Amazing Facts About Indiana Jones Adventure
Do you feel naked without a fedora hat and a whip? Do you put the adventure in Adventureland with all of your globetrotting escapades? Have you stared down Nazis, snakes, and even your own father? If you’ve answered yes to these oddly specific questions, you’re Henry Walton Jones Jr. (they named the dog Indiana), the world’s greatest treasure hunter. Alternately, you’re a huge fan and someone who loves riding Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland. Anyone who falls into the latter category will love this article. Here are five amazing facts about Indiana Jones Adventure.
It Was Almost a Roller Coaster
Unlike my wife, I don’t speak French. I’m told that Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril translates as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, which looks right from the spelling. What I DO know is that this roller coaster is one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland Paris. That wasn’t always the plan, though.
The Walt Disney Company enjoyed a strong working relationship with George Lucas. The success of Star Tours gave both parties confidence that Lucasfilm projects translated well to theme park attractions. Seeking more joint efforts, the companies entered into conversations about an Indiana Jones ride.
One of the pitches was for a Jungle Cruise-style adventure down the river akin to two of the scenes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. There was even some discussion of Jungle Cruise dropping off some passengers at the line queue for an Indiana Jones attraction. It would have been amazing and demonstrated that Disney had grand plans for the Indy license.
During the blue sky phase, Disney planned an entire themed area at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris alike. Some of the plans called for a mine train-style roller coaster ride. Others involved some tomb raiding. What happened was that park planners modified the roller coaster premise but settled on the tomb adventure for America. Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril got shipped to Paris, while the tomb raider premise became the backbone for Indiana Jones Adventure. To this date, rumors persist that an Indiana Jones roller coaster might come to Disneyland or Walt Disney World at some point.
You Aren’t Indiana Jones!
I’ve previously discussed the way that early theme park attractions confused guests. Two of Disneyland’s opening day rides, Peter Pan’s Flight and Snow White’s Scary Adventures, were told from the perspective of Peter Pan and Snow White. Instead of seeing these beloved characters throughout the ride, the guest was supposed to deduce that they were experiencing the ride as if they were Peter Pan and Snow White. People really didn’t understand the thought process at first.
That was all the way back in 1955. When Disney prepped Indiana Jones Adventure during the early 90s, they maintained the same concern. They worried that guests wouldn’t enjoy the ride as much if they were Indiana Jones. Instead, they’d want to see the world’s foremost archeologist. For this reason, the storytelling is different on this attraction. You see Indiana Jones throughout the various sets, and he’s usually in mortal peril. That dude must be impossible to insure.
The Vehicles are a Disney Exclusive
The genius part of Indiana Jones Adventure is the ride cart. Imagineers wanted to construct a temple that felt worthy of the Indiana Jones franchise. The problem they faced involved the transportation. To fully appreciate the stunning details of each scene, the ride vehicles couldn’t transfer guests at breakneck speeds. Even a runaway mine cart would travel more quickly than Disney desired.
To take guests from set to set within the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, Disney needed something new. Imagineers built an unprecedented ride vehicle known as the Enhanced Motion Vehicle to fulfill this purpose. Designed to look like a rugged military troop, it hides a trick under the hood.
In a way, the Enhanced Motion Vehicle (EMV) used for Indiana Jones Adventure mirrors the Star Tours ride. They’re both motion simulators of a kind. Whereas Star Tours sticks everyone in one room and bounces them around, Indiana Jones Adventure lessens the number of rides on each row but makes them mobile.
The end result is that a ride on an EMV bounces you around in believable fashion. The simulation momentarily hypnotizes you into believing that you are in the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. You’re jostled around in the most immersive way possible, at least by 1995 standards. The Jeep-like vehicle makes you feel like a tourist trapped on an exploration gone awry. You’ll feel everything as the cursed temple tries to lure you to your doom.
It Has a Twin
Have you ever ridden DINOSAUR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Anyone who answered yes has almost certainly noticed many similarities between the two rides. No, you’re not imaging things. Then-CEO Michael Eisner loved to save money whenever possible. When his Imagineers designed a historic, effective new ride system, Eisner saw a way to build an attraction cheaply at his upcoming park.
Indiana Jones Adventure debuted in 1995. Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day, 1998, and DINOSAUR was a launch day attraction. It cost less to build since it employed a ride system that Disney had already built. They merely had to transfer the technologies over to Walt Disney World. With this strategy, they eliminated all of the expenses from research and development. They’d also already licensed the coaster vehicles.
DINOSAUR is a functional twin in almost every way. The physical appearance of the time travel machine versus the Jeep is the only thing you’ll notice that’s different. These similarities explain why rumors persist that Disney will one day switch out DINOSAUR for Indiana Jones Adventure. Dinosaur the movie was an expensive misfire for Disney back in 2000. Meanwhile, a fifth Indiana Jones movie is scheduled for release on July 10, 2020. One franchise is dead while the other has a bright future. A change at Animal Kingdom does make sense. Disney has thus far refuted Indiana Jones rumors, though.
The Ending Is Random
Okay, the end of the ride is always the same. You narrowly escape the Temple of the Forbidden Eye thanks to a huge assist from Indiana Jones. The intrepid adventurer’s final quip, however, is different each time. You’ll have to ride Indiana Jones Adventure at least seven times to hear them all. I’ll go ahead and spoil them for you, though.
Indy will say one of the following:
“Don’t tell me that wasn’t big fun!”
“Next time, you’re on your own.”
“Next time, you wear blindfolds, okay?”
“Not bad, for tourists!”
“There! That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
“Tourists, why’d it have to be tourists?”
“You were good in there. You were very, very good.”
As an Indiana Jones superfan, I favor the first one. It’s best keeping in spirit with the unflappable nature of our hero. I do love the variant of “why’d it have to be tourists?” though. Which one is your favorite? Leave a message in the comments.
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