Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Magic Kingdom - Tom Sawyer Island

It's Tom Sawyer Island time! When I did my 1974 Tom Sawyer Island post last year, I had not actually been over to the island....I just used some vintage slides and a couple current pics that I had taken from the "mainland." Unfortunately, the island was always something that I would put off for later in the day and then it would end up closing (Closes At Dusk!) before I could get over there. Well on my recent visit to The Magic Kingdom, I made sure I saw it!

Just a this point in the day, the sky got very gray and ugly, so the lighting in these pictures really isn't the best.

Here we are waiting on the dock for the next raft.

While we waited, the Liberty Belle Steamboat passed us. Notice the single smokestack.

We're almost there. This is the view from the raft, looking back at the dock.

We made it! Let's go explore!

I wonder if they ever gave out maps of the island at WDW like they used to at Disneyland? Tokyo Disneyland still gives out maps of their island!

Tom and Huck welcome us.

This vintage photo is from my 1974 Tom Sawyer Island post.

The sign really hasn't changed much in 37 years.

Here's something that neither Anaheim's or Tokyo's islands's Old Scratch's Mystery Mine. Hey, that trash can is blocking my view! It's like placing a stroller in front of artwork that's hanging on a construction wall!

It was pretty dark in the mine, but my camera flash was lighting the way.

This part of the mine turns into something like a "Mystery Spot" or the former "Haunted Shack" at Knott's Berry Farm. I loved it....except it was a little difficult to walk through it in the dark.

In this "peek-in", we can see water flowing uphill.

It looked better without the bright flash!

Glowing jewels can also be found in this area.

Now this section of the mine had an interesting effect. The crossbeams gradually got lower here, so as you continued forward it appeared that you were growing larger and larger!

This is Potter's Mill. You can enter the structure and view it's inner workings from two levels.

And this is Scavenger's Fort, which is located on the highest point of the island....pretty much in the same location as the treehouse on Disneyland's Tom Sawyer Island. Did WDW's island ever have a treehouse?

The pipe laying on the ground appears to be the smokestack from a steamboat.

I love these birds. They can be found all over The Magic Kingdom, especially in the areas where there is water. I am guessing that they are some type of crane? I saw more of these birds than I did ducks.

In addition to the Mystery Mine, WDW has it's own version of Injun Joe's Cave.

At Walt Disney World, Tom Sawyer Island is actually divided into two separate islands. Guests have to cross this suspension bridge to get over to the second island, but it isn't as high as the suspension bridge at Disneyland....this one is only a few feet above the water.

Fort Langhorn can be found on the other side.

Wow....this brings back memories. (Hey Disney, BRING BACK DISNEYLAND's FORT WILDERNESS!!!)

I took this next photo because I wanted to compare it with the following two pics.

I took this one a couple years ago at Tokyo Disneyland.

And this next one was taken at Disneyland by my dad in 1965. Even though I was standing in a slightly different spot for the WDW photo, you can see what I was trying for. All three photos show the bathroom, the southeast "rifle roost" and part of the water well. The DL and TDL photos were posted previously in my "Then and Now/Here and There" post from a couple years ago.

The Blacksmith is a "peek-in" with some animated figures.

The guy on the right is holding onto a rope and as he raises and lowers his arm, it operates the bellows for the fire. Notice the glowing horseshoe being held by the guy on the left.

These horses can also be found in the Blacksmith's space. The one on the right swishes his tail back and forth.

And next to the horses are these chickens that cluck and move their heads. Nice touches, Disney!

A view of the well from above.....

And a view of the path leading to one of the "rifle roosts."

WDW has not removed their rifles like Disneyland did years ago after a child lost a finger. I did notice that there isn't a loop of metal in front of the trigger, so I guess that would prevent a careless child from getting their finger stuck, and then falling and losing the finger.....gee, what are the chances of that anyway? How many decades did those rifles exist before that happened?

This is the view looking out from one of the rifle roosts.

The fort is also equipped with cannons!

Standing just outside the fort, we can look up and see the tips of the rifles and cannons protruding from the fort.

The Guard House is another "peek-in", but no animation on this one.

The Magic Kingdom's fort still has it's "escape tunnel." Disneyland sealed up their passageway back in the mid-seventies and I've always wondered why.

Once again, very dark....and kind of creepy! Mrs Bates, are you down there?

Now we've exited the escape tunnel which led us down to the banks of the river. We'll take one last look up at this cool little structure and make a wish...."BRING BACK DISNEYLAND'S FORT WILDERNESS!"

As we continue along the east side of the island, we pass the Haunted Mansion.

And the Liberty Belle.....

And the two-level dock for the Liberty Belle.

Looking back we can see the two-level queue and loading dock for the old Keel Boat attraction. Yep, WDW lost their Keel Boats just like Disneyland did. HEY DISNEY,.....oh nevermind!

Hmm, somebody had help whitewashing that fence.

And finally, as we continue around the front of the island, we find Harper's Mill.

Compare the shot above to the one from my older post.

Again, the sign hasn't changed much.

Inside the mill, you can hear the recorded sounds of birds chirping. I took this picture of the gears turning and it wasn't until the flash went off that I could see this bird hiding in the space left by a broken cog.

Well, it was a long post, but I hope everyone enjoyed this visit to Walt Disney World's Tom Sawyer Island!