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Konnichiwa! A look at Disney in Japan
Special: A look inside the Tokyo DisneySea attractions!

Special: A look inside the Tokyo DisneySea attractions!


MousePlanet is blessed with some wonderful readers, many of whom write in, offer suggestions, give tour reports, and generally help out so we can assemble our content for you every weekday. Sometimes we get something really special from those nice folks - and we want to share it with you. A few weeks ago a kind reader, Ted, sent me the following note:

Al, In surfing the web I have found several good photo essays of Tokyo DisneySea including the one you have run on MousePlanet. However, I have seen very little information on, or reviews of the actual attractions. There has been a little information here and there, but nothing that really examines each ride or show in depth. If other fans are anything like me, there is some pent up demand for this type of thing.

As part of a longer trip through Japan my wife and I will be spending 5 days at the Tokyo Disney Resort , staying at the Hotel Mira Costa. Would you and your readers be interested in ride reviews and a peek inside the attractions of Tokyo DisneySea?

Were we interested? Of course we were, and thanks to Ted, we now have a new series of photos and reviews to share with you from this terrific new park - showcasing the attractions themselves. As this series will run as Ted's time permits, keep checking back for his latest installments. I'm sure you'll agree with me that's he's done an absolutely spectacular job, and the staff here at MousePlanet thanks him for allowing us to present his tour to you here.

And before I forget, YES THERE ARE SCADS OF SPOILERS HERE. In fact just close this browser window right now if you don't want to know anything about this ride. I assure you Ted gives it all away here, so don't say we didn't warn you!

Part Four: Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull

Photos and text by Ted
(Please note that he retains the copyright to all photos and they may not be used without his

Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull

When Disneyland debuted Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye in 1995 it was a smash success from day one. Fully immersive and full of technological breakthroughs the Indy Adventure became a major draw for the park, often seeing lines snaking all the way to, and even past the central hub. This attraction manages to pull together everything Disney does best; great story telling and an exciting and unique presentation made for a real winner of an attraction. Many consider Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye to in fact be Disney's, if not the world's greatest theme park attraction to date.

With such a solid track record and a world known license it was a given that some version of this attraction was to be built in Tokyo as part of the new Tokyo DisneySea park. As the main focus of the Lost River Delta area of DisneySea the Indy adventure has been slightly rethemed and rechristened Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull.

Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull

Set in a thick South American jungle (as the original's Asian/Indian theme was not considered as exotic, nor far away enough for Japanese visitors) the first thing you will notice is how much more prominent the temple structure is as compared to the Disneyland version.

In the American park space is tight. The Adventureland location simply could not provide enough land to build any sort of show building. The ingenious solution was to nestle a small temple holding the entrance next to the Jungle Cruise and then have a long and incredibly intricate queue lead would be riders outside of the park's berm to the ride itself. The net result is that the queue creates an enormous sense of anticipation.

More than any attraction before it (and perhaps since) Temple of the Forbidden Eye uses the queue as part of the attraction itself. You are not simply standing in line, you are gaining clues as to what awaits you. You are flirting with disaster and avoiding a myriad of booby traps. It adds tremendously to the enjoyment of the ride once you finally make it on board.

On the other hand, space was not an issue in Tokyo. The Indy attraction was part of the DisneySea design from the get go. It wasn't as important to create the same sense of seclusion which the attraction benefits from at Disneyland. Rather than hide the show building as they did in America the Imagineers took the exact opposite approach, they prominently display the entire building for all to see. Themed as an ancient Aztec pyramid the building looms over the entire land. It creates a wonderful beacon drawing people to it's location at the very back end of the park.

Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull

Fortunately the Imagineers did not forget the impact that the queue could have on this attraction. Therefore they have designed a wholly unique queue experience which is almost as successful in setting the attractions tone as it's Anaheim Cousin's.

Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull

As we approach details are everywhere, torches flicker with flame, huge stone blocks have tumbled from the temples corner and the surrounding jungle is slowly reclaiming the structure. Moss and vines engulf portions of the pyramid and birds and other creatures can be heard in the dense underbrush. An archeological dig is in progress and we can see various treasures crated and ready to be sent off for study.

Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull


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