Saturday, February 20, 2010

Walt Disney World 1974 - Tom Sawyer Island

Let's take a trip to Tom Sawyer Island at Walt Disney World.


Wait, let's take a time traveling trip to the island. Below is the same view of Harper's Mill as seen above, but this shot was taken in July of 1974.....just about a year after the island opened.


Compare this next photo of the mill and the landing to photos taken just one year earlier when the island was under construction (click here for those construction pics).


Now, we'll take a raft over to the island. Three WDW employee's will be riding along with us....the two on the left work in security, but where does that lady in the yellow skirt (or is that a skort?) work? The windmill (Potter's Mill) on the island can be seen in the background and the Haunted Mansion, located on the other side of the island and the river can also be seen. It would not be visible from this angle today due to the almost 40 years of vegetation growth.

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We've arrived on the island, but the two security guards have stayed behind on the raft. I wonder what that was all about? Checking for stowaways? Yippies? Did WDW ever have a problem with Yippies?


Here's a sign welcoming us to the island.


The sign reads:

WELCUM!

IF'N YOU LIKE DARK CAVES, MYSTERY MINES, BOTTOMLESS PITS, SHAKEY BRIDGES N BIG ROCKS YOU HAVE COME TO THE BEST PLACE I KNOW. IF'N YOU DON'T LIKE CREEPY OLD SCARY PLACES DON'T WORRY......HUCK FINN AN MYSELF WUZ PLENTY SCARED TOO. HUCK WUZ MORE SCARED THAN ME.

TOM

WUZ NOT!

HUCK


Now let's mosey on over to Harper's Mill. Hmmm, there's another sign.


This sign reads:

HARPER'S MILL

THIS HERE DESERTED GRIST MILL WUZ NAMED AFTER MY FRIEN JOE HARPER'S OLD MAN. IF N YOU CHOOZE TO GO INSIDE, PLEASE DON'T SCARE THE BIRDS THAT YOU WILL FIND THERE UNLESS SOME NO GOOD DONE SCARED EM BEFORE YOU DID.

TOM SAWYER


We'll be heading back now. Sorry for such a short trip, but I don't have anymore vintage island shots. Fort Langhorn can be seen here in the distance as we leave the island.
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If we zoom in on the shot above we can also see one of the totem poles over on the mainland.

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Ah, we got back safely and we're back in the present too. I hope everyone enjoyed this little Walt Disney World time traveling trip!

9 comments:

Davelandweb said...

I really regret not taking the time to go to TSI at WDW on this recent trip, especially after seeing these great photos!

Dan Alexander said...

Wow, Frontierland sure has changed! I failed to visit Tom Sawyer Island on my last WDW visits, and I've never seen Disneyland's.

Anonymous said...

One point: at the Magic Kingdom, it was Fort Sam Clemens. At Disneyland it was Fort Wilderness.

TokyoMagic! said...

Thank you for the correction, Anonymous! Tokyo DL's fort is also named Fort Sam Clemens

MIKE COZART said...

I've always loved WDW's Tom Sawyer Island......the Magnetic Mystery mines......the audio-animatronic animals and people in the fort, Aunt Polly's and humor fossils within Injun Joe's Cave....I love Disneyland-it's my favorite....but WDW's Magic Kigdom was always..."this is what the original Imagineers can do with space and a decent budget" (except Pirates.......which had no budget...... Imagine what the view from the Island would have been like with THUNDER MESA across the way as oppossed to those totempoles........?

TokyoMagic! said...

Hey Mike...don't EVEN get me started on Thunder Mesa. I still can't believe that the Western River Expedition was not built in at least one of the Disney parks! Too bad the WDW guests complained about the park not having Pirates of the Caribbean in those early years. If they hadn't complained so much, maybe they would have Thunder Mesa today.

jgcrawdad said...

I loved this post! For Dave and others who haven't been to Tom Sawyer's Island in recent visits, I just posted up a slideshow of what it looked like last year around March to contrast to this... amazing how the foliage and trees are so lush now. Check it out at http://progresscityusa.com/2010/02/28/tom-sawyer-island-photos-then-and-now/

jgcrawdad said...

... or you can just click here for that photo tour

Pandam said...

What a wonderful!