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The West is still WILD in Frontierland at Disneyland California!
First, enjoy pictures of the Frontierland themed area
Frontierland is the perfect spot for your kids to pretend that they lived back in the days of the cowboys and girls. Why don't you join them...and shake off your immersion in present-day cares for just a moment? Join the kiddies in daydreaming about Wild Western adventures!
Frontierland = Wild West fun!
Things to do in Frontierland? Plenty!What fun family activities await you in the Frontierland themed area of Disneyland Park? Here's a partial list!Test your skill at the local shooting gallery...or catch a musical comedy show at the Golden Nugget Saloon theater.
Dine on delicious Mexican favorites at the beautiful Rancho del Zocalo restaurant...or savor BBQ and down-home Southern-style vittles at the Riverbelle Terrace cafe. Shop for western-style clothing and accessories...and pick up plush dolls of Woody and his horse for the kiddies. (Woody was the cowboy character in the Disney/Pixar "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2 movies.")
Last...but certainly not LEAST...take a wild ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster, one of the most popular attractions in Disneyland Park! We'll talk about all these rides and attractions on this page...and more!
Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster!The wild frontier days live on in Frontierland at Disneyland California---and the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster is the wildest thing in the territory.
You can ride this zippy mine train as it twists and turns through Western red rock carved by the rains and winds of time. (OK, so it's NOT real rock...but it's a great reproduction of the scenic eroded formations that are REALLY found in national parks of the southwestern USA. In the picture to your left, you see a towering, graceful Big Thunder Mountain rock formation reminiscent of actual redrock shapes found in Bryce Canyon National Park of Utah!)
Once aboard the Big Thunder Mountain mine train, you'll enter into a cool, darkened cavern and see colorful mineral pools and geyser-like fountains. You'll ride pass relics of the old-time mining days. You'll see replicas of frontier stores and offices---and, since these buildings are now 50+ years old, they're fast becoming antiques in their own right!
There is a minimum height requirement to board the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster. Your kids must be 40" tall in order to ride.
Good news---the Disneyland Fast Pass option is available for the Big Thunder Mountain attraction. Another suggestion for experiencing this attraction without a wait is to ride during the Fantasmic nighttime show spectacular performances. While everyone has their eyes focused on the show, you can take advantage of the shorter lines at Big Thunder Mountain!
Note for warm, summer days: the line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is outside and uncovered; no airconditioning here! In the afternoon, though, the queuing area becomes partly shaded by the ride's decorative "mountains".
Another note: on busy days during the summer, you might find an animal handler in Western garb showing off a pony for children to pet just outside Big Thunder Mountain. It's just another one of Disneyland Anaheim's "extra touches" added during the busy season...to keep guests content despite the long lines at almost every attraction!
Cruisin' on the Mark Twain riverboat and Columbia sailing ship!You'll certainly want to ride one of the attractive river crafts available for your enjoyment in Frontierland.
In the photo on your left, you see the sailing ship, Columbia, in all her wooden glory. This beauty only sets sail on days when the park is busiest, so you might miss the chance to hop aboard. When this ship is operating, she makes regular departures from the boat landing in Frontierland. Otherwise, you'll still be able to admire her, for she sits docked at the shoreside in New Orleans Square when not in operation.
There is no minimum height required to board the Columbia sailing ship, though parents should ride with their young children. Guests in wheelchairs and ECV's should note that there are stairs to climb when boarding the Columbia sailing craft.
Along the way, you'll view scenes from out of the western frontier days as you make a circle tour around a scenic island and head back to the docks.
Once on board, you'll have the choice of riding on the main level, center level, or up pn the top deck. The bottom two levels are mostly shaded, while the upper level is not. On a busy day, your location depends on where you can snatch a bit of space along the railway! Otherwise, you're free to choose. There is no minimum age nor height requirement for the Mark Twain paddle wheeler. Guests in wheelchairs may remain in their chairs to board and ride the Mark Twain, and should use the "regular" entrance for this attraction
What happened to Tom Sawyer's Island? It's "Pirate's Lair!"You'll want to take a raft ride out to the island in the center of the lake if you have kids. Now named "Pirate's Lair," this little isle (which used to be called Tom Sawyer's Island) is an active child's dream. There are treasure-laden pirate caves to explore and treetop forts to investigate---and use as a base for playing a game of make-believe.
There are rocks to climb and a bounce-able wooden barrel bridgethat shakes and shimmies when you jump on it.
Best of all? Seeing "real" pirates! In the past, it was possible to meet Captain Jack Sparrow himself! At the present time, he's no longer available for Disney character Meet 'n Greets, but you'll certainly be immersed in pirate lore on the island. From time to time The Bootstrappers, a lively pirate musical group, will set your toes to tapping as you visit the island's attractions.
Be sure to get your visit to Pirate's Lair by afternoon time---it closes at sunset. In the nighttime, this area is used as a base for the multi-media spectacle, Fantasmic!
If you'd like to see more pictures of Pirate's Lair at Disneyland Park...including a photo slide show...plus discover more of the activities you may enjoy by visiting this fun family attraction, please visit the Pirate's Lair Pictures page of this website.
Other activities in Frontierland at Disneyland CaliforniaWant to see a rootin' tootin' Western show? Then saddle up and head to The Golden Horseshoe Saloon for a comedic musical revue. "Billy Hill and the Hillbillies" is a live show that has been packing 'em in for many years, and doesn't show signs of slowing down.
You'll have to plan ahead for which performance you wish to attend, so that you can make a beeline for the show's line-up queue in advance of curtain time. Seating is limited inside the saloon, and last-minute arrivals may not make it into their desired show-time.
Where should you sit in the Golden Horseshoe? Though some seats are closer than others, there are really no bad seats in the house. It isn't that big! Sitting on the balcony is a special treat. A snack bar is available, and eating is allowed at your table during performances.
As you "shoot" your rifle (there are no bullets here), you'll be rewarded for the hits you make. Whenever you hit a bulls-eye, bells ring, lanterns light, a player piano belts out a tune, owls hoot, a skunk lifts its tail...etc. These antics make the "Shooting Exposition" shooting gallery just as much fun for the spectators as it is for the participants!
There is no minimum age requirement to use the rifles at the Shooting Exposition---they can't hurt anyone! Guests in wheelchairs should use the rifles to the LEFT of the attraction, which are mounted on a lower countertop.
Finding Costumed Disney Characters in FrontierlandAttention Disney character hunters----Frontierland offers you the chance to meet 'n' greet costumed characters that you can't find anywhere else in the park! Naturally, Frontierland specializes in strolling characters dressed in Western garb.
In the photos at your left, you see Western Dale (half of the cute pair of Disney chipmunks, Chip and Dale) as he greets and hugs my grandson, Gabriel. Western Chip and Western Goofy have also been spotted making their appearances in Frontierland from time to time.
During the Christmas holiday season (which is celebrated at Disneyland Park from mid-November through the first week of January every year,) you'll enjoy meeting costumed characters at Santa's Reindeer Roundup. Santa's Reindeer Roundup gives kids a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus; to sing songs and dance at a cute "Western Christmas" themed program; make Christmas crafts; view real, live reindeer; and meet Christmas Disney Characters!
You can see a picture of Pluto wearing Christmas reindeer ears to your right. If you'd like to see pictures of Christmas Chip & Dale, plus discover more details about this fun family Frontierland holiday attraction, please visit the Santa's Reindeer Roundup page of this website.
Every October, Cowboy Woody get his very own seasonal attraction in the Frontierland section of Disneyland Park! It's called Woody's Halloween Roundup, and it's an attraction which will provide great fall-themed fun for your family.
At Woody's Halloween Roundup, you and your kids can watch cute live performances; enjoy some Halloween coloring fun; admire attractive autumn-themed seasonal decor; and enjoy a petting zoo area.
After Woody and Jessie perform a little skit, they usually head out in front of the stage for awhile to greet young fans, take pictures, and sign autographs. In fact, Woody's Halloween Roundup is a place you'll definitely wish to place on your "must see" list if you have young Disney/Pixar "Toy Story" movie fans in your household. Dates for this special Halloween activity are generally from late September throughout all of October each year.
If you'd like to see more pics and discover more fun you can have at this special attraction, please visit the Woody's Halloween Roundup Pictures"page of this website.
Dining in Frontierland at Disneyland CaliforniaIn the picture to your left, you see the colorful adornments of the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurant in Frontierland at Disneyland California.
This attractively landscaped and decorated restaurant features patio dining. A Mexican cuisine is offered here, even featuring authentic treats like caramel-topped flan for dessert. Prices are in the "moderate" range.
The Riverbelle Terrace Restaurant: Another restaurant in Frontierland is the Riverbelle Terrace, popular for American style and Southern style cooking. Though the Riverbelle Terrace Restaurant has been at Disneyland Park for a number of years, it's "all new" once more---it's recently had a thorough refurbishment, and looks simply beautiful (as you can see in the picture of the Riverbelle Terrace to your left.)
As of early 2009, you can get a "signature sandwich" (roast beef, roast turkey, vegetable Po' Boy or roast pork) plus side dish for about $13. You'll also find healthy main dish salads. Children's meals served here are the popular "Disney kids meals;" they include main dish, side dish, and drink. The price is reasonable; about $6.