Temple of the Forbidden Eye
Roller Coaster Ride
ride debuted on March 3, 1995
Ride time: About
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Lucas at the
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.
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
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
using Jungle Cruise
launches to shuttle guest to the new ride.
Facts and Statistics
for this newest adventure took place in August
||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
||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
||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
||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
||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
||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
||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.
- Indiana Jones Adventure Fact Sheet.
- Econoguide 1996 – Disneyland, Universal
Studios, Hollywood and other major Southern California
attractions by Corey Sandler.