Tucked back in the far reaches of the Magic Kingdom lies a place often ignored and unexplored. Despite being regularly overlooked, this attraction has something to offer guests of all ages and just may be worth working into your touring plans. For this reason I consider Tom Sawyer’s Island to be a hidden treasure of Walt Disney World.
There are no rides, shows, shops, or snack stands on Tom Sawyer’s Island and you have to take a raft just to reach the island. This could be the reason the island is not a desired destination for many guests. Permit me the opportunity to reveal the appeal this island may hide.
Tom Sawyer’s Island is a combination of a park and playground. It is not your typical slide and swing playground but there are plenty of places to climb and explore including a large fort, floating rope bridges and many elaborate, dark caverns. The island is deceivingly large and there are numerous paths so one could explore the island for quite awhile. If you have kids or are a kid at heart this could be a great place for you or your kids to burn off some of that Mickey Mouse ice cream or turkey leg from Adventureland!
Maybe you just need a break. Maybe you need to let your kids run off some energy or you just need a break from the hustle and bustle of the crowds. Tom Sawyer’s Island is the best place to escape the noise and frustration of crowds in the Magic Kingdom because it is so over looked or ignored. It could provide you and your special someone a little time to just take a stroll and talk.
If you are a fan of a picnic in the park and like to bring your own food into the parks to save money Tom Sawyer’s Island is the ideal spot. With the entire island nearly shaded it would be difficult to find a bad place to picnic. Plus the island even has picnic tables…if you can find them. There are numerous benches along the paths and a few covered places that have rocking chairs. You are pretty much guaranteed a roomy, shaded, quiet spot for a picnic on Tom’s Island.
If you are aware of the adventures of Tom Sawyer you will most likely understand why there is a half painted fence on the island. The job was abandoned not only by Tom but by those who were “tricked” into taking over the daunting task. The unfinished fence is not the only thing you might find abandoned on the island. You just might also stumble upon a few paint brushes Tom and his friends may have left behind. Well, actually it is the cast members that leave these paintbrushes lying around and finding them may be more difficult than just happening across them. Every morning the cast members will hide a few (usually 2-5) paintbrushes throughout the island for guests to find. Finding them could be as easy as looking under a bench or as difficult as slowly maneuvering your way through the dark mysterious caverns. Finding one of the paintbrushes could mean Fast Passes for your entire group. Depending on crowd levels, Fast Passes can be a really sweet incentive for spending an hour and a half (yes, I spent an hour and a half…) looking for the paintbrushes but I think exploring the island while on the hunt is quite enjoyable in itself.
If you intend on nabbing one of the abandoned paintbrushes try to be on the first raft to the island which leaves an hour after the Magic Kingdom opens. Sometimes the cast members on the raft can be very helpful when it comes to finding the paintbrushes. Sometimes they know how many there are and where they are and sometimes they have no clue. On your trip over to the island try to discretely get some information out of the cast member and come back to the dock every so often while on the island to ask if any have been found.
I hope you have learned something about Tom Sawyer’s Island that will at least make you consider taking a raft over next time you are in the Magic Kingdom. If you are enjoying what you are reading feel free to leave a comment. If you would like updates about new posts just click “sign me up!” on the right. If you know someone who might be interested, please spread the word. I don’t do this blog just because I like talking about Walt Disney World (although I do!). I do it for you! Thank you so much for reading!