PHOTOS: Effect Testing Underway at Adventureland Treehouse in Disneyland

Shannen Ace

PHOTOS: Effect Testing Underway at Adventureland Treehouse in Disneyland

This week, we witness the Saqiyah water feature undergoing dry testing at the new Adventureland Treehouse in Disneyland, which is scheduled to open sometime this fall.

Adventureland Treehouse Water Feature Testing

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A water wheel is at the front of the treehouse, as a callback to the original Swiss Family Treehouse. From around the water wheel runs a bamboo pipe and a series of bamboo buckets attached to a pair of ropes.

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We saw the bucket system rotating, a preview of the dynamic water features that will be operating when the attraction opens.

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The water wheel was not moving and we didn’t see any actual water at the time of testing.

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Construction is not yet complete on the new attraction. Scaffolding remains up on one side of the treehouse.

Adventureland Treehouse Story

Adventureland Treehouse concept art

Opening this fall, the Adventureland Treehouse inspired by Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson will invite guests to journey up wood rope stairways and traverse the branches of the giant tree to explore fascinating rooms representing members of a family from a new story. Capturing the spirit of the original treehouse that Walt Disney and his Imagineers built in 1962, explorers roaming among the Adventureland Treehouse will encounter the mother’s music den, the father’s art studio, the young sons’ nature room and the teenage daughter’s astronomer’s loft, with most items crafted from found objects and natural resources gathered during the family’s adventures.  

The treehouse attraction at Disneyland was originally the Swiss Family Treehouse, based on the 1960 film “Swiss Family Robinson.” It opened at Disneyland on November 18, 1962, and was an opening day attraction at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Paris. It opened at Tokyo Disneyland in 1993 and remains the Swiss Family Treehouse at Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland.

Swiss Family Treehouse closed at Disneyland Park in 1999 and reopened as Tarzan’s Treehouse later that year. After another 22 years of operation, it suddenly closed in September 2021. Disney eventually announced in April 2022 that it would be rethemed. There were rumors of an “Encanto” takeover or S.E.A. theming, but Disney finally announced in November 2022 that the treehouse would have its own story, partially inspired by “Swiss Family Robinson.”

While Adventureland Treehouse may not be a fully S.E.A. attraction, there is a Society of Explorers and Adventurers banner in the concept art.

The new attraction’s story revolves around a family living in a treehouse on Jungle River. Each member of the family has their own unique gift and a themed room, featuring found objects and natural resources that they have repurposed for home use, not unlike previous iterations of the treehouse.

Guests experiencing Adventures By Disney’s nearly $115,000 private jet tour to Disney Parks around the world were the first to hear new details about the family members.

The father has created a kitchen where the meals his family enjoys can cook themselves on the stove. He has also managed to build an icebox in the jungle, which is a feat in and of itself. All of this is possible thanks to the water wheel that brings the “magical” water out of the creek below and into the tree. The water wheel is a returning element of the original attraction.

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The mother is a musician and her room will see the return of the player organ from the Swiss Family Treehouse that will play the Swisskapolka.

The children of this new family are a teenage daughter and two twin boys. The daughter is a gifted astronomer and astrologer, who studies the moon and stars out of the windows of the treehouse and in the treehouse’s loft. Her room will feature graphs and models of the universe that she has put together during her studies.

The twin boys are naturalists, with one loving plants and the other loving animals. Their room will be filled with monkeys, toucans, and other kinds of plants, both man-eating and otherwise.

To make the attraction more accessible for guests unable to climb stairs, or who simply don’t want to go up high, the bottom floor is being expanded and will include the kitchen and dining room. It will also have an art studio displaying sketches and paintings of each of the rooms.

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Author

  • Shannen Ace

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at shannen@wdwnt.com.