Seven Wonderful Things to Do at Frontierland
Howdy, fellow travelers to the Wild West!
Here at Frontierland, you can engage in some of the rootinest, tootinest, cowboy shootinest games at Magic Kingdom!
Here are seven things to do at Frontierland the next time you’re in town!
Listen to the Singing Bears
Here’s something you may not have known about Walt Disney.
The man may not have lived long enough to walk through Walt Disney World, but his fingerprints are all over several attractions.
In fact, a new opening day show at Magic Kingdom comes from Uncle Walt!
During the 1960s, Disney explored the possibility of constructing a ski resort in Mineral King, California.
The planned vacation spot needed entertainment to keep children bugging their parents to visit.
Disney planned an earlier version of Country Bear Jamboree for this project.
When the plan fell apart, this odd hootenanny turned into a staple at Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland.
Guests have laughed at the hilarious country music lyrics for nearly 50 years now, and you’ll still love the show today!
Live Like Tom Sawyer
Perhaps no place at Magic Kingdom exemplifies theming better than Tom Sawyer Island.
At Frontierland, you’re always just a log raft ride away from entering a Mark Twain novel.
Disney bills the experience as a self-guided tour, encouraging children to follow the easily readable maps to uncover Easter eggs.
Mostly, people at Tom Sawyer Island want to roam and have a bit of fun pretending like they’re exploring a frontier fort.
Personally, I like the rope bridges as much as Fort Langhorn.
Play at an Old Arcade
The Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade at Frontierland hasn’t reopened during the pandemic.
The arcade games here fall under the heading of high-touch and are too difficult to clean after each use.
As such, we’re all counting down the days until they return, as nothing hearkens back to Disney theme park history like these games.
During the earliest days of Disneyland, Davy Crockett’s popularity soared to levels best described as Frozen multiplied by Moana.
Disney couldn’t give park guests enough to do, as they had voracious appetites for all things frontier-related.
So, Disney opened a shooting gallery. Then, when Magic Kingdom debuted, it got one, too.
The experience may sound woefully outdated, but Disney has modernized it. In fact, it feels like a Haunted Mansion game as much as Davy Crockett-related.
You enter an Old West cemetery full of tombstones and other desert sights. Then, you take aim at targets, receiving animatronics when you shoot straight.
Take a look and see what you’ve been missing if you’ve never played here:
Pretend Like You’re at the Saloon
Sometimes, you’ll want a delicious meal at Magic Kingdom, not one that involves hamburger meat or French fries.
At Frontierland, you can chew your way through a “Saloon Feast” and maybe hear some music.
The Diamond Horseshoe serves rustic Old West cuisine, the kind that you’d find on a grill.
Corn, brisket, sausage, and even S’mores (of a kind) are available here.
Over the years, Disney has flipped The Diamond Horseshoe from Table Service to Quick Service and then back again.
The place hasn’t reopened during the pandemic, but it’ll return soon enough. On that day, you should rush to the campfire to relish the hearty cuisine!
Ride a Train
This suggestion also falls under the umbrella of not currently available. And it’s not because of the pandemic!
Disney temporarily closed Walt Disney World Railroad to construct the roller coaster tracks for Tron Lightcycle Power Run.
So, the Walt Disney World Railroad has remained at the station for the past two years.
However, those tracks have finished now, and most of the Tron exterior work is cosmetic in nature.
As such, the railroad could return soon. When the Walt Disney World Railroad reopens, it will once again provide tremendous utility.
Visitors can head straight from Magic Kingdom’s entrance to Frontierland via this train. It’ll also work as the last thing to do as you leave the area.
The entrance to the station rests between the two rides in Frontierland, making the train ideally located!
Ride an Even Crazier Train
The thing about the Walt Disney World Railroad is that it’s a calm and relaxing journey around Magic Kingdom.
Sometimes, you want something a bit more adventurous. You want to experience all the dangers of the Gold Rush!
One of the worst ones was malfunctioning vehicles, as many mine cart tracks at the time weren’t known for their reliability.
You boarded a cart and hoped that you reached the bottom of the shaft in one piece.
Disney has recreated that sensation on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the ricketiest ride at Walt Disney World.
You’ll literally hear the “click-click-click” as your mine cart ascends the tracks before perilously plummeting down at breakneck speeds.
The theming here involves an abandoned mine shaft and the gold it hides within.
However, there’s still an old coot taking a bath in a tin tub during the ride. I have no idea what that’s about. Did he forget to leave town?
Anyway, you’ll relish this opportunity to soar high into the sky at one of Magic Kingdom’s mountains before you the bottom falls out.
Space Mountain receives all the hype, but Frontierland hosts the best time-traveling roller coaster at Magic Kingdom!
I’ve saved the best for last, and I say that as a massive fan of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Frontierland operates an even better attraction, one that will receive a re-theme soon.
As such, you should take full advantage of Splash Mountain while you can!
One day soon, Disney will understandably sever all connections to Song of the South.
At that point, the toe-tapping music soundtrack goes, too. For all the regrettable aspects of the movie, some of the songs are classics.
I’m firmly in favor of the re-theming, especially since I love The Princess and the Frog.
However, I’ll miss How Do You Do and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, two songs that are joyously fun to sing along with.
Also, the audio-animatronics rival anything in theme park history.
So, Splash Mountain is an attraction I’ll miss, warts and all. Ride it now before it’s too late!
Feature Image Rights: Orange County Register/SCNG