April 7, 2017

The Indiana Jones We Never Saw

With Indiana Jones 5 in production, it's only natural theme park fans would be looking for a refresh of the Indiana Jones Adventure at their local park. Or in the very sad case of the long neglected mess called Disney's Hollywood Studios, where fans are wondering when they will ever get the attraction to complement the park's great but long in the tooth stunt show. 

All this made me think back to this wonderful piece of Herb Ryman  concept art. When Imagineering put Ryman under orders to create a show-stopping rendering to give guests (and the suits, and in the early years of Disneyland, investors for EPCOT Center) a feel for what a project would look like, Herb gave them a masterpiece worthy of any art gallery. Blow this thing up and take a look. Look at those wide open spaces and incredible Asian temples. Marvelous!

The Anaheim park originally had many more textures as part of the Indy invasion, but of course, money and space and time determined a different course of what would finally be built. It could be different elsewhere. The lovely Disneyland Paris was earmarked to receive its own E Ticket worthy Indy ride and not just the bare bones coaster we see now in Adventureland. Isn't this gorgeous park worth a new E Ticket after all those years post the opening of  Space Mountain? Yes- long over due. (Check out the blog for a long list of Indiana Jones concept art for both California and France, and even Japan.) 

With the coming rebirth and rebranding of the Florida studios park, Indy should certainly be a franchise worthy of its own land. Even from just a financial standpoint. Imagine a park with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Pixar attractions in immersive environments! These are films I want to be a part of- and I'm sure guest attendance and satisfaction would go through the roof. That "blessing of size" in Florida can be put to good use, and an Indiana Jones themed area is worthy of the design challenge it would take to bring it all to the Studios- and Paris- and beyond.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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