Magic Kingdom's Frontierland opened in 1971 together with the park. The instance began with only three attractions: the Walt Disney World Railroad station, Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes (but closed in 1994), and the world debut of Country Bear Jamboree. Tom Sawyer Island opened in 1973. The northwestern end of the park was supposed to receive a massive, pavilion-style "E ticket" attraction complex known as Thunder Mesa, with the headlining attraction being Western River Expedition. However factors relating to budget, the 1970s oil shortage, and guest demand for Pirates of the Caribbean lead to this project being cancelled. The area sat empty until Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, an attraction spun off from a runaway train ride portion of the Thunder Mesa concept, opened in 1980.
Few changes would be made over the next decade. Construction of Splash Mountain began in 1991, and the western end of the land with the exception of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was demolished and rebuilt from scratch, including the existing Walt Disney World Railroad station and parade access road. Splash Mountain opened in October 1992, followed by a new two-story railroad station in 1993. Frontierland borders Adventureland on the south, Liberty Square on the east, and the Rivers of America on the north.
Together with Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom's Frontierland was designed to be a chronological and geographical westward trip across America, with Frontierland roughly spanning from 1790 to 1880. This architectural journey through time includes:
- Early 1800s St. Louis - Diamond Horseshoe Saloon, at the border between the two lands and representing the transition between East and West.
- Mid-1800s Colorado Rockies - The Country Bear Jamboree's Grizzly Hall
- 1860s-1870s American Southwest - Pecos Bill's Saloon and other buildings. The corridor to Adventureland takes on more of a Mexican influence to transition into the Spanish Colonial setting of Caribbean Plaza.
- 1870s Deep South- Splash Mountain, admittedly a detour from the original design intent that had originally been planned with Thunder Mesa in mind. The Florida version of the attraction was given more of a deep red clay quality to visually blend with Big Thunder and evoke the soils of Texas.
- 1880s Arizona - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, representing Monument Valley.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (1980-2020) (2021-)
- Country Bear Jamboree (1971-)
- Frontierland Shootin' Arcade (1971-)
- Splash Mountain (1992-)
- Tom Sawyer Island (1973-2020, 2021-)
- Walt Disney World Railroad (1971-)
- Country Bear Vacation Hoedown (1986-1992 seasonal)
- Country Bear Christmas Special (1984-2005 seasonal)
- Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes (1971-1994)
- Frontierland Band
- Frontierland Hoedown Happening
- Tiana's Showboat Jubilee! (2009)
- Woody's Cowboy Camp
- Aunt Polly's Dockside Inn
- Big Al's
- Briar Patch
- Frontier Trading Post
- Prairie Outpost and Supply
- It was featured in The Muppets at Walt Disney World, when Fozzie Bear and his mother performed a comedy routine to get some cash.