Tom Sawyer Island

37 Days: Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer Island is our choice for #Day37 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown! Here is Harper’s Mill.

Do you like Tom Sawyer Island?  I know that, as thrill rides go, this one certainly isn’t an E-Ticket attraction…but if you are looking for a relaxing, change of pace alternative to your Commando Open to Close park adventure, then this is a fine place to relax for a bit and let your feet rejuvenate for what’s ahead!

For me, Tom Sawyer Island is not an every year attraction — in fact, it may be turning into an attraction that we have outgrown — but it is in attractions such as Tom Sawyer Island that I find the handiwork of the Walt Disney Imagineers at it’s best.  It’s easy to build backstory into a thrill ride — if the backstory isn’t quite there, it’s not as big a deal because you still have the thrill ride to make up for it.  But for an attraction like Tom Sawyer Island, the backstory is crucial to the success or failure of the attraction.  Succeed at it, and you’ve got a classic that has been around since day one…fail, and your attraction likely won’t be around long.

With Tom Sawyer Island, YOU are Tom Sawyer.  When you raft to the island, you are crossing the Mighty Mississippi.  When you are in Injun Joe’s Cave, you are looking for treasure.  When you explore Fort Langhorn, you get a feel for what it might have been like to be a frontiersman (or woman) always on the lookout for Injuns.

Tom Sawyer Island

This is the loading and unloading spot of Tom Sawyer Island. You can only get to the island by raft!

Tom Sawyer Island is, perhaps more than any other attraction, an island totally different from anything else.  It was always said that when you arrived at the Magic Kingdom, you left the world behind; you left Florida behind, and you entered a totally new world.  Well, with Tom Sawyer Island, I think it is safe to say that when you go to the island, you leave the Magic Kingdom behind, and you enter into an entirely new world altogether.  One last note — I read last night that Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland was the only attraction for the park that Walt Disney designed himself…so maybe that’s why I like it so much!

Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer Island has it’s own bridge connecting the two small islands together!

Do you like Tom Sawyer Island?  Or, do you skip on by and circle around the island on your way to the Haunted Mansion or Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?  If you skip this attraction, or if you haven’t done it in several years, then I urge you to take a new look at it, and let me know what you think.  Thanks for stopping by, now go out and make it a great Disney Day!

Relaxing the Disney Way: Tom Sawyer Island

Harper's Mill - Tom Sawyer Island

Harper’s Mill on Tom Sawyer Island takes you back to a bygone day and time!

Hello everyone!  It’s February 17th, 2014, and much of the country has been stuck in the deep throws of a brutally harsh winter.  So harsh, in fact, that it makes us all wonder what the spring and summer will be like.  My daughter’s school system has even lost 7 days of school — which is not many for some of you, but for Raleigh, NC, that’s a ton!

In any event, last night I thought of a post that might help us all out with the stresses that the weather can bring.  I thought, what better way to relax than by relaxing the Disney way!  To start us off, let’s take a stroll around Tom Sawyer Island, located in the middle of the Rivers of America in the Magic Kingdom.

Tom Sawyer Island has a lot to do!

Tom Sawyer Island has a lot to do!

Don't forget to check out the fort!  (They even have restrooms for the adults!)

Don’t forget to check out the fort! (They even have restrooms for the adults!)

There are a lot of things you and your kids can do on Tom Sawyer Island.  For starters, you can check out Harper’s Mill, which pays tribute to one of Disney’s earliest animated films, The Old Mill.  In addition to Harper’s Mill, check out some of these other great points of interest:

  • Injun Joe’s Cave — one of my favorite parts of the whole island — and on a hot day, a great way to cool off!
  • Fort Langhorn — as you can see, Fort Langhorn is located somewhat apart from the rest, so look at it last, I recommend!
  • Potter’s Mill
  • Tom Sawyer Scavage Fort

When it comes to Tom Sawyer Island, I think this is a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of a busy Disney Day, and just slow down and take the road less travelled.  Obviously, Tom Sawyer Island is a great stop for families with young kids, but even for those that have kids (or no kids) and have outgrown it, it can be a great place to bring a picnic lunch and just chill and watch the Liberty Belle pass by.

Here’s a few pictures from our days exploring the island.

The only way to get to the island is by way of raft from the "mainland".

The only way to get to the island is by way of raft from the “mainland”

This is the bridge that leads to Fort Langhorn.

This is the bridge that leads to Fort Langhorn.

This is my niece Stephanie enjoying the Barrel Bridge!

This is my niece Stephanie enjoying the Barrel Bridge!

What do you think about Tom Sawyer Island?  Is it a great way to relax at Disney?  Or do you just not bother about relaxing at Disney?  Let us know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia – Tom Sawyer Island!

Harper's Mill at Tom Sawyer Island

Harper’s Mill at Tom Sawyer Island

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!  Along with Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Jenn from Disney Babies Blog, and Heidi from Heidi’s Head, I’m Mike here to bring you a little tidbit of Disney Trivia to brighten your day!

Today’s trivia comes from the This Day in Disney History site.

 Tom Sawyer Island…

Did you know on this day in 1973, Tom Sawyer Island opened up at the Magic Kingdom?  That makes today the 40th anniversary of the great outdoor playground for kids!

A huge outdoor playground, Tom Sawyer Island (located in the middle of the Rivers of America) is inspired by the famous works of author Mark Twain. It features Injun Joe’s Cave, Magnetic Mystery Mine and old Fort Sam Clemens. The Tom Sawyer Rafts in Frontierland take guests to and from Tom Sawyer Island. The opening-day festivities include Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher portrayed by teenagers Steve Pierceall and Becky Bleigh. They were chosen during the annual Mark Twain observance in their hometown of Hannibal, Missouri (the boyhood home of Twain).

Thank you for joining in today as we explore Disney Trivia!  Please take a look at the rest of the entries below, and thanks for stopping by!