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Indiana Jones: Then and Now

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  • Indiana Jones: Then and Now

    I vividly recall the excitement of standing in line for 2 1/2 hours to ride the brand new Indiana Jones attraction at Disneyland when it was brand new. The ride was sponsored by AT&T so you were handed a wallet size cardboard decoder card at the entry to the temple so while you were waiting in line you could decode all the messages written on the walls. If I had only known then I needed to save those cards because they stopped giving them out after the first year.

    The queue line used to wrap around and through the temple with various features to entertain you as you waited. But since the ride is down to a typical 30 minute wait versus the prior 2 1/2 hours wait a lot of the elements for the line are no longer accessible or functional. My favorite parts were the bamboo that you jiggled in the hydraulic ceiling that would come a few inches down in line as well as the well with the rope that if you pulled hard enough on it the guy would fall and yell, the latter is still in place.

    I wrote this ride so many times in the first five years of operation that I have it memorized in my body so imagine my surprise when my beloved elements disappeared from the ride at my most recent visit.

    Upon entering there is no longer any falling rock from the ceiling or smoke or lasers coming from Mara’s eyes. The giant snake barely moves its head at this point and it used to whip around quite a lot. The bug room has no more air blowing affect to make you feel like there are bugs in the vehicle with you and there is nothing shooting down from the ceiling which also used to make you feel like bugs were falling on you. The room with the rats on a branch above your head is completely dark most of the time, but when you look backward you can see the projector is just angled at the ceiling beyond a beam where you cannot see it so apparently it just needs adjustment. Lasers no longer shoot out of the temple eyes while you’re crossing the bridge and the bridge ropes don’t move at all which I believe they used to do. The ghostly skull is barely visible over the lava and the flames are a lot smaller than they used to be. Wind going around the curve surrounded by skeletons there used to be three skeletons that swung down out of a cave formation which no longer exist. Finally, very few of the darts that shoot out air are actually working in the skeleton guard room.

    I heard they are doing a refurbishment of the ride this year, but it’s only supposed to be for the bridge and rock work. Hopefully they put some effort into repairing the special effects on the ride.

    Anyone else notice missing parts?

  • #2
    In the first scene with Mara, there was a star field and an eye on the ceiling, the effect stopped working for a long time.

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    • #3
      The first time I ever rode it was about five years ago and thought it was pretty lame relative to how long the lines were, etc. The ride you're describing sounds a lot better....

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      • #4
        Didn't it used to have an effect where you would go through one of 3 doors? Now it's only the center one. Maybe it's a false memory.

        Also, last time I rode, there was no water down by the huge skull like there usually is.

        They let this ride go to sh#@t.

        Bummer too because it is such a great ride.

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        • #5
          Yes the door would revolve making it look like your going through different doors each time, it stopped when they put the new projection mapping effects. Someone should breakdown the ride scene by scene highlighting all the effects that no longer exist.
          Last edited by MAC1986; 01-30-2020, 09:47 PM.

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          • #6
            I miss the 3 doors effects,that was highlight of telling a story .
            IMO - I still enjoy
            Indiana Jones Adventure
            But after 25 years since it open 1995
            it has been tone down lot ,so it not the same !
            Soaring like an EAGLE !

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            • #7
              Most importantly (IMHO), Indy seems to rely a lot more on blacklights and florescent paint these days. Perhaps my recollection is wrong about it having been less reliant on them in the past? Or perhaps the use of blacklights just hasn't aged well?

              One of the places DisneySea's version really excels compared to Disneyland is the "dart room," because the DisneySea version has actual props instead of paintings that rely on blacklights; this is probably the place where swapping out the blacklit florescent paintings in favor of physical props would be most valuable. The snake scene at Disneyland is also way too blacklit/florescent, though.

              Speaking of DisneySea's version, I think its "smoke explosion" effect works better than our "projected mice on smoke" effect (especially since the latter effect is so unreliable). I wouldn't be surprised if they replaced the latter with the former during this refurbishment, or perhaps sometime in the future.



              Last edited by md6379a; 01-30-2020, 10:51 PM.

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              • #8
                Side Note:
                I still have my
                wallet size cardboard decoder card
                It was fun trying decode all the messages ,written on the walls
                while waiting in line ,
                but was not good at it ..........
                Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                • #9
                  The bamboo effect was working perfectly this past weekend. I was shocked and beyond thrilled to see the ceiling actually drop.
                  Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror

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                  • #11
                    I know the refurb is supposed to be pretty focused, but I hope that some of these things are addressed. I remember going on this ride as a kid, my first experience at Disneyland, and I was absolutely blown away by the magic of this attraction. I was completely transported into the story. I daydreamed about this ride in particular when I got home, remembering how immersive the experience was transporting in itself. The effects described in the original post were all there, and while I still love the ride, I wish that that it could be given the attention it needs to get it back (and frankly, beyond) its original debut.

                    I feel that way about MANY of my favorite DL attractions.

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                    • #12
                      For the first three decades of Disneyland's history, the standard was to improve existing attractions. Jungle Cruise, the Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland -- from small improvements to complete re-do's, "plussing" existing attractions was the Company's policy. Since the advent of Eisner, and particularly since Iger, that policy has been reversed. Every dollar that isn't spent on keeping attractions up to their original show quality is a dollar that's added to the Company's profits column -- and to Iger's annual bonus.
                      "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                      it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                      together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                      designed to appeal to everyone."

                      - Walt Disney

                      "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                      - Michael Eisner

                      "It's very symbiotic."
                      - Bob Chapek

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                      • #13
                        THe way this ride was treated should put fear and sadness in everyone's minds for what's going to happen to Rise of the Resistance

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                        • #14
                          I'm unsure as to its current condition but I seem to recall the snake we have now is the second snake and that they added more motion to it as the fangs now pop out when it strikes where the origional one always had fangs lowered and was a bit more cartoon/static looking (granted the snake has always been a more cartoony element).
                          "We all have sparks, imagination! it's how our minds... create creations!"

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by whoever View Post
                            The biggest issue with the show these days in the lack of revolving entrance doors.
                            The doors don't revolve, the walls shift.

                            There are actually five fixed 'entrances' but only one leads to ride. The walls would rotate to hide two of the fake entrances so you would only see three at a time. Depending on the position of the walls, the working entrance would be in the first, second, or third position.

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                            • #16
                              Originally posted by Reef Pilot View Post
                              THe way this ride was treated should put fear and sadness in everyone's minds for what's going to happen to Rise of the Resistance
                              Yes this is very concerning lol
                              These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

                              DL 55th BDAY trip report
                              My company had a special night at the park
                              WdW trip report with WWoHP
                              NYE 2011 trip report
                              Mice Chat 7th anniversary
                              Leap year 24 hour report
                              New DCA trip report
                              NYE 2012
                              HKDL trip report

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                              • #17
                                Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                                For the first three decades of Disneyland's history, the standard was to improve existing attractions. Jungle Cruise, the Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland -- from small improvements to complete re-do's, "plussing" existing attractions was the Company's policy. Since the advent of Eisner, and particularly since Iger, that policy has been reversed. Every dollar that isn't spent on keeping attractions up to their original show quality is a dollar that's added to the Company's profits column -- and to Iger's annual bonus.
                                Have you even been to Disneyland since Iger took over? Attraction plusses are still a very regular thing, even if normal maintenance isn't what it should be.

                                The 2005 re imagine and rebuild of Space. 2014's and new finale of Big Thunder. The extensive overhauls Pan and Alice have gotten within the last decade, and that Snow White is getting now. The 2015 rebuild of the Matterhorn. Or, the re imagine of the Rivers of America that has received near unanimous praise on Disney fan sites.

                                Fantasmic! got plussed in 2009 and again in '17 (though I'm not a fan of the '17 show).

                                Or the 'plus' of adding the Hatbox Ghost back in '15.

                                And while I disagree, there are many that would say Guardians is a better attraction than Tower of Terror. Or that Soarin' Over the World is better than it's California version.

                                It's fair to say that you don't like the updates that Disney has done, but to claim they don't do them to help out 'Iger's annual bonus' is disingenuous and false.
                                Last edited by ajburk97; 01-31-2020, 09:33 PM.

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                                • #18
                                  They've started giving out cards again, got one a few months back... just had to ask the CM before entering queue (unless they ran out).

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                                  • #19
                                    Originally posted by CMARSH View Post
                                    The first time I ever rode it was about five years ago and thought it was pretty lame relative to how long the lines were, etc. The ride you're describing sounds a lot better....
                                    I am right there with you. I've been riding it only for 6 years and I remember all the commercials when it launched and am a huge Indiana Jones Fan since Raiders as a kid and I have always been let down by not only how much is always not working but like Splash Mtn. how much you can tell is broken or turned off they have not even done a good job about hiding the neglect. And it is neglect in the pre-Eisner era if something broke on a ride it was shut down asap and maintenance was on it within days and the machine shop would fabricate any part needed on the spot. yes rides might have gone down more frequently but they came back up quicker as well because they did not let damaged features pile up like they do now. Both Splash and Indy are borderline depressing to see not one but multiple animatronics stationary or to see sectioned of the ride in the dark to hide the lack of effect etc. As a kid in the 70's/80's it was so rare to see a broken ride that you would almost relish it as a seeing a rare moment. Sure a ride being closed down was not too uncommon but nowadays seeing a broken ride has become so common people almost expect it. It's that erosion of expectation that I often find sad.

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                                    • #20
                                      I recall many years ago that a live "Indiana" jumped into your car at one point. It was probably a very short lived thing.

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