When Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom first opened, the high cost of building its infrastructure forced Roy Disney to scale down its original attraction lineup. (Of course, the project’s initial attraction lineup had already been reduced from what Walt Disney had originally planned.) This didn’t cause much of a problem at first, because the park was sparsely attended in its early days. Unlike DISNEYLAND, which was bursting at the seams from day one, Florida’s Magic Kingdom theme Park was a relative ghost town for several months. Luckily for Roy Disney the crowds eventually arrived, though a new problem arose. The attraction cutbacks meant that the park had a severe capacity problem.
Several emergency projects were started, including two attractions that were cutback from their DISNEYLAND versions- Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain. Other quickie attractions were put into place, like the Swan Boats.
With a ship bow patterned after a Swan, the boats provided a leisurely tour of the lagoons surrounding the park’s Cinderella Castle. While the attraction was hampered by a lack of scenic views and the rushed nature of construction (the lagoons were not designed for a boat attraction) it did the trick in giving people something else to do in a park that was starved for things to do.