Monday, May 20, 2019

Frontierland, July 1960

I always think of Tom Sawyer Island as a place where kids ran around, burning off some excess energy while Mom and Dad enjoyed the shade or strolled along a winding path. But as we can see in this photo of Castle Rock, adults enjoyed exploring the features of the island just as much as youngsters did - there's a traffic jam up at the top. 

I assume that this photo was taken from either the Mark Twain or the Columbia...?

This next one was definitely taken from the deck of the Columbia, with the new Cascade Peak in the background; the Mine Train is about to go behind that waterfall. The trail for the Pack Mules is to the right of the Peak, and of course the li'l Gullywhumper glides alongside us.


Nanook said...


Boy - Castle Rock could definitely use a traffic cop to direct pedestrian traffic. Or perhaps a set of Walk/Don't Walk signals-?

Thanks, Major.

Andrew said...

It's kinda sad that besides Columbia, everything in the second picture is gone. Also, I still don't understand how people survived with the lack of railings on Castle Rock... ;)

JC Shannon said...

What a great way to start the week. I don't know what I want to do first, explore the island or ply the river on one of her sturdy craft. Oh decisions, decisions. I love that the adults are having as much fun as the kids. I here the line for the Mine Train is short this morning, let's go. Thanks Major.

K. Martinez said...

The second pic is great for illustrating attraction overlap and interaction. Frontierland had a lot of kinetic energy just as Tomorrowland did. The Pack Mules passed over the Mine Train in several spots and guests on the various watercraft of the Rivers of America could wave to those on the Mine Train passing through Cascade Peak and visa versa. Great stuff! Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

that overlap was the first thing that jumped out at me the first time I saw Disneyland after being familiar with the Magic Kingdom. I know some people might think that takes away from the immersion in whatever you're doing at the moment, but I found it exciting and dynamic.

IIRC I sang in a concert of cowboy songs yesterday, and dreamed of Frontierland all night.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, this frontier is just too crowded! Time to go to the FINAL frontier. SPACE.

Penna. Andrew, I agree, it is a durn shame. People fell off Castle Rock all the time; they’d just put some duct tape on their broken limbs and get on with their day!

Jonathan, for me I would choose the Keelboats, since that was something I never experienced (as much as I’d love to climb old Castle Rock again). And it seems like the line for the Mine Train was always short!

K. Martinez, it’s amazing how many photos of Cascade Peak show the Pack Mules - I was a little surprised that they didn’t show up in today’s image. But you are right, there were lots of things going on; I suppose there are lots of things going on today too, but it feels very different.

Melissa, do you think the Magic Kingdom still feels that way (with less attraction “overlap”)? That would be an interesting thing to observe, after being used to smaller Disneyland and the close proximity of everything. In a way it sounds kind of nice as a change of pace! A concert of cowboy songs, nice; did you sing "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds"?

Matthew said...

@ Pena Andrew - Shhhhh. Don't give the Disney lawyers anymore reason to close the Island. ;)

Couldn't agree more with all the comments about overlap and kinetic energy. One thing that grabs my attention in the canon on the front of Gullywhumper. It was there for many years... but I believe it disappeared before the Keel Boats.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Anonymous said...

It sometimes takes a while to register in my feeble brain these days, but while looking at the second pic, it occurred to me that in all my years as a guest or CM, I never went on the Keel Boats. No rush to do so...they would always be there, right?? The cannons were removed long ahead of the boats disappearing forever. KS

Melissa said...

There are certainly places in the Magic Kingdom where there's more overlap than there used to be. For example, the entrances to Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and the newer Frontierland Railroad Station are so close together that Cast Members will ask you which one you're going to so you don't end up in the wrong queue. And, of course, the Liberty Belle riverboat and the Peoplemover were designed to show you other attractions (you can see *less* of other attractions from the PM than in the past). But I would say there's definitely still less overlap than at Disneyland.

(There are a couple of great articles at Passport to Dreams Old and New about transition areas in the MK and how they visually ease guests into the next area.)

We didn't do "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds," but we did do "Happy Trails," "Home on the Range," and a bunch of the classics. And some operatic pieces with cowboy lyrics. (It's kind of a weird program.)

Melissa said...

Also "Blood on the Saddle," but not the way they do it in The Country Bear Jamboree!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the roof of the keelboat is full, yet no one is visible in the cabin. That must make for a high Center of Gravity.

In my memory, Castle Rock was always crowded like this, always a crush at the top. My Dad was a good sport and rambled around the rocks and caves a bit, but Mom never would. She would wait patiently on a bench or a rock until we were done. She hated the barrel and suspension bridges, and I don't recall her ever going through Injun Joe's Cave, even though the trail was flat and the ceiling headroom adequate.

TSI just wasn't Mom's thing.

Thanks for the good shots today, Major. Much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

I remember loving Castle Rock on my lone DL visit! That's one thing that didn't make it to the Magic Kingdom that I wish would have. I still like going through the tunnels and caves, and I'm 56 now! (Last time I took my grandson so it would seem like his idea)

Anonymous said...

@melissa, post a link to the recording of that concert!


Melissa said...

Hmm, wasn't it a top-heavy load what made the Gullywhumper capsize?

Major Pepperidge said...

Amazon Belle, gosh I wonder if there would ever be a time when Tom Sawyer Island could close completely?? Arg.

KS, yes, I had the same problem. Why would the Keelboats ever go away? Live and learn.

Melissa, I guess I’m not surprised that there is more overlap now, since new attractions are being added all the time. Funny that you could wind up in the wrong queue for those Frontierland rides; I don’t think that could happen at Disneyland. I always hear about how huge The Magic Kingdom is, it surprises me when I hear about them “not having room” for something. Sounds like you sang some good songs! A personal favorite: “Blue Shadows On The Trail”.

Melissa, ha ha, you’d need a special singer to do justice to “Blood on the Saddle”.

JG, I’m sure that people who went to the top of Castle Rock wanted to stay and enjoy the view for a bit - meanwhile more people were coming up. It was bound to happen. I suppose TSI wasn’t for everybody, especially demure mothers!

Stu29573, oh I thought that the Magic Kingdom version of TSI had a Castle Rock. Shows what I know. Good idea taking your grandson the last time!


Melissa, I believe that the top-heavy theory is true, though they could have just added more ballast below?

Anonymous said...

@Major and Melissa, I have heard that the keelboat capsized due to a top-heavy load, but cannot confirm that is true.

Major, it seems that more ballast might have helped, but my boating knowledge is sparse, and it might have been an unforeseen event. Anyway, a sad reason to lose the attraction, but I suspect that even if it happened, it isn't the full reasoning behind the closing.

Melissa, you should send the recording of your concert to the Major, and he can embed a music player in a blog post with some of the MB Frontierland pics so we have a soundtrack. That would absolutely rock. I would love to hear your version of "Blood On The Saddle".