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2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure

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Published: February 4, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Today, the daily attraction spotlight returns to Disneyland, as the Indiana Jones Adventure joins the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament as the seventh seed in the Best Themed Ride bracket.

Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure

Disney brought the flight simulator to the attention of theme park fans in 1987, when it opened Star Tours at Disneyland. In 1995, Disney moved the industry forward the next step, blending simulator technology with a more traditional track ride in the Indiana Jones Adventure.

Here's the story: Indiana Jones has just discovered an ancient, forgotten "Temple of the Forbidden Eye." As you approach the temple, clues are written in petroglyphs along the wall, describing the three treasures offered by the temple's goddess, Mara (money, eternal youth or the ability to see the future), as well as some of the nasty stuff that will happen to you if you break the temple's one rule. More on that in a minute.

Trouble is, Indy ran out of money to explore the temple, so his buddy Sallah's been running Jeep tours of the temple to raise cash. Even worse, Indy's gone missing in the temple, so you're going on a tour to help find him.

Buckle up, and don't forget that one rule: Whatever you do, don't look into the eye of Mara. (Because it's, like, you know, forbidden. Duh.)

So what does everyone immediately do? ;-)

Say it with me know, something goes terribly wrong and now the wrath of Mara is unleashed upon you for a wild ride through the temple. After a series of narrow escapes, you're ultimately rescued by Indiana Jones himself.

With hundreds of effects elements in the ride, it's not surprising that some of them no longer work like they once did. At the recent premiere of the new Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show, Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter revealed that he's been lobbying to install a next-generation Indiana Jones animatronic on this ride, as part of a major upgrade. But that hasn't kept this version of Indiana Jones from enduring as one of Disneyland's most popular rides, and a seed in the top half of this bracket.

You can find another version of the Indiana Jones ride, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull, at Tokyo DisneySea. And the ride system for Indiana Jones is quite similar to that of the Dinosaur ride in Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

What do you think of Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure? Let's hear from you, in the comments.

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on February 4, 2010 at 1:30 PM
Best wishes DLIJA. I know you're hoping that you won't have to face 'Men In Black: Alien Attack' in this year's tourny. What with your getting your butt kicked last year.
From Manny Barron on February 4, 2010 at 1:43 PM
Indiana Jones rocks. Really, this and Spider-Man are just flat out awesome rides that are worth the price of admission. Indy usually doesn't get much love from this site in previous tournaments and I see a tricky match up against Toy Story mania in the first round but it should move on to the next round.
From Joshua Counsil on February 4, 2010 at 7:09 PM
Overrated. Overrated. Overrated.

How does this attraction rate so highly? I've ridden it multiple times, and what happens? You get pitched around a lot while observing mediocre effects. Frankly, Dinosaur buries this, and I hope Toy Story Mania murders it.

6-Fair, at best, considering its popularity, and I know Mr. Niles backs me on this.

From M. Ryan Traylor on February 4, 2010 at 7:34 PM
There is something to be said for nostalgia. I was a child, growing up and watching the Indy movies. This ride starts at the queue where guests are immediately immersed in the world of Indiana Jones.

If you take the full experience and find a decoder card to print out somewhere online, the queue itself is wonderful. Especially when all the effects there are working (spike room and the man in well).

For the actual ride itself, I have noticed that has become jerkier with age. My first experience was in 2003. Over the years I have seen the ride closed during the day for "unknown reasons". (Most of these occur around 5-6pm). I've been on the ride during a breakdown, which was a great time.

I do feel some of the effects need to be re-timed and smoothed out. The mudslide feels like a rockslide.

It would be great to see new animatronic Indiana Jones. But I doubt that will happen anytime soon. Closing a ride of that magnitude with nothing similar to offer will have many guests upset. Closing Space Mountain was not that big of deal to me since you had several other coasters to choose from between the two parks.

My renovation prediction: see this ride go under rehab when Radiator Springs Racers open.

From Robert Niles on February 4, 2010 at 8:28 PM
And the prize for Most Accurate Prediction goes to M. Ryan!
From Anthony Murphy on February 4, 2010 at 9:13 PM
I like it, very fun!
From rick stevens on February 4, 2010 at 9:40 PM
I have always enjoyed this ride. It has a great queue and wonderful aesthetics. It is in desperate need of a refurbishment that will happen soon (I hope). I think it is the perfect union of theme, coaster, simulator, and animatronics.
From M. Ryan Traylor on February 4, 2010 at 10:37 PM
I will be joining Tony Baxter's lobbying, but mainly for the date.
From 132.170.32.100 on February 4, 2010 at 10:42 PM
The track is EXACTLY the same as Dinosaur
From 62.56.55.249 on February 5, 2010 at 3:09 AM
This is a great attraction. Have to agree with what's already been written about the in-line entertainment too. The theming is excellent. It's a tough category but I think Indy will battle it out. Let's just say that whoever beats this will win the competition.
We first rode it way back in 1995 when it was still quite new and it hadn't deteriorated significantly up to our last visit in 2003. Maybe it's showing signs of age ( like all of us ! ) but dismiss any thoughts of this ride being replaced. It's too good an all rounder for that to happen.
Good call on the refurb scheduling though.
From Rob P on February 5, 2010 at 3:12 AM
This is a great attraction. Have to agree with what's already been written about the in-line entertainment too. The theming is excellent. It's a tough category but I think Indy will battle it out. Let's just say that whoever beats this will win the competition.
We first rode it way back in 1995 when it was still quite new and it hadn't deteriorated significantly up to our last visit in 2003. Maybe it's showing signs of age ( like all of us ! ) but dismiss any thoughts of this ride being replaced. It's too good an all rounder for that to happen.
Good call on the refurb scheduling though.
From Steph Ramos on February 6, 2010 at 1:25 AM
Awwwwww Indy! Good luck trying to beat the competition out!!!
I remember visiting Disneyland and ridding Indy Jones when it was still in its prime....since then it's kind of become a shadow of it former glory...
Last time I went (Which will be a year ago 8 days from now) I waited in a half hour line to get in, an aspect of the ride that has yet to change and probably never will due to its severe popularity.
Unfortunantly, when I finally was able to get to the front of the queue and into the ride I was actually quite dissapointed. The ride seemed so outdated for a major amusment park charging $75 bucks a pop for admission, and I disticntly noticed that its speed has been GREATLY reduced since its early days of operation.
Earth to Disney...I want a ride to go FAST...not a ride that goes slower than how I drive and then keeps me stuck on it for 20 minutes less than 15 paces away from the nearest emergency exit!
If a ride as ancient as Pirates of the Caribean can get a revamp as small as new audio and a couple of new animatornic dolls stategically scattered here and there so should Indy...
Good luck winning against Toy Story Mania...they got your ass beat for sure...

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