Journey back to 1935, discover ominous ruins deep in the dense jungles of India's Lost Delta, board a rugged troop transport, and enter the legendary Temple of the Forbidden Eye in search of unimaginable rewards — but be wary of the terrible wrath of an ancient deity named Mara! Don't worry, with famous archaeologist Indiana Jones™ on your side, what could possibly go wrong?
- Join Indy's friend, Sallah, on a tour of the mysterious temple.
- Don't gaze into the eyes of Mara! Legend has it that unworthy mortals who do will find their ultimate fate beyond the Gates of Doom.
- Watch out for ancient pitfalls like poisonous darts, screaming mummies, giant insects, swarming rats and the lava-filled Cavern of Bubbling Death.
- The adventure is almost never exactly the same twice. Experience countless variations, including three potential rewards from Mara: earthly riches, eternal youth and future knowledge.
The story, set in July of 1935, is told through twelve letters and telegrams scattered throughout the queue as well as three newsreels shown before guests board the attraction. An ancient Indian temple, buried in a flood over two thousand years ago, has recently been rediscovered by Indiana Jones. It contains countless intriguing artifacts, but the real treasures are those offered by the temple diety Mara. This deity offers all who come to the hallowed site one of three gifts: earthly riches, eternal youth, or visions of the future. The only condition is that no one may look into the "eyes of the idol". Although Jones' discovery, dubbed the "Temple of the Forbidden Eye" by the media, has set the archaeological community abuzz, his funding eventually ran out, so he and Sallah began conducting tours to raise money. Good fortune has come to the tourists who survive, but some have not returned. The families of the missing tourists begged Jones for help. Jones ventured inside the temple to find them, approximately one week ago, but has not reappeared. Jones also hoped to find the temple’s power source: the mysterious "Jewel of Power", which Abner Ravenwood believes to be stored in an immense cavern, guarded by the Gates of Doom. Marcus Brody has asked Sallah to continue conducting the tours, in hopes that one of them will find Jones.
The ride's immersive and carefully detailed queue leads guests through dimly lit caverns and eerie passageways containing booby-trapped sections reminiscent of the Indiana Jones movies.
The queue begins outside where guests walk past a 2.5 ton (2,267 kg) Mercedes-Benz troop transport truck. Disneyland's version is the actual vehicle used in the famous desert chase scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. A small mining car near the truck is a movie prop as well, used in the mine scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Guests also walk by a noisy gas-powered generator, which appears to power the lights inside the temple. Marabic decoder card handed out in 1995 and occasionally after that,Much of the queue is inside the temple itself. Throughout the bowels of the temple, messages and warnings written as "Mara-glyphics" tell visitors to the excavation site of the rewards and perils that can be found further within. These can be translated into English using a simple code. In the early months of the attraction's existence at Disneyland, guests were given decoder cards; while these cards are no longer distributed, the code is easily solvable. Each symbol bears a strong resemblance to its corresponding letter in the English alphabet. The sole exception is the letter I, which, appropriately, resembles an eye.
There are a few interactive props in the queue. In the “spike room,” several bamboo poles hold the collapsing ceiling in place. When one of these poles is pushed, sounds simulating the ceiling dropping are heard and the spiked ceiling drops several inches. Similarly, there is a covered pit with a rope and a sign warning not to pull on rope as an archaeological dig is in progress. Tugging on the rope triggers one of several pre-recorded mishaps to be heard from the pit.
The ride was built on the Eeyore section of the parking lot. As a tribute, one of the Eeyore signs was hidden in the queue area.
Chamber of Destiny
At the loading area, guests board a Jeep-like troop transport. After a quick seatbelt check, the transport moves forward and turns a corner into the Chamber of Destiny. Here guests are presented with three doors which will lead to the Fountain of Eternal Youth, the Chamber of Earthly Riches, and the Observatory of the Future. One of the three doors begins to glow more brightly than the other two, and Mara announces which gift the passengers have chosen to receive. The transport heads through the corresponding door, and into the next chamber.
Hall of Promise
The troop transport randomly enters one of the doors into the Hall of Promise, and ascends along a sloped tunnel.
If guests have entered the Fountain of Eternal Youth, the tunnel is filled with blue light and scrims along the walls, lit from the front, depict people drinking magical water and becoming young and beautiful. Running water can be heard, and the walls appear to be illuminated by light that is reflecting off of the unseen water.
If the riders enter Chamber of Earthly Riches, the tunnel is filled with yellow light. The same scrims are lit from behind; making large amounts of gold and other treasures visible, while rendering the paintings seen in Fountain of Eternal Youth virtually invisible.
If riders enter the Observatory of the Future, the tunnel is dimly lit with purple light, and the ceiling above is filled with 5,000 fiber optic stars. The ride vehicles tilt upward, directing passengers’ eyes away from the unlit scrims, and towards the dazzling star field.
At the end of the tunnel, the eyes of the large temple idol begin to glow as Mara states, "Foolish mortals! You looked into my eyes. Your destiny now lies beyond the Gates of Doom!"
Tunnel of Torment
The transport momentarily appears to head toward an exit, before making a sharp turn into a large corridor. Lightning flashes along the walls, illuminating cobra statues. The ride vehicles are seemingly lifted by some unseen power, and float a ways down the corridor before slamming to the ground before the Gates of Doom.
Gates of Doom
The Gates of Doom pulsate with green mist and an animatronic Indiana Jones struggles to keep the doors closed. Jones scolds the tourists for looking into the eyes of the idol and instructs them to proceed up to the left. The triumphant musical theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark is heard as the transport accelerates up a small set of stairs, only to violently careen down a much larger-stepped stairway right into the next area.
Cavern of Bubbling Death
The transport emerges into a massive chamber and teeters on the edge of a vast pit of lava. A rickety wooden bridge spans the pit, and another jeep can be seen crossing it. On the far side of the cavern, there is a 45-foot-tall stone edifice of Mara's head, the right half of which has eroded in such a way that it resembles a skull. Its left eye contains a swirling flame, and shoots green rays at both transports, causing flames to erupt from wherever it hits.
The transport turns left and enters another chamber filled with skeletons, some of which pop out toward the guests. If you look deep behind the mummy groups, you can see a very impressive mural of more mummies emerging from caverns.
Suddenly, all is dark; the music tinkles with chaotic violin pizzicatos. The transport's headlights flicker back on, illuminating walls swarming with thousands of beetles. Hissing sounds are heard, and riders are blasted with puffs of air.
The transport finally heads out of the darkness and onto the bridge which spans the pit. The transport stalls for a moment as another oncoming jeep can be seen across the pit, but it turns out of the way before reaching the bridge. The transport then accelerates across the bridge which sways and jostles under its weight. The massive stone Mara shoots beams from its eye at the bridge, attempting to destroy it. The transport safely makes it across and makes a right turn.
Thousands of snakes line the walls and ground and a gigantic animatronic cobra appears to the right of the vehicle, which strikes at the riders. At this point, the tourists will hear Indiana Jones say either, "Watch out for anything that slithers," or "Snakes! You guys are on your own." At Tokyo the cobra is an Anaconda.
The transport heads back toward the bridge as another jeep is in position on the other side of the bridge ready to cross. The transport takes a sharp turn to the right and passes behind the giant carving of Mara's face. Hundreds of human skulls decorate the walls, and the spirit of Mara looms from above. The transport continues downward, driving beside the glowing lava, and passes under the bridge before entering a dark tunnel.
The vehicle shudders and stalls and is heard being restarted before continuing towards a hanging tree root. As the transport nears the root, many rats are seen climbing across it and falling off when another burst of speed sends the car through the tree root, which vaporizes like mist.
The transport arrives in a lit tunnel with paintings of spear-wielding skeletal warriors adorning the walls. Inside of each warrior's mouth is a small hole in the wall. Gusts of air and sounds of darts hitting the transport are felt and heard as the transport passes between the skeletal warriors, as though the tourists have set off booby traps.
The transport then approaches a dark area and stops. Indiana Jones suddenly appears above the vehicle hanging on a rope in a shaft of sunlight. He shouts at the riders to turn their headlights on and back up so he can get in. Seconds later the light illuminates a massive 16-foot boulder rolling toward the jeep. The transport seems to back up a bit as the boulder threatens to crush Jones and the tourists. At the last possible second, the temple floor seems to give way, sending the transport crashing to the chamber below.
The transport makes a sharp turn in a dark tunnel and comes out to see Jones standing in front of the crushed boulder. Jones wipes his forehead and says one of a variety of quotes, such as: "Not bad... for tourists," or "Next time, wear a blindfold okay?" or "Tourists, why'd it have to be tourists?" (a reference to his line from Raiders: "Snakes, why'd it have to be snakes?") or, "Next time, you're on your own!" A final triumphant refrain of the music ushers the guests back into the station, where they disembark into the station.
Behind the scenes
The attraction was first conceptualized in the late-80s. Early designs called for a much more ambitious multiple-attraction space with the temple housing a jeep ride and a mine cart ride as well as letting the Jungle Cruise and Disneyland Railroad pass through. Some pitches even had the Jungle Cruise boats stop within the temple to allow dropping off guests to experience either attraction. However, due to high costs and the more economical Splash Mountain being pitched at the same time, these plans would be scaled back to just the jeep ride.
The ride opened on March 3, 1995. The attraction was designed to allow for many variables in the ride experience, allowing visitors to experience the ride differently each time.
AT&T was the first sponsor of the attraction.
Dave Temple steps up to the mic as the voice of Indy in the attraction. When some of John Rhys-Davies' dialogue had to be re-recorded for the load area, Bob Jole filled in the part.
To help promote the opening of the attraction, Disney created the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Forbidden Eye Super Bowl halftime show for Super Bowl XXIX in Miami in January 1995, complete with characters playing Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood.
Two new Indiana Jones animatronics were added to the attraction as of October 2010. One at the Gates of Doom, and one at the Finale. The Finale figure now has 7 different series of movements, as opposed to the 3 sets of moves in the previous figure. His dialog was also enhanced, though not re-recorded.
In August 2013, the Hall of Promise was given new projection mapping effects that bring Mara's face further to life with different visual effects for the three rewards and redubbed the character's lines, which has been faced with fan criticism. This redubbing was a temporary measure while the original Mara voice being slightly repitched for clarity.
Indiana Jones Adventure decoder cards
When the attraction first opened cast members at the entrance gave out decoder cards to the guests as they stood in line. Three distinct cards have been given out over the years with the earliest and rarest one being shown at the top of the picture to the right. At present the practice has been discontinued.
The purpose of the decoders was to entertain guests as they waited in line. The idea was to decode the Mara-glyphicson the walls using the card showing the symbols and the English letter equivalent. Even without the card the decoding is not difficult as with a little imagination it can be seen that the letters resemble English letters with the exception of the letter 'I' which is an 'eye'. All of the cards have the words "Indiana Jones Adventure Disneyland" but only the earliest card had the words "Temple of the Forbidden Eye."
- René Emile Belloq (Mentioned only)
- Blumbard (Mentioned only)
- Marcus Brody (Mentioned only)
- Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir
- Jean Harlow (Mentioned only)
- Indiana Jones
- Kauffman (Mentioned only)
- Mara (Idol)
- Abner Ravenwood (Mentioned only)
- Santa Claus (Mentioned only)
- Norah West (On newsreel)
- I. M. Wooly (Mentioned only)
- Chicago Banner (On newsreel)
- Eye on the Globe
- New York Register (On newsreel)
Notes and references
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
- Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Stone Tiger