Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Coming Soon!

Today's photos come to us courtesy of GDB friends Irene and her brother Bruce. All four of the images are related to the debut of the "Indiana Jones Adventure", which opened in March of 1995. If my math is correct that is 73 years ago (metric years, of course).

I love this first photo, taken from the old parking lot. I can't say I'm too nuts about those cars! Where's the fun, where's the style? They all look like they could have been owned by my grandparents.

In the background is the large building that contains the "Indy" attraction. It is painted in two shades of "go away green" (why, it's practically invisible!), along with what appears to be some sort of applied strips of faux stone texture. 

Here's a cool "photo op" scene set up in the plaza, in front of the ticket booths. You didn't even need to pay admission to enjoy this feature! In fact, why go in the park at all? Just stand out by the plywood cutouts for 8 or 9 hours, and then drive home. Nobody will complain.

Meanwhile, inside Disneyland... I hope you didn't have your heart set on enjoying the Jungle Cruise; it was closed while the river was rerouted, and a new two-story boathouse was built. This was one of several different signs to let folks know that they'll just have to come back in '95. We'll see pictures of a few more signs in an upcoming post, thanks to Bruce.

And finally... from this angle, the Indy ride looks ready to go, but that barrier shows that they still need to be sure that this ancient dig is safe for guests. This is a very nice example of Imagineering setting the mood.

Thanks as always to Irene and Bruce for sharing these neat photos!


Irene said...

My brother went bonkers over this ride! He loved everything about it. Even got to do a walk through with the lights on somehow - knew someone who knew someone, or something like that. He even built a diorama in a box of the ride with figures and lighting and everything from scratch. He liked doing that kind of thing. After it opened he thought I might not be able to do the queue line because I have claustrophobia. But I had no problem at all with it.

Chuck said...

They did a really good job of building excitement for Indy. Between the time the last photo was taken and the ride's actual opening, they dropped the entrance barrier and allowed guests to enter a portion of the ride queue. If memory serves, it was the portion of the queue to the immediate right of the entrance, roughly paralleling the Adventureland "street."

I remember my aunt and uncle raving about it after they stumbled on a soft open and got to ride before anyone else in the family. We were stoked when we finally got to ride that spring, and we were not disappointed.

Thanks again, Irene, for sharing more of Bruce's pictures!

K. Martinez said...

Nice set today. I do remember that photo op. Thanks, Major.

Irene, It was worth tuning in today just to read your comments about your brother's love of this ride and that he built a detailed diorama of IJA. I love fan enthusiasm like that. Again, thank you for sharing your brother's photos.

Patrick Devlin said...

Thanks for the shots today, kids. Very nice and the work is appreciated.

Interesting shot of the show building: I'm guessing the the side that faces the tram load/unload area. I'm guessing that big ol' hole in the side is for equipment and machinery to taken inside of the essentially finished structure. Cool stuff.

DrGoat said...

I'll also have to thank you, and Irene and Bruce, for these. We got to ride the Indiana Jones ride about 2 weeks after it opened. We did the early morning entry, first in line at the ride. We got our Indiana Jones certificates and passport later in the day. I think that might be one of my most fondest memories of the park in my later years of going.
It was in April, and it was a breezy, cool morning.

Jonathan said...

Love the snaps, they capture the excitement of a new Disney attraction. Major hit the nail on the head with the green show building. Someone woke up one morning and said "I know, lets paint it a very weird two tone green!" Thanks Major, Irene and Bruce for the cool pix.

Nanook said...

More thanks are in order for these memorable shots. This attraction was definitely the cats meow when it first opened. It was probably in conjunction with the park's 40th anniversary, and an open house for employees, that I also 'walked the track'. Pretty darn fascinating.

Again - thanks to Irene and Bruce.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yes, a big thank you as always, to Irene and Bruce!

The background of that Indy photo op actually moved (scrolled). Here is some brief video footage that I took of it back in 1995:

Indiana Jones Photo Op

Patrick Devlin said...

Cool beans TokyoMagic! thanks for that little slice of video memorabilia. 1995 was still back in my "I was out of town days" so this is a nice treat of something I wouldn't have had the chance to ever see. You're kind to post...

Major Pepperidge said...

Irene, gosh I wish we could see the model that Bruce built! I love stuff like that. Lighting and everything! As for the queue, I’ll bet they took claustrophobia into consideration somehow.

Chuck, interesting that they let guests check out the queue before the attraction opened. They must have been proud of it! I do recall hearing about the many different ride “experiences” that guests might have - in my mind I imagined whole rooms with tracks winding through them that you might or might not pass through. Turns out it wasn’t quite that amazing!

K. Martinez, I always wanted to do things like build models of stuff at the park, but I was too lazy, or maybe too unsure of my skill level to ever actually attempt it.

Patrick Devlin, yes, I would imagine that there was lots of last-minute work going on when that photo was snapped; it’s kind of surprising how boring the building looks from the outside, considering how amazing it looks on the inside.

DrGoat, hm, I’m not sure I’ve seen the Indiana Jones passports. Or maybe I have? As usual, I have so much stuff squirreled away in boxes, I might even own one. I love how you can vividly recall the weather!

Jonathan, the “go away green” is a typical color to paint show buildings, they do it a lot in Florida. Somebody decided that buildings painted that color become part of the background.

Nanook, I can’t believe I am asking this now (you have almost certainly already given the answer in the past), but were you ever a Disneyland cast member?

TokyoMagic!, thanks for the link to the footage; I love that they went to the trouble of painting that cyclorama. I expected it to move sideways, not up and down. In a way it would have been cool if they’d made it as if you were passing through various scenes from the ride. Without any big spoilers of course…

Anonymous said...

@Irene, thanks so much for sharing your family photos and memories of Indiana. It makes the pictures so much more meaningful to hear everyone's thoughts instead of just reliving my own.

We saw this attraction shortly after opening, maybe a year or so, on one of our first trips back to Disneyland with our young children. It was a horrendous wait, the line stretched out almost to Main Street. This was back when new things at the Park weren't something to fear.

It's still special to my kids, even as grown-ups, they insist on multiple rides. It's partly why I think everyone is most partial to the Park they experienced as children, the things you love most then stay with you as memories.

I really envy those people who got to walk the track, that would be like a dream come true for me. I may be the only one who enjoyed getting trapped in Space Mountain with the light on for 10 minutes. I still have the nagging fear that this IJ ride was "peak Imagineer" and nothing this good will ever be done again. Cars Land is close, but not quite.

Thanks Major for posting, and everyone for the comments and added links. Really great to see today.


Nanook said...


Rumors to the contrary, I was NEVER a CM. I DID, however, befriend [over the years] about eight CM's who willingly "opened doors" into the inner-workings of both Disneyland & Walt Disney World. I'm forever in their debt for their kindness in 'sharing the experience'. As a fan of the Parks, I am all too aware of the great privileges I had. And I'm happy to say, I can still recount most of them - and there were many - spanning about 40 years.