Disneyland Confirms Attraction To Close
Hollywood Thoughts ran into Ed Grier-- the 51 year-old president of Disneyland -- the other day...
In our brief conversation, Grier officially confirmed the rumors of the imminent destruction of Tom Sawyer Island's Fort Wilderness attraction (recently renamed, Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island). As Hollywood Thoughts reported last month, the wooden fort -- designed, in part, by Walt Disney -- will be replaced by a stone fortress similar in style to the one found in the Pirates of the Caribbean battle scene.
When asked if the fort would be re-opened to the public and feature a pirate themed stunt show (as rumors have suggested), Grier said, "No-- it'll be used for storage and a backstage break area for cast members." When we pressed that this would be a loss for the kids (remember climbing up to the fort's shotgun lookouts to peg passing canoe paddlers?), we were told the change was necessary to fill a need for a critical lack of "backstage" space for staff.
There have been unofficial internet posts that suggest demolition work has already begun-- but that they have stalled because of asbestos found in the fort's fifty-one year-old structure.
Grier is a 26-year Disney veteran who oversaw the company's operations of Tokyo Disney Resort before being named President of the Disneyland Resort in 2006.