History and photos of the Frontierland section of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
Take a step back to 1867 and the days of the Old West. It's the time period from Disney classics such as The Great Locomotive Chase, Old Yeller, and Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier, and more recently, The Lone Ranger.
You're in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, and today it's one of the most popular areas of the theme park.
Frontierland is an area themed to the southern and western areas of the country. Here you'll find examples of what was once known as America's wilderness. One moment you're being entertained by country bears and their tales of life and the next you're exploring a small island on the Mississippi River or hanging on as a runaway mine train races through caves and past other relics from the days of gold mining in California.
When the Magic Kingdom opened on October 1, 1971, Frontierland was a mostly empty land that still had big plans for the future. Apart from the Frontierland station for the Walt Disney World Railroad, the chief attractions here were the Country Bear Jamboree, Davy Crockett's Canoes, and the Frontierland Shootin' Gallery, a pay-for attraction. Although Tom Sawyer Island was a small part of Frontierland, the island itself wouldn't expand and fully materialize until 1973, becoming Frontierland's first expansion.
Frontierland's next major expansion occurred in 1980 with the opening of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a mine train themed roller coaster. Thunder Mountain became the Magic Kingdom's second roller coaster (the first being Space Mountain).
Throughout the rest of the 1980s, Frontierland would remain mostly quiet. It wouldn't be until 1991 when the land saw major construction that included the relocation of the Frontierland train station. Splash Mountain opened to the public in July of 1992, adding perhaps the greatest ride of all time to the Magic Kingdom. The Splash Mountain expansion also included the newer version of the Frontierland railroad station.
Sadly, Splash Mountain also marked the last major attraction to be added to Frontierland.
Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes closed for good in 1994. The Mike Fink Keelboats were briefly relocated to Frontierland in 2000 when the original location in Liberty Square was converted to a FastPass distribution center for The Haunted Mansion, but the keelboats were gone for good by 2001. The Diamond Horseshoe Saloon Revue, one of not only Frontierland's but one of the Magic Kingdom's signature meals and shows, closed in 2002.
Since 1993, Frontierland has mainly seen cosmetic changes through the land. A new bridge and boardwalk were added around Splash Mountain and along the side of the river to help with crowd flow. During the middle of the day and during the nightly parade, Frontierland is often jam packed with people. The new bridges greatly help people get around some of the heavier crowds.
Dining options in Frontierland include the counter-service restaurant Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe and small food stands such as Golden Oak Outpost and Westward Ho Refreshments.
Additional photo pages for Frontierland include:
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe counter-service restaurant
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