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Complete Guide to Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom

Complete Guide to Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom

Follow in the pioneering footsteps of early settlers during the era of Mark Twain.

Board a log raft to cross the Rivers of America before disembarking at Tom’s Landing.

Over on Tom Sawyer Island, you’ll explore old mills and amble across creaky suspension bridges. You’ll also discover secret mined caves and a frontier fort!

Adventure awaits with our complete guide to Tom Sawyer Island.

Tom Sawyer Island Quick Facts

  • Location: Frontierland, in Magic Kingdom
  • Height requirement: None
  • Suitable for: Anybody who can handle the rugged terrain
  • Attraction length: As long as it takes you to explore
  • Do we recommend? Only as a time filler
  • When to visit: Anytime, generally opens 1 hour after park opening
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: No
  • Scheduled Refurbishments
  • Tip(s): Usually opens later than the rest of the park

Description: A giant island that is basically a playground to explore. You board a raft near Big Thunder Mountain which takes you over to where you can venture around the island.


Tom Sawyer Island is located in Frontierland on its own island. However, to get to the island, you must board a motorized raft, the entrance of which is located across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

location of tom sawyer island at magic kingdom

Download the PDF

magic kingdom park map

How to Ride Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer Island has a Standby Line. There is no Single Rider Line.

Do I need to use Genie+ at Tom Sawyer Island?

Genie+ is not available at Tom Sawyer Island.

Rider Switch/Child Swap

As there is no height requirement for Tom Sawyer Island, this attraction does not offer Rider Switch.

Rider Switch is Disney’s system that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.

You can learn more about Rider Switch via our helpful guide.

What to Expect When You Ride


To get to Tom Sawyer Island, you must wait in line to board the motorized raft, located across from Big Thunder Mountain. Once you are aboard, it is just a few minutes over to the island where you may explore at your own pace.

tom sawyer island

To return to the main area of Frontierland, head to Tom’s Landing to ride the raft back. You may experience a wait going to and returning from Tom Sawyer Island.

Ride Vehicles

In order to get to Tom Sawyer Island, you have to board a motorized log raft located just at the foot of Big Thunder Mountain that will transport you over to the island that’s inspired by the stories of Mark Twain. The raft ride takes only a few minutes.

tom sawyer island

The raft is open and is standing room only.

Accessibility Information

In order to fully experience Tom Sawyer Island, you must be ambulatory.

The rafts over to the island are wheelchair accessible, but ECVs are not allowed. That said, the activities on the island are not accessible.

tom sawyer island

The island is actually two islands connected by a suspension bridge and guests must cross this bridge to experience Fort Langhorn, one of the highlights of the attraction.

On the Ride

If you prefer to keep your experience on Tom Sawyer Island a surprise, you may want to skip this part to avoid any spoilers.

tom sawyer island

In order to get to Tom Sawyer Island, guests must board rafts from a dock in Frontierland that takes them across the Rivers of America to Tom’s Landing, on the side of the island.

At the dock on the island, guests can sit in rocking chairs and play checkers, or explore the grounds. Maps are posted periodically to help guests hit all of the island’s highlights which recreate various scenes from the book “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain.

Aunt Polly's Tom Sawyer Island

If guests travel counterclockwise around the island, the first major sight they will come across is Harper’s Mill, a working grain mill, similar to the ones that once ran on the Mississippi River.

Around the corner from Harper’s Mill, guests will come upon Aunt Polly’s cottage where Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn is located. The Quick Service spot isn’t always open. It typically operates seasonally, and usually only during the busiest of seasons.

Guests can sit and relax here on a large, waterfront porch.

aunt polly's seating area and the liberty square riverboat

On the outskirts of the cottage, you can see a fence that Tom convinced his friends to whitewash.

Next is the Scavenger’s Fort where Tom and Huck have seemingly made a makeshift playground out of ship parts, lumber wood, and barrels.

tom sawyer island

Another point of interest on the island is Old Scratch’s Mine. Old Scratch was a pre-Civil War name for the devil. Here you will walk through a dark passage as bats chirp overhead, before coming upon a large deposit of glowing gems.

Near the entrance to Old Scratch’s Mine is a cave. As you explore the cave, watch out for an eerie face in the rocks!

Cross a wooden bridge that seems to be suspended over a bottomless pit and make your way to Potters Mill, a small green mill that you can actually go inside and climb up the winding staircase. At the top, you will see beautiful views of the Magic Kingdom.

barrel bridge on tom sawyer island

On the other side of the island, guests can attempt to cross the barrel bridge. The bridge leads guests over to Smugglers Cove, which gives guests more great views of the park.

Tom Sawyer Island is actually made up of two islands and you must cross the suspension bridge to get from one island to the other. Across the bridge is Pappy’s Fishing Pier, where you can take a break, relax, and watch the runaway trains on Big Thunder.

tom sawyer island

Also on the island is Settler’s Cabin, which used to be referenced on the Liberty Square Riverboat. The cabin would actually look like it’s on fire, however, due to the deterioration of the pipes, the cabin is no longer periodically engulfed in flames and the scene is no longer mentioned on the boat.

The focal point of Tom Sawyer Island is Fort Langhorn. Located in the fort is a blacksmith’s shop where guests can see an Audio-Animatronic blacksmith. Above the shop, there are cannons pointed out towards the Rivers of America.

tom sawyer island play area

While we don’t recommend taking time out of your busy park day to visit Tom Sawyer Island, it does make a good time filler or a way to escape the crowds and long lines.

Is Tom Sawyer Island Kid-Friendly?

Little ones, especially, will love all of the different spots to play and burn off energy.


Strollers are not allowed in most queues at Walt Disney World, including on the raft over to Tom Sawyer Island. Instead, you’ll need to leave your stroller in the designated stroller parking area near the entrance to the queue.


Although the man-made area that would become Tom Sawyer Island existed when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, the actual attraction, with its raft ride and areas to explore, would not open until May 20, 1973.

In 1995, the island’s name was briefly changed to Tom and Huck Island to tie in with the release of the new Disney film, Tom and Huck. In 1996 Fort Sam Clemens (which is located on the island) was renamed Fort Langhorn – also a tie-in with the film. Both names are tributes to Mark Twain as his birth name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

In 2005 the “burning cabin” scene at Settlers Cabin was turned off because the pipe that made the cabin appear as if it was on fire was corroded.

aunt polly's tom sawyer island

In 2001, Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn, the restaurant that had been open on the island since it debuted in 1973, was closed. Guests could sometimes buy cold snacks and beverages until 2007 when a few vending machines were added to the area. Eventually, the vending machines were turned off.

Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn reopened from March 2015 until April 11. It again reopened from December 22, 2018 through December 26, 2019. It has since remained closed.

Other Fun Details

  • Walt Disney personally designed the original Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland, which opened on June 16, 1956. It is the only attraction designed by Walt Disney.
  • When the attraction initially opened, guests were given a map to help them navigate. Now instead there are large metal maps posted around the island.
Tom Sawyer Island
  • A third version of Tom Sawyer Island debuted at Tokyo Disneyland Park on opening day, April 15, 1983.
  • Around the island, you’ll find several nods to the stories of Tom Sawyer — including a partially whitewashed wall that says “Tom hearts Becky”.
Tom Sawyer Island
  • The Liberty Square Riverboat sails around Tom Sawyer Island, offering a unique perspective of the island.
  • Inside Harper’s Mill, there is a small nested bird on a grain-grinding gear. It is a reference to Walt Disney’s Academy Award-winning 1937 Silly Symphony short “The Old Mill.”
  • The rafts that take guests to Tom Sawyer Island are no longer named after characters in the book. These also aren’t authentic river rafts as they have natural gas motors to get guests across the Rivers of America.
  • In the early 2000s, Cast Members would hold “White Paintbrush” scavenger hunts. Six paintbrushes from Tom’s fence whitewashing were hidden around the island each day. If you found a paintbrush and returned it to the raft cast members, you would receive a FastPass for a Frontierland attraction. This unofficial program has since been discontinued.