The Original Indiana Jones Adventure: Never Built Disneyland

Never Built Disneyland

Disney rides often are much more ambitious in their initial plans than what they end up becoming. The blue sky process allows for imagining what could be without thinking about things like budget or feasibility to operate. Today we are looking into the original, more ambitious concept for the Disneyland version of Indiana Jones Adventure.

The ride that exists today, while elaborate, is actually a compromise from a much more extensive plan. The original plan, known as the lost expedition by Disney fans, would have combined multiple Disneyland attractions into one experience, including two preexisting attractions that would have been altered for the project as wells as multiple new Indiana Jones rides.

The main actual Indiana Jones ride would have been largely the same as the ride that exists today Indiana Jones Adventure Temple of the Forbidden Eye, using the same ride system and basic storyline. The major difference would have been the ride building would incorporate two other rides that would pass in and out of the attraction building and an additional attraction utilizing the space.

Disneyland Railroad Train Arriving at Tomorrowland Station At Night

One would be the Disneyland Railroad, which currently passes alongside the ride building. Instead, in this plan it would have been rerouted to travel through the ride building and look into various show scenes, similar to how it passes through Splash Mountain right now.

This would have drastically changed the Indiana Jones ride and the Adventureland section of the Disneyland Railroad.

Jungle Cruise Skipper Talking Into Mic Disneyland

The other attraction that would have been altered for the experience, Jungle Cruise, would have been rerouted to pass into the ride building as well, similar to how the Magic Kingdom attraction passes through its own temple building. It would have traveled into one of the larger show scenes before continuing on the already existing ride path. Jungle Cruise would be altered for this ride, but it would merely pass by the temple, not travel inside.

But by far the biggest difference between the proposed ride and the one that got built was that the original plan was for the temple to include two different attractions, one similar to the existing Indiana Jones Adventure, Temple of the Forbidden Eye that did get built, but it would also be joined by a roller coaster.

The roller coaster would have been based on the mine cart sequence from Temple of Doom. While the other ride would be more focused on a narrative storyline, this attraction would have featured a focus on thrills and even featured inversions, similar to the roller coaster that exists today in Disneyland Paris based on the franchise, although the Disneyland version would have been located entirely indoors.

Black Panther Figure in Adventureland Disneyland Railroad Statue

This would have been a massive indoors expansion for Adventureland and given something to Disneyland Park that it still does not have to this day, an intense looping roller coaster.

Both proposed rides would end up getting built in some way, just not in the same park and building as intended. In Disneyland Indiana Jones Adventure would be built and be a massive success, and Disneyland Paris would get an Indiana Jones themed roller coaster.

Most rides begin their development being much more ambitious than the version that ends up getting built, and cutting down elements to make rides more realistic is a natural part of any ride getting built in the Disney Parks. Indiana Jones Adventure is an amazing ride and it is just interesting looking at what could have made it an even better experience than it already is.