On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff
A RECENT refurbishment of Disneyland’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye Adventure reminds me of my own Ohio Simanaitis Adventure.
As noted in R&T, April 1996, Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. is a professor. I used to be in academic life. A small, cluttered office in the archeology department of a Midwestern college? Yes! I taught for a year at Marietta College, in Marietta, Ohio, in the mid-Seventies. An equally arcane subject too: mathematics. And remember his pet husky? This is honestly getting too close.
At the time, I was pledged to secrecy concerning many details of the adventure. But with the passage of time—and the rat-squealing of others—I feel that I can now tell all.
We had twelve adventurers—eleven in Indiana Jones hats, Patrick Hong in the Mickey Mouse cap for which he had pouted. Shortly after boarding the Indiana Jones Adventure Troop Transport, we were presented in the Chamber of Destiny with one of three different routes.
I was at the wheel, though over the noise Joe Rusz told me this control was a dummy. I misunderstood what he said and didn’t talk to him for a week. But, indeed, the steering wheel was phony and—now it can be told—we didn’t have any choice of direction.
Instead, the walls and ceiling of the chamber rotated to give the impression of a different portal. There was only a single entry.
The slalom was done in a place where the color matched R&T slalom cones. (“I have my sensitive side too,” I observed.)
Around the skidpad in another chamber, there were funny crunching sounds and the test results were mediocre. We reported, “…it’s the last time we’ll ever use a place called the Bug Room for this type of handling analysis.”
Throughout the adventure, a Marabic Decoder Card helped with translations. Alas, these cards are no longer distributed.
Finding a Rolling Boulder coming at us proved an exciting finale. This thing was huge, 16-ft. in diameter, and the Transporter abruptly reversed to avoid getting crunched.
Again—Spoiler Alert!—this was Disney Imagineering at its best. The boulder didn’t roll; the Transporter didn’t jerk backwards. Rather, the walls of the chamber jerked forward.
On the way out, Dr. Jones offered selected thoughts, one of them, “Tourists, why’d it have to be tourists?”
However, I recall he recognized me as a kindred spirit and nodded. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2012