Frontierland

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For the closed theme park in Morecambe, England, see Frontierland, Morecambe.
Frontierland
Frontierland logo.svg
Disneyland
Status Operating
Opening date July 17, 1955
Magic Kingdom
Status Operating
Opening date October 1, 1971 (1971-10-01)
Tokyo Disneyland
Status Operating
Opening date April 15, 1983 (1983-04-15)
Disneyland Park (Paris)
Status Operating
Opening date April 12, 1992 (1992-04-12)
Hong Kong Disneyland
Status Operating
Opening date July 14, 2012 (2012-07-14)
General Statistics
Theme Late-1800s American West

Frontierland is one of the "themed lands" at the many Disneyland-style parks run by Disney around the world. Themed to the American Old West of the 19th century, Frontierlands are home to cowboys and pioneers, saloons, red rock buttes and gold rushes. Every instance of Frontierland has a Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and a stretch of riverfront. Other attractions sometimes found in this land include Big Thunder Mountain, the Country Bear Jamboree, Tom Sawyer Island and a steam-powered riverboat.

Disneyland[edit]

Dedication[edit]

Frontierland. It is here that we experience the story of our country's past. The color, romance and drama of frontier America as it developed from wilderness trails to roads, riverboats, railroads and civilization. A tribute to the faith, courage and ingenuity of our hearty pioneers who blaze the trails and made this progress possible.

Walter E. Disney, July 17, 1955

Frontierland first appeared in Disneyland as one of five original themed lands. Conceived by Walt Disney, the land did not initially contain many attractions, but centered on open expanses of wilderness which could be traversed by guests via stagecoach, pack mules, Cottensoga wagon,and walking trails. The Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland opened in 1960, consisting of a sedate train ride around various western landscape dioramas. The Mine Train closed in 1977 to make way for a new attraction; the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which opened in 1979.

Disneyland's Frontierland gateway is constructed of ponderosa pine logs. The land's long shoreline along the Rivers of America is considered a prime viewing location for the nighttime Fantasmic! show. The docks to both the Mark Twain Riverboat and the Sailing Ship Columbia, (a replica of American explorer Robert Gray's 18th century ship that circumnavigated the globe) are located here, and Tom Sawyer Island in the river's center is also considered a property of Frontierland

Frontierland's buildings have lots of detail too. On the roof of the Westward Ho Trading Co., there are elk or deer antlers. Elk antlers were commonly placed on general stores in the old west so cowboys coming into town immediately knew where to get supplies. Also in Frontierland is a building that has a large sign that says "Laod Bhang Co. Fireworks Factory". Plus, at the storefront marked "Crockett and Russel Hat Co.", you'll find a window honoring Fess Parker, who played Davy Crockett in Walt Disney's Davy Crockett. Frontierland borders Fantasyland (via the Big Thunder Trail), New Orleans Square and Adventureland, and connects to the Central Plaza through an iconic set of fort-style gates.

Attractions and entertainment[edit]

Former attractions and entertainment[edit]

  • Mike Fink Keel Boats (1955–1997)
  • Woody’s Roundup
  • Little Patch of Heaven Petting Farm
  • Burning Settler’s Cabin
  • Casa de Fritos
  • Casa Mexicana
  • Ceremonial Dance Circle
  • Conestoga Wagons
  • Dixieland Band Stand
  • Festival of Fools
  • Fort Wilderness (1956-2003)[1]
  • Indian Village
  • Nature's Wonderland
  • Rainbow Caverns Mine Traine
  • Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules
  • Silver Banjo Barbecue
  • Stagecoach Ride

Restaurants and refreshments[edit]

Former restaurants and refreshments[edit]

Shops[edit]

  • The Spirit of Pocahontas Shop
  • Bonanza Outfitters
  • Westward Ho Trading Company
  • Pioneer Mercantile
  • Silver Spur

Magic Kingdom[edit]

Magic Kingdom's Big Thunder Mountain

Walt Disney World opened its Magic Kingdom in 1971, complete with Frontierland. This instance began with only three attractions: the Walt Disney World Railroad station, Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes (which operated until 1994) and the world debut of the Country Bear Jamboree. Tom Sawyer Island opened in 1973. The northwestern end of the park was supposed to receive a massive, pavilion-style "E ticket" attraction, which was never built. (See also Western River Expedition) The area sat empty until Big Thunder Mountain Railroad premiered in 1980.

Few changes would be made over the next decade. Construction began on Splash Mountain in 1991, and the western end of the land with the exception of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was demolished and rebuilt from scratch, including the existing Walt Disney World Railroad station and parade access road. Splash Mountain and a new two-story railroad station opened in October 2, 1992. Frontierland borders Adventureland on the south, Liberty Square on the east, and the Rivers of America on the north.

Attractions and entertainment[edit]

Former attractions and entertainment[edit]

Restaurants and refreshments[edit]

  • Diamond Horseshoe
  • Golden Oak Outpost
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café
  • Westward Ho

Shops[edit]

  • Big Al's
  • Briar Patch
  • Frontier Trading Post
  • Prairie Outpost and Supply

Tokyo Disneyland[edit]

Big Thunder Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland's instance is known as Westernland, as "frontier" does not adequately translate into the Japanese language. The Mark Twain sails this park's Rivers of America. Other than differences in placement, and minor variations in color, theming and name, the land is very similar to the Frontierland and Liberty Square areas of the Magic Kingdom.

Attractions and entertainment[edit]

Restaurants and refreshments[edit]

  • Plaza Pavilion Restaurant
  • Slue-Foot Sue's Diamond Horseshoe
  • Pecos Bill Cafe
  • Mile Long Bar
  • Hungry Bear Restaurant
  • Lucky Nugget Cafe
  • The Canteen
  • Chuck Wagon

Shops[edit]

  • Frontier Woodcraft
  • Western Wear
  • General Store
  • Westernland Picture Parlour
  • Trading Post
  • Country Bear Bandwagon

Disneyland Park (Paris)[edit]

Frontierland in Disneyland Park, Paris

Located in the area that is traditionally occupied by Adventureland, Frontierland at Disneyland Park opened with Euro Disneyland in 1992. Unlike all of the other instances, this instance has an elaborate backstory concerning the town of Thunder Mesa, founded by Henry Ravenswood to support the mining of Big Thunder Mountain. This backstory also serves as the foundation for several of the attractions, such as the Phantom Manor. The land is the largest of all of the Frontierlands thus far, containing the entire Rivers of the Far West within its borders.

Two riverboats circle the river here, the Molly Brown and the Mark Twain. Critter Coral was an old area of the land converted into Woody Roundup, a meet and greet area with Woody from Toy Story and Jesse from Toy Story 2. The land is converted into 'Halloweenland' in October, with many pumpkins and other scary characters lurking around every corner. Frontierland borders Adventureland and the Central Plaza of Main Street USA via Fort Comstock.

In October 2008, for the first time in Disney history Jack Skellington and Sally from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas made appearances as meet and greet characters in Frontierland's halloween overlay. They were situated outside Phantom Manor.

Attractions and entertainment[edit]

Former attractions and entertainment[edit]

  • Critter Corral (1992–2006)
  • Tarzan, the Encounter
  • Woodcarver's Workshop
  • Pueblo Trading Post
  • Indian Canoes

Restaurants and refreshments[edit]

  • The Lucky Nugget Saloon
  • Last Chance Café
  • Silver Spur Steakhouse
  • Fuente Del Oro Restaurante
  • Cowboy Cookout Barbecue

Shops[edit]

  • Thunder Mesa Mercantile Building
    • Tobias Norton & Sons
    • Bonanza Outfitters
    • Eureka Mining Supplies
  • Big Thunder Photographer

Hong Kong Disneyland[edit]

Big Grizzly Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland

Unlike all of Disney's Magic Kingdom style parks which came before it, on opening day, Hong Kong Disneyland did not include a Frontierland. In 2012, a new themed land called Grizzly Gulch (Traditional Chinese: 灰熊山谷) opened as the park's equivalent to Frontierland. Grizzly Gulch is much smaller compared to the "Frontierlands" of other Disney Parks, featuring only one ride, Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. This roller coaster attraction is a variation of the "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad" attractions found at other Disney Parks, featuring special ride elements unique to this attraction, including backwards portions, and a high speed launch section.

Attractions and entertainment[edit]

Restaurants and refreshments[edit]

  • Lucky Nugget Saloon

Shops[edit]

  • Bear Necessities

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Apple, Charles (March 14, 2014). "Disney history: Pirates of the Caribbean opens". The Orange County Register. p. News 6. Retrieved 20 March 2014.