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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple Of The Forbidden Eye

For Disneyland's 40th Birthday in 1995, the park got a magnificent present: Indiana Jones Adventure.

If you fly to Disneyland in California, make sure to fly Delta Air Lines. It was the Official Airline of Disneyland and Walt Disney World (as seen in this fantastic ad).

The Temple of the Forbidden Eye can be found deep in the jungles of Adventureland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Walt Disney Imagineering pulled off an amazing feat when they added Indiana Jones Adventure to Disneyland. The entrance to the attraction starts at the Jungle Cruise. Park guests hike through the jungle and temples to get to the ride. It's a clever way to get people to the massive show building located in what was part of Disneyland's old parking lot. These days, the Indiana Jones building can be seen near the tram station at Downtown Disney.

Indiana Jones and the Jungle Cruise are so close that they are featured together in a McDonald's Happy Meal Toy. As part of Disneyland's 40th Anniversary in 1995, McDonald's issued a Jungle Cruise boat vehicle/viewer (piloted by King Louie from The Jungle Book) as part of its Disneyland Adventures Happy meal.

Look inside the viewer, and you'll find a (cropped) picture of a Jungle Cruise boat sailing past the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Interestingly, the Splash Mountain toy in this same set uses a photo of the Walt Disney World version of the ride.

Climb aboard a Troop Transport vehicle and embark on a wild expedition with an Audio Animatronic Indy.

Yes, the boulder is here, too!

As the official Airline of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Delta had the scoop on the Indiana Jones Adventure. The March 1995 issue of Delta's Sky Magazine had a great article by Walter Roessing chronicling the creation of the latest collaboration between Disney and George Lucas.

Wait a second. Indiana Jones isn't a Disney character. How is he in Disneyland? George Lucas and Disney have been working together since the late 1980s, starting with the Star Wars themed Star Tours attraction (opened in 1987). In 1989, Indy debuted at Walt Disney World's Disney MGM Studios (now called Disney's Hollywood Studios) in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and as an Audio Animatronic figure in The Great Movie Ride.

For Disneyland, Indiana Jones would star in a blockbuster thrill ride and park guests would feel like they were living in the movies.

Indiana Jones Adventure show producer Susan Bonds was challenged with bringing the the world of Indy to life in a bold new way.

Indiana Jones Adventure featured brand new attraction vehicles that could be programmed with different ride combinations.

A "Young Indiana Jones Adventure" stunt show had previously been announced for Disneyland as part of "The Disney Decade" in the early 1990s (it was mentioned in a Disneyland TV special hosted by "Night Court" star Harry Anderson).

Mentioned here are the other attractions developed by Disney and George Lucas, including Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril mine train at Disneyland Paris, the first looping Disney coaster.
The Forbidden Eye belongs to a deity named Mara. Visitors are warned to "Beware of the eyes of Mara." Messages in a "Maraglyphics" language are written throughout Indiana Jones Adventure. Check out the decoder at my pal Darrin's Dad's Dish Retro Blog.

Indiana Jones Adventure is still extremely popular today. Consider making it your first destination on a trip to Disneyland.

Back in my day, you could get a magazine at Woolworth's for 10 cents. That's because this 1984 Indiana Jones Dynamite magazine was deep discounted sometime around 1988.

This issue also features Sting and The Police, the Fonz, The Dukes of Hazzard and more!

Did you ever wonder what Harrison Ford's high school yearbook picture looked like? Well, wonder no more!
Harrison Ford is a great actor and a carpenter. It's smart to have a Plan B.

Wait a minute. Harrison Ford wasn't the first choice to play Indiana Jones?

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg originally chose Tom Selleck to play Indiana Jones. I can't imagine anyone other than Harrison Ford as Indy.

I first heard about Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure back in June of 1993. At this time, I was told that the ride would also be in Walt Disney World in Florida in 1998 as part of Disney's Animal Kingdom.

"Countdown to Extinction" opened in Animal Kingdom's Dinoland, using characters from the then-in-production 2000 Disney film, "Dinosaur" and the ride system created for the Indiana Jones Adventure.

"Countdown to Extinction" was renamed "Dinosaur" when the film debuted.

Even though I like dinos, I think Indiana Jones is easily the winner here.

This poster advertisement was common when Indiana Jones Adventure opened in 1995. This ad is from a San Diego hotel magazine.
I got to experience Indiana Jones Adventure for the first time in 2008, and thought it was amazing. I think it's a shame that Walt Disney World did not get the same attraction.

The Indiana Jones Adventure did make it to Tokyo DisneySea in Japan.

In Japan, the ride is called Indiana Jones: Temple of the Crystal Skull, and it opened in 2001 in Tokyo DisneySea's Lost River Delta section.

The ride in Japan was planned years before the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull debuted in 2008.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (the movie) is set in the 1950s, and introduces greaser Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf).

Burger King had a nice Indiana Jones toy promotion in time for the movie, including Motor Wheels Mutt. Mutt? Indiana? I guess the Jones family liked to balance out their common last name with an unusual first name.

I was not able to get all these toys. The only other one I got was the Indiana Jones Journal, which was nothing to write home about.

I would have liked the Stunt Jump Mine Cart and the Boulder Escape Indiana Jones.

Harrison Ford proves that age is just a number.

I had read that the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction with a new theme was proposed for Disney's Animal Kingdom not too long ago, at a site near Expedition Everest. My guess is that it wasn't built because the park's Dinosaur attraction uses the same ride system. The Indiana Jones ride was also reportedly a possibility for Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, but that plan was shelved.

These days, the Disney Parks are selling Indiana Jones Disney Racers die cast cars.

I'd love to see Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida get a Lucasfilm Land. It could feature a new Indiana Jones Adventure and a Star Wars expansion beyond the updated Star Tours. I think it would be a surefire hit.

In 2013, Lucasfilm became part of Disney, so it seems like we'll probably see much more of Indy and the Star Wars characters at the Disney Parks (and other places, too).


  1. Oh man, I remember when the Indiana Jones attraction was heavily advertised for Disneyland.

    I was lucky enough to ride Indiana Jones Temple of the Forbidden Eye during a Cast Preview day and I was so blown away from the entire experience. I was like "What just happened?!"

    Within the first week of its official opening, there were a number of kids "sick" from school. The teachers often made a joke about them being absent from school cause they were at Disneyland to ride the new Indiana Jones attraction.

    I remember visiting Disneyland and not complaining about the 2-3 hour wait in the queue because I knew it was going to be worth it each time.

    Even though I think the Indiana Jones attraction at Tokyo Disney Sea is great, I would have to say that I like the Mara story line a little better.

  2. I wish Disneyland's Indy had the better effects and lighting that Tokyo DisneySea's Indy attraction has! Also, I wish the ride wasn't so rough. Personally, I'd like it better if the ride vehicles were more like the Spiderman attraction at Islands of Adventure in Orlando.

  3. P.S. Great "Indy" post...very thorough! And I remember that mention of the Young Indy stunt show during the 1990 TV special. They also said Ariel would be getting her very own attraction....boy, it took another 21 years for that to happen!

  4. Hey MintCrocodile! Indiana Jones Adventure must have had the biggest ad campaign ever for a Disneyland attraction. Even living in Alabama, I remember seeing it all over the TV. It's curious that there wasn't an Indiana Jones troop transport toy as part of the McDonald's Disneyland promotion. I can only imagine what the crowds were like when Indiana Jones Adventure first opened! Luckily the queue for Indy is interesting. I'm amazed at what Disneyland is able to do in such a small amount of space.

    Thanks, TokyoMagic! I remember reading about upgrades planned for Disneyland's Indiana Jones. Maybe they will address some of those issues. And yes, The Little Mermaid ride was the only project mentioned in that 1990 Disneyland TV special that was actually built.

  5. Oh yeah, I forgot about those lines during the first several months....it would go all the way through Adventureland and across the entrance bridge....into the Plaza...and sometimes it even turned towards Frontierland and went across that bridge! After several attempts, I was finally able to ride it during a soft opening, so I never waited in the line when it was THAT ugly!

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but that TV special also mentioned Alien Encounter for DL, right? Along with Hollywood Land, a Dick Tracy ride, and was that the one that mentioned a "two-level" Tomorrowland? I have some printed info on the Disney Decade that was actually given to me in City Hall. I need to scan that and post it....it's been on my "list" for a while now!

  6. TokyoMagic!: I don't think I could wait in a line that long! Yikes!

    I think the TV special mentioned all those projects, except for the two-level Tomorrowland. The special did mention "an incredible live Muppet show" for Disneyland too. I got (and lost) "Disney Decade" literature from Walt Disney World in 1990 or 1991. Post it!

  7. What a fantastic post Dan! You covered it all! Great magazine pics and advertisements. And yes, Lucasfilm Land...DHS could use something like that!

  8. Thanks, A Snow White Sanctum! I'm sure a big expansion of Disney's Hollywood Studios is something lots of people would appreciate!