Tell me about Tom Sawyer Island?

nicki.momof3

Addicted to Disney Vacations
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Some how we have totally missed this attractions in our last 2 visits to WDW. We are going in April with our 3 kids (ages 4,5,6). What is this attraction? Would the kids like it? How long does it take?

Any info. would be appreciated.
 

Buzz Litebeer

Not a Flying Toy
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
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.
 

MomtoGKC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
My kids (3, 5 & 7 at the time) liked it. They especially liked going through the dark caves. We didn't spend as much time over there as I would have liked because we were traveling with other people - I think we spent about 1/2 hour - 45 minutes and weren't able to see everything.
 
  • nicki.momof3

    Addicted to Disney Vacations
    Joined
    Jul 21, 2008
    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.
    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.

    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?
     

    hobbester

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2006
    I sent my parents over there a few weeks ago while I rode SP and BTRR. They said it was fun, they were amazed at how dark some of those caves were - so hopefully it will be enjoyable for you also.
     

    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    We went last time with DD5. Not worth it IMO. Just some paths and a tunnel or two, it looked very neglected, even beyond the themeing. Glad to say we did it once, but wouldn't bother again. Much better use of parktime elsewhere. (I'd rather sit and people watch on Main Street than do that again.)

    Only cool part - the views of BTMRR and Haunted Mansion...definitely angles you don't get to see.

    SkierPete
     

    Tomh

    1100 miles too far North.
    Joined
    Feb 2, 2008
    We took DS4 there during our trip in August, and I'm not sure who had more fun, him or me! It was a nice place for him to burn up some energy, and run wild a bit, and a good workout for me trying to keep up with him. One word of warning, those caves (and the escape tunnel) have some might tight spots in them. I'm about 6' tall, and 225 lbs, and there were a few spots in there that could certainly bring on the claustrophobia, but it was good fun none the less.
     
  • Neesy228

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2008
    My boys (7 and 5) have always loved Tom Sawyer Island. We had never been there before we had kids, but I'm reasonably sure my DS's would spend the afternoon there if we would let them! As it is now, we probably spend an hour - running through caves, crossing the barrel bridge and playing in the Fort. It's a favorite and definitely worth a look, IMHO!:goodvibes
     

    Brian Noble

    Gratefully in Recovery
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2004
    We saw this attraction for the first time last year with our kids, at the time 7 and 9, and spent almost an hour over there. It's very unstructured "play time", and we all had a blast bouncing on the barrel bridge, shooting the guns at the top of the Fort, etc.

    I don't know that I'd recommend it for a first visit, but if you're there on an afternoon with nothing planned, it's really an excellent "escape" from the rest of the MK. Really cool!
     

    huntconn

    "Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile."
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2005
    TSI is a great place if you have young kids. My sons, 6 and 7, absolutely love it. A PP called it "unstructured" and I think that's its' greatest attribute: it is one of the only truly unstructured attractions in WDW (at least of that magnitude). I honestly think my wife and I could drop off the kids in the morning and pick them up in the evening and they would love it. Obviously, I would never do that, but they wish I would!
     

    Buzz Litebeer

    Not a Flying Toy
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2007
    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?
    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.

    When I visit the Island I typically go early in the morning. On a slow day it feels like you're the only one there.
     
  • dolphindan1

    What is a Tag?<br><font color=blue>dang no TAG
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2004
    Watch your time guide because it closes before the rest of the park..

    We went about 1 hour before the Island closed and there was maybe 10 of us there. My oldest of 12 ran around throught the cave and the fort etc...My youngest and I played Checkers in the fort...they had to come run us out of there...it was very nice...It was also nice being there with really nobody on there with us...Also they have rocking chairs and a snack bar to sit around

    Also, we have never done it, if you go early they hide paint brushes to find and if you fnd 1 you can exchange for a FP...
     

    Philharmagiclover

    My heart is in Disney, My Body in SW Michigan
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2007
    We took all three of our boys this morning and they absolutely loved it (11, 4 & 3). Two of them found paintbrushes and got fastpasses for finding them. It will be a must do on our list next time we visit!
     

    nicki.momof3

    Addicted to Disney Vacations
    Joined
    Jul 21, 2008
    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?
     

    Philharmagiclover

    My heart is in Disney, My Body in SW Michigan
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2007
    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 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.
     

    mykidsand_i

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2008
    Is it a relatively "safe" place for the kids? I hear a lot about the "kids running around", but is it easy to not loose track of them? Is there more than one way off of the island?
    I use to go there back when I was little, but I've never actually taken my kids there (in the many trips we've taken as a family, we haven't gone there once)...I've always said we're going- but we never do. 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?

    I am a person who really dislikes the 'honey I shrunk the kids' play area, because I have a 4 and 6 year old (next month they'll be 5 and 7) but I'm always scared that I'm going to loose them when we're there, because there are so many slides, small places to hide and such...
     

    nicki.momof3

    Addicted to Disney Vacations
    Joined
    Jul 21, 2008
    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?
     

    vpalmer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2005
    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.
    What time does the island open?
     

    HallGirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2006
    Tom Sawyer's Island opens at 10. The only way to get on and off the island is the rafts. Adults can have as much fun as the kids on the island. Parents can run around and explore with their kids.
     

    JT's World

    There is no such thing as too much Disney World
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2005
    Here is a picture from this summer's visit to Tom Sawyer's Island


    My kids, ages 9 & 11, had a great time hunting for the Paint Brushes. that made their whole day to be able to find one.

    You can read all of the details of their adventure at: http://www.onlywdworld.com/2008/09/magic-on-tom-sawyers-island.html

    If you have young children, I would definitely recommend trying to do this at least once.
     


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