December 20, 2010

Disneyland Attraction Posters: The Adventureland Collection

Now that we've taken a look at the posters which celebrate and advertise the variety of attractions on Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A., let's take a walk down this beautiful avenue and journey on to our first stop, Adventureland!

The Jungle River Cruise was an instantaneous hit upon its opening with the park. Nothing had ever been seen like this before! A waterborne attraction combining lush, varied landscapes, robotic animals, and the spiel of a lively narrator/guide was beyond cutting edge for an amusement park. It was Disney showcasing its unique storytelling at its best, quickly becoming the must-see attraction of its time. Was it based on the famous film The African Queen? Absolutely! Did it follow the narrative? Not at all.As any long time Disneyland fan knows, the attraction has been "plussed" through the years, with new scenes and creatures added. From more elephants to stranded safaris, to gorillas taking over a camp, to an encounter with dangerous piranha, the journey is as constantly changing and wild as the jungle itself.

Whether viewed as charming, campy, mildly thrilling, passable or a classic to be revered, the ongoing popularity of the Jungle Cruise means it has earned it place among Disney's most beloved attractions. Earlier posters of the cruise reflected the simple yet sophisticated style of the era it was created, but decades later. the elegant and detailed artwork (directly above) redefined the cruise in a whole new light.

I've seen an even newer version based on the one for Hong Kong Disneyland, but I forgot to take a photo of it! New note 12/30: One of my readers sent it to me (above). Thank you.
Let me say, I've done a fairly good amount of home improvements and landscaping in my day, but regardless of my success, nothing compares to the dream of living in the unbelievable Swiss Family Treehouse! Spent many afternoons high above it all, taking in the spectacular views and enjoying a respite from the mobs below. Rarely missed my chance to climb it. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I visited Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for the first time years later and found their namesake on its own island! Wow! Had the same wow factor during each visit to Disneyland Paris.
Adventureland remained much the same for many years, with the now gone Big Game Shooting Gallery, a treehouse home, and a very popular eatery premiering several months before the groundbreaking Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. This single attraction changed the game for the Disney theme parks as well, bringing new guests to its exotic locale and raising expectations for attractions built in the future by Imagineering.

Love the music, love the atmosphere, love the finale! And these posters capture it all. The two posters above are slightly varied in text and style, as well as tiki gods when compared to the first one shown! United Airlines was a sponsor for many years- and their beautiful pre-show film introducing the Hawaiian Islands was something I missed when Dole took over. Guess it was a trade off, as I really enjoy those Dole Whip desserts available at the entrance to the attraction!

Had Walt Disney had his way, desserts and other tropical offerings would have made its way into the Tiki Room as the attraction was first conceived as a restaurant with the birds presenting a show during the meal. Although this did not pan out, the lovely Tahitian Terrace was still nearby, offering delicious Polynesian treats, fire dancers and hula girls! Gotta say, I miss that place. I spent many summer evenings eating my meals and enjoying the sights...

Can there be any attraction in the last few decades that has been as eagerly anticipated as the Indiana Jones Adventure? Not in my book! (In fact, I love the Indy based attractions- and I have an entire post about them worldwide. You can find it here. There are many more Indy based articles to be found on my blog, too. Happy exploring!)

Seems that this poster is not all that visible these days. Unless I'm going through the wrong tunnel under the Main Street station of the Disneyland Railroad. Could it be? Regardless, the poster accomplishes the task of drawing us to the adventure. I was there opening weekend in 1995. Trust me when I say the advertising did the trick as the queue curled through Adventureland and Main Street resulting in a four hour wait my first trip through! Taking a fresh look at it, however, it is time for a newer version that celebrates one of Disneyland's finest Imagineering successes. The last stop on our Adventureland poster tour is this little gem for Tarzan's Treehouse. The debut of this Swiss Family Treehouse remake came about exactly one day after the animated film Tarzan hit the theaters. The poster honors the style and most of the coloring of the Swiss Family one and is a near replica of the one used for the attraction found at Hong Kong Disneyland. (I'd like to take a moment and acknowledge the work of Chris Strodder here. His wonderful The Disneyland Encyclopedia provided me with this tidbit about the timing of the film and attraction debut, and for this post, I used it as a dateline resource to check my memory.)

Let me comment here: I was more than surprised to see my beloved Swiss Family replaced by an animated character. Although the rather ordinary stationary figures in the attraction detract from the climbers imagining living the life for themselves, the tree was cleverly redesigned. In fact, it's architectural elements are detailed and quite beautiful. The Imagineering team did leave a tribute of sorts to its former inhabitant, many actually. I won't reveal there whereabouts, but rest assured there will be some wonderfully nostalgic music playing for old time climbers.

Late addition as of November 2013: Walt Disney Imagineering decides to add some Christmas cheer in an overlay of the Jungle Cruise. Here's the poster they chose to release to promote it.

Until the Imagineers figure out how to squeeze more thrills into Adventureland, this is the end of our look at Disneyland's attraction posters for this most exotic of the park's areas. Next up on our list, my favorite land in all of Disneyland: New Orleans Square. Just its existance proves once again that change will always happen- and sometimes its even for the better!

(Artwork copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

1 comment:

Major Pepperidge said...

Just thought I'd chime in about the color that we see in so many online photos of the original Jungle Cruise poster... it generally seems to be reproduced as yellow, but is in fact a pale yellowish green!