Orlando/SoCal Theme Park Showdown: Tom Sawyer's Island vs. Tom's Sawyer' Island
Written by Robert Niles
The Theme Park Insider Orlando/Southern California Showdown continues with two of my favorite attractions, including my former Walt Disney World home. It's Tom Sawyer vs. Tom Sawyer as the two islands face off. Which is your favorite between the two versions? Consider whatever details you'd like - setting, decor, ride, narrative, or whatever petty individual bias you'd like to throw into the mix. The vote will be open for 24 hours.Tweet
Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom's Tom Sawyer's Island: Frontierland
Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island: Frontierland
The differences? The obvious difference is the pirate overlay at Disneyland, which was installed in 2007 to take advantage of the immense success of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. But the pirate overlay's not inconsistent with the original theme as Tom and Huck Finn's river play place - in the original "The Adventure of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, Tom and Huck did pretend to be pirates when playing. Plus, the pirate overlay provided Disney Imagineers with an excuse to do some needed freshening and upgrades throughout the island. Unfortunately, Disney did not restore Fort Wilderness at the northern side of the island, which remains off-limits to visitors.
I began working as a Tom Sawyer's Island raft driver at Walt Disney World in 1988, and have spent more hours than I care to count walking the trails, caves and play areas on the island. Maintenance standards on the island have fluctuated over the years, with elements such as the windmill, grist mill and fort coming, going, coming back and going away again. But it remains a great place for children with a love for books and an active imagination to run around, burn some energy and pretend.
Feel free to further break down the match-up in the comments.
Other Showdown winners:
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