Great Post, BT! We share common memories.
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to BigThunder again.
As far as the burning cabin goes, my earliest memories of it include the body (remains, corpse, one who has achieved room temperature) of a settler on the ground in front of the cabin with an arrow in his back. The narration on the train or the boats circling the island did mention something about an indian attack ..... at one point, when Disney tried to become kinder and gentler, the arrow was removed from the settler's back and the burning explained as an exploding distillery (he was passed out drunk) in the ride narration. Later, the settler was removed, and the fire was explained as someone left the stove burning or some such thing. When the gas line gave out, the fire was never replaced.
The fort itself began its inexorable descent into changing room oblivion when a little girl fell from the "perch" where she was shooting a "rifle" in one of the towers ....
Not for the squeamish:
Her finger got caught and remained in the trigger guard (the finger was ripped from her hand)
The lawyers, of course, had the guns removed .......
erick13 hit the nail on the head ...... a little cash for maintenance and/or imagineering and the fort and burning cabin could have been preserved ........ but PP would have none of it .......
And if they do bring them back,please :beg: :beg: :beg: don't make it with revisionist PC history! Remember, " ... hard facts ...", people! Pioneers were attacked by Native Americans. That's why they needed FORTS!