Disney World Recently Wiped Controversial Name From Legendary Attraction

One of the rides in Disney World's Magic Kingdom has a new name of sorts. Per our sister site ComicBook.com, the company has removed names from one of the theme park's oldest attractions, more than likely because of the attraction's seemingly culturally insensitive and dated marketing and name. First opening at the park in 1956 as part of the park's Frontierland area, the attraction was originally supposed to be an interactive environment themed after Mark Twain's classic novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It's also been part of Tokyo Disneyland since 2007.

Disney World removed two references to the character from the attraction. Now, a sign labeling "Injun Joe's Cavern" has been pulled from the attraction overall. A raft named after the character now has paint plastered over it. Disney also painted over the name planks for the other rafts that were named after Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. 

Injun Joe is the villain character from the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The character is a half-Native American grave thief who commits crimes, including murder. Sawyer and his friends witness Joe either commit the crimes or plot to do so. Sawyer is responsible for the character starving to death inside a sealed cave. The character was written as evil intentionally. Other characters in the book claim his evil nature as a result of his Native American heritage. 

The book is considered to be a classic in American literature. However, it's been criticized for how Injun Joe is portrayed. More specifically the criticism comes from his name including a derogatory term for Native Americans. 

Considering such cultural competency taking place worldwide, it's not shocking for Disney World to want to have references to the character removed. Recently, the company pledged more diversity and inclusivity. 


This attraction isn't the only one seeing an upgrade. Others including the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean have also received similar updates to do away with any negative stereotypes or related teachings.

Tom Sawyer Island was changed previously. The island also originally had a burning cabin that included its resident dead on the ground with an arrow in its chest. The implication was that he was killed by residents of an adjacent Native American village. The cabin became a moonshine distillery in the 1980s following complaints from guests. The cabin's perennially lit flames were ultimately shut off in the late 1990s.