Doing an episode about Indy stuff at the Disney Parks is kind of like going into the Well of Souls. You think you’re just going in with your buddy and you’ll get the ark of the covenant and get out but next thing you know you are lighting snakes on fire and there’s a room full of screaming skeletons. After Savanna provided us a treasure trove of information, even more began to have a shaft of light shone on it (in a certain place, at a certain time…)
Anyways, before I just start quoting Raiders for the rest of this, let’s take a look at a round up of some other Indy at the parks oddities.
So if you’ve ever watched any videos on the Indy Adventure in California, you’ve likely seen Disney legend Tony Baxter. Not only is he an imagineering superstar, he’s a huge, HUGE Indy fan. A lot of the proposed Indy redo of Adventureland was his idea, AND he wanted to bring Indy to Epcot in a wild way.
Baxter’s vision was a kind of grand interactive experience for Epcot’s World Showcase where artifacts Indy had found in his adventures were in the area’s “countries”. Once found by guests, they would unlock a mystery only park guests could solve. This was an idea later used in epcot for stuff like “Kim Possible” and “Agent P”. Not as cool as Indy, but whatever.
It’s really a shame this idea never came to pass as literally hoping from country to county in search of secret treasure is kinda what the Indy movies are all about and dang it, it just sounds FUN. Who knows, maybe with Indy 5 on the way and presumably more Indy something from Disney after that, this cool idea could finally happen.
Watch Baxter talk about the Indy adventure at a D23 event here:
INDIANA JONES AND THE SUPER BOWL OF DOOM
On January 29, 1995, Indiana Jones faced what possibly was his greatest adventure ever, the halftime show for Super Bowl XXIX, held in Miami, Florida. This insane idea was imagined as a giant promotion for the March opening of the Indy ride in Disneyland.
The “plot” of this halftime show goes something like that the Vince Lombardi Trophy has been stolen by someone and has been taken to the mysterious Temple of the Forbidden Eye. There, queen of the temple Patti LaBelle belts out everyone’s favorite song, “Release Yourself”. Will Patti LaBelle appear in Indy 5?! Only time will tell.
In search of the elusive treasure of the Lombardi, Indy and Marion drop in via parachute (from the past?) and somehow head to a place called Club Disneyland where naturally Tony Bennett, Arturo Sandoval, and yes, the Miami Sound Machine all perform. It’s incredible.
Things quickly get out of hand though as club people attack Indy and Marion and the trophy is stolen. So Indy has to go to the temple, not look into Mara’s eyes, light people on fire and get the trophy and Marion out of there. Once Indy promised that whoever wins the football game will get the trophy, LaBelle sings “New Attitude”. The adventure of a lifetime wraps up with Bennett AND LaBelle singing “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”. Yes, we sure can.
Watch this ultimate adventure here :
VOICE CHANGE DRAMA
What would a lucasfilm production be without multiple audio changes? Originally the Mara god, who the whole temple in Disneyland is built around featured the voice of James Earl Jones, and when new effects were added, the voice was changed to one by Neil Patrick Harris. Yes, that’s right. Fans understandably flipped out and the current version kind of splits the difference and it sounds like a little of both. Does it work? I don’t know, I’ve only watched videos of the ride! What do you folks who’ve been on it think?
Here’s a comparison :
Another vocal oddity in the ride is the lack of that iconic Harrison Ford rumble of a voice. Originally the plan was to have Ford voice Indy in the ride but according to an Entertainment Weekly article in 1995, the deal sadly fell apart. The article reads, “Negotiations to use the actor’s distinctive voice broke down in late December. According to Ford’s agent, the talks foundered over creative input as well as money. A Disney source speculates, though, that the deal didn’t materialize because Ford may have viewed the voice-over as a concession — he was reluctant to make while in salary negotiations (still ongoing) to star in a fourth Indy movie.”
Bummer. But still there’s something charming about a robot Indiana Jones that sounds like me doing a Harrison Ford imitation.
Listen to Indy here :
INDIANA JONES AND SECRET OF THE STONE TIGER
In the hype lead up to Kingdom of Crystal Skull, Disneyland got in on the fun with a live Indiana Jones stage show that was kind of like the popular jedi training academy where young guests help Dr Rachel Flannery (definitely Phoebe Waller Bridge in Indy 5) unlock clues to help find Indy.
This all sounds great but it’s actually horrible (but also kind of awesome) and Indiana Jones might kill a lady named Mara at the end. You know, for the kids. Is this the same Mara as the temple god? Is it Mara Jade?!?!? ANYWAYS, this also gives us our THIRD location with a Disney cast member dressed as Indy. So that’s something.
Watch it here :
That’s all I could find for now but I’m sure there’s even more Indy at the parks weirdness out there. Got a tip? Share it with us on social media as just like Spalko, “we want to know”
Thanks to Brandon and Nick for the tips and of course to Savanna for all the episode’s research and for getting this whole “ball rolling”. Okay, I’ll stop now.