Tag Archives: entrance to Frontierland

South Side Frontierland

South Side Frontierland kinda sounds like some sort of badass street gang from a bad part of LA colloquially known as “Frontierland.”

But it’s not.

In fact, it’s not even actually called that. But it’s my blog so I can name things whatever I want.

A while back I did a post on Frontierland North, so it’s only fitting to do a post on Frontierland South. That and the last 3 entries had us stuck in Adventureland, and there’s only so much time you can spend in that crowded walkway that makes Adventureland so difficult to get through.

Just like Frontierland North, Frontierland South has an oldey-timey sign on the fort:

I know last time I actually typed out what the sign said, but I didn't write it down this time so you can either squint closely or deal with it.

Once you walk into the fort, on your immediate left is an opportunity to buy a Mickey Mouse shaped pretzel. Which is completely authentic to the Old West.

I'm not a fan. Give me back my popcorn and churros.

Also, if you need to hit up a historic-looking ATM, you’ll find one at the entrance to Frontierland.

Also a good place to stop by and check your map

Now technically there’s a secret passage to Adventureland here, but it dumps you right back into the very crowded Adventureland walkway, so if you’re looking to avoid the Adventureland bottleneck, you’ll want to keep moving straight through Frontierland and hang a left at the Rivers of America.

Not really a shortcut

There’s a flag standing sentinel as you walk into Frontierland.

Fifty nifty United States from thirteen original colonies...

Apparently Walt was a big friend to animals because the American Humane Society gave him this plaque:

I knew I liked this man!

Although in doing my research, I have learned that the American Humane Association works for protecting children AND animals. Who knew?

Anyway, the most prominent feature in Frontierland South is the line of stores. On the corner there you can see the Pioneer Mercantile

It's the Pioneer Mercantile!

It's a closeup of the Pioneer Mercantile!

I just love the word mercantile. It reminds me so much of Little House on the Prairie. I was addicted to those books and wanted to be Laura Ingalls. I loved the tv show too but they veered so far from the books it was hard to keep track.

For some reason, it’s become really popular to get a leather bracelet or luggage tag with your name on it.

"Shelby & Mickey 4evar!"

Which reminds me of Girl Scout camp, where also used to make leather bracelets. When I was in charge I always tried to steer kids away from that craft because it was basically an hour of 20 kids banging with hammers, and invariably someone would mess up and leather just isn’t that forgiving.

But I digress.

Inside the store is pretty typically Disney merchandise. There’s a glass case with collectibles:

Great picture, Shelb

I would love to buy this train for Kevin but unfortunately, I’m kind of cheap.

Maybe I'll buy it for him anyway. Shhhhh, don't tell!

There’s the requisite 2011 merchandise table.

Ever wonder what they do with these things when it's no longer 2011? Well, stick around this blog and I will tell you.

And of course a large tree inhabited by various stuffed animals.

Like Pooh Bear, Eeyore, and Duffy

I don’t know why they like to stick stuffed animals in trees, but there ya go.

Moving farther into the store, you get the Pioneer Mercantile’s big tribute to the Old West. It’s a video of Woody and Jessie.

I believe that's Andy running with Woody, but I'm not 100% sure

From there, you turn and see  a big concrete arch made to look like stone.

It's beckoning

Going through the arch, you basically see some standard Dland merchandise again–clothes this time.

Somewhat boring

And then this kind of turns into the Store That Never Ends, because once you walk through, you get to the Yee-Haw themed buffalo/horse store (not the official name).

It's like an Old West register if the Old West had registers

My favorite part about that is the sign that says “We Buy and Sell Hides Top Prices” when every time I look at it, my eyes read “Buy and Sell We Hides Top Prices.”

I can’t tell you what a relief it was to see that sign. I had like an entire half of a cow’s worth of hide that’s been sitting in the bottom of Theo’s stroller for quite a long time. Here’s my chance to unload it!

Or not.

There are a couple of token things to buy, but the major focus of this store is the theme.

Which appears to be buffalo and possibly co-opted "Native American" decorations

A capsized canoe (oh noes!) draws the eye visually to the beam proudly declaring this to be “The Greatest Roundup of Wares in the West,” which is pretty ironic since there really are very few things to actually buy there.

Good God, is that a stars and stripes longhorn skull???

And don’t miss the massive, cheesy mural!


For some reason, this totally reminds me of the Amazon reviews of the Three Wolf Moon shirt. (no, seriously, read the comments)

And just when you thought the stores were over–there’s more!

Seriously, it's the store that never ends

After twisting and turning my way through this faux-topiary maze, I stepped outside to see what the deal was with the store I thought I might die in before I found my way out.

Which was exactly how I felt getting lost in the Louvre the first time.

It is, of course, a series of stores, much like the Adventureland gang back there. On the far end next to the (currently under construction, admire our decorative tarp!) Golden Horseshoe, we had Crocket and Russel’s Hat Company:

Plus a friendly post to tie your horse to

Now you would think, or at least I’d think, that something called a Hat Co. would sell primarily hats, or even a few hats, and definitely a fake coonskin cap given that it’s Frontierland, but you would be wrong. Or I would be wrong. Or maybe both of us are wrong.

Either way, there’s no hats there.

Next is the Dry Goods Store

If you consider leather hides to be Dry Goods, then yes, this store carries Dry Goods

Bonanza Outfitters is next:

All of the clothes make sense here

And finally, the Silver Spur Supplies where you can supposedly get jewelry and decorative items, though I think they fudged that one a bit.

Out of all of them, this is probably my favorite facade

And you’re back to the Pioneer Mercantile. Hooray!


The North(ish) Side of Frontierland

First, let’s talk about my sense of direction. Or lack thereof. I am not one of those people with a strong internal compass. Fortunately, Disneyland happens to be located with the front and back of the parks pretty much on a straight North-South axis. How convenient for me.

And rather than add a map of the park, I’m just going to point you to the official one. To orient you, the Main Gate is on the South side of the park. Main Street goes due North (more or less) ending in the Plaza ending at the castle. I will tend to give my directions based on the Plaza facing the castle.

Which is all just elaborate set up to say that today I’m going to talk about Frontierland, particularly one side at the entrance to Frontierland. From the Plaza facing the castle, Frontierland is on the left, and I’ll be talking about the right-hand side, so basically the North side.

Oh my god Shelby, can we just GET to the interesting part already???

The entrance to Frontierland is meant to look like a fort.

Welcome to Frontierland! Here there be cowboys.

Frontierland has a nice little touch on the ground–horseshoe and wagon marks in the concrete. Theo found this endlessly fascinating.

A horse has been here, or something

The first thing you come across is an informational sign on the door of the fort.

Translation below

For those lacking in acute visual skills, I’ll provide the text at the end of this post. Suffice to say it’s about the flags of the Revolutionary War, and supposedly all 13 of them fly above the fort. I was honestly only able to find, like, four.

There's a few--upper middle

There’s a different informational plaque on the other door into Frontierland, which I suppose I will talk about when I review the South side.

Once inside the gates, the first thing you come across is a pin store. Pin trading is really big at all of the Disney parks. I’m just going to have to make a whole separate post for pin trading. Let’s just leave it at there’s a pin store. Also, there are barrels outside so guests can do their own trading. Which I will cover later. Sometime.

Past the pin store, there’s the shooting gallery, or the Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition.

Rootin' Tootin' Shootin'

Disneyland really lacks in arcade-style games and there are only a handful. The Shootin’ Exposition is one of them. It only costs 50 cents too, which quite frankly is seriously cheap for Disneyland.

50 cents??? Yee-haw! I'm gonna shoot me some miniature fake tombstones!

And if you’re worried that you’re just throwing away your money on the guns (as opposed to generally throwing away your money in Disneyland), Disney does their best to help you be successful.

Look folks, the guns shoot straight, so if you're not hitting anything, don't blame us

You know, it just occurred to me right this very second (I think as I type) that I have never actually paid the money to shoot these rifles, and I didn’t do it this time either. I’d like to say it was because I didn’t want to leave Theo stranded in his stroller while I went on a shooting spree, but it’s actually just because I didn’t think about it.

Hey, I never claimed to be, like, thorough and organized, okay?

Anyway, if you don’t have a couple of quarters on you, you can use those old-fashioned change machines you never see these days anymore.

Disney aims for authenticity. If there were change machines in the Old West, this is probably what they would have looked like.

Like any shooting gallery, you aim at your standard Wild West scene. This one has large tombstones in the foreground and small houses in the back. I know that’s to visually create a sense of depth, but honestly it just kind of looks like the tombstones are freakishly large in proportion to the rest of this little town.

Apparently it's okay to shoot at people at Disneyland, as long as they are already dead and buried

And the rifles to indeed appear to be straight.

They're attached to the counter so you don't steal them

And then once you leave the shooting gallery, you get to the Rancho del Zocalo restaurant. This is (shockingly) a Mexican restaurant and is Kevin’s favorite restaurant in the park. The entrance is kind of tucked away and there are tables inside and outside. It’s a pretty good place to eat.

The restaurant entrance

Seating area

After that you are on your way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is another post. And that’s pretty much what you see on the North(ish) side of the entrance to Frontierland!

I'm pretty sure this is no longer politically correct


The text of the sign on the fort (the capital letters are theirs, not mine):


The 13 Flags displayed along the top of the log stockade are like those carried by American troops in the REVOLUTIONARY WAR. These standards represent the home counties, colonies, divisions and regiments of the soldiers.

One of the first flags to be unfurled bore the motto “LIBERTY AND UNION.” The famous rattlesnake flag with the motto “DON’T TREAD ON ME” was carried by the Minutemen in 1775.

For nearly a year after the founding of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the country was without an official national flag. So on JUNE 14, 1777, Congress approved a flag with thirteen stripes, alternating red and white, and thirteen stars in a blue field, representing a new constellation.

And thus, the STARS AND STRIPES became our official national flag, and has since been a symbol of freedom, courage, hope and unity of America and her people.


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