WOW thank you for the great discription. I don't know how we missed it for 2 years. We are going at Easter and I am dreading how packed it will be in the park so this may be just the thing we need for a little slower time. I am excited and I think the kids will love it. They love to explore.Your kids are probably just the right ages to appreciate the charms of this often-overlooked Disney classic.
Tom Sawyer's Island is actually two islands connected by a long suspension foot bridge. You get there via raft (the dock is located next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). On the Island, kids can run down the trails that cross the island, and explore environments taken from and inspired by "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain (it may be a good idea to screen one of the many movies these books inspired before your visit so your kids will appreciate the Island). There's the "Mystery Mine" (where water flows uphill), Injun Joe's Cave, Harper's Mill, Aunt Polly's Landing (home of the only Coke vending machines in the MK), and Fort Langhorn -- a western-style fort where kids can fire rifles and slip through the Fort's escape tunnel. On top of the Island's tallest hill is Tom & Huck's Scavenger Fort, a playhouse where they'd pretend to be pirates (complete with the Jolly Roger flying above the fort). Near the scavenger fort is a picnic area that is one of the most secluded and tranquil spots in the Magic Kingdom -- and an excellent place to enjoy a lunch brought over with you from the Mainland. Very recommended as a place to slow down for an hour or two. For my final recommendation, just see the quote in my signature at the bottom of this post.
Sometimes the wait times for the rafts can get long -- especially on busy days as Guests seek out anything that looks like it might have a short wait.Do you know if the line gets long for the rafts over. Is this an attration that has really long wait times and we should try to hit first or is it pretty resonable lines and we can wait until the afternoon?
Tell me more about the paint brushes? How many are there? Are they easy to find? Are they an all day Fastpass or what? Is there a mad dash to find them?
I want to take them for sure this time, but I am wondering how it works...do the kids just run around and do things while parents watch, or do parents join their kids and make sure they don't get lost, or what?Great question?
Also what kind of fast passes are they - all day all rides or for one ride?
What time does the island open?I will post a pic later tonight when I have more time but I understand that there are 6. Although the brushes are not advertised anywhere many people know about them so getting there at attraction opening would be a good idea. The island opens later then the rest of the park which helps a bit.