Adventurers? Why Did it Have to be Adventurers? Adventureland Day Strikes at Disneyland

Brit Tuttle

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Freddy Martin.

Adventureland Day, the annual, unofficial dress-up day for fans of the Jungle Cruise, Enchanted Tiki Room, and all things Indiana Jones drew a swelling crowd of explorers and adventurers to Disneyland on Sunday, March 3, 2024.

A group of Adventurelanders pointing at "that guy" for a group photo during Adventureland Day at Disneyland Park.
Adventurelanders discover a rare and hideous creature in the jungle. “That guy” wasn’t too pleased. Photo credit: Pamela Keller, 2024 all rights reserved

Adventureland Day

"Tiki Tony" Murphy, Skipper Chuck, and Brian Lynch at Adventureland Day 2024.
“Tiki Tony” Murphy, the organizer of Adventureland Day, hangs with friends Skipper Chuck and Brian Lynch. Photo credit: Pamela Keller, 2024 all rights reserved

“Adventureland Day is a fun dress-up day to celebrate the magic Walt and the Imagineers made,” said “Tiki” Tony Murphy, a Ventura, California artist and the event’s organizer. “It gives us dreamers an excuse to play make-believe in the most magical place on earth!”

A flood of khaki, tiki print, flowering Mickey ears, and feathered plumes entered the gates of the park, headed through the left tunnel past the iconic attraction posters, and marched straight to the Adventureland arch for a series of pre-scheduled gatherings and activities, including a treasure hunt with real prizes.

The "Cosplay Parents" dressed up as Indiana Jones and Short Round in Disneyland Park.
“Cosplay Parents” Steven and Millie T. set off in search of treasure and compliments on their Indiana Jones duds. Photo credit: Pamela Keller, 2024 all rights reserved

Steven and Millie T. from San Gabriel Valley, well-known in the cosplay community as “The Cosplay Parents,” never miss a chance to get creative with their meticulously made kits. “We attend,” said Steven, “because we love to dress up, see others dress up, and see our friends and the community of Adventurers.”

“I am a huge fan of adventure movies like Indiana Jones and the Jungle Cruise,” said Suzy Clay-Hartman from North Hollywood, “so I was super excited to attend Adventureland Day at Disneyland. I relished the opportunity to meet fellow adventurers and make new friends.”

An Explorer’s Paradise

A group photo for Adventureland Day at Disneyland Park.
Say “Kungaloosh!” Group photo in the heart of Adventureland. Photo credit: Pamela Keller, 2024 all rights reserved

Following a preset itinerary posted on the event’s official Instagram account (@adventurelandday), several hundred early birds gathered outside of Tropical Hideaway for a group picture and to sing “The Adventurers Club All Purpose Theme Song,” a nod to the now-shuttered Adventurers Club night club formerly located at Pleasure Island in Walt Disney World.

A couple pose together near Tropical Hideaway.
A pair of lovebirds (Joe Utsler and Stacey Rosenbaum) search for a place to roost in the Tropical Hideaway. Photo credit: Pamela Keller, 2024 all rights reserved

Then, attendees flocked to the lanai outside the Enchanted Tiki Room waiting in turn for back-to-back packed house showings of Walt Disney’s original animatronics attraction. Cast Members and unexpecting regular guests were surprised and delighted when the whole audience sang along loudly throughout the musical show.

An Adventurelander gives their own spin on the Dreamfinder.
Part pirate, part Dreamfinder, all Adventurer, this guest preps for a long journey through the Jungle Cruise queue. Photo credit: Brendan Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

After a short stop for Dole Whips and Bao Buns, they shuffled to the queue of the World Famous Jungle Cruise. A brief attraction breakdown cut the Adventurelanders’ progress short, so many of them headed to “it’s a small world” for a worldwide cruise of a different kind.

A group of Adventurelanders exit the Jungle Criuse.
Passengers escape from the World Famous Jungle Cruise ready for another exciting journey. Photo credit: Jess Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

The downtime was short-lived, and the queue soon filled with khaki once again. Boat after boat loaded with costumed Adventurelanders gave the ride a rare and magical realism that thrilled riders and Jungle Cruise skippers alike.

And yes, they laughed at every joke.

Why So Much Khaki?

Khaki-clad Adventurelanders stand together on Main Street, U.S.A.
Every shade of khaki creates a rainbow of excitement at the hub on Main Street. Photo credit: Jess Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

One of the most common questions heard among non-participating guests was, “What’s with all the people dressed in khaki? Is this a special day or something?”

“Adventurelanders,” the name they call one another, answer with enthusiasm to welcome anyone into the fun.

“I just think that it’s awesome that a sea of crazy people can all come together to make Disneyland and cargo pants cool at the same time,” said Tyler Mesa from La Crescenta, who attended in an impeccable, handmade costume that seemed to come out of Disney’s 2001 animated film, “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.”

A trio of Adventurelanders pose together for a photo.
Dapper and daring, guests don their jungle best for Adventureland Day at Disneyland. Photo credit: Brendan Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

Mike Vega, a film photography hobbyist from Riverside said, “The people that participate come ready for fun, camaraderie and to share amazing experiences. The creativity shown in the outfits is top-notch, and that it takes place in the Happiest Place on Earth is icing on the cake! I’ve participated every year, and every year I’ve made new friends at the event. And that is [a] real treasure.”

If guests were looking for clues to the mysterious Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.), the mega-theme hidden in plain sight at Disney Parks around the world, they would find them in many of the costumes and custom pins adorning their detailed costumes.

Members of the "Royal Exploration Corps" pose for a photo.
Members of the “Royal Exploration Corps.” share news from the far reaches of Adventureland with Tiki Tony. Photo credit: Brendan Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

Some guests even stayed in character the whole day, depicting their own home-spun storylines that line up creatively with the overarching theme of the jungle environment. “The Royal Exploration Corps,” a fan-fictional group of explorers, handed out period newspapers and offered swearing-in ceremonies for the few lucky attendees they deemed worthy to join their “society.”

Following the Clues to Adventure

An Adventureland Day 2024 group photo on Main Street, U.S.A.
The Adventurelanders painted the town khaki on Main Street USA for a massive group picture. Photo credit: Pamela Keller, 2024 all rights reserved

After the Jungle Cruise, the Adventurelanders gathered for a photo on Main Street, U.S.A., where they received the first text messages signaling the start of the Adventureland Day Treasure Hunt.

“The treasure hunt is part mystery, fun, and exploration that culminates with a prize pin that celebrates your journey and day together with like-minded kids at heart,” said Murphy.

A group of adventurers set out on a scavenger hunt.
A league of extraordinary gentlemen makes their way to the first clues found on Main Street USA. Photo credit: Jess Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

“As a kid, I wanted so badly to find a lost treasure and follow a map like in “[The] Goonies.” So I thought, let’s mix in the fun humor of the Jungle Cruise, the action of Indy, and the tropical escape of the Tiki Room. Plus there’s the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, “The Jungle Book,” and so many avenues of Adventureland to celebrate!”

An adventurer looks on at a clue for the scavenger hunt.
Clues led Adventurelanders around the entire park in search of fortune and glory. Photo credit: Brendan Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

The treasure hunt concluded at a secret location — which turned out to be the Fantasyland Theater, where a dozen “Adventureland Correspondents” handed out prizes and hearty congratulations to each guest who successfully completed the hunt.

Adventureland Worldwide

Guests ride aboard Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney World for Adventureland Day.
Across the continent at Walt Disney World, more Adventurelanders set sail aboard the World Famous Jungle Cruise. Photo credit: Stewart Marshall, 2024 all rights reserved

The adventures weren’t just contained in the Anaheim theme park. Adventureland Day also took place in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, complete with a treasure hunt and plenty of amazing costumes and creativity.

An Adventurelander poses in front of the entrance to Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Disneyland local Eddie Agin celebrated Adventureland Day far from home at Hong Kong Disneyland. Photo credit: Eddie Agin 2024 all rights reserved

One fan was unable to attend the Anaheim event because he was touring Hong Kong Disneyland that day. He sent messages and photos to the Adventurelanders at home in Anaheim proving that he was still participating thousands of miles away.

Much More Than a Wild Ride

A group of Adventurelanders of all ages gather together.
Explorers of all ages gather to compare treasure maps and jungle gear in the Adventureland Bazaar. Photo credit: Jess Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

“I’ve always looked forward to participating in Adventureland Day,” said Lori (Lulu) Stevens of Orange, “because it is such a creative, fun-filled way to immerse myself in my favorite land at the park. The people, the camaraderie, and the spontaneous magic that happens during the day transports me to the places, stories, and adventures that have delighted me through the years.”

An Adventurelander poses for a photo.
“Miss Victoria Constantine” of the “Royal Exploration Corps Aero Squadron” arrives from the far corner of the globe. Photo credit: Brendan Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

For many, Adventureland holds a special place in their personal backstories.

“Adventureland has always been our favorite part of Disneyland,” said Kelsi Goss of Los Angeles. “We announced our first pregnancy with a photo at the Tiki Room, our baby shower was Jungle Cruise themed, and we all dressed up as Skippers one Halloween. Getting the chance to feel fully immersed in the land while sharing the day with fellow enthusiasts has been a family highlight for us each year we’ve attended.”

For many, events like these inspire a deeper connection with the park, the stories, and especially the ones they love.

A young Indiana Jones unwraps a treasure.
Young Indiana Jones look-alike Cole Stevens unwraps a treasure in Adventureland. Photo credit: Brendan Kragel, 2024 all rights reserved

Ashley Stevens of Anaheim brought her son Cole, a precocious boy dressed as though he could be a companion to the one and only Indiana Jones himself. Together they shared a day they will never forget.

“Adventureland Day never disappoints,” said Stevens. For my son Cole and I, dressing up, seeing friends, and just enjoying everyone’s sense of imagination is what makes the day special.”

Learn more about Adventureland Day and get notices for upcoming events on Instagram @adventurelandday.

For more Disneyland Resort news and info, follow Disneyland News Today on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. For Disney Parks news worldwide, visit WDWNT.

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