The Frontierland Shootin' Arcade opened with the park on October 1, 1971, as the Frontier Shootin' Gallery. The attraction recreates the 1850 shootout on Boot Hill in Tombstone Arizona , in the form of an arcade shooting gallery. In the gallery, guests use authentic .54 caliber Hawkins buffalo rifles to hit various targets . There are three different distances that guests can shoot at. The first, the foreground of the gallery, is themed to look like a graveyard. In the graveyard targets that guests can shoot include:
Vultures sitting in a large tree
An owl located inside the large tree
Tombstones, with various names on them
A skeleton grave digger
A large sign which reads Boot Hill
The targets in the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade. Photo credit: Disney
The middle section of the gallery features the town of Tombstone (including a bank, a hotel and a jail) with targets on them. To the right of the town, guests can also shoot an ore car coming out of a large mine. When guests hit the various targets, the targets animate in some way. As guests shoot at the targets, a fog will roll over the graveyard, changing the weather from clear and calm, to dark and stormy. After the fog roles in, guests will hear coyotes howl, bridges creek, and thunder in the background.
In 1982, the lead balls that guests shot out of the rifles were replaced with infra-red technology. The reason for the change was twofold. Besides safety concerns, cost was also a factor as cast members would have to re-paint the targets almost on a nightly basis (due to the lead pellets chipping the paint) . The only other major change to the attraction came on September 26, 1984 when it was renamed the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade . In June 2011, the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade's exterior was refurbished. The attraction reopened in November 2011 .