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Tom Sawyer Island

In all the years that I’ve been helping people with their Disney World vacations, there is an attraction at the Magic Kingdom that I’ve never had anyone request as a “must do” attraction. This attraction is also one that I insist on working into people’s itineraries if they have kids in the 3 – 10 age range.  That attraction is Tom Sawyer Island and every family I’ve sent there has come back saying they had a great time on the island.
Tom Sawyer Island is proof that kids don’t need high tech gadgets and games to have fun. It is a testament to the insight that Walt Disney had into the minds of children and watching children at play there is a testament to the power of imagination. In fact, this is one of the best locations for kids to let their imaginations run wild! What can you find there? The Welcome Sign tells you about some of the things you’ll find, even if the spelling is atrocious.

Shaky bridges? I guess Tom is talking about things like the barrel bridge:

But scary places? What could possibly be scary?

Of course, Tom neglects to tell you about quite a few places. If you explore the island, you’ll find a couple of mills (Harper’s and Potter’s), a fishing pier, and my kids’ favorite place:

Yes, there is actually a fort!. It’s got everything you’ll need to defend it from attacks.  There are lookout towers complete with rifles…

Cannons loaded and ready to fire…

Of course, there is extra gunpowder and rifles…

There are a few buildings as well. While you can’t get into them, they are occupied by audioanimatronic figures.

There’s even an escape tunnel in case the defenses get overrun and you have to make a quick getaway!

So what’s the best thing about Tom Sawyer Island?  Discovering it! This isn’t an attraction where you get into a vehicle, sit down, and get entertained for a few minutes.  This is an attraction where you have to be proactive.  Have fun! Take an hour (or more) to walk around and explore the island with your kids.  Pause to look (and listen) for the little details.  Enjoy the scenery.  Heck, you can even play a game of checkers!

Dr. Ur-sella and his henchman playing checkers on Tom Sawyer Island


Want to create your own adventure on Tom Sawyer Island on your next visit to Disney World?

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