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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

Frontierland and Adventureland

Frontierland and Adventureland are on the left side of the park which, as previously mentioned, “is given over to the excitement endemic to liminal places” where Marling (1997) points out the "competition between civilization and nature is ongoing, and it is not certain who the winner will be" (p. 103).  According to Real (1977), Frontierland is the least favorite of all the lands.  It was originally based on the True Life Adventures and Disney’s live action films, and the Davy Crockett series and later movie on the Disneyland television show.  Frontierland takes us back to the imaginal “Wild West,” the American Frontier, the historical past.  Frontierland hosts "Tom Sawyer Island," the "Mike Finn Keelboats," and "Big Thunder Railroad."  Critter Country with "Splash Mountain" has been carved out of Frontierland, too, just as New Orleans Square was essentially carved out of Adventureland’s territory.  ∆RC[dl12]

Adventureland is home to the "Jungle Cruise," the "Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse" (now "Tarzan's Treehouse"), the "Enchanted Tiki Room" and more recently the "Indiana Jones Adventure."  Whereas the scale of Fantasyland is small, storybook-like and based on children, the scale of Adventureland, like Frontierland, is life-sized, and based more on an adolescent sensibility, which would fit with its liminal nature:

Adventureland evokes the illusion that it is life-size, while Fantasyland appears to contain the smallest buildings in the park.  Adventureland looks “grown-up” so that one can more easily enter into the scene as a participant, which is impossible to do at Fantasyland where the adult, at least, experiences the rides from a wistful—therefore more distant—mental state. (Waldrep, 1993, p. 148)

Frontierland and Adventureland, represent the historical and geographic past respectively, as well as the left-brained, competitive, exciting, adventurous spirit of the past, using Marin’s (1984) and Bukatman’s (1991) notions. Archetypally, we can associate Frontierland with the planetary archetype Saturn, while Adventureland and New Orleans Square can be associated with the planetary archetype Pluto. [Frontierland hosts the "Amusing Ancestry" excursion, where you can explore the historical precedents of Disneyland] and [Adventureland / New Orleans Square hosts the "Antistructure" excursion.]  Let us cross the park and go back to the future and visit Tomorrowland.


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