Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Magic Kingdom Attractions: Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer Island is located in Frontierland in the middle of the Rivers of America. It opened in Magic Kingdom in 1973.  You travel to the island on a log raft.  Once on the island, you'll find lots of trails and paths to follow leading you to Harper's Mill, Potter's Mill, Tom Sawyer Scavage Fort, Injun Joe's Cave, Fort Langhorn and more.  

This imaginary place pays homage to the stories about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn written by Mark Twain.  Children of all ages will enjoy this hidden gem in the Magic Kingdom.  Adults can reminisce about the days they were reading about Tom and Huck, building forts in the backyard and exploring through the woods.  Children can run around and pretend to be in the adventures of Tom and Huck throughout the island.  While the kids are playing, parents can sit in rocking chairs and take in the scenery while sipping on a cool drink.  Or they can immerse themselves in the imaginary play themselves!
Our families favorite parts of Tom Sawyer Island are the caves and secret tunnels, Fort Langhorn and the barrel bridge.  My son at age 3 spent at least an hour on the island and didn't want to leave! 
One interesting bit about this attraction is how influential Walt Disney was in creating the original attraction in Disneyland in 1956.  This attraction is the only one designed by Walt Disney himself.  Walt loved the world Mark Twain created in his works and he was not happy with the original design of the island.  Days before construction was to begin on the original attraction, he went home and re-imagined the landscape design adding the caves, inlets, and coves and changing the shape of the island.  The island at Disneyland today is what Walt created that night.  
  • This attraction closes at dusk.
  • Guests must be ambulatory.  This island is not wheelchair friendly.
  • Children must be accompanied and supervised at all times.  There are many secret tunnels, dark caves and twist and turns where children can easily get lost or scared.
  • Younger children will appreciate this attraction more than teenagers and adults.  Teens will probably want to skip it. 
  • Restrooms are located on the island at the raft landing and at Fort Langhorn.
  • Many people believe once you see and experience Tom Sawyer Island, there is no reason to return.  I disagree!  I think this is a hidden gem at Walt Disney World!


  1. I couldn't agree more! Tom Sawyer Island is a gem! It's a great place to take overwhelmed little ones and just let them run!

  2. I love that Walt's fingerprints are all over Tom Sawyer Island. When folks talk about a better use of that land, they just don't understand its special connections to Walt; I trust that those tunnels will be there for my grandchildren to enjoy!

  3. A hidden treasure. We love to take a stroll through the island as a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the park. My kids spent many hours in the tunnels and shooting guns high up in the fort while we rested on a barrel down below. I hope it stays unspoiled for many future generations.

  4. We have never even thought to take our son to Tom Sawyer's Island, and I don't know why! He would clearly have a blast exploring the caves! Thanks for the suggestion!