Imagine stepping into a Mark Twain story and going on amazing adventures with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. There’s something special, or should I say magical, about Tom Sawyer Island and it has nothing to do with the latest technology and everything to do with using your imagination. Viewing life through your child’s eyes and exploring an island devoted toward the spirit of adventure. That is exactly what you will find when you make the voyage to Tom Sawyer Island.
On your next visit to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, these are the 8 totally cool things you will find when visiting Tom Sawyer Island:
By visiting Tom Sawyer Island, you are experiencing an original piece of Walt Disney history. Tom Sawyer Island was originally created for Disneyland in 1956. Walt Disney had seen the original plans for the design of the island and decided to re-imagine the entire island himself. A replica of the Disneyland’s Tom Sawyer Island was created for Walt Disney World and opened in 1973. Since the opening, there have been very few changes made to this attraction. It’s a true piece of nostalgia that is still relevant today.
7. The River Raft
In order to get to Tom Sawyer Island and leave the island, you must ride the log river raft. The rafts are named from “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” characters: Huck Finn, Becky Thatcher, Injun Joe and Tom Sawyer. You will find that most names and locations can be found in books and movies. Each guest starting their adventure will have a true sense of what it’s like standing on a raft to cross the river. Oh, and just in case you are wondering, the rafts are controlled by the cast members. They are not on guided rails.
6. Great Views
In Disney, there are many great views, but there’s something truly unique about the views from Tom Sawyer Island. You not only see the Magic Kingdom park, but you may see unique views of the Liberty Belle Riverboat floating along the Rivers of America, Harper’s Mill, The Haunted Mansion or see the action at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Many great pictures can be taken here, so why not soak them up and take them home to remember.
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If you are enjoying the unique views from the island, then having a comfortable place to sit and see these sights is a must. While there are benches throughout the island, a favorite spot is located at Aunt Polly’s porch sitting in the rocking chairs. Sit for a few minutes or sit for an hour. The calming view of the riverboat passing as you relax in the shade is ideal for people of all ages. Especially for little ones wore out from exploring.
4. Play Ground
While on your adventure, make sure to include some time for play as well! If your kids have energy to spare, a stop at Tom Sawyer Scavage Fort is a great idea. Not only will your kids be able to run around freely, parents will have a much needed break as well without the worry of keeping your children close in a large crowd.
I know, you’re probably thinking bridges, big deal. Wrong. To those with imagination, these bridges are dangerous and challenging ways to escape from trouble. A way to travel to Fort Langhorn or Smuggler’s Cove, as well as tons of fun for the kids and adults too. The Superstition Bridge is a suspension bridge that takes you to and from Fort Langhorn. While you do have to cross this one twice, be prepared to probably cross it a few more times just for fun. You can continue your adventure across Smuggler’s Cove on the Barrel Bridge. This bridge has wooden planks attached to barrels with rope hand rails. Caution: the barrels move in unexpected ways, which also makes them fun to stand back and do some people watching too.
2. Fort Langhorn
If you have survived the suspension bridge over to Fort Langhorn, you will have a blast. No pun intended. By using their imagination, kids can pretend to shoot canons and rifles. Pretend to be a pioneer and just explore the areas of the fort. See if you can find the blacksmith shop, a watch tower or stables. Ready to leave the fort? You can go back the way you entered or you can even use the secret escape route!
Dark, spooky and fun are the only way to describe these caves on the island. Technically, one is a mine and the other is a cave. The Mystery Mine is scattered with jewels and lightly lit. It’s a good starting point for kids that may be afraid of the dark. Injun Joe’s cave is darker, but no worries, he hasn’t been seen in those parts for a long time. You will want to hold the hands of younger children because there are ways you could get divided. Older children may want to jump out a scare parents and siblings or explore the cave on their own. Parents, I think you may appreciate the attention to detail with the stalactites and stalagmites throughout the caves.
Walt Disney and the Imagineers did an amazing job with this often overlooked attraction. By bringing Mark Twain’s words to life, Disney has created a real world adventure to all that visit Tom Sawyer’s Island.
About the Author: Heather Edwards – Team Leader, Personal Vacation Advisor with Magical Vacation Planner. For vacation quotes and free planning assistance visit: http://www.itams.com/TAS/form/RKAAS
Heather is a wife, and a mom of two young pirates always ready for their next adventure! She has been a Magical Vacation Planner since 2012 and would love to help you plan your next Disney adventure too! See more about Heather in her bio below!
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