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Frontierland at Disneyland Park – What You Need to Know

Walt Disney once said, “Here we experience the story of our country’s past … the colorful drama of Frontier America in the exciting days of the covered wagon and the stage coach … the advent of the railroad … and the romantic riverboat. Frontierland is a tribute to the faith, courage and ingenuity of the pioneers who blazed the trails across America.” Frontierland is not to be missed. Here’s what you need to know about this land at Disneyland Park.

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Disneyland Resort, some offerings may be modified or temporarily unavailable. 


1 – Overview

Frontierland, representing the “Frontiers of America,” opened as one of five original lands at Disneyland Park on July 17, 1955. The rough and tumble nature of America’s pioneer days comes to life in the streets and unspoiled wilderness of Frontierland. It’s a land of riverboats, stagecoaches and railroads, where trappers, cowboys, farmers and miners all traveled west to fulfill their own dreams of gold. Frontierland brings to life the natural beauty, excitement and promise of the American West in the 1800s.

2 – What’s new

Hit the blazing trail on the Big Thunder Trail. The path offers guests a walkway between Frontierland and Fantasyland and features a rock formation where guests can relax under the shade and snap a few photos.

3 – Frontierland Attractions

Attractions in Frontierland include one Disney FastPass attraction, the thrilling Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Guests also enjoy tours around the Rivers of America on the Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia and freedom to roam through Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island.

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

4 – Entertainment

Guests will enjoy western-style entertainment on the stage of the Golden Horseshoe, including a performance featuring a pair of piano players who are ready to challenge one another in a good ol’ fashioned showdown. Disney’s longest-running and most popular nighttime spectacular, “Fantasmic!,” returned in 2017 and is a breathtaking nighttime water show on the Rivers of America. Treasured by guests for more than 25 years, “Fantasmic!” features enhanced, awe-inspiring effects, innovative state-of-the-art projection technology and new storytelling elements. The heart of the show remains as guests journey into Mickey Mouse’s fertile imagination as he conjures dreams of beauty, adventure, romance, and in the show’s thrilling climax, danger.

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5 – Dining

Frontierland offers a variety of fare. For quick-service options, guests may grab lunch at The Golden Horseshoe or Stage Door Cafe. These two locations are also now available for guests to plan ahead and order their favorite food and beverage selections using the mobile ordering feature on the Disneyland app. Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante is the whole enchilada, serving Mexican favorites. River Belle Terrace offers comfort food with a side of riverfront views. The “Fantasmic!” dining package or the “Fantasmic!” On-The-Go package are great options to secure dining as well as reserved viewing for the nighttime spectacular.

6 – Imaginative landscaping

Entering Frontierland, guests may notice the landscape represents a town from the Wild West, with cactus, brush, dirt and rocks. El Zocalo Park features olive trees and bougainvillea, representing the Spanish theme of the area. Up along Frontier Trail, the landscape transitions to represent a more mountainous environment of the frontier. The petrified tree, an iconic landscape piece in Frontierland, is Lillian Disney’s gift to Disneyland.

A train zips through Big Thunder Mountain and past the historic Rainbow Ridge Mining Town. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a popular roller coaster attraction, is located in Frontierland at Disneyland Park. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

7 – Facts & Secrets

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad celebrated its 40th anniversary on September 2, 2019.
  • Three kinds of fish inhabit the Rivers of America: catfish (bottom feeders), carp (middle feeders), and mosquito eaters (top feeders).
  • The Mark Twain Riverboat dates back to opening day at Disneyland: July 17, 1955. It was an “E Ticket” (top-of-the-line) attraction in the days of the A-through-E ticket books, a system that required a separate entry ticket for each attraction.
  • The Sailing Ship Columbia is an exact, full-scale replica of the original Columbia Rediviva, which was the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe.
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition has more than 90 targets. When guests pull the trigger, the guns shoot an infrared light.
  • Crockett & Russel Hat Co. has a window honoring Fess Parker, who played Davy Crockett in Walt Disney’s television show, “Davy Crockett.”
  • The Golden Horseshoe is one of several original buildings in Disneyland. Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian, celebrated their 30th anniversary here with the debut performance of the original Golden Horseshoe Revue. With more than 50,000 performances logged since then, the Golden Horseshoe Revue was at one time “the world’s longest-running live stage show,” according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Disney Legend Harper Goff designed the saloon’s interior using a set design he had created for the 1953 Doris Day film “Calamity Jane.”

8 – Cast Member Tips

  • Wait until the second show of “Fantasmic!” for a smaller crowd. There is a great viewing spot on the bridge over Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Tom Sawyer Island provides lots of fun for young guests who explore its caves, tree house, and swinging bridges. Several benches throughout the island provide weary adventurers a scenic, relaxing break.
  • A great Frontierland photo location is just inside the fort, as guests come through the main entrance. Navigating the Rivers of America? If you’re on the Sailing Ship Columbia, go to the bottom deck to see where the crew ate and slept. Sharp-eyed explorers can find two Hidden Mickeys on the Mark Twain Riverboat.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
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