The Magic Kingdom, located at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is home to an array of exciting themed lands.
Main Street, U.S.A. is designed like a little 20th-century town, Adventureland is flooded with jungle and pirate attractions, Fantasyland is based on Disney's biggest fairytale films, Tomorrowland is home to an alternate future, Liberty Square tributes colonial America, and finally, Frontierland is based on the American West in the 1800s.
Styled like an old-West town, Frontierland opened alongside the Magic Kingdom in 1971. It is filled with a series of rides, shows, and experiences that fit with the theme, from an exciting hoedown show to a runaway mine train coaster.
We're here to look at all the attractions to have made a home in this land, both past and present, to see how they stack up. Though we won't be using an official rating system, we'll be taking into account criterion including excitement, nostalgia, and overall quality.
With that said, it's time to head out West. Here is how all of the Frontierland attractions at the Magic Kingdom stack up.
8 Frontierland Hoedown Happening
This exciting street show happens at select times throughout the day. It's comprised of a group of cast members and characters (including the Country Bears), who come together for a hoedown involving spirited music and energetic dance steps.
Guests are invited to join in on the fun, and though the celebration is short (around 8 minutes long), it's still an enjoyable and lively event. It tends to occur on a random schedule, around two or three times every day, so keep your eyes peeled and your dancing shoes handy.
7 Frontierland Shootin' Arcade
This classic attraction lets guests take aim at a series of targets for a small fee. There are 97 targets in the shooting gallery, which are spread over an Arizona Western town landscape.
The Frontierland Shootin' Arcade first opened in 1971 with guns that shot lead pellets. However, these guns were replaced by rifles that instead use infra-red light. This has kept the maintenance costs down, allowing the game to be played by multiple guests every single day.
Are you up for getting a high score? It is on.
6 Tom Sawyer Island
This island, located in the middle of the Rivers of America, is based on Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. After taking a log raft ride over, guests can climb up hills, venture through caves, and explore a traditional frontier fort.
Taking a self-guided tour is easy, as guests are given maps to help them navigate the landscape. It's a great place to slow down and go on a little adventure while the rest of the park continues to welcome high-energy excitement.
Just remember that if you're wanting to make a trip out here, you'll have to do it before the park goes dark.
5 Country Bear Jamboree
This musical attraction features a cast of audio-animatronic bears who perform country songs for guests. The nearly 16-minute show has the animals emerging on platforms to sing tunes including "Pianjo," "Tears Will Be the Chaser For Your Wine," and "The Ballad of Davy Crockett."
Though the attraction has been operating since 1971, it got a much-needed refurbishment in 2012. This allowed the bears to get new skins, furs, and costumes. Additionally, certain songs and dialogue were shortened or removed. Nevertheless, the show has remained a classic. It doesn't need fancy technology to pull at those heart strings.
4 Walt Disney World Railroad
Technically, this attraction takes place in lands throughout Disney World. Being that one of its stops is in Frontierland, however, we figured it was worth including in this list.
The Walt Disney World Railroad takes guests on a scenic train ride throughout the park. In addition to seeing the lands from a whole new perspective, riders are given insight into their journey via a looping onboard narration. The whole expedition takes around 20 minutes.
Though this ride is currently closed for refurbishment, a train is currently available for photos at the Main Street, U.S.A. Station. It has not yet been announced when the trains will be making loops again.
3 Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
While this free-floating canoe ride is still operational in Disneyland's Critter Country, it closed down at the Magic Kingdom in 1994.
First opening in 1971, Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes had guests piling into a 35-foot long canoe and rowing their way across the Rivers of America. They were guided by two frontiersmen who helped direct guests on the right path.
Though the attraction was leisurely, the required guest participation made it into a fun team-building activity.
2 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
This thrill ride sends guests on a wild train ride through a rocky landscape inspired by the real-life Bryce Canyon. The ride vehicles climb up hills and cruise down turns at speeds of up to 35 mph. Special effects, like the silhouettes dancing in the windows at night and explosions getting set off during the day, make the attraction all the better.
The Western theme has this ride fitting perfectly into Frontierland as a whole, and though the track is primarily outdoors, the dimly lit indoor portions add additional excitement to the experience.
Are you ready for one crazy adventure?
1 Splash Mountain
Topping off the list is one of the greatest rides in all of Walt Disney World Resort: Splash Mountain. Based on the animal characters from Song of the South, this log flume ride sends guests through a story starring Br'er Rabbit.
Though much of the nearly 12-minute boat ride is relaxing, featuring colorful scenes, a load of animatronics, and little drops, riders are in for one giant splash at the end. The attraction closes by sending guests plummeting down a 50-foot hill toward the briar patch.
Combining leisure and thrill with that classic Disney feel, no other attraction in Frontierland is as overall balanced at this one.