Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Swiss Family Treehouse, The Magic Kingdom 1971

Today I have three nice photos of the Swiss Family Treehouse in Orlando, back when it was brand new. 

Here's a nice portrait of the treehouse - an impressive bit of Imagineering. That tree is pretty convincing! They didn't opt for the reddish leaves that were used in Anaheim; I wonder why. What kid (or adult) wouldn't love to have a treehouse like this! Notice the little stream to our right, along with the lush green plants that really add to the "tropical island" theme.

Moving in a bit closer, we can see more of the elaborate "clockwork" contraption that provided fresh water to the upper reaches of the treehouse. I can't remember, was something like this in the 1960 film? It's been a while! 

And here's one final look; notice the "bromeliads" growing on the trunk of the tree. You can also see some bits and pieces of the shipwreck being put to use. Tiki torches (hard to see in the broad daylight) help to keep tigers and pirates away.


Nanook said...


Disneydendrum & Tiki Torches-! Pure heaven. And, yes Major, the elaborate "clockwork" contraption, along with the 'refrigerator' and skylight were all in the 1960 film.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Wow! What wonderful images of one of my favorite attractions at the Magic Kingdom. What I like about the Swiss Family Treehouse in WDW is that it's actually on an island so to speak surrounded by a waterway that the Plaza Swan Boats used to circle around on. When I went on the Treehouse back in the 1970's it had Spanish moss draped all over the tree limbs.

Of all the "lands", I thought WDW's Adventureland was the biggest improvement over Disneyland's. It was also my favorite "land" at the Magic Kingdom. Always appreciate 1970's Disney World. Thanks, Major.

Pegleg Pete said...

Great photos today, Major - thanks! Given that WDW was the park I frequented as a child, I'm always struck at Disneyland by how the treehouse there is so hemmed in by everything. Generally I prefer things at Disneyland, but as far as the treehouse goes (especially now as the one in Anaheim has been given over to Tarzan) I much prefer the Florida iteration. The Paris version with its notably raised elevation is also very nice.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook.... refrigerator?!

K. Martinez, it IS cool that the WDW Treehouse is on an island. I believe I can see Spanish moss in these photos (?). For me that first photo is so nice; I'd like to find a similar angle of it from recent years so that I can see how the surrounding foliage has matured.

Pegleg Pete, I've never seen the Florida Treehouse in person, but it certainly looks like it is a fantastic realization of the concept. But I miss the red leaves! Maybe the reason the red leaves were used in Anaheim was to help the Treehouse stand out against the lush Jungle Cruise rainforest right next to it?

TokyoMagic! said...

Beautiful shots, Major! Yeah, it's a shame that the original Swiss Family Treehouse attraction had to be sacrificed for Tarzan, (I still don't understand why they put the new entrance right smack in the middle of the already narrow walkway!) I am so glad that WDW, Tokyo DL, and DL Paris have not had their Treehouses altered! I hope that they remain "off the radar" for years to come.

Unknown said...

Visiting Disney World is still the gap in my Disney catalogue. Pegleg Pete certainly has hit the nail on the head regarding how the trees' settings at the two parks is so different. That first picture is just how a separate attraction should look: apart and distinct. Hmm, I DO have some vacation coming this year. Perhaps Florida isn't so distant after all...

Nanook said...

@ Major-

You doubt the existence of a "refrigerator" in the treehouse, but accept the Sherwood Schwartz-fed "reality" of Gilligan's Island-?? Shocking-!

DrGoat said...

I haven't been to Disney Orlando either. I guess I consider myself
an Anaheim Disneyland snob. It's a sentimental thing.