First Look at Adventureland Treehouse
Walt Disney Imagineer Kim Irvine took media members on a tour of Adventureland Treehouse Friday morning. The treehouse is inspired by the original Swiss Family Treehouse, but has an all-new family and story.
As we’ve previously noted, a replica of the original Swiss Family Treehouse water wheel has returned to the attraction. It was created by Garner Holt Productions from molds of the original water wheel, which sits in the Disney Archives.
“It’s really exactly like the original water wheel with a few enhancements,” Irvine said.
Early details on the family inhabiting the treehouse were previously shared during Disney’s $115,000 private jet tour to Disney Parks around the world.
“Our story is that everything that the family has created actually runs off of this mystical water that’s running underneath the tree from some spring that the water wheel brings up into the rooms and takes through all the different bamboo pipes to the different cisterns,” Irvine said. “That’s how they run all of the little pieces of magic in each room.”
In the downstairs kitchen, the family’s father has managed to automatic everything, including pots that stir themselves.
“He’s kind of a renaissance man that knows how to do all kinds of things,” Irvine said. “So he’s put together a whole workshop with a potter’s wheel and lathes and all the things that he can help the rest of the family make their dreams come true in their rooms.”
In the mother’s music parlor is a player organ and violin, which play themselves. The “Swisskapolka,” also from the original attraction, plays on a loop.
“If you wonder where mom sleeps, her loft is up here,” Irvine said while pointing to a niche above the music room. “There’s a ladder that she climbs to go up.”
The pet ostrich caught on camera earlier this week will be named Jane, while a pet monkey will be named Rascal. Ostrich eggs will also appear throughout the treehouse, as will “Easter eggs” paying tribute to the past iterations of the attraction: the books “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs and “Swiss Family Robinson” by Johann David Wyss.
The twin sons share a room filled with plants and animals.
“They’re about 8 years old in my mind,” Irvine said. “They are both nature lovers. They can’t believe that they live in this tree. One collects animals and one collects all the weird plants that they can find out in the jungle.”
In the daughter’s observatory, fans will see a letter from a member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.). The member sent her a lens for one of the telescopes.
Treehouse Attraction History
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.”