Secrets of Adventureland

Last month we discovered several little known secrets about Liberty Square. This month we’ll move down the path and check out the imagineering secrets behind Adventureland at Walt Disney World.

Adventureland is located on the west side of the Magic Kingdom, right off Main Street USA. This area holds beloved attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise and the Enchanted Tiki Room. Adventureland was designed to represent many areas of the globe where one might find adventure – from the south pacific to Africa to Arabia. The original Adventureland in Disneyland was Walt’s idea. It was based on his love of his True-Life Adventure Films and early Adventureland was referred to as True-Life Adventureland.

As in any land at Walt Disney World, the architecture here helps to tell the story. You’ll find jungle huts, thatched roofs, Victorian buildings and Middle Eastern bizarres all blended together. Imagineers designed the transition from Main Street to Adventureland to be anchored by the Crystal Palace restaurant – a Victorian themed building that transitions from turn of the century Main Street to 19th century British rule in Africa.

“Visual intrusion” is when a building or attraction can be seen in a themed land other than the one in which it resides. Imagineers had to deal with visual intrusion with the top of the Enchanted Tiki Room, which can also be seen in Frontierland. So, imagineers used an Asian water buffalo on the roof as it would look like a longhorn when viewed from Frontierland – problem solved!

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The Jungle Cruise was born from Walt’s love of animals. In fact, he originally wanted to use live animals in the attraction but quickly realized he couldn’t control the “show” when using live animals and they also slept quite a bit during the day. Audio animatronics solved that problem Check out the crates and boxes in the queue here. The names on these pay tribute to the Disney imagineers and cast members who worked on the attraction. . All of the scenes in the Jungle Cruise were taken from Walt’s True-Life Adventure films. Notice the plane wreckage scene – the front part of this plane is used in the Casablanca scene at the Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The queue at Pirates of the Caribbean has a cell with two skeletons playing chess. If you are a chess player you’ll realize this game is at a stalemate. There are no more possible moves. You’ll find actual movie props from Pirates of the Caribbean films in the gift shop – look up towards the ceiling.

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Check out the sidewalk around the Magic Carpets of Aladdin and you might find some hidden jewels. And watch out for spitting camels!

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The Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland was the first attraction to use audio animatronics. The voice of Fritz in the Enchanted Tiki Room is that of Thurl Ravenscroft, also known as the voice of Frosted Flake’s original Tony the Tiger.

My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a travel professional with Travel with the Magic. I’ve visited Walt Disney World over 20 times and I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation. Email me at and follow me on facebook for tips, tricks and information on all things Disney!

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