Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tom Sawyer's Island

A post to make everyone compare Fort Wilderness of yesteryear to whatever is in its place now. The secret escape tunnel from the fort to the caves brings back a flood of memories of running around Fort Wilderness and trying to escape my brothers through the tunnel. I was bummed when the tunnel closed and I don't even want to talk about my feelings for the new Fort Wilderness.

The barrel bridge was also a sentimental favorite of mine, especially when the barrels would sink when stepped on. I remember jumping up and down on the barrel along with my brothers to make the barrels sink and then pop back up. I like the picture with the idea of adults having fun on Tom Sawyer's Island, acting like kids.


Cory Gross said...

The original Fort Wilderness is my greatest unfulfilled Disney-related ambition from my childhood.

Every day I would come home after school and turn on the Family Channel, which was Canada's closest version of the Disney Channel. There was always a slate of Disney programming, including the original Mickey Mouse Club. Of course, the Mouseketeers were always advertising for the park, and the clips that had the greatest resonance with me were those of Frontierland: stagecoaches, canoes and most of all, running around Fort Wilderness.

When I was finally able to take a trip to Disneyland in 2005, one of the things I was so looking forward to doing was satisfying that childhood ambition of running around this way cool frontier fort. When I met up with my friends from LA and told them this, they told me it has been closed for years. I was incredulous.

So we floated over to Tom Sawyer's Island and I saw it for myself. As you can well imagine, it was one of those moments of falling to my knees before the fort's locked gates, crying to Heaven.

Peeking my camera through the rough-hewn wood I managed to snap off one decent picture of the interior (you can barely make out the BBQ and water cooler in the Regimental Headquarters) and now I'm thuroughly disgusted by this whole Pirate's Lair, Fort Wilderness demolition business.

Daveland said...

Disneyland is a park full of fantastic design, customization, and well thought details. This is why it just boggles my find that the "new" Fort Wilderness turned out looking like the cluster-$%^& that it is today. What the heck were they thinking?!?

outsidetheberm said...

Gotta agree with you, Dave. It's pretty puzzling how an organization known for such beautiful and original results can create such a mess and believe it's anything close to the 'frontier fort' we all so fondly remember.

mr wiggins said...

Great shots that bring back a flood of memories of TSI -- a special world within a special world. Like millions of other kids, I spent countless hours there exploring the caves, climbing all over the fort, and scaring the snark out of my kid brother on the pontoon bridge. As an adult, it was a place to kick back in the shade and watch the Mark Twain cruise by, while feeding the ducks with bits of cookies from the Fort Wilderness snack bar.

As to the pirate invasion, I'll withhold comment, as this is a family blog. ;)