Getting The Most Out Of Adventureland at Disneyland

We’ve often suggested that those who are overly familiar with the Disney parks to ‘pound’ a land. By this we mean that you explore every nook and cranny of a given land, soaking it all in without feeling the need to rush - to put yourself in a mental state of “What if this land was a stand alone amusement park?” We often overlook so many fun details and experiences simply because we are rushing to try and cram in as many ‘big’ attractions as we can in a single visit. Adventureland at Disneyland is one of the smallest of all the lands in Disneyland and your might be tempted to think that you couldn’t squeeze more than a couple of hours of enjoyment from the land (assuming that standing in line for the Indy attraction eats up most of that time.) However, you wouldn’t be more wrong…

(Remember, the fun of ‘pounding’ a land is to SLOW DOWN…to resolve in your mind that are going to ‘camp out’ in the land. If you don’t slow down that rushed feeling, you’ll miss it all!)

PREPARE: Plan on going to Adventureland with a friend/family member who is equally willing to pound Adventureland. Having someone to enjoy the experience with a HUGE part! Also, consider beginning just before dusk. In this way, you’ll get a full range experience (daylight, dusk - when they light the fire torches, and evening.) Finally, ahead of time print out the Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye decoder cards for your time in the queue.

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1. Begin by planning on experiencing all four attractions: Tarzan Treehouse, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, The Jungle Cruise, The Enchanted Tiki Room.

Tarzan’s Treehouse (need to visit before it closes at dusk)
* Make sure to read all the pages of Jane’s journals
* When at the top of the treehouse, plan on staying at the top for 10-15 to enjoy the view and to ‘hang’ with your friend/party. It’s a wonderful place to hang out and talk. You might also share some Tarzan trivia or ask questions such as “What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?”

Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
* Don’t rush through the queue line, especially if the line is shorter. As many know, all along the queue one can find ‘mara-glyphs’ carved into the stone temple walls. With the decoder that you printed ahead of time, you can actually decode the secret messages on the walls. Typically, guests are too rushed to actually translate the secret messages, but not you! Allow other guests to go ahead of you as you take the time to what’s REALLY written on the walls of Mara’s Temple! (Don’t forget the one over the drinking fountain, as well!)
* Take a photo in front of the army truck in the queue area outside the temple. That was the ACTUAL truck that Harrison Ford rode under in his famous stunt in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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The Enchanted Tiki Room
* Alright, so this attraction might be a little dated. However, it’s historical significance to the evolution of every attraction in the park that followed it is enormous. You’ll appreciate it more knowing that this was the first time that Disney Imagineers because experimenting with audio-animatronic figures (a future staple for other attractions.) Consider that while you enjoy the show.
* Get to the attraction early enough to enjoy the pre-show outside the stage room. Tiki-gods speak and mildly animate as they introduce themselves and what they are the god of in South Pacific culture.
* Plan on ordering at least ONE pineapple refreshment from the stand (even if you’ll be splitting it among your family and friends.) You’ll enjoy the show more with a tasty pineapple treat. Some of the treat is also great to ADD to a fruit punch drink you might have already brought/made (see other idea in this article regarding drinks.)

The Jungle Cruise
* One of the few original attractions that’s still around since opening day, hopefully this was already on your list as a must see. Sometimes the line can be long (or feel long.) Ahead of time prepare a short playlist of songs from the 30’s and enjoy listening to it while you wait. True, the queue line is playing themed music, however the noise of the crowd can hamper one’s ability to actually listen to it for pleasure. Some headphones/earbuds will the trick, though!

Other Tips For Enjoying Adventureland in Disneyland
* During the peak seasons, Disneyland schedules live music entertainment in Adventureland (I.e. steel drum band, etc.) Find out what live music will be playing that day and plan on listening to the full set. Find a great place to sit in advance so that you can thoroughly enjoy the show!
* Consider bringing a few extra bucks to actually purchase a souvenir for your stay in Adventureland. It doesn’t have to be expensive - just a small token to commemorate your special time. An Adventureland pressed penny can be purchased for less than a buck. For added fun, collect all of the pressed pennies in the land!
* Find a nice place to sit in the shade and plan on sitting to enjoy the land in a relaxed way. Ahead of time you might consider reading a couple adventure stories (plenty of websites can be read from directly on your phone.) You’re surrounded by so much adventure, allow a good story to transport your mind to a great short story!
* For that enjoy drawing, bring a sketch pad and soak in the atmosphere by drawing what you see. There’s SO much there from the architecture to all of the exotic items in the shops.
* Typically when there’s a character walking around, one doesn’t have time to wait the 10-15 minutes to get a photo taken with them. Since you’ve chosen to not rush, now’s your time to take that photo with Baloo the bear or King Louie (both from The Jungle Book.)
* Bring a few extra bucks and try a bit of food that you’ve never tried (perhaps a flavor from the Bengal BBQ that you haven’t tasted yet.)

You get the idea. If you did everything on the list above (to say nothing about the ideas that you’d come up with yourself) you’ll MORE than enough to do to fill HOURS of a great time in Adventureland. It may take 30 minutes or so to allow yourself to mentally slow down and to forget about the other lands of the park. That’s ok. Go with it and enjoy it for all its worth!

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