The Mike Fink Keel Boats opened October 1, 1971, with two boats: The Gullywhumper and the Bertha Mae. Guests boarded the attraction at a dock to the left of the Haunted Mansion entrance and sailed the Rivers of America along with the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes, the Riverboats and the rafts to Tom Sawyer Island.
Uniquely designed, each craft featured seating both inside and on top of the boat. They were based on the boats featured in a Davy Crockett TV series later turned movie. Unlike many boat themed attractions in Disney parks, the Mike Fink Keel Boats were free-floating (no track) that sailed around Tom Sawyer Island.
After an accident involving one of the boats at Disneyland, the Keel Boats at the Magic Kingdom began operating sporadically until they finally sailed their last voyage in 1997.
The old loading dock still exists today and the queue entrance was used as a Fast Pass distribution area for some time. In early 2011, while the Haunted Mansion queue was being refurbished, long waits at the Haunted Mansion resulted in queue lines being snaked down the path toward the loading dock along the Rivers of America.
As you sail the Rivers of America on the Liberty Belle, keep an eye out for an homage to old keelboats docked at Tom Sawyer Island.