Bringing out the kid in us is what Disney vacations do best! Some attractions seem to poke at our inner innocence a little more than others and one of my favorites is Tom Sawyer Island. You could easily dismiss this attraction as you race by on your way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Mountain, but I invite you to slow down and take a closer look. There are no high tech simulations or daring speeds or surprising ghosts to give you a scare. It’s good ol’ all-American fun like we used to have when we were kids and summer meant exploring the woods behind your house with your pack of neighborhood chums.
Your adventure begins with a meandering raft ride across the lazy river where you disembark and set foot in a natural playground full of areas to explore. There is no right or wrong way to go and you will need to forget trying to find a systematic way of approaching this island. Let your imagination transport you back to the days of Mark Twain and you’ll soon find your whole family is feeling like one of Tom and Huck’s co-horts in mischief. As you explore this island, the winding paths will lead you to suspension bridges and grist mills with turning water wheels. You’ll discover Fort Longhorn with click guns, hidden caves and mines, and some neat animatronics tucked away in the barn. For those in need of a rest while the children run around the fort, there are barrels with painted checker boards waiting for someone to play. And there’s air conditioned bathrooms for those needing a pit stop. One of my favorite features is the barrel bridges that are tricky to get across especially when someone is having fun making your crossing even more of a challenge by jumping on a nearby barrel popping yours out of the water!!
So next time you find yourself in the exciting Frontierland of Magic Kingdom, go get wild as you tackle the two mountains but don’t forget to slow it down a few gears and enjoy some simple and wholesome fun. There’s magic around every corner at Disney just waiting to be discovered!