Legends of Frontierland interactive experience debuts at Disneyland giving guests a piece of the wild west

in Disney, Disneyland, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Theme Parks

UPDATE (4/2017): It’s been a few years since Legends of Frontierland came and went at Disneyland and the importance of this test experience for the future of theme park interactions has become very clear. Legends of Frontierland was a test for Star Wars Land, which when open in 2019 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will include multiple levels of interactions in which guests’ choices will alter the experience around them.

Read more about that here, from the recent panel discussion from Imagineers on the project, delivered at Star Wars Celebration 2017.

Our original article on the Frontierland experience is left intact below, as published July 11, 2014.

Folks visiting Frontierland will find things just a bit different this summer. There seems to be a feud brewing between citizens of Frontierland and the folks who settled in the Gold Rush town of Rainbow Ridge.

Actually, it’s a new interactive game that park guests can participate in at Disneyland in Frontierland with various “characters” such as the sheriff, a telegraph operator, a card shark, outlaws and more.

First stop is anyone of the new locations that have popped up in the area to get a sticker with your own Western-style name; mine was “Marksman Mark.” You also need to pick a side, Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge. Next you need to make some money, known as “bits,” or gold (each nugget is worth 50 bits) by doing various things like delivering telegraphs, helping out as a sheriff, playing cards, or capturing people wanted for various nefarious activities – such as being in the land with a Western-style name.

Legends of Frontierland
There’s trouble brewing in Frontierland.
Legends of Frontierland
A jail cell has popped up in front of The Golden Horseshoe.
Legends of Frontierland
A map showing the lay of the land has shown up in the Outlaw’s hideout in Rainbow Ridge.
Legends of Frontierland
Rutabaga Ricky, a citizen of Frontierland, explains that “outlaws” from the town of Rainbow Ridge are tryin’ to take over Frontierland.
Legends of Frontierland
Marksman Mark joins the old west battle after discussing what to do with Alyssa Sarsaparilla at the Frontierland Trading Post.

After you earn enough money, you can purchase a plot of land for your side, and help them take over the territory. The land sales take place at the Trading Post near the entrance to Frontierland, sale prices start at 85 bits, but quickly escalate to 100 bits and higher. You can also take over a plot of land by bidding on it via auction.

Rainbow Ridgers are considered outlaws by the Frontierland folk, and they even have a hideout near the entrance to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Legends of Frontierland
Priscilla, the telegraph operator, explains that it costs 15 bits to send a “tellygraf.” But if you’re real sweet to her, she might give you the 15 bits.
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Darlin’ Danielle joins up with the Frontierland crew at the Telegraph office, but I’d watch her, she’s up to sumptin.

Meanwhile, inside the Golden Horseshow, Miss Lilly and others are entertaining everyone, and there’s food to eat.

Legends of Frontierland
Meanwhile, over on stage at the Golden Horseshoe, Miss Lilly belts out a song and entertains citizens of Frontierland and Rainbow Ridge.
Legends of Frontierland
You can play high card at the Golden Horseshoe, they’ll even stake you, but check the dealer’s sleeves before playing.

If you capture a wanted person, you take them to the jail. But it’s not that easy, you face off against them in a “rock, paper, scissors” duel. If you win, you get the reward and they go to jail for two minutes – but don’t worry, there’s a game of checkers inside the jail to entertain the inmates. If you’re the wanted person, and win the duel, you get the reward and escape. Of course the bounty on you goes up by 25 bits, so you best skedaddle and hide before someone else comes after you. Oh, those in jail get a few bits too, just for being a good prisoner.

Legends of Frontierland
“Big Al” (left) has joined forces with Willum of Rainbow Ridge to make a few bits and buy some land.
Legends of Frontierland
Marksman Mark outside the jail, they’ll never get him in there.
Legends of Frontierland
A telegram is sent telling everyone to be on the lookout for Pistol Packin’ Pat, for packing a pistol. There’s a reward.
Legends of Frontierland
Marksman Mark has managed to capture Pistol Packin’ Pat and brought her to the jail for the reward of 25 bits.
Legends of Frontierland
Marksman Mark and Pistol Packin’ Pat have a duel. Marksman Mark wins the duel with rock over her scissors.
Legends of Frontierland
Pistol Packin’ Pat has to spend two minutes in jail, but fellow Frontierland citizen Willy, entertains her with a song and his guitar.

Later in the afternoon, each side has picked someone to run for Mayor of the town, lots of political skullduggery takes place with citizens walking around with homemade political banners and more.
Of course, it’s all in good fun.

A former Imagineer’s take on all this:

This is an experiment by the Disneyland Entertainment group to try something different and bring back some “life” to an area on a regular basis, and involve park guests in the activity.

I think they need to refine a few things to make things clearer, and could also spread it back along the Big Thunder trail.

The set pieces that have been added to the area to help in game and role-playing doesn’t really blend into the area as well as they could have. The Outlaw Hideout is the weakest of the bunch.
I think it’s a good experiment, and hopefully Disney will learn a lot from this, but then design a new role-playing attraction in a dedicated area that really feels more immersive. The weak link is that the area is the normal land, and is also a walk-through area for guests wanting to get to or from New Orleans Square or the hub.

The game is supposed to last until September.

Legends of Frontierland


  1. Eric B. Freeman


    1. Mike

      I agree. Very cheap. Doesn’t have the Disney quality feel at all. Belongs in the Universal backstage tours of 1969.

  2. Chris

    Looks dumb. Those little sets look cheap an inauthentic.

  3. Corryn

    It would be great to see something like this on Tom Sawyer Island here in FL. Sounds like a heck of a lotta fun.

  4. Stephanie

    I like this idea, but I think a lot of people who are only in Disneyland for 1 or 2 days won’t play because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite rides. Although, this seems like a good idea in the afternoon when the lines are too long. I want to try to play if it’s still going on when I visit. I wonder if it is something that little kids could have fun with. I think this game might not do as well as it could since it is in Frontierland. It makes sense to try to do something to draw people in there, but I feel like the Western theme is not that popular right now. I am basing that on Frontierland’s traffic when I have visited Disneyland, that the Fronteirland stuff in the Disney marketplace isn’t selling as well as things from other lands, and that the Lone Ranger movie didn’t do so well at the box office.

  5. Zac

    I played this with my 6 year old daughter over the weekend. It was alot of fun and really allowed an adult and their child get on the same page and play. Adults playing is something you dont see enough of these days and this allowed adults and their children do something that had enough challenge for both that they both had fun. The part that really made this work was the staff really getting in to it and having fun with it. This is one of the first times that you see all the staff in an area get to interact with the guest the way they did and really do something other than serve them and tell you were the bathroom was. As a test it was perfect but with some refinement you could really have fun with this and include the rides you are waiting in line for to really take advantage of the full area. Example instead of having to deliver the tellagrams how about your job is to deliver the towns supplies and rid big thunder mountain. You could then integrate tech by making people take a pic in line or you can just have them check in and get a stamp ect…

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  7. star-w

    since this was very popular during it’s limited run can they make a magic kingdom version of this next summer after all the florida version of frontierland is bigger than the california one you know

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