The Indiana Jones Adventure is an enhanced motion vehicle dark ride attraction at Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, based on the Indiana Jones film series. Guests accompany intrepid archaeologist Dr. Indiana Jones on a turbulent quest, aboard military troop transport vehicles, through a dangerous lost temple guarded by a supernatural power.
The attraction premiered as Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland in Anaheim, California on March 3, 1995, and opened to the general public on March 4, 1995. A second, and nearly identical, version of the ride opened as Temple of the Crystal Skull on September 4, 2001 at Tokyo DisneySea in Chiba, Japan, unrelated to the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Because of the success of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Bay Lake, Florida, Walt Disney Imagineering and George Lucas collaborated once again in creating a new Indiana Jones-themed attraction for Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Unlike the previous collaboration, this attraction was created with a backstory "set in the Lost Delta of India, circa 1935". Indiana Jones Adventure is the fourth collaboration between Disney and Lucasfilm, after the Disneyland attractions Captain EO, Star Tours, and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!.
Several early concepts were considered including a walk-through adventure and a high-speed mine car adventure within a temple. To avoid a long queue, Imagineers considered using Jungle Cruise launches to shuttle guests to the loading area.
The team tested key show elements in a Burbank warehouse on a full-sized elevated track that resembled a freeway. This enabled the team to test set pieces, lighting, effects, transport clearances and motion profiles.
Groundbreaking for the Temple of the Forbidden Eye occurred in August 1993, with more than 400 Imagineers working on its design and construction. Tony Baxter led a core project team of nearly 100 Imagineers. To create space for the 0.5-mile (0.80 km) queue area and the 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) show building, an area of the former "Eeyore" parking lot was demolished, and the Monorail and Jungle Cruise attractions were rerouted. Disney filed for patent on the ride-system on November 16, 1995. Harrison Ford was reportedly asked to reprise his role as Indiana Jones, but it is definitively unknown whether or not Ford assisted in the production of the attraction.
The Temple of the Forbidden Eye premiered on March 3, 1995. Among the invited celebrity guests were George Lucas, Michael Eisner (Disney CEO at the time), Dan Aykroyd, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brendan Fraser, Wayne Gretzky, Elliott Gould, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Dennis Miller, Lindsay Wagner, Tony Danza and Carrie Fisher. To promote the opening of the attraction the Disney Channel produced a half hour-long TV program entitled Indiana Jones Adventure featuring Karen Allen and John Rhys-Davies reprising their roles from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Forty days prior to the attraction's opening, a "Forty Years of Adventure" promotion giveaway of 40 unique annual trading cards began. Guests with valid paid admission received a voucher at the main gate turnstile to exchange for the card of the day, each in a series featuring the landmark attraction of the year starting with 1955. The last card was distributed on March 2, 1995. A special "41st" card of larger issue featured the Indiana Jones Adventure on March 3. Artist Drew Struzan produced a one-sheet poster in the same theme as the films. The adventure opened to general admission on March 4.
AT&T Corporation sponsored construction of the attraction and the first seven years of operation, from 1995 to 2002. One of three styles of Marabic decoder cards was distributed to each guest, advertising their promotional campaign on the back. "It’s great to have AT&T as presenting sponsor," said then-Disneyland President Paul Pressler. "With Disneyland celebrating its 40th Anniversary and preparing to open its most exciting attraction, we welcome the opportunities this relationship is sure to create." The attraction currently has no sponsor.
The ride was temporarily closed on September 4, 2012 for an extensive refurbishment and re-opened on December 7, 2012. Scheduled modifications included enhancements to lighting, paint, figure animation and other effects. In 2013, the idol of Mara that appears in the Hall of Promise scene was updated with projection mapping effects.
Guests board an Enhanced Motion Vehicle (EMV) intended to appear as a battered military troop transport. EMVs ride on neoprene filled tires (for operational precision) driven by hydraulic rotors that provide forward motion, hydraulic pressure is applied on-board each vehicle at 3,000 psi using DC pressurizers. The vehicle has four wheel steering atop the surface of a slotted roadbed. The track has only three switches: a left/right split switch just before loading/unloading, a left/right combine switch just after safety check station/dispatch and a compound switch to swap vehicles in/out of the maintenance bay, behind the mirrors. Beneath the slot a tubular guideway guides the front wheelset and a damper for the rear wheelset, and three electrical buss bars provide the EMV 480 volts AC. The power is divided among the two motion systems, control, safety and audio systems. Each transport can accommodate twelve guests with three rows of seats, four across, with the front left seat behind a non-operational steering wheel.
Each troop transport is a motion simulator which travels at a maximum speed of just over 14 miles per hour (23 km/h) atop a slotted roadbed / guiderail track. The transport car body is attached by three hydraulic rams to the frame of the chassis, which allows the shell to articulate independently. A guest's physically intense experience is programmed to achieve the illusion of greater speed and catastrophic mechanical failure using the enhanced-motion vehicle's ability to add several feet of lift then rapidly descend, shudder and tremble, and intensify cornering with counterbank and twist. The intensity of each experience varies as the on-board computer constantly chooses between pre-programmed intensity versions already stored in its memory as it traverses the show building with its load of guests.
This ride system was invented specially for the Indiana Jones Adventure, and has only been implemented in one other attraction: Dinosaur, located at Disney's Animal Kingdom (opened as CTX: Countdown to Extinction). However, the Japanese counterpart uses linear-inductive actuators instead of three hydraulic rams. The 35 gallons of hydraulic fluid used on the Disneyland version takes two hours to clean up the track when a hose splits, in which if there is hydraulic failure, the vehicle is incapable of driving. Because of Japan's environmental codes regarding oil spills, the design team elected to substitute electromagnetic actuators on the ride vehicle. Three of these actuators are used to create a three-dimensional (pitch, roll, and elevation) motion platform chassis on which the car body sits.
Heavy or light traffic within the ride system can cause speed variations as the vehicles try not to enter the specified safety distance between one another. On busy days, each vehicle may slow to a crawl at intervals within the ride path in order to allow the vehicle ahead to gain distance, then suddenly jerk back into higher speed. Because of these unexpected variations in speed, the soundtrack to the ride is not of a specific length, in fact, each scene of the attraction has a pre-selected score to play which is already of a certain length. If the vehicle finds itself remaining in one scene for an extended period of time, the score will play in full or until the vehicle leaves the scene. If the vehicle remains in a scene longer than the length of the score, then an exaggerated soundtrack of the vehicle's engine will fade-in and play to keep riders from experiencing awkward silence. Due to safety reasons, vehicles on the ride path cannot reverse. Contrary to the finale scene when the vehicle reverses away from the boulder, the vehicle is actually stationary while the motion base tilts backwards and the cave walls accelerate past the riders to give the illusion of reversing.
The safety systems of the Indiana Jones Adventure are very sensitive and can lead to a ride stop several times in a day, leaving guests to believe that the attraction "broke down". Many variables can cause a ride stop; a vehicle may hit an obstacle on the path such as guest items dropped from the vehicle ahead, or if a vehicle experiences conditions where it must quickly accelerate followed by a sudden stop, the vehicle may overshoot its target causing it to shut down.
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye is set in 1935 India and is told through twelve letters and telegrams scattered throughout the queue as well as three newsreels shown before guests board the attraction. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) has reunited missing fragments of a map scroll of parchment documenting the precise location of an ancient Bengalese temple. The Temple of the Forbidden Eye, containing countless intriguing artifacts buried beneath silt by a flood of the Lost River Delta over two thousand years ago, is undergoing excavation for archaeological research. The temple deity Mara seems to conditionally offer one of three gifts to all who come to the hallowed site: earthly riches, eternal youth, or visions of the future. The only condition is that one may never gaze into the eyes of Mara. Although Jones’ discovery, dubbed the "Temple of the Forbidden Eye" by the media, has set the archaeological community abuzz, his funding has run out. To raise money so the excavation can continue, Sallah (John Rhys-Davies / Bob Joles) has begun conducting guided tours. Good fortune has come to many of the tourists who survive, but others have not returned. Promising to find the missing tourists, Jones ventured inside the temple approximately one week ago, and has not yet reappeared. Jones also hoped to find the temple’s power source: the mysterious “Jewel of Power”, which Abner Ravenwood believed to be within an immense cavern, beyond the Gates of Doom. Marcus Brody has asked Sallah to continue conducting the tours, in the hope they may locate Dr. Jones.
The attraction’s immersive and carefully detailed queue leads guests through dimly lit temple chambers and eerie passageways containing booby-trapped sections reminiscent of the Indiana Jones movies.
The queue begins outside, winding past a 2.5 ton Mercedes-Benz troop transport truck. This is the actual vehicle used in the desert chase scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. A small mining car near the truck is a movie prop as well, used in the mine scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Guests also walk by a noisy steam-powered engine/generator set piece, which appears to power the lights strung deep into the temple.
Much of the queue is inside the temple itself. Throughout the bowels of the temple, petroglyphs in "Marabic" warn temple visitors of the rewards and perils that can be found further within. The glyphs can be translated into English using a simple character substitution encoding. In the early months of the attraction's existence, guests were given decoder cards; while these cards are no longer distributed, the code is easily solvable as each symbol bears a strong resemblance to its corresponding letter in the English alphabet. The sole exception is the letter I, which, appropriately, resembles an eye. Where the text is painted, vowels appear in red.
The queue contains several interactive features. In the “spike room”, the ceiling appears to be retained by several upright bamboo poles. When the key supporting pole is pushed, guests are startled by sounds of the ceiling dropping as the spikes begin to descend slowly toward them. In the next area, large stone blocks released from the ceiling (triggered by the diamond-shaped stones below) are barely kept in place by wooden wedges and supports. Further on, in the Rotunda Calendar, pulling on a rope triggers responses from Dr. Dunfor Pullit, an out-of-sight archeologist supported by the rope beneath the sarcophagus stone. Various crates throughout the queue contain some significant features; one marked with the number "990 6753" refers to the number on the crate holding the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Another crate is marked "Deliver to Club Obi Wan", referring to a fictional club at the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, itself a reference to the character Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars.
Eventually, guests encounter a projection of a newsreel of the discovery, followed by a safety spiel by Sallah.
Mickey and Minnie appear on the cover of a copy of Life Magazine in Professor Jones' office.
At the loading area, guests board the troop transport. Through the radio, Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) reminds the tourists to fasten their seat belts, and points out a problem with the transport. The transport takes off, past a cluster of mirrors concealing the maintenance dock entrance, and turns a corner into the Chamber of Destiny, where guests are presented with three doors. One of the three doors begins to glow more brightly than the other two, and Mara announces which gift the passengers have chosen to receive. The doors open, and the passengers enter the Hall of Promise.
In reality, the Chamber of Destiny only has one operating door and corridor. The walls and ceiling of the room are designed to rotate across the working doorway and a set of four façades (two on each side of the real doorway), so that three "doors" are always visible at any given time. The doors and the Hall of Promise are lit differently based on which particular chamber has been randomly chosen. Prior to 2015, dummy tracks led up to the other doors to enhance the effect. Since the ride's opening, the machinery used to rotate the door has been deactivated and are no longer used. As of 2015, this effect is accomplished using projectors hidden on either side of the chamber, which shuffle through various video effects that are superimposed on the three doors to create the illusion that the transport is entering through a specific door.
At the end of the tunnel, the idol of Mara suddenly appears to scowl and projection mapping shows the idol 'bleed' with colors as it says:
The transport momentarily appears to head toward an exit, before making a sharp turn into a large crumbling corridor. Lightning flashes along the walls, illuminating large cobra statues overhead as the transport continues forward. The Gates of Doom pulsate with green mist and an audio-animatronic Indiana Jones struggles to keep the doors closed. Jones scolds the tourists for looking into the idol's eyes and instructs them to proceed up the steps to the left. The transport then accelerates up the flight of stairs.
The transport emerges from the passage and teeters on the edge of a vast pit of lava. Another transport is seen attempting to cross a rickety rope bridge which spans the pit under a crumbling ceiling. On the far side of the cavern, there is a 45-foot-tall stone face of Mara, that periodically shoots green rays at both transports, causing flames to erupt from where the beam hits. Formerly, there was an effect in place within this scene where the light beams would hit the ceiling, causing dyed ice cubes to rain down, simulating the rubble of the caving temple, but it was removed. The light beams have now been redirected away from the former effect, however, the sound effect for the rubble still plays upon entering the room. The transport turns left and enters catacombs of false pathways lined with skeletons, some of which pop out toward the guests.
Suddenly, all is dark. The transport's headlights flicker back on, illuminating walls swarming with thousands of beetles. Hissing sounds are heard, and riders are blasted with puffs of air. The transport heads out of the darkness and onto the bridge which spans the pit. The transport stalls for a moment as another oncoming transport can be seen about to cross the bridge, which turns away just before reaching it. The transport then accelerates across the bridge which sways and jostles under its weight. The massive stone face of Mara shoots beams from its eye, attempting to destroy the bridge. The transport makes it safely across then turns sharply to the right.
Hundreds of snakes cover the walls and ground and a large audio-animatronic cobra (Frighto) appears to the right of the vehicle, striking at the riders. The transport heads back to return across the rope bridge and flashes its headlights at an oncoming transport about to cross. The transport turns sharply to the right, behind the giant stone carving of Mara's face, and crosses a wooden bridge under the rope bridge. Riders enter a room full of skulls (1,995 to be exact) and the ghost of Mara roars at riders from above. After missing an exploding lava rock, the transport veers into a pitch black tunnel. The transport then stalls near a hanging tree root, where many rats are seen climbing across it and falling off into the car before a burst of speed sends the car through the tree root, which vaporizes like mist. The transport careens through a dimly lit tunnel with paintings of spear-wielding skeletal warriors adorning the walls. Blasts of air hit the riders and darts are heard striking the transport as it rolls over the trigger stones between the skeletal warriors.
The transport then approaches a dark area and stops. Indiana Jones suddenly appears above the vehicle hanging on a rope in a shaft of light. He welcomes the adventurers' rescue and bids them to turn on the headlights and prepare for him to board. As the lights flicker on, they illuminate a massive boulder rolling toward the transport. The transport seems to back up as the boulder threatens to crush Jones and the tourists. At the last possible second, the transport accelerates and suddenly the floor seems to give way, sending the transport into the chamber below. An impact resonates through the chamber, as if the boulder has crashed down, nearly striking the transport.
The transport plunges down into darkness and swerves right to see Jones standing in front of the boulder, which has been cracked by its impact. An exhausted Jones wipes his forehead and says one of the following:
A final triumphant refrain of music ushers the guests back into the station. Sallah welcomes back the tourists, and tells them to remain seated as the transport reaches the loading area.
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull is set in an unspecified region of Mexico during the 1930s. Hosted by a character named Paco (voiced by Katsuhisa Hōki), the story features Indiana Jones (voiced by Kunio Murai) is looking for the Fountain of Youth in an Aztec temple guarded by a Crystal Skull. While the name is similar to that of the fourth Indiana Jones film, the design of the titular skull is entirely different and the scenarios in the attraction are unrelated to that film.
The Temple of the Crystal Skull building exterior resembles a large Aztec pyramid and temple, set in the South American port "Lost River Delta" at Tokyo DisneySea. The design is influenced by ancient South American architecture and art. There is a large room in the first pyramid with elaborate, South American-inspired frescoes on the walls; skeletons litter the floor around the queue walkway. The queue subsequently passes through a series of smaller, intricately themed chambers. Paco, a South American tour guide, hosts a black-and-white safety film, which plays on a continuous loop.
Everyone is seeking the Fountain of Youth. There is a single carved door with pools of water to the side, complemented by mist and what appears to be endless hallways.
All guests enter the same hallway, seeking the Fountain of Youth. This single hallway contains effects from all three variations seen in “Forbidden Eye”: fiber optic stars, statues holding glowing treasure, and water effects. At the end of the hall awaits the Crystal Skull. It glows demonically, signaling that the journey is about to take a turn toward the Gates of Doom.
The transport momentarily appears to head toward an exit, before making a sharp turn into a large corridor. Lightning flashes along the walls, illuminating large cobra statues overhead as the transport seems to "float" through the room using the EMV technology.
The Gates of Doom pulsate with green mist as Indiana Jones struggles to keep the doors closed. Jones, speaking in Japanese, scolds the tourists for looking into the eyes of the Crystal Skull and instructs them to proceed up the steps to the left. The triumphant musical theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark is heard as the transport accelerates up the flight of stairs.
Blues and greens are the colors that fill this room. There is a large tornado effect near the bridge. The eye of the large skull is crystal and emits lasers and other lighting effects.
The transport turns left and enters another chamber filled with skeletons, some of which pop out toward the guests.
Suddenly, all is dark; the music tinkles with chaotic violin pizzicatos. The transport's headlights flicker on, illuminating walls swarming with thousands of beetles. Hissing sounds are heard, and riders are blasted with puffs of air.
The transport finally heads out of the darkness and onto the bridge which spans the pit. The transport stalls for a moment as another oncoming jeep can be seen across the pit, but it turns out of the way before reaching the bridge. The transport then accelerates across the bridge which sways and jostles under its weight. The massive stone effigy shoots beams from its eye at the bridge, attempting to destroy it. The transport safely makes it across and makes a right turn.
Thousands of snakes line the walls and ground and a gigantic audio-animatronic version of the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl, with glowing red eyes, appears to the right of the vehicle, striking at the riders.
The transport heads back to return across the rope bridge and flashes its headlights at an oncoming transport about to cross. The transport turns sharply to the right entering behind the giant stone skull. The transport slides past hundreds of human skulls which decorate the walls, as the crystal skull on a plinth radiates light. Turning left, out of the massive stone effigy, the transport continues downward, passing under the rope bridge.
A carved skull like face is in the wall in front of the vehicle. The vehicle pauses for a moment and a fireball [a large ring of harmless orange colored smoke] suddenly emerges from the face's mouth, heading straight towards the vehicle. The vehicle swerves to the right driving through the smoke and on to the next corridor.
A hall lined with sculptures of gaping skulls along the walls. The vehicle lurches forward over the pressure plates in the floor activating the booby trap. From the mouth of each skull shoots a dart [air jets that emit sudden swift puffs of air]. The transport rolls to the end and makes a sharp right into the Boulder Room.
Indy hangs from a vine above. As the transport pulls up underneath him he shouts [In Japanese]One of several phrases cautioning the riders. As the boulder rolls towards the transport and falls, the transport plunges and a photograph of the entire car of riders is taken. The photograph may be purchased after the ride.
The transport drops suddenly, then turns right sharply in a dark tunnel and comes out to see Jones standing in front of the crushed boulder. Jones wipes his forehead and says one of several pre-recorded phrases. A final triumphant refrain of the music ushers the guests back into the station. While waiting to disembark, the mobile radio transceiver announces one of several "please remain seated" messages.
In addition to dialogue and sound effects, an orchestral soundtrack plays through the speakers built into the troop transports. This medley contains segments of John Williams' original scores for the first three Indiana Jones movies, re-scored and re-recorded to sync up with the perils of the adventure. Richard Bellis was responsible for this adaptation process. "The Raiders' March" and Ark theme both feature prominently at various points.
The following list is a breakdown of the different passages heard in the attraction, and the track times at which the original versions can be found on the soundtracks for the films.