Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This Disneyland episode served to promote the upcoming theatrical feature Westward Ho the Wagons, with that film's star, Fess Parker, acting as narrator. After a brief segment in which host Walt Disney relates the history of the Oregon Trail (the pioneer route from Kansas City to the Pacific Coast), the episode segues into a dramatized sequence, combining footage from the feature film as well as some freshly-shot vignettes. Several of the actors appearing in Westward Ho the Wagons repeat their roles in this portion of the program, in which the preparations made by settlers to undertake the 2000-mile westard trek along the Oregon Trail are meticulously detailed. Also heard are two songs from the film, the title number and "Pioneer's Prayer" (the film's popular ditty "Wringle Wrangle" was reserved for a special presentation of Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club. Ironically, while one of the stars of the Westward Ho the Wagons, George Reeves of Superman fame, does not appear in "The Oregon Trail", Phyllis Coates, who'd previously played Lois Lane to Reeves' Clark Kent, shows up in an important supporting role.