Fun Facts About Tom Sawyer’s Island
Children can choose their own adventure at Tom Sawyer’s Island, located in Frontierland. Inspired by the literary work of author Mark Twain, the rustic hideaway is one giant playground for kids, with hills to climb, secret caves to explore and an old fort to play in. Here are some fun facts you may not have known about Tom Sawyer’s Island.
Designed by Walt Disney
Originally opened in 1956 at the Disneyland Resort, Tom Sawyer’s Island is the attraction has the distinction of being the only one designed by Walt Disney. He had such a strong interest in the novel and he wanted to do it right. As the story goes, Walt was not content with the island’s original design. Just days before the construction of the attraction was about to commence, he reimagined the overall landscape of the island and created the secret coves and inlets. These last minute additions are now what make Tom Sawyer’s Island truly special.
The Liberty Square Riverboat
For me, the Liberty Square Riverboat and Tom Sawyer’s Island go hand in hand. Board the Colonial-American-inspired, 3-tiered riverboat and take a relaxing journey along the Rivers of America around the entire island. Experience this island hideaway from a whole new perspective as you listen to narration by Mark Twain himself. It’s a unique sight you don’t want to miss when you visit the island.
The Three Rafts
This island hideaway is only accessible by rafts. There are three motor powered rafts that transport guests to the island. Each raft is named after a characters from Mark Twain’s literary work; Tom Sawyer, Injun Joe, and Becky Thatcher. And apparently, out of the three, the Tom Sawyer Raft is the slowest.
There’s a red barn a giant waterwheel on the outside one of the most notable sites at Tom Sawyer’s Island. Harper’s Mill pays tribute to one of Disney’s earliest animated films, The Old Mill. In 1937,The cartoon short depicts animals finding shelter from a storm in an abandoned windmill. Inside the mill, you will find an owl perched on the rafters and a blue bird nesting in a wooden gear. Both creatures are references to the classic film, so keep an eye out for them.
Mapping the Way
When Tom Sawyer’s Island first opened, guests received maps to help navigate around the island. Individual paper maps are no longer provided. Don’t worry, today, there are maps and signs posted throughout the island. Some of the signs were even written by Tom Sawyer himself, although his spelling wasn’t that great.
Fort Name Change?
On the island, there is a Fort Langhorn that recreates an early frontier settlement with a blacksmith shop, watch tower and a secret escape tunnel. Originally, it was called Fort Sam Clemens. Samuel Clemens wrote under the pen name Mark Twain and is the author of the Tom Sawyer tales. The name changed to Langhorn around the same time Disney’s “Tom and Huck” movie was released. Langhorne is actually the middle name of Samuel Clemens.
Well, there you go. Those were some fun facts about Tom Sawyer’s Island. If you’re interested in exploring Frontierland for yourself, then consider booking a vacation with MickeyTravels.
My name is Victoria Prisco and I’m a writer from New York. Ever since I was little, I have been completely enchanted by the magic of Disney. And I’m still looking for that rabbit hole to Wonderland.