After Backlash, Disney Covers Up Culturally Offensive Term On Ride

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Tom Sawyer

Credit: Disney

Since opening in 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort has offered millions of Guests some truly magical experiences. From imaginative rides like Splash Mountain and “it’s a small world” to incredible theming and genuinely fun activities, many Guests have come to love the Parks and call them their “second home”.

disney world 50th spirit jerset
Credit: Disney

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But over the years, many people have started to point out some rather insensitive or offensive aspects of rides or even whole attractions. We have seen this in numerous ways, most notably with Pirates of the Carribean such as the infamous bride auction scene as well as other attractions that Disney has opted to make more inclusive. Recently, DIsney made a change to one of the most classic attractions in all of the Park’s history.

disney world pirates of the caribbean auction scene
Credit: Disney

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Tom Sawyer Island, found at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, is an attraction that has lost reached a cult-like status for Disney fans and Guests alike. For Guests willing to brave typically scorching boat ride over to the island, tons of fun awaits. But recently, Disney changed these boats specifically to be more inclusive and less racially insensitive.

In a tweet from @wdwfacts, you can spot the changes made to the actual rafts. See the full post below:

The Walt Disney Company decided to get rid and paint over the Injun Joe name on the Tom Sawyer island Raft, to not hurt peoples sensitive feelings in the Magic Kingdom. Do you like the change or disagree with it?

As you can see, Disney has removed the offensive term for Native Americans, leaving the signage blank now. Many Guests would say this is long overdue as it has stayed on the attraction since it opened. It is important to note that all names on the boats have been removed.

More on Tom Sawyer Island at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World:

Tom Sawyer Island
Credit: Inside the Magic

Adventure Awaits!

Wander dusty dirt roads lined with tall trees, explore whirling mills and amble across creaky suspension bridges. Navigate narrow passages amid secret mined caves and uncover a frontier fort.

Along the way, follow in the pioneering footsteps of early settlers, during an era when Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer reflected a new nation coming into its own.

It’s an unforgettable expedition into the heart of the American frontier!

Journey by Log Raft

To reach the island, board a log raft for a piloted trip across the Rivers of America and disembark at Tom’s Landing. When you wish to leave the island, visit Tom’s Landing again for a raft ride back to shore.

In keeping with the laidback lifestyle that Tom is known to enjoy, you may experience a wait going to and returning from Tom Sawyer Island.

A Self-Guided Tour

As you explore the island, you’ll find adventure aplenty around every corner. Easy-to-read maps ensure you always know where you are during your island visit.
tom sawyer island fort langhorn
Credit: Disney

How do you feel about this change? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below!

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disney World’s water parks, four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

At Magic Kingdom there is so much to see and do! Cinderella Castle is decked out for the 50th anniversary and soon Festival of Fantasy and Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will return. You can ride the three big mountains: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain, or calm things down on Peter Pan’s Flight. Rope drop the Park to get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and then enjoy a mid-day snack with some Dole Whip. Be sure to meet Mickey Mouse and enjoy the firework show, Disney Enchantment! 

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