Back in May, I rode the Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye attraction at Disneyland with a rather unique Disneyland park guest – a man who had claimed to have ridden the attraction more than 1,700 times. At the time, I did not get his name or contact information, but through this site and a few of our helpful readers, we made contact with him to find out more.
His name is Emmanuel Elefante and his ride count now reaches beyond 1,800. I sat down and chatted with him over a cheeseburger at The Hungry Bear restaurant in Critter Country inside Disneyland park:
EMMANUEL: I have ridden the Indiana Jones Adventure over 1,800 times. I come here almost every week and I am basically one of the few people who come here actually dressed like Indiana Jones.
J: Do cast members recognize you?
E: Oh yeah.
J: Why Indiana Jones?
E: I’ve been asked that question so many times over the past five years. I think what separates the Indiana Jones Adventure apart from the other attractions like Pirates and Mansion is that it gives you the sense that you are in another world. From the very beginning as you go into the line, you are immediately not in Anaheim anymore. And the technology behind the ride is crazy. When I first heard about how everything was done, I was baffled by it.
J: I have to ask: Are the Indiana Jones films your favorite films?
E: Oh yeah. And actually, it was the ride that got me into the Indiana Jones franchise. The ride gave me a head start. I have since watched all four. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is my favorite.
J: What is the specific number of times you have ridden the ride?
E: Most of the time I do remember to keep track of my ride count. Sometimes I miss it. Right now, I’m at 1,813 times.
J: How often do you come and how many times do you ride the ride per visit?
E: I come here almost every weekend. Usually Saturdays but sometimes Fridays or Sundays. I ride Indy as much as I can. I have a Premium Annual Pass.
J: When did you start coming dressed as Indiana Jones?
E: It started three years ago. In the first two years, I came dressed as close as I could get but I finished the complete outfit three years ago.
J: So how do you keep track of your ride count?
E: I have different methods. I first tried writing it down in a notebook but that became too complicated. So eventually I decided to use my profile on Micechat.com to keep track of the record. In every post there is a signature in the bottom of the post and this is where I put my ride record. I update that after every visit.
(Note: You can find Emmanuel on Micechat under the username TheForbiddenEye, naturally.)
J: Do you ever make time for other rides?
E: Oh yeah. As much as Indiana Jones is my favorite ride, I do try to make time to ride the other rides and watch shows and do other experiences that guests can experience in the parks.
J: What is your favorite attraction besides Indiana Jones?
E: The Tower of Terror.
J: How did you find out about the post I wrote about you?
E: I was on Facebook one day and I got a friend request from a person I met at Disneyland. I looked at her profile and on her wall I saw a link to InsidetheMagic.net and the article. I clicked and read it and I knew the post was talking about me.
J: Did that freak you out?
E: I found it quite shocking actually. I’ve told people about what I do but this is the first time I’ve read a blog about my obsession.
J: Who are you outside of the parks?
E: I am a college student currently attending El Camino College. I do not have a major as of yet. I’m not sure what I want to do.
J: Have you ever considered being a cast member?
E: Ever since I started riding the ride, I always wanted to work there. I submitted an application. I’m waiting on a phone call.
J: What other hobbies do you have other than riding Indiana Jones.
E: Video games and basketball. But Disney is my primary hobby.
When you first hear the number of how many times Emmanuel has ridden The Indiana Jones Adventure, it sounds quite shocking and possibly a little crazy. But let’s divide it up…
He’s been riding the attraction for 5 years and he goes every week: 5 x 52 = 260. That means he’s been to Disneyland roughly 260 times over those 5 years. To get to 1800 rides over those 5 years, he would have had to ride the Indiana Jones Adventure about 7 times per visit.
The ride lasts approximately 3.5 minutes. Add to that the amount of time it takes to go through the single rider line and it probably evens out to about 10 minutes per ride. So Emmanuel spends about 70 minutes of his day at Disneyland riding the Indiana Jones Adventure. When you break it down like that, it isn’t all that much time. It just goes to show you what you can accomplish by taking small steps toward a big goal.
A big thanks goes out to Emmanuel Elefante for sitting down and sharing his rather unique obsession with us.
Does this inspire any of you to go out and challenge his record? Or maybe set your own for a different ride?
Jeremiah Daws and his brother Josh are theme park fans and filmmakers living the dream in California.
Follow their adventures at DawsBrothers.com.