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Tom Sawyer Island

An attraction at the Magic Kindgom.

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Magic on Tom Sawyer Island

  • Mar 8, 2010
Many people will skip Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom because it doesn't feature the newest technology and it looks "boring".  

With some Disney knowledge and a good gameplan "boring" couldn't be further from the truth.  Here is a reason to make it a part of your Disney World must do list.

Magic In The Details
The magic of Walt Disney World is in the details, many of which are unadvertised. These little touches are what differentiates Disney World from other “theme parks”.  One such unadvertised touch of magic is the hunt for paint brushes on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom.

Each morning, three to five paint brushes are hidden on Tom Sawyer Island by the cast members. Lucky explorers that find one of the paint brushes get a special Fast Pass for the entire family for either Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Mountain.

Once my children found about this, it became part of the plan for our trip. We would get to the Magic Kingdom for the rope drop and then make sure that we were on the first raft of the day to Tom Sawyer’s Island in order to have the best chance of finding one of those elusive paint brushes.

Recently, we got our chance to participate in this special treasure hunt. We followed our plan to perfection and travelled to the island on the first raft of the day. We agreed to separate in order to cover more ground. We also overheard another family discussing their plans to look for the paint brushes. That meant we definitely had competition, which only added to the excitement.

Once we reached land, we started searching. I headed for the caves and the kids went towards Fort Langhorn.

I was the first person to enter the caves, but I could tell that people were close behind me. I searched quickly, but was not finding anything. With about 10 feet to go, I took a wrong turn into a dead end. I heard the people behind me, pass by and then exclaim “I found a paint brush!” Just my luck, I was so close, but came up empty handed.

It was time to check on the kids to see if they had any better luck. When I caught up with them they had scoured the Fort, but had also come up empty handed. I was starting to think that we were not going to find a paint brush today. As we walked back towards the raft dock, a boy offered my son an “extra” paint brush since his family had already found two. He gladly accepted. This was great, but not quite the same as finding one ourselves.

We settled on a deck with rocking chairs facing towards Splash Mountain, when my kids looked up and discovered a PAINT BRUSH! They found one of their very own. Just when we were about to give up, things improve dramatically.

We quickly went to the dock to show a cast member our find. After taking the raft back across the river, he took us aside a got a special Fast Pass and presented it to my kids. That truly made our day.

The prize in this case didn’t really matter (although avoiding the long line later in the day for Splash Mountain was nice.). It was the thrill of the hunt and the ability to do something new at a place we had visited so many times before.

This "boring", low-tech island created one of the best Disney Memories that my family has.

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April 06, 2010
Aw, how nice of that boy to offer one. Disney totally brings out the best in everyone :D
More Tom Sawyer Island reviews
review by . March 10, 2010
posted in Only WDWorld
I admit that I was a bit skeptical when my family announced that they wanted to go to Tom Sawyer Island.  Here we were at the Magic Kingdom and I really didn't want to walk around an island.  As we got on the raft, the excitement began to build.  They started to tell me about paintbrushes which were hidden over the island, and the first people to get them received a special prize.  My children are a bit competitive in nature and I could tell that they were eyeing another family …
review by . March 09, 2010
posted in Only WDWorld
Disney off the Beaten Path: Tom Sawyer Island
If there was ever an undiscovered treasure in Walt Disney World, it’s Tom Sawyer Island and Ft. Langhorn, located in the Magic Kingdom.   Really, I should know:  I’ve been going to the parks for over 20 years and I never visited this attraction until my trip last December.         The day I finally visited was basically by default.   Frontierland was so crowded we could barely get around when my husband and I noticed …
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Disney World fan and Editor-in-Chief of the Disney World Blog - Only WDWorld (http://www.OnlyWDWorld.com) .       After over 40 visits to the Walt Disney World Resort, I love to be … more
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Corporate Description: Tom Sawyer Island is a lushly-landscaped outdoor playground in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom theme park where children of all ages can relive the rustic 19th-century adventures depicted in the novels of Mark Twain.The wooded island is surrounded by the pastoral Rivers of America, and the only way to reach the island is aboard a raft that docks at Tom's Landing near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.Sail across the river to romp through dense forests, forge rugged trails, cross swinging suspension bridges, explore mysterious caves, take shelter in a frontier fort built from unfinished timber and embark on mischievous, playful adventures—just like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.Discover hidden treasures for those who care to do a little exploring; highlights include the mysterious jewels hidden deep in the dark caves, the creaky waterwheel at Harper's Mill, the bouncy barrel bridge and Fort Langhorn with its twisting escape tunnel.Tom Sawyer Island closes at dusk. Be sure to check the daily schedule for the exact closing time.Walt Disney and Mark TwainWalt Disney grew up in the town of Marceline, Missouri, and he always had a strong affinity for the world that Mark Twain created in his novels, especially The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which took place largely in the imaginary town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. Walt added Tom Sawyer Island to California's Disneyland Park in 1956—one of the first additions to the then ...
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