Disney California Adventure

S.S. rustworthy

February 2001

This ship-themed kids' play area was constructed from the hulk of an actual fire-fighting boat, decommissioned after it was nearly split in two when rammed by a rowboat two days after launch. Declared unseaworthy, the boat was transported to California Adventure and left largely unchanged for kids to climb on (after a mandatory tetanus shot).

The play area has a number of interactive attractions, many of them water themed. For example, kids can hide behind firefighter-shaped standees with their faces stuck through cutouts and squirt each other with high-pressure fire hoses, just like real firefighters do during slow periods or after a heavy drinking. On-ship water nozzles can be aimed with a pair of brass wheels and then triggered via buttons on the floor, soaking friends or knocking over passing old ladies.

Inside the ship's bridge are a large number of buttons, bells, whistles, and switches for kids to abuse. There's also a "radar" screen in which the usual lines and blips have been replaced with a sort of what-was-I-smoking-style representation of the area around the ship, and -- for careful observers -- one of the park's many hidden references to Satan (see the Hidden Mickeys page for a photo).

Trivia: Every once in a while, the S.S. rustworthy's smokestack lets out a series of bizarre noises and then explodes with a gush of water. It's not supposed to do that. Tell maintenance.

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