Indiana Jones Meets Adventureland!

When designing a possible Star Wars attraction in the early 1980’s, the Imagineers were also looking at the Indiana Jones property for Adventureland. In Disneyland’s existence, Adventureland was the only land that had not received an update in more than 30 years–since the 1964 Jungle Cruise additions. Dr. Jones would finally arrive in Adventureland in 1995. At the same time, the Jungle Cruise received a new two-story loading dock to replace the 1955 Harper Goff design. In 1999, the Swiss Family Treehouse closed and was re-imagined as Tarzan’s Treehouse. For the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room was revamped to add new seating, a better sound system and new “clothes” for the birds. It still retains the original 1963 show. Most of Adventureland is now themed to go along with the 1930’s Indiana Jones time period.

One of the ideas proffered by the Imagineering team for the Indiana Jones attraction was inspired by the runaway mine car from the 1984 motion picture Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom…but Disneyland already had its own mine car ride with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. As stated in Disneyland: the Nickel Tour: “In fact, some of the mine car effects heard in the film are actual recordings of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in action!” (Gordon, p. 340)

In The Art of Disneyland, there is some amazing concept artwork and the following image is one of my favorites.

Click in the image for a larger view.

This was one of the major blue sky ideas for a revamp of Adventureland that would have merged the Jungle Cruise, the Disneyland Railroad, the Indiana Jones Adventure and a mine car coaster (with a loop!) into one massive attraction.

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8 thoughts on “Indiana Jones Meets Adventureland!

  1. IMHO, if there was a loop in the Indiana Jones ride it would no longer belong in the Magic Kingdom unless the decide to step outside the bounds and come up with “Thrill-land” or “Psycho-land”. It could fit in with Disney Studios alongside the re-enactment show.
    Magic Kingdom character is fun for all and presentation. A Loop would just not fit in that character for me.

  2. Craig and Grump–

    Don’t forget Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril — a loop and backwards. Another reason to visit Disneyland Paris!

    Craig–elainamack is a Disney Geek wife…deep down she knew…I will tease her about it!

  3. The DLP Space Mountain has a catapult launch that I can best describe as being “up and over” into the mountain, straight into an inversion. I remember it being rather bone-jarring, but it didn’t stop me from taking multiple rides.

  4. Originally when the Imagineers wanted to add Indy to Disneyland they were looking to do a Young Indy theemed attraction and it would have been put into Frontierland going beyond the train tracks.

    This new attraction, would actually would have been a stunt show, and would have sort of tied in the 3rd movie and the tv series that George Lucas had on at the time.

    It wasnt till much later after the Imagineers played around with a flight simulator on the back of a flat bed of simi-truck trailer in the Imagineering parking lot that they realized that the idea of a moving flight simulator might actually work.

    When you take the Disneyland Railraod around the Park and just before you get to the Fantasyland train station you pass by a Frontierland (Western) setting and in this setting is a little dog house and the name of the dog is Indy and that is a tribute to the show for Young Indy that never happened.

    The Jungle Cruise was altered drastically when Indy opened (1995).
    The River was pushed back 15 feet to make the walkway of the land wider, and the ride was shortened to allow for the queue for Indy. Also the boats were re-themed to match the 1930’s of Indy, and of course the 2 story boat house was added and it also paid tribute to the original boat house from 1955.

    In 2005 the Jungle Cruise went through more changes and that was mostly in show scenes and some new effects.

    Tiki Room
    The new THX sound system was added in the early/mid 90’s and it was a huge improvement. In the Late 90’s the show was shortened by taking out the Offenbauche segment.

    In 2004 the Tiki renovation was a complete overhaul of all of the birds, and the building because the up-keep was horrible.

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