Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fifties Fort Wilderness Fun

Hard to believe, but this fairly barren plot of land is Tom Sawyer's Island. The trees are still young, and the island itself is pretty much undeveloped in this November 1958 shot. Where else but Disneyland could you find themed trash cans?!?

The handmade sign to the right points to the Pirate's Den and the Merry-Go-Round-Rock, which became a casualty to a more "safety" minded park.

With this June 1959 image, it's possible to go right up to the gates and walk inside.

Today, the Fort's restyled Lincoln-log exterior remains closed:

Back to July 1959: what a hive of activity! Fort Wilderness is swarming with kids who are having the time of their lives.

Today, guests are not allowed inside the Fort; they can only access restrooms on the exterior.

I am sure that makes sense to somebody...just not to me.

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K. Martinez said...

Tom Sawyer Island is one of those attractions I don't visit often anymore. The main draw for me was being able to go into Fort Wilderness and walk around. Without that, not much interest. At least we got to experience it.

stu29573 said...

One thing I love about WDW is the fact that you can still explore the fort. Even at my age, I have been known to pop off a few rounds in the sentry towers and sneak out the escape tunnel. Hopefully it will always be open!

Fifthrider said...

Very cool, thanks for posting this. I still go there expecting to find the merry-go-round rock and when I can't find it, ruminate about how old I am and doubt my own memory. A visit to DL is sometimes like a dream where you're somewhere familiar but because it's a dream, it's just a bit different than you remember it in reality. Same thing when I go to Tom Sawyers ( eh, uh, Pirates Lair? ) Island. It feels familiar and yet I seem to recall it was very different even if I can't place a finger on what exactly is missing. I miss the fort and the rifles in the corners a lot. I suppose in a way I should be lucky that they rethemed it as pirates to keep visitor traffic high(er). If the island didn't change then it might have received such low traffic that the island itself would be closed to shift staffing to higher areas. Some of the pirates additions were actually pretty interesting like the pile of treasure and the skeleton in the boat by the pontoon bridge.

...God how I miss that fort being open.

JG said...

What Fifthrider said. ^


Unknown said...

Why don't they re-do it, re-open it, make it an attraction-within-an-attraction? It wouldn't be that hard, and it's just wasted space now.