Indiana Jones Once “Flew” Over Disneyland Like Tinker Bell

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tinker bell indiana jones castle

It’s been 66 years since Walt Disney officially opened his beloved Disneyland Park and forever changed the face of theme park entertainment.

Built on orange groves in Anaheim, California, Disneyland has expanded over the years to include hotels, Downtown Disney, and, of course, Disney’s California Adventure.

With the Resort full of secrets, tidbits, and nostalgia, it’s always fun to learn something new about the Parks, including an Indiana Jones surprise throwback that many Guests might not be aware of!

Walt Disney at Disneyland
Credit: Disney

From Rise of the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, to the brand-new WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure attraction at Avengers Campus and the classic Haunted Mansion, Disneyland has made magic for every Guest to experience since it opened July 17, 1955.

Over at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Guests can enjoy the new Disney Enchantment fireworks spectacular as the Resort continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, while in Disneyland, Guests are dazzled by the “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks Spectacular on select nights.

With pixie dust and some Disney magic, Tinker Bell has been soaring over both Cinderella Castle (at 189 feet up) and Disneyland’s Matterhorn for years, sparking joy in all those watching the nighttime spectaculars.

tinker bell flies over Cinderella Castle

The very first Tinker Bell “flew” in Disneyland Park in the summer of 1961, with Tiny Kline being Tink’s first friend flying high over Sleeping Beauty Castle on a cable. Kline was a pixie-sized 4’10”, 98 pounds, and nearly 70 years old at the time.

Later on, actress Gina Rock would become the longest flying friend of Tinker Bell at Disneyland Resort, travelling from the top of the Matterhorn during the nighttime fireworks for over 21 years.

The Peter Pan (1953) fairy didn’t fly over to Walt Disney World Resort until the mid-1980s, where she first was seen in a holiday show. Disney Guest reactions were so positive that she became a permanent star of the classic nighttime spectacular “Wishes” in Magic Kingdom for the next twenty years.

Tinker bell flies during happily ever after
Credit: Disney

Well, in a surprise piece of Disney nostalgia, it seems Tinker Bell lost her starring role flying over Disneyland back in 1995 when Indiana Jones himself stole the show!

The Indiana Jones Adventure attraction premiered as Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California on March 3, 1995. A second, and nearly identical, version of the ride, opened in 2001 at Tokyo DisneySea in China, Japan.

Located in Adventureland, the ride was created with George Lucas after the success of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, which is reopening December 19 after the pandemic forced the show to close.

Indiana Jones Adventure
Credit: Disney

To commemorate the opening of the new Indiana Jones attraction at Disneyland, Disney incorporated Harrison Ford’s character into Disneyland’s 40th anniversary celebration, staging an entire chase scene and action sequence!

Jones made a surprise appearance at Disneyland’s 40th along with his iconic bullwhip, fedora, satchel and leather jacket.

Twitter user Sam Carter posted exciting photos featuring the snake-hating hero climbing up the Matterhorn and going down Tinker Bell’s wire:

Alea on Twitter also shared some fun images of Indy’s escapades, with the 40th anniversary Disneyland banner also being shown on the Matterhorn:

Indiana Jones riding a zip line down the Matterhorn to celebrate Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary, 1995

Disney Guest @johnvanwinkle commented on the photos of Indy swooping over Disneyland saying that he was actually there that special day. Apparently, Grammy-award-winning country singer Randy Travis sang “Happy Birthday” to the Park way up high on top of the Matterhorn:

I was there. It was an amazing moment followed by Randy Travis leading the singing of Happy Birthday.

Travis joined Walt Disney’s 65-year-old nephew, Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney Company Chairman Michael Eisner and other celebrities to place 1995 memorabilia inside a time capsule to commemorate the park’s 40th birthday. The “Time Castle” will be opened in 2035.

On the 40th anniversary, Roy E. Disney repeated his uncle Walt’s famous quote and also added a heartwarming note:

“Disneyland will never be completed . . . as long as there is imagination left in the world […] I think Walt would be very pleased that his promise has been kept so far.”

Special guests at the ceremony included David Smith from the Disney Archives, Russell Means (voice of Chief Powhatan in Pocahontas (1995)), Irene Bedard (voice of Pocahontas), John Hench (the Time Castle designer) and Fess Parker (Davy Crockett actor).

Michael Eisner
Credit: @Michael_Eisner (Twitter)

One Disney fan, Matt Brewster, did make a valid comment, however, that by having Indiana Jones escape the “bad guys” down the cable, it destroys the illusion for Guests that Tinker Bell “flies” across the Park:

Doesn’t this remind everybody that there is a wire? Doesn’t that negate the illusion that Tink is really flying?

Lucasfilm and Disney have already started production on the highly-anticipated Indiana Jones 5, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)) and Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro (1998), Shrek (2001)) joining Harrison Ford in rounding out the star-studded cast.

The 79-year-old actor has played the adventure hero in all four Indiana Jones filmsRaiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Temple of Doom (1984), The Last Crusade (1989), and the most recent installment Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Unfortunately, those eagerly awaiting the release of Indiana Jones 5 now have a longer wait than anticipated. Disney announced back in October the theatrical delay of multiple upcoming movies, including an 11-month pushback on Indy from July 29, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

More on Indiana Jones Adventure

indiana jones adventure
Credit: D23

Based on Steven Spielberg’s popular Indiana Jones franchise starring Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, and Karen Allen, the official description of the Indiana Jones fast-paced thrill ride reads:

Follow Indy’s footsteps into the crumbling Temple of the Forbidden Eye past intricate booby traps. Inspect carvings and frescos that tell the story of Mara, a powerful deity who promises great treasures—and vengeance to those foolish enough to gaze into its all-seeing eyes.

Board a rugged troop transport and enter the Chamber of Destiny. Confront inconceivable dangers, like precarious precipices over molten lava, screaming mummies, swarms of giant insects, spear-throwing wraiths, collapsing bridges, slithering snakes—and a massive rolling boulder.

If you find yourself in jeopardy, only one man is brave enough—or crazy enough—to save you… Dr. Jones!

Were you there during Disneyland’s 40th anniversary celebration? Let us know in the comments!

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