According to new photos, Disney has officially removed almost every reference to the character of Injun Joe from the Walt Disney World edition of the Tom Sawyer Island attraction, ostensibly as part of the company’s previously declared efforts to ensure their theme parks present a “truly inclusive environment.”

Showing Tom Sawyer Island, Mark Twain Riverboat, Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes and Big Thunder Mountain Photo Credit: Chuck, aka SolGrundy on Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/solgrundy/, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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First opening at Disneyland in 1956 as part of the park’s Frontierland area, Tom Sawyer’s Island was originally conceived as an interactive environment themed after Mark Twain’s classic novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

As part of this theme, the area debuted with a bevy of references to the locations and characters found through Twain’s story, including the book’s main villain Injun Joe, whose treasure could be unearthed by visitors inside the aptly named Injun Joe’s Cave:

Source: Injun Joe’s Cave on Tom Sawyer’s Island (2009), Dennis Smith YouTube

The murderous grave robber’s name was also inscribed upon a sign adorning the rafts used by Disney park staff to ferry guests across Rivers of America to the attraction’s artificial island home:

Source: Blog Mickey

While the original Disneyland entry of the attraction was reskinned with a Pirates of the Caribbean theme in 2007 and rechristened as the Pirate’s Lair, Tom Sawyer’s Island has remained a staple attraction at both Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland.

One of the interactive features in the smugglers cove section of Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island Photo Credit: SolarSurfer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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However, a recent set of photos obtained by Disney park-centric news outlets Blog Mickey and published on January 25th has revealed that nearly all references to Injun Joe have now been removed from the Magic Kingdom version of Tom Sawyer’s Island.

As seen in the photos, the boat signs bearing Injun Joe’s name have been simply painted over, leaving the decorative set pieces to now look like nothing more than regular planks of wood:

The signage denoting the location as Injun Joe’s Cave has also been removed wholesale from the location’s entrance.

Notably, the name Injun Joe’s Cave can still be found on the attraction’s in-park map, though this is assumedly due to the longer production times needed to finalize and produce edited versions of the relevant graphics.

Source: ResortTV1 YouTube

As of writing, Disney has not yet publicly commented on the removal of the references to Injun Joe.

Further, it is unknown whether the references have been removed from the Tokyo Disneyland edition of the attraction.

Source: ResortTV1 YouTube

What do you make of Disney removing the references to Injun Joe from Tom Sawyer’s Island? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

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  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi
    Associate Editor

    Spencer is the Associate Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.

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