Where is Tom Sawyer Island? Maybe you have seen it across the way? Maybe you have wondered about the mysterious island as you bustle past to try to make your FastPass for Splash Mountain. I almost feel like I should stop writing this article because this little slice of Disney past is relatively uncrowded most of the time, like a hidden gem.
Tom Sawyer Island can only be reached by kneel boat from the shores of Frontierland. One very short boat ride separates you from the majority of the people in the Magic Kingdom. Once you disembark your vessel you have access to a little piece of wilderness in the middle of a theme park.
Before you stop reading and decide that this area is just for little kids, let me assure you this area has something to offer us all. There is adventure for the young and young at heart as well as some great relaxing spots. Pull up a chair and play some checkers on the dock. Grab a rocking chair and relax by the water. There are also some nice shady spots to watch the riverboat and people go by.
This island is full of caves and paths to explore. Let your inner kid and your actual kids run semi-wild around the island. (because we know from Rad Dad that Running isn’t technically allowed, and professional-grade speed walking is only appropriate in the world if you are trying to score your place in the Frozen queue with no FastPass). Go ahead and bound across the barrel bridge. Go on an adventure and explore the dark caves and marvel at how brave your children are when exploring.
Head over to Fort Langhorn and explore the area. Check out the lookout tower. Aim the cannons and let the kids climb and up and down and up the stairs. My kids have fought many a fierce battle in this fort. They had made several friends along the way and banded together to fight the “bad guys.” Imaginations run big in our family and this place is a Drennon boy’s dream come true. If my guys still have some sugar left to burn off, we take them over the the playground. That’s right, an actual playground. If you are lucky and quick (and now you have the leg up since you are reading this), grab the only picnic table within eyesight of the playground. This is also a favorite spot of ours to eat a picnic lunch.
If you can’t grab this particular table, don’t worry! There are a few picnic lunch spots on the island. Grab a shady spot by the playground or along one of the trails. You can also head down past the barrel bridge and find a covered porch. It is a lovely spot in the shade with ceiling fans that overlooks the grounds of the Haunted Mansion. This might be the best fall spot in the Magic Kingdom to eat a lunch and overlook the spookiest attraction in the joint.
What do you think about Tom Sawyer Island? Is it a must-do or a hard pass? Let us know in the comments or tag us on Instagram! We would love to see your adventures!