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Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

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  • Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

    I was just looking at some old home movies of Disneyland that my family had taken in either the late 50's or very early 60's. There are quite a few scenes that were taken on Tom Sawyers Island showing all the usual landmarks, but I was surprised to see pictures of us entering Fort Wilderness with a big sign over the entrance that reads FORT FAR WEST. I had no idea that the fort went by any other name. Does anyone know how long the name Fort Far West lasted and when did they change the name?

  • #2
    Re: Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

    All the vintage photos I've seen of the fort show "Fort Wilderness" very clearly.

    However, I did find what that probably was. There was an amusement park in San Jose than ran from 1961 until September 1980 called Frontier Village. Wikipedia lists the rides and attractions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frontier_Village. There are a lot of similarities to old Frontierland such as a mine train ride, canoes, stagecoach rides and even a pack mule train. More importantly though, it lists a "Fort Far West" as an attraction.

    Hope that helps.
    "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing" -Walt Disney

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    • #3
      Re: Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

      I have a coworker form San Jos ewhom has very fond memories of that park.
      Dave

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      • #4
        Re: Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

        No the old 8mm film I saw was definitely Disneyland,as we all have the same clothes on in the shot before, which is the Chicken of the Sea pirate ship and the shot after which was in the Indian village and since Dad had no editing equipment it had to be Dland.

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        • #5
          Re: Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

          I loved Frontier Village!!!!! Well, not as much as Disneyland, but it was fun to tide us over. It was clean, the Hannah Barbera characters were fun, the rides were creative and fun....

          Great America, was, and especially still is, a dump. We took my 11 year old last summer, thinking maybe after 18 years GA has cleaned up it's act.....well it hasn't! Chris has no desire to go back, ever! (No, he's not spoiled by DL!)
          Counting the minutes to our next trip!
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          • #6
            Re: Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

            Originally posted by ExCandyMaker View Post
            ...I was surprised to see pictures of us entering Fort Wilderness with a big sign over the entrance that reads FORT FAR WEST. I had no idea that the fort went by any other name. Does anyone know how long the name Fort Far West lasted and when did they change the name?
            Any possibility of posting a few frames from your home movie, showing the fort and the sign? To my knowledge, as a coonskin cap-wearing kid in the 50's and a frequent visitor to Tom Sawyer Island from the month that it opened, the name of the fort was always "Fort Wilderness." If your movie was indeed shot on TSI, the only explanation I can think of is that a temporary sign had been hung for a film or photo shoot.
            "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
            Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
            imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

            - Neil Gabler

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            • #7
              Re: Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

              I have looked at these films quite a bit to try and figure this out since the original post. The fort with the sign looks quite a bit like Fort Wilderness but not exactly.( I visited the original fort hundreds of times when I was a kid). Like I said my Dad had no editing equipment so he couldn't have the footage. I know the films were in sad shape,But now I wonder if when the 8mm film was originally transferred to VHS in the 80's, .they fell apart during the transfer and the lab just spliced them together haphazardly. There is also footage of the Winchester Mystery House later on, so I am starting to think that it may have been Frontier Village. ( I asked my Mom why we seem to be wearing the same clothes and she said that they were probably the best outfits we had and since people wore their best to amusement parks we may have worn the same clothes.)

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              • #8
                Re: Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

                Here's a pic from "Indian Island" on the Frontier Village website. Did your Fort Far West look like this?



                The pic was taken from here: Indian Island

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                • #9
                  Re: Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

                  I didn't even know that it had another name. Thanks for this info.
                  Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally
                  Golly, what a day

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                  • #10
                    Re: Fort Wilderness=Fort Far West?

                    Wanda Woman

                    That's It!!! Mystery solved, thanks alot.

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