As many of you already know, Disney officially announced the highly anticipated return dates for the Disneyland Railroad, Fantasmic!, Rivers of America and Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. We are SO excited about all of these coming back after over a year of being closed due to some construction on the Disneyland Railroad in preparation for Star Wars Land opening in 2019.
We wanted to share a little bit about each of these classics just in case any of our followers don’t know what they’re all about! These attractions and shows are among our favorites at Disneyland, so we are always encouraging families to make time to experience them!
Rivers of America
The Rivers of America is one of the most beautiful sights in Disneyland! We always feel so relaxed while strolling along the river or enjoying the view aboard the Mark Twain or Sailing Ship Columbia. Guests will get to enjoy these Frontierland classics along with the Davey Crockett Explorer Canoes starting on July 29!
Mark Twain and Sailing Ship Columbia
If you would like to embark on the half-mile, 14-minute long journey into America’s early Frontier around the Rivers of America aboard the Mark Twain or Sailing Ship Columbia, just head to the loading dock located across from The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland. Both boats won’t be out at the same time, but they will typically alternate which boat takes trips around the river throughout the day.
A long, long time ago we shared about the free Mark Twain “Pilot License” certificate. If you or your littles would like one of these when the boat takes trips around the Rivers of America again, just ask a Cast Member at the loading dock to see if you can sit in the Pilothouse while the boat sails – the view from the top is amazing!
Between now and July 29, you can still step aboard and explore the Mark Twain when it’s docked in Frontierland! We also love to take snacks onto the boat and sit for a while or enjoy the live music (check the Disneyland App for entertainment times).
Davey Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
If you’re up for the ultimate adventure (and a little workout!), check out the Davey Crockett’s Explorer Canoes. These 20-passenger canoes are 100% operated by Guests and their river guide! They typically operate seasonally and as weather permits. If you or your kids have your heart set on the canoes, we suggest heading down to the Rivers of America (closer to the Haunted Mansion side) in the morning. Life jackets are provided for young kids.
Walking along the Rivers of America. How amazing is this?! It never gets old.
Beautiful view from the front of the Mark Twain!
Docked Sailing Ship Columbia – this is for sure a favorite for little Pirate fans!
Fantasmic! is a 22-minute long nighttime show on the Rivers of America in Frontierland! The show will be returning on Disneyland’s 62nd Anniversary, July 17 and we are SO excited about it! Fantasmic! is one of our favorites, so we always highly recommend families plan to see it while visiting Disneyland. The week of July 17th will have THREE entertainment times at 9:00 PM, 10:30 PM and 11:30 PM. Starting Monday, July 24, the show will happen at 9:00 PM and 10:30 PM only. BE SURE TO CHECK THE ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE DURING YOUR VISIT JUST IN CASE THEY ADD A 3RD SHOW.
Fantasmic! features all kinds of special effects along with classic Disney scenes (projected onto water!) and characters! One of the most exciting things about the return of Fantasmic! are the new visual effects and new scenes from Disney classics like Aladdin (see below for a photo from the Disney Parks Blog)!
We are not quite sure yet if dining packages for the Blue Bayou or Aladdin’s Oasis on-the-go meals will be available with reserved/preferred viewing like they’ve done in the past, but we will update everyone on Instagram as soon as we know.
FAST PASS – If you’re heading to the parks during the first few weeks of Fantasmic’s return, we recommend grabbing a Fast Pass as we imagine lots of guests will be excited to see it again! The show’s Fast Pass is “disconnected,” which means you can pull a Fast Pass for it first thing in the morning, and continue to obtain Fast Passes for attractions all day long. The earlier you get your Fast Pass for the show, the better the viewing area you’ll be sitting/standing in. Fast Pass distribution machines will be located along Big Thunder Trail. Check out our post with more Fast Pass rules here.
Photo of part of the show from Disneyland’s website.
New Fantasmic! Aladdin flying carpet scene photo from the Disney Parks Blog.
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Embark on a log raft journey across the Rivers of America to the ultimate playground for your kiddos! Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island officially opened back up today and we HAD to head there first thing this morning to enjoy it! The island has so many places to explore, lots of shade from beautiful trees, picnic tables to enjoy a snack, benches for resting, a couple of restrooms and just beautiful sights all around.
FYI – Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island is a place that you’ll want to keep an extra close eye on your little ones! There are so many nooks and crannies that it could be easy to lose sight of active kiddos (like ours!)!
The island is open when the park officially opens until usually 5:00 PM.
See below from photos from this morning!
Leaving the dock this morning – we were so excited to finally be doing this again!
Photo taken from the island looking across the river at New Orleans Square.
Lafitte’s Tavern got a little bit of a makeover – it looks great!
Your kiddos can spin an old ship’s wheel and lift this guy out of the water!
This lumpy, bumpy bridge is lots of fun for the littles!
Caves galore to explore! Claustrophobia for us to the max – haha!
Photo taken from the back side of the island looking out at part of the new Disneyland railroad trestle.
We spy the Mark Twain hidden in the trees! See it?!
Exploring up high above the river on Tom and Huck’s Treehouse – a great lookout spot!
The Treasure Dig! The last time we were here (right before it closed) was when Reagan was just a little guy! See the photo below! AH! Queue the tears. Why do they have to grow?!
Throwback to 2015!
Kids love this spot – also a great place for photos.
We pretty much had the whole island to ourselves this morning, so no one was really around to snap our photo together!
On our way back to the main land!
The Disneyland Railroad
Out of all of the returning classics, the Disneyland Railroad is one we’ve been most excited to see again! The train will be taking guests on trips around the park starting July 29! We’ve loved this attraction since we were kids and now that we have kids of our own, it’s really fun to experience such a special part of Disneyland with them.
Our kids are in LOVE with trains, so this 18-minute, 1.2-mile ride around Disneyland is the best of both worlds – the kids are happy and we get to rest our feet while taking in the views of the park! We’ve also used the train many, many times as a great #mkmnursingspot!
The train stops about every 5-10 minutes throughout the day at the stations located on Main Street USA, New Orleans Square, Toontown, and Tomorrowland (closes intermittently for fireworks), so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a relaxing trip around the Magic Kingdom!
Lu learning all the important things about trains. 🙂
Free “Conductor of the Day” certificate from the New Orleans Square train station. “Engineer of the Day” certificate also available!