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  #1  
Old August 8th, 2010, 11:22 PM
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Default Burro Ride Question

In every post I've read about the Burro Ride, both here and throughout the internet, people bash the attraction without giving any specifics on why it was so bad. Any insights as to why the Burro Ride was bad?

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Old August 8th, 2010, 11:51 PM
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The "ride" was essentially BORING. There was no spiel, no animations, no special landscaping, no music. It was just a path that wound through what was essentially an east Texas woods. It was HOT. It was situated in a low lying area, where the flumes were later built, and there was seldom any breeze. I don't much about equines, but I expect it wasn't great for the animals, to have to carry passengers all day. You can also factor in the possibility of danger, if one of the burros were to lose control and throw and step on one of the guests.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 12:40 AM
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For the record, the Conquistador, who led the train, rode a mule. Everybody else rode burros.

The Conquistador costume was probably the most elaborate one ever for a regular host. It was the only real "theming" the ride had. There were no hostesses. It was very similar to the ones worn later at Casa Magnetica- a leotard, pantaloons, boots that extended above the knees, long-sleeved bodice, and helmet- but it also included a metal breast plate, which the hosts were not required to wear most of the time, because of the discomfort.

Last edited by Capstan; August 9th, 2010 at 12:49 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capstan View Post
It was HOT. It was situated in a low lying area, where the flumes were later built, and there was seldom any breeze.
Looking at the Conquistador costumes, I don't see how the guides survived the heat.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleusk View Post
Looking at the Conquistador costumes, I don't see how the guides survived the heat.
It must have been the lure of gold that kept them going, that fat paycheck at the end of the week! My brother worked there, but didn't really like the job much. In '62, when they added Casa Magnetica, he was one of its first spielers, but he left before long to join the Navy.

The burros were really cute, but they walked awfully slow. I expect most people who rode it, like me, didn't know anything at all about riding. For me, the whole experience felt awkward. The burros were tethered together in a line, so there was no steering to be done. Some dumb kids would try to whip the burros or spur them; the burros reacted by just frowning. In the meantime, you could hear the train whistle blowing somewhere in the distance and hear music from Mexico, so you knew there were more fun things to be doing than sitting in a creaking saddle, watching the trees go slowly by. I imagine taking care of the burros was a lot of work too.

According to my memory, all through the '60s, Spain was the only section of the park that didn't have its own area or "land." What I mean is, the queue line for the Burro Ride was entered directly from the Texas Section, and the exit brought you back out into Texas. There was nothing else, not even a patio. It was the same way later with the tilted house and the Flume Ride: just in and out. There was no common area that was "Spain," no shops or benches or anything. France at least had that small area inside Ft. St. Louis, which, after Spain, made it the smallest area of the park, not counting, of course, the actual attractions.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
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According to my memory, all through the '60s, Spain was the only section of the park that didn't have its own area or "land." What I mean is, the queue line for the Burro Ride was entered directly from the Texas Section, and the exit brought you back out into Texas. hing else, not even a patio.

Was the Spanish mission just something you walked through to get to the queue house? The entrance to the ride?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 10:13 PM
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Yes, it was basically a single arch, not an actual building, but more an architectural feature, almost like the ruin of a mission. It was just a single wall- and not a complete one- as I recall. On one side of the wall was the Texas Section, on the other was the Burro queue line.

Last edited by Capstan; August 9th, 2010 at 10:31 PM.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 10:57 PM
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Thank you so much for removing the mystery (at least to me) behind this attraction.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 11:31 PM
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My pleasure. I wish my memories were clearer, but i don't want to steer you wrong. For example, I'm tempted to say the Burro queue line was uncovered, but I'm not 100% sure about this. I do remember it was a thickly wooded area, with a lot of natural shading, and the whole attraction sloped downward toward the left (south and west) from the stone wall, because it was near the bank of the Creek. When Casa was built, it was just inside the walled entrance, on the uphill (east) side of the Burros, and basically level with the stone wall, which was "street-level" of Texas. The burros went downhill a long way, before turning to make the climb back up. El Aserradero, of course, defied the landscape, and was put up on stilts.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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Mule and burro rides were not uncommon during the time.

Disneyland had a mule ride: http://davelandweb.com/nw/packmules.html

Freedomland had mules: http://www.benros.com/images/Freedom...reedomland.htm
(you have to scroll about half way down the page to see them or search for "Mule Pack Ride")


Here is the burro position compared to the flume:
mule_map[1].jpg el_map[1].jpg

And the Conquistador:
pix003.jpg

(Click on images for slightly larger views)

I have one conquistador picture that looks a lot like Jack Demont.

Procol Harum was so upset that the ride was removed from the park, that they dedicated a song to it.
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