In the Park

The Best of Frontierland: Your Ultimate Guide to the Disneyland Resort

Life preserver on Mark Twain Riverboat in Frontierland, Disneyland

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Welcome to Frontierland, home to the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness and a whole lot more! Take a step back in time to when the West was wild, with wooden sidewalks, a shooting gallery and some fantastically fun eats and treats.  And the shopping’s not bad either!  It’s also a great place to get into some pin trading! 

So grab your pins and lanyard and your favourite walking shoes, and we’ll head for the frontier – Frontierland, that is!




Frontierland offers something for everyone!  Here you’ll find:

  • Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Sailing Ship Columbia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition


Let’s take a closer look at each of them.


Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Guests can travel by log raft over the Rivers of America to retrace the steps of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and discover pirate treasure along the way!  Catch the raft from New Orleans Square and spend some time away from the crowds, crossing suspension bridges and exploring hidden caves.  

Fun fact:  Tom Sawyer Island opened in 1956 and was designed by Walt Disney himself!  The Island got a makeover in 2007 with the addition of the enchanting pirate enhancements.



Mark Twain Riverboat

This beautiful reproduction steamboat is a lovely way to take a break without leaving the park!  Enjoy a scenic cruise on the Rivers of America and discover hidden delights along the way from your vantage point on one of four decks.  The Mark Twain is an actual working steamboat, powered by the waters of the River.  It is charming and a must-see, plus it’s an original attraction from opening day.


Sailing Ship Columbia

Another reproduction of times gone by, the Sailing Ship Columbia is a 110-foot, fully-rigged ship.  Explore the main deck outfitted with cannons and deck-mounted guns, used to keep pirates at bay!  The journey of the Sailing Ship Columbia follows the same path as the Mark Twain Riverboat, but offers a different experience!


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Welcome to the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness!  Hold tight to your seat and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!  One of the more popular attractions in Disneyland park, Big Thunder Mountain offers thrills and chills for all those brave enough to board this haunted mine train!

Guests must be 40″ to ride this attraction and keep in mind that it is a roller coaster.  Sharp turns, twists, bumps and lots of speed are in store for those who step aboard!  Be sure to keep your eyes open to catch one of the best Hidden Mickeys in the whole park!


Tom Sawyer Island Pirates Lair in Frontierland, Disneyland


Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition

Guests wanting to test their shootin’ skills can mosy on up to the Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition and show what they’ve got.  This attraction is open to anyone, with no height requirements.  However, guests are required to purchase credits to play.  And don’t worry – there are no physical pellets, projectiles or fake bullets.  The rifles use infrared light and sensors.



Three shopping locations can be found in Frontierland, offering up a large variety of whatever you might need!


Bonanza Outfitters

This little shop carries a wide variety of clothing and accessories sure to outfit you for your adventures in the Wild West.  


Westward Ho Trading Co.

Get your pins, lanyards and some trading in this little shop.  A great spot for some keepsakes and souvenirs, and there’s always somebody looking to trade pins!


Pioneer Mercantile

Get your housewares, apparel and of course, Mickey Ears, at this wonderful little shop right at the entrance to Frontierland!  There’s something for everyone in the Mercantile.


Old stagecoach in Frontierland, Disneyland



The dining in Frontierland is not to be missed!  There’s something for each and every guest, depending on your tastebuds that day. 


River Belle Terrace

Take in the sights and sounds of the waterfront of the Rivers of America while dining on hearty meals with a Southern flair.  This terraced restaurant is a guest favourite, for the food and atmosphere alike!


Stage Door Cafe

Quick-service for the wild, wild west!  Stroll up to the window and choose from all-American classics to satisfy even a cowboy’s appetite!


The Golden Horseshoe

Enjoy a quick-service frontier-style lunch or dinner at the Golden Horseshoe, an original from opening day in 1955.  Walt Disney used to keep a private box in this restaurant, but guests can now enjoy their meal from his previous perch. 

At the time of writing, there was no word on whether we would see the return of the shows at the Golden Horseshoe, but if they come back, make sure to catch one.


Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante

Tantalize your tastebuds and take a time out with authentic Mexican cuisine at the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante.  It’s a beautiful location for a quick-service restaurant, with lovely tiling, fountains and archways in a Spanish-style oasis.

This location can get very busy in the evenings, so if you’re looking for a quicker meal, consider eating here for lunch, or maybe on off-hours!


A quick word on dining in Frontierland, and the Disneyland Resort as a whole.  Do keep in mind that current conditions and restrictions may impact dining locations, options and availability.  While the Resort is doing its very best to ensure a great experience for all guests, you may encounter delays or disappointment.  Try to take it all in stride!  After all, you’re STILL in Disneyland!  To get the latest updates and need-to-know information, be sure to visit the Official Disneyland site!



Of course, no guide is complete without a few insider thoughts!  When it comes to Frontierland, here are our best tips.


Our Best Tips for Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is one of the most popular attractions in the park.  Which, of course, means the lines can get long.  If you have it, use the Genie+ when wait times are over 45 minutes.  Anything under that, however, isn’t so bad in this queue.  The majority of the line has decent shade, so it’s not so hard to stay cool.

There is a small restroom off to the right of the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante, and beyond that is a short walkway into Fantasyland!  You can avoid the walk through the main entrance to Frontierland and the crowds at Sleeping Beauty Castle by taking this little shortcut.

You can often find an empty bench to sit and relax on, in shade, in Frontierland.  They are everywhere you look!


Frontierland is part of the heart of Disneyland and is NOT to be missed!


Be sure to check out the previous installments of our Ultimate Guide to the Disneyland Resort:


Main Street USA: Your Ultimate Guide to the Disneyland Resort

Adventureland: Your Ultimate Guide to the Disneyland Resort

New Orleans Square: Your Ultimate Guide to the Disneyland Resort

Critter Country: Your Ultimate Guide to the Disneyland Resort



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Life preserver on Mark Twain Riverboat in Frontierland, Disneyland


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