Tom Sawyer Island

Happy 4th of July!

Let’s take a journey back in time, across the Rivers of America and explore my FAVORITE hidden gem in the Magic Kingdom… Tom Sawyer Island.

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I am a Disney purist.  I love nostalgia.  Give me all of the dated attractions.  I don’t care how cheesy it is if it may be- if it feels like it jumped straight out of The World of Disney I am all about it!  (I’m looking at your Carousel of Progress.. 😉 )

The original Tom Sawyer Island was designed by Walt Disney and opened in Disneyland in 1956.  This is such a classic.  It truly feels like you have stepped back into a simpler time when you step off of your log raft and step foot onto Tom’s Landing. (Who doesn’t want to take a little break from the fast pace of a Magic Kingdom day?)

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We became obsessed with this little island by accident on our last trip.  One evening on our last trip we found ourselves with spare time on our hands.  We were aimlessly walking around Frontierland and I suggested we take a ride over to Tom Sawyer’s Island and check it out.  The kids were feeling tired and a little cranky.  They needed to roam free instead of stand in lines for a while.  There aren’t really any lines  in Tom Sawyer Island, so we hopped on a raft and headed over…


We loved it so much that we headed back again the next day!


There is so much to explore!  They climbed the stairs in Harper’s Mill and checked out the place.  It seemed old, spooky and quite creaky. They totally thought they were actually on Tom Sawyer’s Island.  Worried that Injun’ Joe could pop out at any moment, they were all on their best behavior.


There are fun mines and caves to explore!


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(Mine and cave pictures are from the Walt Disney World website.)

The barrel bridge is so much fun!

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(Picture courtesy of Walt Disney World.)

Much to the children’s great delight, we found a playground without ANY OTHER KIDS playing.  There are picnic tables nearby, so you could actually pack a lunch a sneak away to the spot to enjoy a break from the crowds.  Mom and I sat on a bench and let the kids play for a while.


Across the island you will find Fort Langhorn.  It’s a two story fort with all kinds of fun surprises…hidden passageways, secret hideouts, a shootout area to keep the fort safe from Indians.  There was so much to explore!


This is a one of a kind area!  I highly suggest it for families with little ones.  I would suggest it in the afternoon when attraction lines are high (and your kid’s patience level is at a low) or in the early evening.  This attraction does close at sundown, so be sure to give yourself at least an hour to explore.

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July!


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