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TheRaider.net Research Attractions Forbidden Eye
 
Indiana Jones Adventure:
Temple of the Forbidden Eye
 

Attraction: Roller Coaster Ride
Location: Disneyland, Anaheim, California
Opening: The ride debuted on March 3, 1995
Ride time: About 3:20 min.

Information:
The Legend
The Ride
Ride Chambers
Ride Premiere Event
Facts and Statistics
Photo Gallery
 

The Legend

The success of the Epic Stunt Spectacular drove Disney and George Lucas to join forces again a few years later for a new attraction. This time though they created a story background, set in the Lost Delta of India, circa 1935, Dr. Indiana Jones has discovered a shrine full of artifacts, treasures, and an ancient curse, the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.

click to enlarge
Exploring the Temple.

Constructed long ago by natives of the region as a lasting tribute to their powerful patron deity, Mara, the temple, according to ancient lore, was the site of mysterious happenings. It was told that Mara would offer all who came to the hallowed site one of three magical gifts. Legend says that Mara could “look into your very soul,” and then grant your most secret desire – one of three magical gifts: Earthly Riches, Eternal Youth or Future Knowledge.

Good fortune indeed, for those who survive. Caverns adorned with Mara-glyphics lead would-be explorers into subterranean caves, past booby traps, and through dangerous passageways. The temple tour concludes with a jolting ride aboard a transport vehicle. Seemingly supernatural forces steer the vehicle over burning bridges and past poisonous darts.

Legend warns against looking into the eyes of Mara. An imaginative array of unholy terrors awaits anyone foolish enough to disobey. But the legend also tells of a terrible curse for any visitor who is so foolish as to look directly into Mara’s eye. Unfortunately, funding for continued excavation is running out. To raise cash Indiana Jones and Sallah agreed to conduct tours.

 
 

The Ride

Guests should be at least 46” tall to ride. Due to the nature of this attraction, persons with back problems or other health issues including pregnancy and heart condition should not ride. Strobe lights are used as a special effect in parts of this attraction.

Located in Adventureland at Disneyland, on the western shores of the "Jungle Cruise" the attraction designed by Walt Disney Imagineering is a spectacular combination of a roller coaster and a simulator with more cars were constructed, including a segment that crosses a wobbly suspension bridge. During its construction in 1993 part of the monorail system had to shut down and relocate.

click to enlarge
The Raiders truck.

Approaching the entrance visitors pass through a reconstructed pre-World War II world, including trucks, generators, phones, typewriters, books and more. You’ll also see a loading dock stacked with treasures waiting to be picked up by one of the Jungle Cruiser boats that pass nearby.

Making their way into the temple through an appropriately creepy torch lit waiting area that includes caverns, an old well and a makeshift movie theater; visitors learn some of the details of the discovery of Mara’s temple.

About halfway through the waiting queue people come to a Rotunda Room with a maze that circles a well. The sign warns against pulling the rope, but that is exactly what is expected to happen. “Leave off the rope, old fella!”

Another waiting area takes visitors through a screening room where they can watch a portion of the "Eye on the Globe" newsreel, flashed up on the screen by a rickety old projector. Learning how celebrities have been flocking to visit Professor Jones’ latest discovery; one of the segments of the newsreel tells of a celebrated but ageing actress who visited the temple of Mara and received the gift of eternal youth. "No more matronly roles for her," the breathless announcer reports.

Finally, getting onboard the 12-seater military transport puts an end to the waiting. Each vehicle has three rows of four narrow seats across. The leftmost passenger in the front row gets hold on to the steering wheel, without having actual control over it.

There are a total of 16 transports, each nicely decorated to look dirty and beaten up. Vehicles are dispatched every 18 seconds, and the ride can carry as many as 2.400 people per hour.

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A giant boulder!

A fully synchronized, onboard sound system gives each guest full “stereo sound” while enhancing the excitement of the attraction with cued special effect sounds added in. The original John Williams score was adapted, arranged, and then recorded by a 90-piece orchestra at Todd AO studio in Hollywood under the direction of Richard Bellis. The music is carried as the main soundtrack for the adventure, with crescendos in the music highlighted by dramatic turns, explosions, and off-road escapades.

According to Disney, there are something like 160.000 possible combinations of sounds, motion, and events on any particular journey through the temple and no two consecutive rides will be identical.

Carved over the door to the temple is a warning in a strange language it translates as "Beware of the eyes of Mara." Other messages use the same language throughout the ride.

As the transporters enter into the temple they arrive at the Chamber of Destiny where there are three doors, one for each of the warning and look in Mara’s eye and things go wrong. Turning the corner from the Chamber of Destiny an actor dressed as Indy appears to deliver the different lines to each ride.

With the offering of three separate gifts by the temple deity, this attraction represents the first time ever that guest will have variations in their show experience. Depending on the gift selected by Mara, each vehicle will appear to take a very different path within the temple.

Each onboard ride control system contains a myriad of programmed cues. The adventure will never be exactly the same twice, with nearly 160.000 possible combinations of show programming.

Building on the variable programming and random selection of possible “show” experiences, the vehicles trigger programmed show responses, from the launching of fireballs and the split-second strike of an enormous Audio-Animatronics King Cobra, to the falling of cadaverous mummies and cascading creepy crawlies.

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Ride Chambers

Chamber of Destiny:
The first stop on Sallah's temple tour is the "Chamber of Destiny." Inside, guests will clear their minds, allowing Mara to peer inside and determine the gift they truly desire. Using a set of antique mirrors, placed at the entrance to the chamber, guests can view other troop transports as they enter and pass through one of the three "gift" doorways inside: to the left, is the doorway to Future Knowledge, with the all-seeing eye to the future above; to the right, is the entrance for the gift of Eternal Youth, showing water pouring from an enchanted spring; center, is the passageway to Earthly Riches, with jewels and gold cascading from a lavish chalice. By the power of Mara, one of the doorways will open and the vehicle will be pulled mysteriously through. Unearthly music fills the chamber as the seductive voice of Mara prepares guests for an experience that is not of this earth.

Hall of Promise:
Beyond the doorway of Future Knowledge is the "Observatory of the Future" where, surrounded by a galaxy of stars, visions of events yet to come are revealed by a mystical amulet. Promises of past youth are shown through the passage to the Fountain of Eternal Youth, as water-reflected frescoes depict visions of the native people drinking from the mythical spring, regaining their former beauty. Within the "Chamber of Earthly Riches," the great treasures from all centuries past have been stored and are now ready for the taking. At the end of each hall, explorers will notice a bright light drawing them nearer. Only as they pass by columns of snake guardians will they realize that the mesmerizing light is coming directly from eyes of the two-story idol of Mara. Having broken the one temple rule to: "Look not into the eyes of Mara," guests face the wrath of Mara as he rumbles to life, banishing them into the "Tunnel of Torment."

Tunnel of Torment:
Bolts of lightning strike through the veil of darkness and reveal a temple in turmoil as the once pristine architecture decays and crumbles all around. The awesome power of Mara has lifted the vehicle from the tour path and carries it through the air. Throughout the tunnel, everything seems to move with the explorers as their troop transport strains against the evil force that propels it forward towards the "Gates of Doom." Ahead, the gates have opened with an eerie green glow that fills the chamber. It pulls them closer with no hope of escape.
Gates of Doom:
A familiar voice is heard exclaiming, "You had to look, didn't you?" as Indiana Jones appears at the opening to the "Gates of Doom." Writhing against the evil forces at his back, Indy desperately attempts to hold the passageway closed, just long enough for these foolhardy visitors to pass. For a moment, as he closes the gates, the curse is broken and the vehicle drops back down to the temple floor. As the transport wheels spin for traction, Indy gives a few final instructions and motions towards a possible way out.
Cavern of Bubbling Death:
Like any great Indiana Jones adventure, the "way out" isn't as easy as it sounds. Bumping down a set of temple stairs, explorers encounter the "Cavern of Bubbling Death." A twisted menagerie of swirling lava, fire balls and falling debris, the cavern has as its menacing centerpiece a 45-foot-tall decaying skull of Mara. All pathways inside this massive subterranean chamber lead to unspeakable peril. Other vehicles can be seen encountering terrors as they attempt to traverse a shaky suspension bridge high above a molten lava pit, dodge destructive beams from Mara's eye and encounter the hovering spirit of the deity while surrounded by glowing human skulls. As the troop transport enters the cavern, Mara fires a beam at the vehicle, causing the ceiling to crumble and fall into the flaming gorge. Turning quickly from this precipice, explorers attempt an alternate route through a side chamber.
Mummy Chamber:
Cadaverous corpses await fleeing guests as they venture into the "Mummy Chamber." Inside this ancient burial chamber, visitors will encounter many of the temple's haunted inhabitants. The transport's headlights illuminate a macabre world where "unworthy" past explorers and ancient native temple-goers have lived in torment for centuries. The mummified skeletons of those who gazed upon the eyes of Mara press upon the transport and fall towards it as guests careen through this hallowed chamber. A ghostly wind rushes up to 60 miles an hour and threatens to blow the expedition from its path. Steering clear of the mummy crypts, the transport swerves onto another cliff inside the "Cavern of Bubbling Death," just long enough for another look at their doom, and with a quick turn, speeds into a darkened ante-chamber.
Bug Room:
Entering a dark chamber, guests will sense danger as their tires cause an unsettling "crunching" sound. The transport's headlights, tracing across the stone temple walls, reveal a room teeming with all types of creepy crawlies, from tarantulas and scorpions to foot-long roaches. The bugs, having been trapped in the temple for two thousand years, scurry from the bright light and look for anything or anyone to carry them out. As the vehicle speeds to exit, bugs begin to drop into the vehicle.
Snake Temple:
The transport travels into a chamber where everything, including the floors, walls, and ceiling seem to be moving. Here, the guardians of Mara dwell, within the "Snake Temple." A deafening hiss fills the chamber as snakes dangle above and move below from enormous stone snake guardians. The voice of Indiana Jones can be heard exclaiming, "Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?" as the vehicle passes the tail, mid-section and finally encounters the head of a 100-foot-long King Cobra, poised and ready for the kill. With a split-second strike, the massive protector lunges towards the transport as it swerves out of the snake's reach.
Rat Cave:
Escaping the wrath of Mara, past explosions and bubbling lava, the vehicle quickly moves into the dark, dank dwelling of the "Rat Cave." Scurrying all around, ravenous rodents can be heard screeching and jumping onto the vehicle as it passes through the darkness. For just a moment, the explorers are trapped as their transport stalls and the scraping of the rat's claws on the metal transport quickens. With a sudden start the transport speeds forward, traveling under a rat-filled branch.
Dart Corridor:
Those explorers still aboard the expedition slow at the entrance to a seemingly harmless vine-enshrouded passageway lined with stone carvings of skeleton warriors. As the transport moves forward the familiar "clicking" of a booby-trap quickens the pace of the journey and moves guests frantically through the "Dart Corridor." Passing the ancient warriors, explorers must dodge poisonous darts and deadly spears that shoot out and across the transport's path.
Rolling Boulder Finale:
It seems like the adventure is finally over as the transport turns the last corner into a long, narrow cavern. Indy appears just over the vehicle's hood, hanging by a rope from an opening in the ceiling. He instructs the group on just how they should proceed if they want to make it out alive. At that moment, the final booby-trap is sprung, releasing an enormous rolling boulder that's heading right towards the vehicle and Indiana Jones. As the vehicle backs up, in an attempt to flee, the guests realize there's no escape. The boulder gains speed and is only a few feet away as Indy motions for them to dive directly underneath the boulder. The temple floor gives way, sending the transport crashing to the chamber below.
 
 

Ride Premiere Event

The ride debuted on March 3, 1995 with many celebrities attending the event. Among them was George Lucas himself, Michael Eisner, the president of Paramount Pictures that green-lighted Raiders of the Lost Ark back in 1980, Dan Ayckroyd, Carrie Fisher and many more.

click to enlarge
Lucas at the Premiere.

To promote the opening of the ride the Disney Channel produced an-hour TV program entitled Indiana Jones Adventure featuring Karen Allen and John Rhys-Davies reprising their roles from Raiders, while artist Drew Struzan produced another wonderful one-sheet poster to embrace the ride as part of the Indiana Jones saga.

AT&T, following its 35 year old association with Walt Disney Company, sponsored the ride and gave to guests "decoder cards" to help them "know the code" of the hieroglyphics in the perilous Temple of the Forbidden Eye. The unique language, which has been translated by WDI consists actually from characters not unlike our standard alphabet with a few missing parts here and there. "It’s great to have AT&T as presenting sponsor," said Disneyland President Paul Pressler. "With Disneyland celebrating its 40th Anniversary and preparing to open its most exciting attraction, we welcome the opportunities this relationship is sure to create."

Some of the original renderings for the Indiana Jones Adventure have been on display at the Disney Gallery, located over the Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square. In addition to drawings that were eventually adapted for the ride as it now exists, visitors can also learn about some concepts that were not used, including a walk-through adventure and a high-speed mine car adventure within a temple. At one point Imagineers considered using Jungle Cruise launches to shuttle guest to the new ride.

 

 

Facts and Statistics

Groundbreaking for this newest adventure took place in August 1993.
At various times throughout the project, more than 400 Imagineers worked on the design and construction of the attraction, with a core team of nearly 100.
There are 2,500 linear feet of temple corridor for vehicles to explore.
Each of the 16 troop transport vehicles weighs in at 12,800 pounds (without Guests).
There are more than 168,000 square feet of hand-carved surfaces adorning the cavernous creation, with 55 hand-painted murals throughout.
More than 2,000 replicated human skulls are used inside the temple chambers.
The main show scene at the center of the attraction, known as the "Cavern of Bubbling Death," measures 100 x 140 x 50 feet.
In the "Observatory of the Future," your vehicle will pass beneath a field of 5,000 fiber-optic stars.
Wind speeds inside the Mummy Chamber rush up to 60 mph as Guests try to escape the wrath of Mara.
More than 1,300 props are used to highlight the story of Indiana Jones, including the vehicle displayed in the base camp. This was the actual troop transport used for the daring chase scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
More than 600 strobes are used to simulate lightning in the "Tunnel of Torment."
By the power of Mara's wrath, 60 pounds of rubble can fall inside the temple every 18 seconds.
The show building for the adventure is more than 2,200,000 cubic feet. That's large enough to hold 12 MD80 passenger aircraft.
It takes 14 Disneyland Cast Members to operate this Adventureland attraction.
The exterior temple structure, visible from the "Jungle Cruise" and the Indiana Jones base camp, towers four stories above the excavation site.
The Rolling Boulder used in the finale measures 16 feet in diameter.
As part of the attraction, there are more than 2,129 sculpted, carved, painted, or living snakes.
In the room with the Obelisk of Doom the Mara letters are the initials of the Imagineers that worked on the ride.
In the film room, right after you make the first turn you can look up between the boards on the scaffolding to see a hidden Eeyore (you will need a powerful flashlight to see it). This was put there because the Indy ride building was built on Eeyore’s namesake section of the parking lot.
The letters and numbers on the EMV vehicles are actually the initials of Imagineers and their birthday with month and day. The last digits are the number of the vehicles from 1 to 16.
In Indy’s office there is a Life magazine with Mickey on the front.
When you first enter the area beyond the film room, which contains Indy’s office, you look up to the top and see cargo boxes with writing on them. The writing is from the first Indy movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and was on the cargo box holding the Ark of the Covenant.
On the left side of Indy’s office there is writing that says "send to Club Obi Wan". This is the club from the Temple of Doom movie.
In the mummy room during the ride itself, the first skeleton on your left as you enter the room wears a Mickey Mouse hat, on which the name "Bones" is embroidered.
The "three rooms" you choose from are not three different rooms at all, but only one, with facades that move to the front to make it look like three separate areas.
In Bamboo Canyon, if you look at the Maraglyphics on the pillars, you will see that they are repeating the letter M on its side. This stands for Mickey Mouse.
 
Sources

- Indiana Jones Adventure Fact Sheet.
- Econoguide 1996 – Disneyland, Universal Studios, Hollywood and other major Southern California attractions by Corey Sandler.

 

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