Saturday, November 27, 2010

On Safari [1962] Expansion of Adventureland

The password is "Safari," and Summertime visitors to Disneyland will be validating their passports, stepping aboard tropical steamers and sailing off on a brand new tropical adventure that may set jungle exploration back to the days of "Dr. Livingston, I presume." 

Marc Davis concept art for the Jungle Cruise
For Disneyland's brand new Jungle River Cruise — part of another $7 million expansion at Walt Disney's Anaheim wonderland — has been designed as a combination "you are there" exploration and fun-filled laugh provoking adventure whose "actors" are elephants, tigers and many more beasts of the jungle. 

Starting with a proven success — the true-life jungle cruise has been one of Disneyland's most popular attractions since opening — Walt Disney is adding a jungle-full of animated animals — startlingly life-like — and making the explorer's voyage longer and full of humor. 

Top highlight is sure to be the Indian elephants — big ones and "little squirts" — who will frolic, splash and swim in a unique "elephant bathing pool." Their trunks loaded with watery surprises (for unwary animalsand explorers), nearly two dozen of the full-size elephants will eventually call Disneyland "home," all brought to life through the marvels of Disneyland animation. 

The emphasis in new attractions is on Adventureland, with (1) the "world's largest" Tree House, (2) a "Big Game Safari" shooting gallery, (3) a colorful African motif for portions of the bazaar shops and stores in Adventureland, and (4) the fabulous "Stouffer's in Disneyland" dinner-show restaurants. 

The Swiss Family Tree House will tower 70 feet above the jungle. Spreading its branches 80 feet in width, it will include three separate "homes" at different levels — the living room, parents' room and boy's room, all inspired by Walt Disney's motion picture "Swiss Family Robinson." 

For the youngsters, "the climb's the thing," but adults are sure to enjoy the "never before" panoramic view over much of Disneyland offered by this "species Disneydendron giganteum" of 150,000 leaves and 50,000 blooms. 

Walt Disney's "Enchanted Tiki Room," one of three new restaurants at "Stouffer's in Disneyland" and Disney's first "by reservation only" dining spa, may steal the spotlight from the other new attractions. For Walt Disney is bringing together all the talents of his "imagineers" to create a complete dinner show performed by an exotic collection of birds, flowers and Polynesian Tikis that actually sing, talk and act! 

Many new animation techniques, developed exclusively for Disneyland, will "bring to life" the birds, idols and flowers. And, lest you should think it's not possible for inanimate objects to sing and act, just remember that this dinner-show is based upon legends and myths treasured for centuries by the natives of the South Pacific. 

Stouffer's, one of America's foremost restaurateurs, will also open European and American Kitchens in its Plaza Pavilion (facing Main Street) and a Tahitian Terrace overlooking Adventureland. The latter will feature nightly dancing and South Seas entertainment. 

If you're a marksman, the new "Big Game Safari" is for you. While it's based on a time-tested shooting gallery tradition, this jungle hunt is an authentic Disney creation — a one-of-a-kind rapid-fire adventure where you'll shoot at all kinds of jungle animals and birds, each handcrafted for Disneyland. 

So it all adds up to another big "bonus" in entertainment this Summer at Disneyland� where the new adventures Walt Disney adds each year are the frosting on a $40 million entertainment "cake!" 

From the Summer 1962 edition of Vacationland magazine, published by Disneyland.

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