March 1995 – present
Adventureland – When entering from Main Street USA, you will find the entrance to Indiana Jones on the left, just beyond the Jungle Cruise loading building. If you enter from New Orleans Square, you will find the entrance on the right, in between Tarzan’s Treehouse and a fast pass distribution station.
After the success of the Indiana Jones show in Florida’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland followed suit and collaborated with George Lucas to bring Indiana Jones into the park. Together, Lucas and Disney’s Imagineers created a complex backstory for the ride. Initial suggestions for the ride’s layout included a walk-through attraction, a high-speed mine car coaster, or Jungle Cruise launches to a loading area. Ultimately, Imagineers settled on a high-speed dark ride, and Indiana Jones Adventure opened in 1995.
- Single Rider Line – yes
- Fast Pass – yes
- Height Requirement – 46″ (117 cm)
- Duration – 3:25
Guests begin their adventure by wandering through jungles, caverns, and temple chambers in 1936 India. Once in the projection rooms, guests view an informational video narrated by Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), updating them on Indiana’s latest project. Just before their arrival, Indiana Jones uncovered a map to the location of an ancient Bengalese temple, and Sallah has been offering tours to raise money for the excavation. Some guests had gone missing during their tours, so Indiana took off in a search and rescue mission. However, one week has passed with no sign of Indiana or the missing tourists, so Sallah is now sending additional tours through the temple, in the hope that someone will find Indiana Jones along the way.
After being briefed, guests load into military-style cars and set off into the temple. The first room, the Chamber of Destiny, gives each tour the chance to choose a door. Mara, the guardian of the temple, informs the tour group that they have made their choice, and sends them through the doors and into the heart of the temple. But beware not to look Mara directly in the eye – anyone who does will be sent straight to the gates of doom!
Each car weaves through a complicated series of rooms and corridors, which features several temple monuments: the Fountain of Eternal Youth, the Chamber of Earthly Riches, and the Observatory of the Future. But just as the car slows and reaches the end of the tunnel, Mara reappears in a rage; someone in the car has looked him in the eye! So instead of safely leaving, Mara sends the car off to the Gates of Doom.
Now endangered guests take off in a frenzied escape through the temple, crossing flames, a swinging bridge, and bat-ridden tunnels. They find Indiana Jones, dangling from a rope, and narrowly avoid being crushed by a boulder in their attempt to rescue him. But the car finally screeches around a corner to safety, and Indiana and friends find their way out of the temple together.
MY RATING: ★★★★★
This ride is fantastic; the special effects are really cool, each room is so detailed, and the waiting area is an adventure in and of itself. Indiana Jones Adventure has the most complicated backstory of any ride in the park, making guests feel like they are part of Indiana’s adventure themselves. While the ride is very jerky, the seats are heavily padded, so you won’t have any bruising like on the Matterhorn. The cars go fast, but not as fast as any of the roller coasters in the park, so I would classify Indiana Jones Adventures as an intense dark ride, a tad more intense than Pirates of the Caribbean.
If you’re afraid of snakes, spiders, or the dark, be weary. This ride is very dark, and although the spiders and snakes are only projections or animatronics, they can scare easily intimidated guests. Otherwise, Indiana Jones Adventures is a must for guests of all ages, and most park visitors take rides through the temple over and over again.
Indiana Jones Adventure gets more and more crowded as the day lets on; it’s usually the worst around dinnertime. Because I prefer to visit Adventureland in the dark, I grab a fast pass in the late afternoon/early evening and ride at night. If that doesn’t work for your touring plan, consider using the single rider line, or grab fast passes earlier in the day!
During the summer or holiday season, waits for Indiana Jones Adventure can easily exceed an hour. If you’re stuck in the park on a day with long lines everywhere, I think this ride is worth waiting in line. The waiting area is by far the most detailed and interesting in the park, and almost all of it is nice and shady. So if you’re going to wait in line, this is not a bad place to do it.
Much of the ride sits on land formerly used for the Eeyore parking lot. As a tribute to the former lot, a small Eeyore sign can be found in the rafters of the Projection Room. (Note: I have only seen it from the exit of the Projection room, with the help of a cast member’s flashlight!)
In the mummy chamber, there is a skeleton wearing Mickey ears! It’s very difficult to find, and most guests only see it if the ride breaks down and they have to be evacuated.
AT&T was the official sponsor of Indiana Jones Adventure from 1995-2002; since then, the ride has not had any official partner or sponsorship.
The waiting area has a few interactive features: a rope you can pull on and a column you can shake. You can also get a decoder to translate the messages on the cavern walls. Ask a cast member if you’re interested!
The cars reach top speeds of 22 mph.