Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park

Where to Play, Eat & Shop in Frontierland – Disney World Guide

Last updated:

Howdy, folks! When it comes to the themed lands in Disneyland-style parks around the world, Frontierland is a mainstay, and that includes Magic Kingdom Park. As one of the original areas from the park’s opening day, the land is home to some of Magic Kingdom‘s most popular attractions and entertainment offerings, not to mention some worthwhile dining and shopping options. So, saddle up for a pioneering adventure as we round up everything you can see and do in Frontierland. Giddy-up!

Experience the Wild West in Frontierland at Disney World

“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.”

Although Walt Disney had Disneyland in mind when he spoke those words, the same can be said for Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom. With its rustic attractions and entertainment, down-home dining and Old West-inspired architecture, setting foot in Frontierland feels like taking a step back in time. And, in fact, you kind of do.

Sign in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom

Manifest Destiny in the Magic Kingdom

While Frontierland borders both Adventureland and Liberty Square, it actually continues the story of the latter. Or, should we say, history. Similar to its more patriotic neighbor, Frontierland is also a journey through space and time. This time, however, rather than telling the tale of our nation’s founding, it takes guests on a walkable tour of Westward Expansion. After all, as Horace Greeley once said, “go west, young man” (or woman), “and grow up with the country.”

In Frontierland, the great journey westward picks up where Liberty Square left off, at the St. Louis-inspired stylings of The Diamond Horseshoe saloon. Known as the Gateway to the West, it was in St. Louis where many pioneers’ adventures began. Next, officially in Frontierland, you make your way into the rough-hewn architecture of the Rocky Mountains in the 1850s, followed by the adobe-heavy Spanish Mission style of the American Southwest during the 1860s and 1870s. Pay attention to the building numbers as you mosey past—they mark the year you’re meant to be traveling through.

From there, it’s time for a brief detour back to the charm of New Orleans during the height of the Jazz Age. (Or, at least, it will be once Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens up.) Finally, we finish our western voyage just like many pioneers: caught up in Arizona’s gold rush. Just look for the visual ode to Monument Valley.

Splash Mountain Has Run Dry

Sadly, Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear won’t be causing any more commotion downstream. On January 23, 2023, Splash Mountain sent its very last log over the waterfall and into the briar patch, joining the ranks of the land’s former attractions and marking the end of an era for one of Magic Kingdom’s iconic mountains. Following its closure, Splash Mountain is being rethemed into a laughing place of a different sort: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, an all-new attraction inspired by The Princess and the Frog (find more on the ride’s storyline below). Currently, the reimagined log flume-style attraction is scheduled to open in late 2024.

Splash Mountain in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park

Where to Play, Eat and Shop in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland

So, what in tarnation can you do in this Westward Expansion-inspired corner of the Magic Kingdom? From family-friendly thrill rides and raucous shows to stick-to-your-ribs dining and pioneer-ready souvenir stands, there is no shortage of Wild West-worthy restaurants, shops, attractions and entertainment in Frontierland. Let’s take a look at everything that’s in store for pioneers passing through. Yee-haw!

Frontierland Rides & Other Attractions

Upon its debut on Magic Kingdom’s opening day back on October 1, 1971, there were only three attractions in Frontierland: Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes, which closed in 1994, and the still-operating Country Bear Jamboree and the land’s Walt Disney World Railroad station. Today, you can have a hootenanny of a good time with five different attractions (six once Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens in late 2024), including soon-to-be three rides, one audio-animatronic stage show, a shooting gallery and an interactive play area reachable only by a river raft. They include:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

With runaway trains careening around haunted gold mines, through tight turns, over bumpy hills and past an abandoned ghost town, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a rip-roaring ride you won’t soon forget. As the tale goes, in the late 1800s, folks struck gold in the tiny town of Tumbleweed, turning a quaint mining village into a thriving outpost. Sadly, this period of prosperity wasn’t meant to last. Unbeknownst to the entrepreneurial pioneers, they had built their mine trains on sacred native land, which resulted in a flash flood and, as a result, the abandonment of both the mines and the town. However, it seems that the locomotives didn’t get the memo.

This rollicking roller coaster can feel a bit spooky and rough around the edges in some parts, but that’s a huge part of its charm, making Big Thunder Mountain Railroad a great starter coaster for young prospectors while also appealing to experienced adrenaline junkies. Lovers of the American Southwest will also appreciate the rockwork nods to Monument Valley. If you’re especially eagle-eyed, you might even spot a Hidden Mickey or the elusive Hidden Tinker Bell (hint: it’s near the exit).

Lightning Lane Availability: Disney Genie+

Height Restriction: At least 40 inches (102cm) or taller

Best for: Kids, Tweens, Teens and Adults

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park

Country Bear Jamboree

If you’re looking for a chance to cool off and rest your feet for a bit without taking a break from the Disney magic, then make your way to the Country Bear Jamboree. Headlined by a band of singin’ hillbilly bears, this audio-animatronic stage show is a real knee-slapper. This 16-minute musical revue mixes country-western tunes and down-home humor with plenty of southern charm. The show is also a piece of Magic Kingdom history, as it made its world debut on the park’s opening day. In short, it’s a wholesome attraction you won’t want to miss.

Lightning Lane Availability: None

Height Restriction: Any Height

Best for: All Ages

Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade

Whether you’re hoping to sharpen your skills or show off your marksmanship, the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade is for you. This shooting gallery-style attraction located next door to the trading post, just a short walk from The Diamond Horseshoe, is a rootin’, tootin’ good time. Themed after the frontier town of Tombstone, Arizona, the attraction features almost 100 infrared-technology targets, both moving and stationary, and replica .54-caliber Hawkins buffalo rifles.

Lightning Lane Availability: None

Height Restriction: Any Height

Best for: All Ages

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (Coming Late 2024!)

Get ready to let the good times roll at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Currently set to make its debut at the end of 2024—barring any scheduling setbacks or construction delays, of course—this brand-new log-flume attraction will take the place of Splash Mountain (gone, but not forgotten). From what we know so far, the ride invites guests to join Tiana, Naveen, Louis the trumpet-playing gator, and some other furry friends as they put on a Mardi Gras celebration like none other for the good people of New Orleans. And naturally, it wouldn’t be the Big Easy without some Louisiana-style rhythm and blues. Fingers crossed that there will be a place to buy your splashdown photos after the drop!

Lightning Lane Availability: Not yet announced, though Individual Lighting Lane access seems likely, especially during the initial months after opening

Height Restriction: At least 44 inches (112 cm) or taller

Best for: Kids, Tweens, Teens and Adults

Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom's Frontierland

Tom Sawyer Island

Hop on a log raft and float across the Rivers of America for Tom Sawyer Island, a secret hideaway in the heart of Frontierland that’s made for exploration and relaxation. Think of it as a massive playground themed after the tales of Mark Twain, complete with dusty trails to hike, rickety suspension bridges to cross, dark caves to discover and even the frontier Fort Langhorn. Or, simply laze away the day for a while watching the riverboat chug by.

Bits of magic like Hidden Mickeys and Tom Sawyer-inspired Easter eggs abound, so be sure to keep your eyes open. As you can imagine, Tom Sawyer Island is both a great place for kids to blow off some energy and for adults to immerse themselves in the pioneer spirit of Frontierland. However, keep in mind that the island has shorter hours compared to the rest of the park and is typically closed seasonally, so be sure to check the My Disney Experience app.

Lightning Lane Availability: None

Height Restriction: Any Height

Best for: All Ages

Walt Disney World Railroad

All aboard! Ride the iron horse—that’s cowboy slang for a train—at the Walt Disney World Railroad station in Frontierland. Walt Disney was a great lover of locomotives, so much so that he even had a model railway built in his backyard. (You can even see one of the train cars over at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, one of the Magic Kingdom’s area resorts.) So, there’s no better way to pay tribute to him than with a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

The Frontierland station is located between Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and soon-to-be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. However, you can also hop on in Fantasyland or on Main Street, USA. Save your feet and ride to your next destination instead of walking or stay on the train for the full, 20-minute grand tour around the entirety of the Magic Kingdom.

Lightning Lane Availability: None

Height Restriction: Any Height

Best for: All Ages

Liberty Belle Riverboat cruising through Frontierland in Magic Kingdom Park

Frontierland Characters & Entertainment

Attractions aren’t the only things available in Frontierland—there is a stampede of entertainment options, too. You can also say “howdy” to some of the stars of the Country Bear Jamboree, see the parade roll by or take part in an old-fashioned hoedown.

Country Bear Jamboree Character Sightings

Every once in a while, some of those hillbilly bears leave Grizzly Hall to mingle with the Magic Kingdom masses. Although formal meet-and-greets aren’t available, you can wave at and take pictures with the bears from their perch on the Country Bear Jamboree balcony. These sightings usually begin shortly after the park opens and continue sporadically through early to mid-afternoon. So, check out the My Disney Experience app if seeing these cuddly characters is on your to-do list.

Festival of Fantasy Parade and Character Cavalcades

While it may be called the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, some of the best views of this fantastical procession of Fantasyland favorites can actually be had in Frontierland. As the parade access road steps off near Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, with the route winding through most of Frontierland and part of Liberty Square before exiting on Main Street, USA, there are plentiful spots to see the show throughout this old-timey part of Magic Kingdom. Alternatively, for even more character-spotting opportunities, you can also catch the park’s two character cavalcades, the Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade and Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade.

Musical bears on stage

Frontierland Hoedown Happening

Nothing says country like a classic hoedown. The Frontierland Hoedown Happening is one of the more unique entertainment options at the park. More like a flashmob than a formal show, this interactive offering featuring line-dancing cast members, country music and, if you’re lucky, appearances by the Country Bears and other Frontierland characters, doesn’t have set showtimes. At least, they don’t show up on the My Disney Experience app. You just need to be lucky enough to happen upon it. That said, it’s a fun little distraction and a neat opportunity to do-si-do alongside some cast members and characters.

Frontierland Restaurants

Getting into the pioneer spirit can work up quite an appetite. Fortunately, there are a few different dining options located around the land, whether you’re in the mood for Tex-Mex favorites or all-American classics. Sadly, no table-service restaurants are available in Frontierland. However, The Diamond Horseshoe, a saloon-style take on the Liberty Tree Tavern, is just a short walk away in Liberty Square.

Golden Oak Outpost

For kid-friendly bites with a dash of Tex-Mex flair, blaze a trail for Golden Oak Outpost. Nestled next to the Adventureland entrance, this quick-service stand currently cooks up deep-fried fare like chicken strips and french fries. Or, if you’re feeling spicy, you can also top your tenders with sour cream and pico de gallo or add some of Walt’s favorite chili to your fries. Although there are a few tables here, they aren’t sheltered from the elements. So, be prepared to take your food elsewhere if you’re in need of shade or air conditioning.

Cost: Lunch & Dinner – $14.99 and under per adult

Cuisine: American

What to Get: Walt’s Chili-Cheese Fries, Pecos Pico Tenders

Reservations: None

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Located just across from Golden Oak Outpost, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe is another Frontierland quick-service restaurant and arguably one of the best fast-food joints in all of Magic Kingdom Park. The menu here has seen a few changes recently, and the eatery now dishes up a hearty assortment of both Mexican-inspired and American-style offerings, such as fajitas, rice bowls, tacos, nachos, burgers and salads.

Best of all, whatever you choose comes with access to a bountiful fixings bar, which is filled with everything from lettuce and tomato to guacamole and pico. So, be sure to load up on toppings and get your money’s worth. The restaurant also offers a delightfully themed (and air-conditioned!) dining area. While much of the cafe is made to look like a saloon, our favorite room feels more like a quaint adobe courtyard somewhere in the American southwest, with glowing lanterns, colorful mosaics and potted plants.

Cost: Lunch and Dinner – $14.99 and under per adult

Cuisine: Mexican

What to Get: Fajita Platter, Walking Taco, Churros

Reservations: None, Mobile Order available

Inside Spanish-style restaurant

Westward Ho Refreshments

Looking for something portable to power you through the rest of your day? Rustle up some grub from Westward Ho Refreshments, a quick-service stand near the Rivers of America. Designed to look like a log cabin, this simple spot serves up a small selection of approachable snacks, as well as some surprisingly adventurous fare. Think breakfast sandwiches, donuts, jalapeño peppers stuffed with nacho cheese, candied bacon on a stick and the ever-popular corn dog nuggets. Sadly, no seating is available.

Cost: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner – $14.99 and under per adult

Cuisine: American

What to Get: Wendell’s Bear Claw, Candied Bacon Skewer, Corn Dog Nuggets

Reservations: None

Frontierland Merchandise Locations

No trip to the Disney Parks is complete without a souvenir or two. Go prospecting for the perfect vacation memento at one of these Frontierland merchandise locations.

Big Al’s

Any cowboy or cowgirl worth their salt knows that you can’t go adventuring without something to protect you from the sun, especially in Central Florida. Big Al’s stocks all kinds of frontier-ready provisions, including cowboy hats and coonskin caps. Or, make like everyone’s favorite mouse and don a set of Mickey Ears.

Frontier Trading Post

Attention, pin traders! On the hunt for a new pin to add to your collection? Mosey on over to Frontier Trading Post. Whether you’re hoping to do some trading or buy something new, this sizable store has you covered. They also offer an assortment of other items, such as hats, shirts and MagicBands.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at night in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park

Ok, cowpokes, that brings our wild roundup of everything you can do and see in Frontierland to an end. Before we ride off into the sunset, what is your favorite thing to do in this pioneering part of Magic Kingdom Park? Let us know in the comments! Then, learn how to work some magic on your wallet and save on your next vacation with our discount Disney World tickets.