For months, the rafts that ferry Disneyland guests across the waterway to Tom Sawyer Island have been idle. No children have explored the island's caves, scaled its climbing rocks or run across its bridges.
But the island won't be lonely much longer. Park employees will refill the Rivers of America, drained in January for maintenance, this week. The draining took almost a week, at the end of which this question was answered: What do you find at the bottom of an amusement park basin after seven years?
The answer: a computer tower, hundreds of cellphones, countless pacifiers and half a canoe, said Disneyland Resort spokesman John McClintock.
While it was empty, employees repainted, replaced and cleaned park features along the shore, basin and island. In the past, the drained water went into the ocean. To minimize the environmental impact this time, the park collaborated with the Orange County Water District and drained the water through a valve, purified it and added it to the county's reserve.
"You bank the water and get the water back," said Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Betsy Sanchez.
That's about 6 million gallons of water saved, park officials figured. The island and the waterway, which used to be stocked with fish, are as old as Disneyland itself. The park opened in 1955, and photos show