Big Thunder Mountain is one of the early rides put into play at Frontierland; with a wonderful mining camp set in mountains fashioned after the Bryce Canyon area in Utah. The buildings are deserted due to the superstitious Indians and the many weird happenings that occurred to the mining camp. This is a great ride that thrills young and old alike. It is more like the roller coaster rides of years ago, where the train cars ride along a rickety track that could cause problems anywhere along the ride. It is a fast ride, although compared to some of the more thrilling roller coaster type rides of today, just old fashioned; which is perhaps why so many people enjoy it more. It is fast enough for the youngsters and oldsters who aren’t looking to be thrilled so much that they have heart spasms or other disgruntling feelings. To be enjoyed, over and over again.
Country Bears Jamboree is one of the most favorite shows of all the Disney parks. It has always had a wonderful reception including the first time it was shown in Disneyworld in 1971. The characters are animated bears, moose, bison and bunnies, ready with a joke or some other antic that will bring a smile to the face of visitors. The bear band includes; Henry, who serves as ringmaster, with a grey top hat; Liver Lips McGrowl, is probably the funniest looking bear with big lips, hence his nickname, he’s a brown bear and plays guitar; Wendel plays the mandolin and is golden; Teddi Barra is the girl lowered from the ceiling swinging and singing; Ernest the brown bear playing the fiddle and wearing a brown derby hat; Terrence is tan and plays guitar; Trixie is big and brown with a blue bow on her head; Big Al is the fattest with a tan hat and red vest, and almost always out of tune on his guitar. Buff is the buffalo head hanging on the wall and ready with a witty joke; Max is the stag’s head, Melvin the moose head, and Sammy the raccoon, curling around Henry’s top hat. It’s always a real pleasure to sit and watch the show, and even more so in the summer’s hot days.
Frontierland Shootin Arcade is a great place for the whole family to try and become a modern day sharpshooter at the almost 100 targets in the gallery. Infrared light is shot from the guns and when a hit is made, the targets becomes animated and points are recorded. Taking shots at the cemetery, jail, hotel and bank adds to the full flavor of shooting at the various targets that can move, pop-up or just sit there like ducks waiting for you to shoot them.
Splash Mountain is a very wet ride, but a lot of fun for the children especially. It starts out calmly enough following the story of Brer Rabbit looking for his laughing place while being chased by Brer Fox and Brer Bear. As you ride through the interior, usually 3 people to a log, you will hear different songs from the old movie Song of the South; and go through various ups and downs preparing you for the big drop that happens at the end. At the tension picks up for Brer Rabbit, and you as you see and hear the water rapids and loud screams from the other log riders; you come to the precipice where you hesitate just for a moment and then are over the top and speeding at 40 mph down a 45 degree sloop, over 50 feet high. At the bottom, you make a great splash, just below a bridge where onlookers get a good wetting if not careful. But when the weather is really hot, the bridge is full and you don’t mind getting the soaking which dries quick enough through you walking to go back again.
Surrounded by the Rivers of America, Tom Sawyer Island is accessible only by raft. Here you can explore the island’s many treasures, especially the tree house for Huck and Tom. Harper’s Mill is the structure that stands out the most and is visible from the rafting crossing. A show or music group plays here to the entertainment of the visitors and always has a great show. You can visit Injun Joe’s cave and see what that is like, cross over a rickety log bridge that makes some guests nervous. The area is fun to be in and explore and will keep everyone going around in circles if not careful. The paddle wheel riverboat goes around the island and is also a pleasure to ride and relax, watching all the people wander around the island, as well as Frontierland shops and stores.
The Walt Disney World Railroad goes around the Magic Kingdom Park every day, many times during the day; traveling about a mile and a half, with stops at Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Main Street U.S.A. It is a refurbished steam engine bought in the Yucatan Peninsula and repaired in Tampa, before coming to Disney World. Over 1.5 million people ride these rails every year and are a great way to view the park and enjoy the many sights, sounds and smells of this great magical park.