History of Tom Sawyers Island And The Excitements That Awaits You There

Do you know that Walt Disney himself designed “Tom Sawyers Island”. He was very dissatisfied with the designs presented by Marv Davis that he took the plans home and reworked on those plans the whole night to come up with the final design of Tom Sawyer’s Island. It’s the only attraction in disneyland that was designed by Walt Disney himself. This outdoor play area located in Frontierlands construction was completed on 1971 but was not opened to the public until 1973.In 1996 Fort Sam Clemens in the island was renamed to Fort Langhorn. The renaming was done to tie the Tom Sawyer’s Island with the Disney’s newest movie, “Tom and Huck”. On 2005 the “burning cabin” scene was turned off due to pipe corrosion. The “burning cabin” special effect made the cabin appear as it was on fire. In 2007 Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn was also ceased operating. Tom Sawyers Island is one of the attractions that have to be brought along with your Disneyland Tickets. Tickets to Tom Sawyer’s Island are cheaper compared to the other attractions. Every now and then you can purchase deep discount tickets online too.

You can reach the Tom’s Island by rafts using natural gas motors (There are 3 rafts named: Tom Sawyer, Injun Joe, and Becky Thatcher) .You can let your kids loose, so that they can wander around the caves, explore the mystery mines, bottomless pits and shaky bridges and play in Fort Langhorn. In the meantime you can utilize the rocking chairs to relax and enjoy the breeze. Even though Tom Sawyers Island is low techie in terms of entertainment but it invokes the adventurer in your kids and they explore various scenes from the book -The Adventures of Tom Sawyer written by Mark Twain.

The visitors need to travel counter clockwise around the island and the first attraction you will come across is the Harper’s Mill. It’s a working grain mill and it is named after Joer, who joined Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn when they ran away from their home. Inside Harper’s Mill, you can see a cartoon scene from 1937 in which, a strong thunderstorm caused the gears of the mill to turn but inside the gears, there was a mother bluebird with its eggs in a nest and it is evident that they would get crushed underneath it.

Luckily however, one the gear is missing its teeth, thus saving the bird nest. In the corner of the Harper’s Mill there is Aunt Polly’s cottage. Visitors can sit and relax at the large waterfront porch here.


You can find the fence that Tom tricked his friends Ben, Johnny, & Billy Fisher to whitewash on the outskirts of the cottage.   Moving along the Aunt Polly’s cottage you would reach the Scavage Fort. The roof of the Scavage Fort is made out of an old life boat. Tom and Huck made a makeshift playground out of ship parts and lumber wood according to the story here. Another attraction is the Old Scratch’s Mine. You can explore the old bumpy mine and explore the dark passages hearing bats chirp overhead. You will also discover a large deposit of glowing gems, eerie face in the rocks and a wooden bridge, which seems to be suspended over an endless pit and you need to cross that, to reach the other side and continue your journey. In the story “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, Doc Robinson was murdered by Injun Joe in the Old Scratch’s Mine. Tom witnessed the murder and somehow became trapped in the cave with Injun Joe.

Another place where the visitors are free to explore is the small green Potters Mill which is located near Injun Joe’s Cave. You would reach the top of the mill by traveling up a winding staircase. You can get a beautiful view of the magic kingdom from there. You can attempt to cross the barrel bridge which leads to Smugglers Cove. You can get some great snaps of the magic kingdom from there. Crossing the barrel bridge is a real challenge. Tom Sawyers Island is actually made of two islands connected by a suspension bridge. There is Pappy’s Fishing Pier on the other island. You can relax here for a while and enjoy watching the runaway trains on Big Thunder Mountain. The train ride is exiting from the dark tunnel to the flooded town of Tumbleweed and in Dave V Jones Mine tunnel; you can experience an earthquake and later ride through the boneyard scene.

Settler’s Cabin, a sleeping settler outside the cabin is also another attraction that you don’t want to miss. You can see an audio animatronic blacksmith in the blacksmith’s shop located in the Fort Langhorn. There is a cannon pointed towers the Rivers of America on top of the shop (don’t worry it won’t fire).If you can climb up the watchtowers of the fort and use the rifles to shoot (blanks) at passing boats. If you are unable to do so be satisfied with the checker board offered in the Fort Langhorn.

If you like getting discount and cheap Disneyland tickets then you can get a fast pass absolutely free when you find out one of the six paintbrushes hidden by cast members around the Tom Sawyers Island. So stay alert and hunt for the paint brushes.

Tom Sawyers Island inside Disneyland

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