Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fort Wilderness, 1958

I sure miss the original Fort Wilderness. Located on Tom Sawyer Island, its presence hinted at the many unseen dangers in Frontierland, dangers from which you were relatively safe as long as you were within the timbered walls. And since it was impossible to miss from the shore, it also enticed guests to raft over to the island to see what it was all about. While they were there, they'd discover the paths, caves, rope bridges, the mill, and more. In a way, Fort Wilderness was a frontier castle.

This first photo was taken (I think) from the Indian Village/Dance Circle. As you can see, there is a bit of construction going on along the path. In fact, it might actually be on a part of the island that was off limits to tenderfeet.

Does anybody have any idea what this could be?

And finally, another view of the imposing log battlements that look like they're straight out of a John Ford movie.


Chris W. said...

If I had to speculate, I'd say that the boards there are for a "fence whitewashing" event from Tom and Huck and company?

Just a notion. I have no idea, really.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

2nd pic must be the rarely photographed Fantasmic 1.0?

To bad today's fort looks straight out of Home Depot!

Great post, thanks!

Connie Moreno said...

I agree with Vintage, LOL!!

First shot is gorgous, though. Screen saver worthy.

Thufer said...

I agree; there is such a visual - 'realism' to the old fort.

Rich T. said...

I miss Fort Wilderness, too! I loved to get a brownie and punch at the snack bar, head out the back gate, climb on the first rock to the right and just relax with a great river view!

I remember there's a spot on the riverside path that arches slightly over a little stream...sort of a mini-bridge. Could that be what the construction's about?

Major Pepperidge said...

Chris W., that's as good a guess as any!

VDT, Connie, and Thufer are officially in agreement!

Rich T, thanks for sharing your vivid memories!

Chuck said...

Give me Fort Wilderness photos and I'm happy all day.

Tom Sawyer Island without Ft Wilderness is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter. That THING they replaced it with makes me hyperventilate.

Didn't they eventually add a second raft landing in roughly the same area? My memory's hazy on that. Can anyone confirm?

Chuck said...

Okay...just found a copy of the 1957 map of the island at Daveland ( It shows a landing in the vicinity, but to the right of this...whatever it is. A later map ( shows a landing closer to the fort, but I don't think it's in the same spot as the area in the photo.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, it's hard to tell from those illustrated maps, because I think that the artists took some liberties. I guess it could be the site of a landing but that is a weird structure for such a thing. However, I can't rule it out!

JG said...

I'm clueless about the construction, but grateful for pictures of the fort.

Thanks Major.


Hoot Gibson said...

It was the short lived Mike Fink tribute to Davy Crockett called "Planks for the Memories".

Chuck said...

LOL! In a cyber cafe, even!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be late to the party, but that looks like a cofferdam.