Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

June 2007

For reasons completely beyond comprehension, modern children know more about piracy than they do about literature. This sad fact (coupled with decades of half-hearted maintenance) caused attendance on Tom Sawyer Island to dwindle to levels so low that the Pooh attraction's numbers were starting to look good in comparison. Surely, something had to be done.

That "something" was a complete reworking of Tom Sawyer Island into a new attraction -- Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. Gone were the tree house, mysterious caves, and rope bridge, replaced by a pirate's tree house, mysterious pirate caves, and a scurvy bridge of rope and "shiver-me-timbers." Fort Wilderness, accidentally blown to bits when a Columbia cast member accidentally put real ammunition into the ship's cannon, was cleared away, making room for an attractive construction wall. The bodies in the graves behind the fort were removed and sold on eBay (with all the money going to sponsor Special Olympics participants with single eyes or wooden legs).

The overlay that turned Tom Sawyer Island into Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island was extensive,
but here and there little clue's to the island's original inhabitant can be seen. Here, for instance,
observant guests will notice that the sign announcing the entrance to Pirate Joe's Cave is
suspended by chains, reminiscent of those that used to bind a certain slave friend of Tom's.

One of the many new subterranean caves in Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
snakes deep beneath the ground and has windows that allow guests to
catch a glimpse beneath the Rivers of America.

Never one to miss a marketing opportunity, Disney has made available
a wide variety of Pirate's Lair-related merchandise, such as this
humorous inspirational poster.

Trivia: In reaction to the opening of Pirate's Lair, many (approximately eight) die-hard Disney fans protested the removal of what had been one of Walt Disney's favorite attractions, and the heirs of Mark Twain have started a class-action lawsuit for the defamation of Tom Sawyer's character.

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