July 1955 – present
Adventureland opened as one of the original lands in 1955. With the tremendous success of his Asian and African nature documentaries, Walt envisioned a land that would combine elements of the world’s jungles and rainforests, offering park guests the chance to immerse themselves in the exotic worlds they admired on screen. In fact, Adventureland was intentionally created as a blend of different places, rather than a specifically Asian or African theme, so that the experience for Disneyland explorers would be completely unique and magical. Though Adventureland wasn’t originally set in any specific era, the Magic Kingdom’s jungle was finally set in the 1930’s when headline attraction Indiana Jones Adventure was installed in 1995.
When entering Adventureland from Main Street USA, you may notice the immediate change in atmosphere. The smell of fresh popcorn disappears even before you reach the Enchanted Tiki Room, and distant birds and monkeys suddenly chirp and buzz high in the trees. As you make your way through Adventureland, you will see glimpses of the river that houses the Jungle Cruise, a winding staircase leading up to Tarzan’s Treehouse, and the entrance to Indiana Jones Adventure tucked away in the jungle brush. Disney’s most mysterious land is full of detailed statues and carvings, beautiful plants, and hidden treasures, offering an exciting and new experience each and every time you visit.
CHARACTERS YOU MAY ENCOUNTER
- Peter Pan
- Tinkerbell (rare)
- Wendy (rare)
- Captain Hook (rare)
- Adventureland Bazaar
Very early design plans for the Jungle Cruise included live animals along the riverbanks! Walt Disney and the Imagineers met with zoologists to discuss potential habitats, but zoologists warned that the animals would likely sleep or hide during park hours. Wanting guests to have an interactive cruise experience, Disney scrapped the idea and instead created animatronic elephants, jaguars, monkeys, and hippos.
In my opinion, Adventureland is best experienced at night. The jungle sounds and tiki torches are especially exciting in the dark! Of course, the time of day you explore Adventureland depends entirely on your touring plan, and you may want to swing by early to grab some Indiana Jones Adventure fast passes. But when making a plan, try to avoid Adventureland in the early evening (around 5-7ish) if you can. In my experience, Adventureland is completely flooded with park guests around this time, and it can be very difficult to navigate around the slow-moving crowds (even on days when Disneyland isn’t terribly crowded).
Additionally, don’t write off Indiana Jones Adventure if the line is long and fast passes are unavailable. I rarely wait in line for a ride for more than 30-40 minutes, but this is one huge exception. The waiting areas, both outside and inside, are elaborately detailed and intriguing, and I’ve found something new to check out every time I’ve been in line. The ride itself is not only really fun, but one of the longer rides in the park (7 minutes!), so it’s definitely worth the wait.