Daily Figment 36 – Best. Ride. Ever


Best. Ride. Ever.

I experienced the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland for the first time in 1996. I was able to do it again in 1998. On both occasions, I rode it multiple times. Hands down, it is the best total ride experience that I have ever had. Splash Mountain and the Haunted Mansion still reign as my favorites, but the Indiana Jones Adventure is the most amazing. The queue is so long and so well themed that it actually takes you about 10 minutes of walking just to reach the ride vehicles. The queue actually changes as you progress into the Temple of Mara. You delve deeper and deeper into the ruins and the excavation. Artifacts and sprung traps line the walkways and walls. Eventually, you make it to the ride vehicles. The queue for Pirates in Orlando could almost be compared to Indy.


Explaining the ride is difficult. Music, sounds and danger! You hear the heroic film score and you squeal around corners. Blow darts whistle pass your head.

Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?

Snakes, why does it always have to be snakes…

I hate snakes, Jock! I hate ’em!

The Temple of the Forbidden Eye.

Looking at the concept art, you get a great feel for an absolutely perfect Blue Sky ride design. Looking clockwise from the left, you see: the Indy ride vehicles, the Disneyland train, the Jungle Cruise boat and the proposed runaway mine car attraction.


So, not only would we have the Indy ride, but you would have seen a glimpse of it from the train and the Jungle Cruise. Can you imagine the jokes from the Jungle Cruise Skipper. “Yeah, so if you don’t start laughing now…”; “My last crew ended up working somewhere in here…when they didn’t laugh at my jokes!”, “We’re not out of danger yet–this is headhunter territory. Remove your jewelry please. The natives have been complaining of indigestion.”; “See that guy, he’ll whip you into shape!”

And a really cool mine car roller coaster with loops!

This artwork and a lot more can be found in The Art of Disneyland. Full-color illustrations showing the genesis of attractions and rides at Disneyland. A must for any theme park enthusiast or collector.

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4 thoughts on “Daily Figment 36 – Best. Ride. Ever

  1. If they had made it so BOTH the Jungle Cruise and the Disneyland Railroad had run through the Indiana Jones Adventure ride, it would’ve easily become one of the coolest things there.

    I don’t think they have really overlapped two rides before. Granted there is a couple not so glaringly obvious references to Indiana Jones in the queue audio and the occasional Skipper will make a comment about the “temple” or the people in line.

    But, if the boat actually slid inside and you got a look in that would’ve been awesome.

    Plus, the whole runaway mine train coaster would’ve rocked.

  2. i went to riode IJ soon after the opening at DL. soon enough, in any event, to get the “secret decoder” card that “translates” all those writings throughout the queue (fyi – alot have to do with using AT&T as your long distance carrier!). yes – it is a super cool ride (did you know that tidbit about how the trick with the giant ball and how you are actually moving goes?) and it would be neat if the rides intersected, but, since the MK jungle cruise is already really neat, i think there should be an indy @ AK!!!

  3. Ray: The TTA is the only other one that I know of. It goes through Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear.

    Samby: Did you know that Indy is at WDW! It is! The track layout for Dinosaur is the same as Indy. Goes to show you what theming can do for a ride,

  4. You’re like me… Indy isn’t your favorite, but you have to acknowledge that it is the best ^_^

    The original concept for the ride(s) was stunning, though I’m not sure how I’d feel about practically the whole of Adventureland being Indiana Jones Land. Actually, if I were some kind of muckity-muck at Disney, I’d make the Jungle Cruise movie about an expedition to the Temple of Mara and retheme the attraction to that afterwards.

    Such as it is though, Indy is pretty much the most perfect ride at Disneyland. The only other one in the same ballpark is Twilight Zone, which only loses out by being so short. It really captures the essence of good theme park design by bringing you into a totally immersive environment. You’re not watching a story in 3-D… You’re descending into an ancient temple that is about as close to the real thing as it gets. The only part that I think is weak is the giant fake snake, but otherwise… Goodness, the queue itself is a ride!

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