Indiana Jones Goes Under the Knife

by David Koenig, staff writer
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The safety patrol that just finished adding boat-perimeter netting, dock bumpers, and a new tethering system to the Jungle Cruise is next turning its sights on the Indiana Jones Adventure (see "Jungle Cruise reopens with new safety modifications" from our Disneyland Update last week for more information). [Edited to add: the refurbishment is scheduled from September 4 to December 7.]


Disneyland has installed safety nets and a new tethering system to the Jungle Cruise boats. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Among the most noticeable changes will be widening the bridge in the “big room” to accommodate a new car maneuver. “They want to eliminate the chance that vehicles will put guests in precarious situations if they stop there," said one cast member. "The zone afterwards is a notorious spot where vehicles get ‘lost.’”

There will also be a significant number of Disneyland president George Kalogridis’ pet fall-protection enhancements. Ever since Disney was forced to rush Alice in Wonderland through an emergency rehab/disfigurement, Kalogridis has insisted on cutting OSHA off at the pass and incorporating better, more naturally themed protection devices on other attractions, such as the less-noticeable, rustic-looking railings along the Matterhorn track.

Indy will also receive plenty of show work and rehabs of the breakroom—a very welcome makeover considering how infrequently this attraction goes down.

Although other online sources cite Big Thunder Mountain as next in line, that coaster’s top-to-bottom safety update/rebuild is not scheduled to begin until January.

Park Way Away

In the August 10 edition of “Resort Today Team Talk,” cast members learned that those who park at the Katella Cast Member Lot will again be forced to park off-property. According to the announcement, “As Annual Passholder block-outs begin to lift at the end of this historic summer, the Disneyland Resort will continue to be an exceptionally popular destination. To ensure the best experience possible for Guests, Katella Cast Member Lot (KCML) will be used for Guest parking on Monday, Aug. 20, and potentially on Sunday, Aug. 26.”

On August 20, cast members will be diverted to Angel Stadium; on August 26 to Honda Center. 

The resort forced employees to park remotely twice earlier this summer and, although the parking blackouts were cancelled halfway through the day, cast members suspected that their employer would make the inconvenience more and more frequent.

Cast members were also irked by how the resort broke the news, as its updates continually reprinted the exact same line suggesting near-site parking was a privilege. Sure enough, the latest announcement features that familiar line: “As a reminder, driving to work and parking in a Cast lot is not expected or required and is just one commuting option available to Cast.” Later in the note, managers are instructed to “remind Cast that driving to work and parking in a Cast lot is not expected or required, and just one commuting option available.” And then, further down: “Cast are always encouraged to pursue alternate means of transportation, including carpooling, riding the bus or train, vanpooling, bicycling or walking.”

The new announcement’s FAQs contain pretty much the same information as before, with one twist:

Q: Will we be getting meal vouchers again?

A: No. Meal vouchers were given to Cast Members on peak attendance days in June in appreciation of their hard work supporting the grand reopening of Disney California Adventure Park.

Just like a good politician, management passed out the perks to pacify those inconvenienced, but now that the inconveniences are to continue, they realized they had to slightly rewrite history.

Comments

  1. By jpg391

    I can understand Disney wanting to cut OSHA off at the pass by making safety improvements before they are required to. But no matter how safe they try to make the rides, there will always be accidents.

  2. By David Koenig

    Oops! Forgot to include a key piece of info in the story:
    The rehab will be from September 4 to December 7.
    David

  3. By MammaSilva

    Thanks for that update, I am bringing my nephews next spring and both will FINALLY be tall enough to ride and Indy is on the top of their wish list right under the Radiator Springs Racers!

  4. By carolinakid

    Indiana Jones is to DL what Expedition Everest is to WDW.......both major attractions in need of major refurbs.....

  5. By gbdisney8

    Quote Originally Posted by David Koenig View Post
    Oops! Forgot to include a key piece of info in the story:
    The rehab will be from September 4 to December 7.
    David

    Can I just say how much I dislike Disneyland's "surprise" refurbs that are NOT listed on the schedule until last minute? They already only show the schedule 5-6 weeks out. So we checked last week for Sept 15 - looked good only Casey Jr. and Storybook were down and the Halloween overlays were back up... so we booked our vacation; then today I see this. We live out of state and only visit once a year. The LEAST they can do is know 6 weeks ahead about something this major. I love DL but this drives me crazy every year. My kids and miss riding half the rides because different ones are closed every time. They've never been on Splash Mountain yet and we've even gone different times of year. From an out-of-stater point of view looks like they totally cater to locals who can come anytime or they seriously just want to pack people in during the summer?! OK, thanks for letting me vent.

  6. By paulacraiglow

    I also would like to say I was disappointed. They are bringing the National Geographic Indiana Jones exhibit back from overseas to the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana in October so we booked a trip since our son is CRAZY for Indiana Jones. I thought for sure that Disneyland would jump on this bandwagon for the opening, which brings crowds. Apparently, I was mistaken and my son will not get to enjoy the ride. It will likely be our only visit to Disneyland, as we live in Ohio and Walt Disney World is much more affordable for us. They still do not have it listed on their current refurb list under the last day on their calendar of Sept 26. We are super bummed!!! (and secretly hoping they will change their mind and get through the holidays and then close. ;o))

  7. By gbdisney8

    Wow - the exhibit sounds great! we'll have to check that out while we're out there. And, I know they do need to work on rides, so with my vent I'm just specifically referring to rides that are not listed under refurbishment and then "pop up" unexpectedly with only a couple weeks (or even days) notice. I even called today to verify the IJ closure and the cast member said it's not on the website nor do they have any knowledge of it going down. This has happened every trip to us. BUT, as you said above, maybe they'll decide to take advantage of cross-promoting with the exhibit after all!! Yes, DW does such a better job at getting info out there further out, and it's a much better value; I wish it were closer to us!!

  8. By paulacraiglow

    Just browsing the Disneyland site and if you go the Indiana Jones attraction page, it does list the refurbishment. UGH!!! It still does not have it on the calendar page though. I guess they will not be changing their mind. Bummer!

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