!
"But I am turning left. So why is the boat going right?"
The Webmaster with a friend's son
Photo on the desk in the wheelhouse
Walt Disney with Admiral Joe Fowler.
"Do you think this is such a good idea?"
"Watch out for those rocks!"
"Watch your passengers view something that few get to see."
"A Hidden Mickey in the water."
"Hey, get those canoes out of the way!"
When I steered her the coastline loomed near until the Captain fainted in fright, but I recovered quite nicely, and he told me to next time bring up a couple of "young 'uns", presumably to feed to the 'gators. Besides they steer better, not being able to see out.
Do not go up and knock on the wheelhouse door, though. Tell the person at the boarding station that you want to go up there, and he (or she) will signal the Captain, who will be waiting for you. You'll ring the bell, toot the whistle and have a great time. Do not, though, overrun the Columbia like I almost did! You'll get a certificate good for one year of piloting on the Rivers of America.
Here's a pic of me before my run-in with the natives along the river bank.
"Photos by Ed."