Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
I happened to be one of the 1000 people who were able to get a preview of
Disneyland's new Indiana Jones ride on February 4th, 1995. The ride doesn't
even open for another month, and Disneyland expects the lines to be around 4
hours long when it does. Will it be worth the wait? Well, I wouldn't wait
for 4 hours for ANYTHING, but if you're willing to put in that kind of time
commitment, then I think you'll be glad you did.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye is
located in Adventureland, not far from the Jungle
Tours. You are greeted with the sign above, and a jeep which makes
a good Photo
Opportunity. The entrance leads you into a line which is in the courtyard
of the Temple itself. You wind around and
around and finally get into the Temple. The line then proceeds through the
Temple - around excavation sites, through trecherous hallways, and through
several large antechambers, all with exquisite details, imagery, and paintings. At one point the line leads
into a large room equipped with an excavation scaffold, from which a series
of films are continuously shown. There are 3 films and one "slide show".
The films are faux newsreels describing the discovery of the Temple by
Jones, the flux of tourists to the Temple, and the loss of Indiana Jones in
the Temple after he goes in to try and rescue missing tourists. (He's not
"lost" as in "dead", he's just missing, and is one of the plots of the ride
itself.) The slide show is put on by Sallah (although you don't see him),
and describes the ride ("tour") and some safety features (pouches for
holding your stuff, seatbelts, etc). When you're through that room, you're
ALMOST to the ride itself (but not quite). After a few dozen more yards
through the innards of the Temple, you finally make it to the loading point.
My wait was over 2 hours, but I managed to sneak back in and ride it again
less than 30 minutes later.
Up to 12 people are loaded into a jeep (it only has 12 seats). Each person
gets a seatbelt, and there is a pouch located nearby to store loose items
like purses or cameras or hats (trust me, you'll need it). The main point
of the ride is that there are three possible paths that your jeep can take.
The story is that the Temple has 3 doors leading from the Chamber of
Destiny. These doors are supposed to give the passengers special powers or
riches - one is for eternal youth, one is for wealth, and one is for visions
of the future (this is all explained in Sallah's little slide show). You
don't know which path you're going to go on when you enter the Chamber of
Destiny (I assume it's random), and you're supposed to keep
your eyes closed until you're through the Chamber (another part of the story
- tourists who have looked into the eyes of the Idol, which is behind each
door, disappear; this is why Indy came back to the Temple, and subsequently
got lost), and there is even a mirror at a 45-degree angle before you enter
the chamber, so you can see ahead of you to where the jeep before you is
going. In the Chamber, your jeep will go through one of the 3 doors (both
times I went on the ride, I went through the middle door, which is a shame
because I only got to see ONE of the possible paths), then there is a short
hallway, at the end of which is a large Idol carved into the wall. Its eyes
will open and start to smoke, and the jeep will turn and head into the main
part of the ride. It's possible that if everyone in the car keeps their
eyes covered, something else happens, but I don't know.
The ride is much like Star Tours, except that the car is in
motion. The jeep moves forward, left, right, or backwards along a track,
and can raise or lower the front, left, right, or rear to simulate off-road
riding (i.e. when you go around corners, the near side of the car raises up;
when you drive over large rocks, the front and rear go up and down
accordingly). The ride is very rough and bumpy, and you'd better hold on to
whatever you can to avoid hitting your neighbor or the jeep itself. The
journey underneath the temple lasts about 5 minutes - you maight cross a
bridge, through a hallway equipped with traps, confront demons or huge
snakes (the snake was pretty cool - scared the hell out of the rider sitting
on the right-hand side), or be threatened by a giant rolling boulder (a la
Raiders of the Lost Ark).
Throughout the ride (on my journey, 3 or 4 times), you come across
various animatronic Indiana Jonses - telling you which way to go, protecting
you, "Nice driving, pal", "Not bad, for a bunch of tourists", etc. They're
pretty realistic, and one of the best parts of the ride. I went on the same
path twice, but the Jonses said different things each time, so even if you
DO go the same way more than once some things will be different. I would
love to have gone through one of the other doors, to see where they lead.
Finally, you arrive back at the loading dock, and you're all done.
It is definitely Disneyland's best ride (or, it WILL be their best). The
ride is pretty bumpy and jerky, so be careful to hold onto the jeep. The
wait will be unbearable (if it IS 4 hours) for some, but the lines will move
relatively quickly - not much standing around, just a lot of slow walking.
(When I was there, the ride broke down twice, for 30 minutes each time, so
the line was even slower than it should have been. We were essentially beta
testers for the ride anyway, so the engineers expected this kind of thing to
happen. When it opens in March, there shouldn't be any problem of the ride
stopping like that.) The attention to detail everywhere - from the lines to
the temple to the ride itself - is incredible. Your first time through, you
won't even MIND waiting for hours, because each new room is so interesting.
This ride is off limits to small children (height restriction), people with
heart/health problems, or pregnant women, just like many of Disneyland's
most popular rides (Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, etc). But if you're up
to it, it's one hell of a ride.
February 7, 1995