News Liberty Square Riverboat and Tom Sawyer Island closing for lengthy refurbishment

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
I have to admit that I've been to Disney over 30 times; Magic Kingdom probably 20-25 times. I have never taken the Riverboat to Tom Sawyer island. I just never got it.
Don't know how familiar you are with the source work but it evoked a simple time in American life of the midwest where kids could roam, have adventures and use their imagination. Less about the actual island to book relationship than appealing to midwesterner's nostalgia. An idea from a previous era of theme park design.
Tom Sawyer's Island is a great spot to escape the midday crowds and relax/people watch for a bit.

Despite what some of the "ride as many rides as possible" people may think, a well-rounded theme park should include some restful spaces.
There were so many of those places built into the original design. Not all were intended for expansion but over time they have been monetized or sanitized for "flow". sad....
 

Bocabear

Well-Known Member
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If you have never been to the island, then how do you know if you ‘get’ it or not?
LOL good point... There are lots of things to explore on the island too...a frontier fort complete with an escape tunnel, An old mill, walking trails, an abandoned mine, and Injun Joe's Cave...It is a lot more than the sum of it's parts...It is a place where kids can explore...not just rest.
 

rowrbazzle

Well-Known Member
I have to admit that I've been to Disney over 30 times; Magic Kingdom probably 20-25 times. I have never taken the Riverboat to Tom Sawyer island. I just never got it.
I haven't been nearly that many times, but it wasn't until my last trip that I went to the island. I never had any interest in it, but my son wanted to go. It was great and one of the highlights of the trip. We'd done plenty of rides and it was nice to just hang out for a bit. There are great views too.
 
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The Empress Lilly

Well-Known Member
LOL good point... There are lots of things to explore on the island too...a frontier fort complete with an escape tunnel, An old mill, walking trails, an abandoned mine, and Injun Joe's Cave...It is a lot more than the sum of it's parts...It is a place where kids can explore...not just rest.
Barrel bridge! Barrel bridge!
If you have some mass and time it right you can launch small kids fifteen feet in the air! (Do make sure to test it on strangers' kids first, they fly surprisingly high)

Also:
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Shoot the Thunder trains!
 

The Empress Lilly

Well-Known Member
I haven't been nearly that many times, but it wasn't until my last trip that I went to the island. I never had any interest in it, but my son wanted to go. It was great and one of the highlights of the trip. We'd done plenty of rides and it was nice to just hang out for a bit. There are great views too.
Yes! TSI is worth it just for the views. So much classic MK!

I nerdily stalked my ship from all over the island:

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Phicinfan

Well-Known Member
I have to admit that I've been to Disney over 30 times; Magic Kingdom probably 20-25 times. I have never taken the Riverboat to Tom Sawyer island. I just never got it.
Honestly, do it if you can. For one thing it is never really crowded, so you get some time out of the crowds, and there are paths and tunnels to walk through and swinging bridge, fun times with small kids
 

Mike730

Well-Known Member
The river boat doesn't go to Tom Sawyer's Island... The Rafts do...
What is there to "get"? That area of the park represented a period in American history... Much like Liberty Square and Main Street. It is charming, the active riverfront adds lively kinetics and the boat rides are very sweet and nostalgic. There are many Theme Parks out there that started out like the Magic Kingdom and ended up being Six Flags...If you don't "get it" then perhaps an "Amusement Park" is more your style... No judgement... but there are many things that are meant to appeal to many people...not just one person.

OOOOOO SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK!!!!!
 

LastoneOn

Well-Known Member
If you have never been to the island, then how do you know if you ‘get’ it or not?
Making a decision based on descriptions of a product is acceptable. You know, like watching a movie trailer and deciding "no, I don't think I want to go watch people getting cut up with a chainsaw"
 

montyz81

Well-Known Member
The river boat doesn't go to Tom Sawyer's Island... The Rafts do...
What is there to "get"? That area of the park represented a period in American history... Much like Liberty Square and Main Street. It is charming, the active riverfront adds lively kinetics and the boat rides are very sweet and nostalgic. There are many Theme Parks out there that started out like the Magic Kingdom and ended up being Six Flags...If you don't "get it" then perhaps an "Amusement Park" is more your style... No judgement... but there are many things that are meant to appeal to many people...not just one person.
Don't look now, but WDW seems to be turning into an amusement park slowly. GoTG is a prime example, although I will hold complete judgment until I see what is going on in the show building.
 

MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
Don't look now, but WDW seems to be turning into an amusement park slowly. GoTG is a prime example, although I will hold complete judgment until I see what is going on in the show building.

An amusement park's pre-show to a coaster is a giant flat painted facade.

GotG's preshow is a giant pavilion with a galaxarium and AAs and a full back-story.


An amusement park's coaster is themed by painting the rails and leaving it sitting out in the park.

GotG's coaster is covered with story-telling scenes that they swivel your car towards to see them.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
An amusement park's pre-show to a coaster is a giant flat painted facade.

GotG's preshow is a giant pavilion with a galaxarium and AAs and a full back-story.


An amusement park's coaster is themed by painting the rails and leaving it sitting out in the park.

GotG's coaster is covered with story-telling scenes that they swivel your car towards to see them.
Covered with a big box.....
 

kap91

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know how the guides for the riverboat stay in the track? Do they just control the water level that precisely? Feels like a good thunderstorm could raise the water level enough to make it jump out.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know how the guides for the riverboat stay in the track? Do they just control the water level that precisely? Feels like a good thunderstorm could raise the water level enough to make it jump out.
They are articulated arms to allow for some up and down movement while keeping the side to side at a minimum. The level spills out into seven seas when it get excess water. There is a ship lock between the two to raise and lower the vessels
 

DisAl

Well-Known Member
I wish somebody could get a photo of the guide mechanism while the Liberty Belle is in dry dock (it is actually towed out of the water on some sort of carriage system on rails). I've seen photos of the JC boats but would love to see the bottom of the LB.
 

Captain Barbossa

Well-Known Member
I wish somebody could get a photo of the guide mechanism while the Liberty Belle is in dry dock (it is actually towed out of the water on some sort of carriage system on rails). I've seen photos of the JC boats but would love to see the bottom of the LB.
Not the greatest pictures in the world, and I’m not even sure if this will help answer your question, but here’s a look at the Mark Twain riverboat at DL somewhat dry docked.

4DF26609-8661-4B30-8001-D19A9A6A8FC5.jpeg


E4571094-FEF6-4501-A2D6-10E4005D1F20.jpeg


E2CED0D3-08AA-46AE-83E6-ACFB711B9B58.jpeg
 

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