Across Rivers of America, you’ll find a place where you can roam the step-free Old Scratch’s Mystery Mine, cross wooden suspension bridges, and pretend to defend Fort Langhorn with rifles rigged with weak recordings of gunfire. The fort is made of fiberglass logs—the wooden version in Disneyland rotted.
The island is a great destination to explore, work off energy, and escape the crush—one of the only places in the park where your kids’ imagination will have true free rein. You can reach it only by taking the platform boats that leave from the vicinity of Big Thunder Mountain, which makes it a blessed place to escape crowd control but also a time devourer. Don’t be in a hurry, because you’ll wait for the pontoon in both directions. They only fit 50 passengers at a time and you have to stand in the sun, so it helps to have decent balance. The island closes at dusk. Tips: There is an ice cream-and-soda stand there, Aunt Polly’s, but it’s rarely open; sit on its porch and watch the Liberty Belle and Haunted Mansion across the water. There are water fountains and washrooms, but overall it’s pretty rustic—it’s a great spot for a picnic.