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  • [Idea] What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

    Ok with Fantasyland is getting a makeover and expansion using virtually all land inside the train tracks (except staff parking)

    Leaving a large piece of under ulitilized land in the Magic Kingdom

    Davey Crocket Canoes are gone, so are the keel boats, and the restaurant replaced via wo vending machines.

    The Riverboat is half full even with the Tiana review

    And on most days the Islands are only open from 10am to dusk, with one maybe two rafts needed to handle that volume.

    YET IT OCCUPIES THE MOST REAL ESTATE in the park.

    My question what would you do to retheme this area.

    And some would say don't change it my kids love it......

    Would they also love a ride based on Bambi, Woody from Toy Story, Nightmare before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow or the Fox and the Hound?

    Or even a partial retheme give part of the Island to Pooh and bring Mr Toad back

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

    Too bad it is out of Fantasyland (I know that's getting enough makeover anyway) as it would have been cool to see it themed as the Lost Boy's Island in Neverneverland. It could be much more interactive with that.

    Although, I kind of like the island the way it is. It is a nice break from all the congestion in the rest of the park.

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    • #3
      Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

      Maybe a New Orleans theme to PatF, like the Bayou

      one hundred and one

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

        Originally posted by Bags deserves bett View Post
        Ok with Fantasyland is getting a makeover and expansion using virtually all land inside the train tracks (except staff parking)

        Leaving a large piece of under ulitilized land in the Magic Kingdom

        Davey Crocket Canoes are gone, so are the keel boats, and the restaurant replaced via wo vending machines.

        The Riverboat is half full even with the Tiana review

        And on most days the Islands are only open from 10am to dusk, with one maybe two rafts needed to handle that volume.

        YET IT OCCUPIES THE MOST REAL ESTATE in the park.

        My question what would you do to retheme this area.

        And some would say don't change it my kids love it......

        Would they also love a ride based on Bambi, Woody from Toy Story, Nightmare before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow or the Fox and the Hound?

        Or even a partial retheme give part of the Island to Pooh and bring Mr Toad back

        Thoughts?
        I think you've identified the real problem here (boldened).

        In the old days, the Rivers were a huge source of visual excitement for the Magic Kingdom - fleets of canoes, rafts, and keelboats, in addition to the 2 huge riverboats, actually sailed through this river, bringing a real vibe of rustic, historic kinetics to this portion of the park. And they all circled this forested island, which you could see from Frontierland and Liberty Square, and wonder what was there to explore

        Years later, all the visual excitement is gone. The canoes, the keelboats, gone. The boats on the river are reduced to one riverboat, and the rafts Tom Sawyer's Island. So what is there, visually, to entice you this island? Hardly anything.

        In regards to repurposing TSI, I think it would be highly infeasible to add a ride, or anything other than what the island currently has. The rafts couldn't support the crowds any such ride would likely make, and a bridge would get in the way of the Liberty Belle.

        IMO the island is best served for the exact function it has now - as the "oasis" from the hustle and bustle of the Magic Kingdom; as the "wilder," more natural side of Frontierland; the place to escape to and explore, and for kids to let out their physical energy they might build up standing in line all day (in a much more interesting way, for adults, than the Pooh playground). What the island needs is to be refreshed - restore the Rivers of America fleet to its former glory, to entice people back to the island; add more stuff to explore, maybe with more special effects and stuff to interact with.

        The idea is not dead, just neglected.

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        • #5
          Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

          Originally posted by Imagineer Scott View Post
          Maybe a New Orleans theme to PatF, like the Bayou

          that would work...be pretty interesting as well, you'd keep the southern thing going pretty well with that retheming..
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          • #6
            Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

            I think TSI should stay the same, just receive updates on their AAs, the return of a restaurant, the extension of Ol' Strach Caves. Sure, Tiana & co. can stay, but at a minimum.
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            • #7
              Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

              MK's TSI is one the greatest treasures in any of Disney's domestic parks. While DL's version has been heavily reduced over the years (closing of the fort; theme-breaking PotC infusion; Fantasmic stage), MK's TSI remains a respite from the crowds, a tonic of nature and boyhood adventure, and is tied to classic & timeless works of American literature, rather than the latest studio output. (Don't worry synergistic managers - originality-averse Hollywood will soon put out another Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer remake).

              TSI must continue on as the masculine antithesis to the upcoming Princessland meet & greets. In Fantasyland kids will soon be able to watch Cinderella transform for the ball, write a sweet-sixteen card to Aurora or get an autograph from Ariel. On TSI, kids can revert to scrambling over rocks and barrell bridges, shooting guns, exploring forts, caves, and escape tunnels, while parents can hang out in the shade of those big, beautiful trees.

              What to do with Tom Sawyer Island? Maintain it impeccably. Re-open Aunt Polly's. Other than that - do not remove a single blade of grass.
              Last edited by RandySavage; 12-09-2009, 06:51 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                I agree. Don't mess with one of the only places in the park where the fantasy of a boyhood adventure reigns. I also say bring back the transportation to Rivers of America. That's desperately needed to add energy the bay.

                A New Orleans area would be incredibly interesting. I would see it more on the other side of the island though. On the other side of the tracks even. I don't know for sure what lies past ROA and the railroad tracks, maybe someone could help me out. But New Orleans Square at Disneyland adds a lot of energy and I'm sure if it was tucked back in the bayous of ROA, there would be a new kind of magic in MK. Especially if it were kind of removed in that bayou area.

                Another area that also wouldn't fit on the island but on the other side of the tracks, would be Discovery Bay. The Jules Verne style attractions and achritecture... this would also have to be removed from Frontierland and Liberty Square. But maybe a secluded pathway from that stroller area in between Liberty Square and Fantasyland.

                Both of those I think would look incredible on the ROA. Especially if you were riding a canoe, riding the riverboat, or looking at them from Tom Sawyer's Island. It would beckon you to visit there.

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                • #9
                  Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                  I recall a moment of absolute bliss, relaxing playing Draughts (checkers) on the end of a barrell on the island. Exploring the caves unsure whether to expect something to happen, I was genuinely aprehensive. It really is a little "away from it all" spot
                  Last edited by Thorpeedo; 12-10-2009, 03:11 AM. Reason: finishing :-)
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                  • #10
                    Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                    Maybe a nice, frontier themed restaurant would liven things up? I know most people hate the rapid growth of restaurants around the resort. But, I've grown to really enjoy a nice, sit down dinner in the parks. I'd love to take a boat over to the island...at night. And walk down a lit path to a "special" dinner.



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                    • #11
                      Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                      Originally posted by Stitchy View Post
                      Maybe a nice, frontier themed restaurant would liven things up? I know most people hate the rapid growth of restaurants around the resort. But, I've grown to really enjoy a nice, sit down dinner in the parks. I'd love to take a boat over to the island...at night. And walk down a lit path to a "special" dinner.
                      Now THAT is an idea... Tom Sawyer Island as-is accessible by raft during the day, sit-down restaurant accessible by bridge at night. Close off the caves and "exciting" trails at night, leave the waterfront walks (or add a few) and add some lamps. A nice New Orleans-themed restaurant would add even more diversity to the MK's menus.

                      I think the boat at night would be too difficult to maneuver... so put in a special bridge that can be removed/raised by day, and activated at night to give access while the riverboat isn't running.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                        A nice sit down restaurant would be great, more of an upgraded columbia harbor house

                        An e-ticket Sleepy Hollow Ride, with a draw bridge from Haunted Mansion area to the front island

                        Upgrade the perimeter of the island, keep Riverboat going and bring Keel Boats back with new scripts

                        Leave back island for Tom Sawyer and move rafts docks back towards Big Thunder Exit

                        Retheme current rafts dock for old west story time area and character greetings

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                        • #13
                          Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                          To expand on the bridge idea, I think that some sort of hydraulic system could be used to hide the bridge underwater during the day, then at night, the bridge would rise out of the water to let people access the island. I haven't quite figured out how much clearance there will be though... I know the RoA aren't as deep as they look. I think maybe 7ft, if memory serves me correctly.

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                          • #14
                            Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                            Originally posted by Bags deserves bett View Post
                            An e-ticket Sleepy Hollow Ride, with a draw bridge from Haunted Mansion area to the front island

                            Upgrade the perimeter of the island, keep Riverboat going and bring Keel Boats back with new scripts
                            With the Riverboat alone the drawbridge will go up and down at least once a half hour. More once you add Keelboats.

                            In the old days, the Rivers were a huge source of visual excitement for the Magic Kingdom - fleets of canoes, rafts, and keelboats, in addition to the 2 huge riverboats, actually sailed through this river, bringing a real vibe of rustic, historic kinetics to this portion of the park. And they all circled this forested island, which you could see from Frontierland and Liberty Square, and wonder what was there to explore

                            Years later, all the visual excitement is gone. The canoes, the keelboats, gone. The boats on the river are reduced to one riverboat, and the rafts Tom Sawyer's Island. So what is there, visually, to entice you this island? Hardly anything.
                            Quoted for sad truth.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                              Originally posted by Bags deserves bett View Post
                              An e-ticket Sleepy Hollow Ride, with a draw bridge from Haunted Mansion area to the front island
                              I like the Sleepy Hollow idea

                              If the Lone Ranger movie successfully brings back cowboys then they could something with that
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                              • #16
                                Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                                For me TSI is a boyhood memory, Although it was at DL, we used to spend what seemed like hours running around and playing while my parents took a bench. Today, I like to go over there and let my kids run amuk and I can just relax for a bit. So I say leave it as is, it's never busy, and it is a well themed "oasis", as another poster said. I'm saddened every time I take the raft over to DLs TSI, especially when I peek through the cracks in the fort gate and see that it stores tractors, seeing the forst open at MK is always a great reminder of how childhood adventure should be.
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                                • #17
                                  Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                                  Originally posted by tloolgb View Post
                                  ...

                                  Quoted for sad truth.
                                  Aw, I wasn't trying to bring the mood down. I was just pointing out that enticement to the Island has been reduced as the fleet of boats has been - and the best way to correct this problem with the Island, is to reverse the mistake with the boats.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                                    For all those who bring the reason not to renovate Tom Sawyer Island.

                                    That is why they have recreation areas and the Fort Wilderness area


                                    There is a limited amount of land within the Magic Kingdom.

                                    And when one of if not the largest area has one of the least guest counts, that's and issue that more boats won't solve.

                                    Granted the keel boats should be back with and the theming improved for the trip.

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                                      On our last trip in September (of '09), we found the rafts traveling to TSI to be full every time we saw them cross RoA. We were on the first raft of the day and were one of the few parties to find a paint brush (which rewarded us with FP for both Splash and Big Thunder.) Just a general re-freshing and a RE-OPENED Aunt Polly's would make it even more enticing than it already is. Heck the kid's love running around....we adults just need a place to sit back with a sandwich and a cold drink and we'd stay even longer. Other than that, it's perfect as it is.
                                      As far as the RoA themselves, we desperately need more watercraft plying the waters. It is far too serene right now. There's a story in which Walt was looking at the RoA at DL, talking with one of the Imagineers and mentioning that the rivers needed to be busier. (The Imagineer thought that Walt was going to complain about too much water traffic.) He'd be very dissappointed with the MK RoA in their current state. Better animatronics along the rivers edge are needed as well as a re-lighting of the settlers cabin. It really wouldn't take much money to bring this whole area back to life.
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                                      • #20
                                        Re: What to do with Tom Sawyer Island?

                                        Everyone keeps citing their childhood, or more boats.


                                        Can anyone actually say that its any effective use of space inside the magic kingdom from a guest perspective.

                                        I think everyone agrees update the theme for the RoA and bring the keel boats back

                                        Does anyone disagree with an E-ticket ride being added

                                        Which leaves you whether its based on Frontier or Liberty Square?

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