Monday, October 02, 2006

Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, August 1966

Another one of those semi-lost attractions that I continually moan about is the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. Currently, it exists as Tarzan’s abode, complete with life-size models of some of the characters. Although the majority of Disney park attendees are probably not the familiar with the Swiss Family movie, I still like the way that the old tree house was set-up. No life-sized figures, just a tree that you could explore and feel like you had just stumbled onto it for the first time. The same kind of feeling of discovery as you wander Tom Sawyer’s island. So, today’s post shows 2 photos of the ol’ treehouse from August, 1966.

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Major Pepperidge said...

As a kid I was endlessly fascinated with the various water wheels and bamboo thingamajigs that brought water to the upper levels of the tree. Wonder if Rolly Crump had anything to do with the design, since he loved kinetic sculpture so much.

Amazon Belle said...

WARNING: Long Post –
What a great question Major! I don't know who designed the waterwheel for the Treehouse. I know there was a very small version shown in the film near the kitchen. But this took it to a whole new level (pun intended). I might have to go back to my operating guide to find out, but many of those guides and S.O.P.’s don’t mention the designers.

I agree with you Daveland, regarding the loss of the Swiss Family to Tarzan. I know Tony Baxter is correct in saying that (and I paraphrasing here), If we refurbish the Swiss Family Treehouse we have a clean treehouse. But if we refurbish the treehouse and add an overlay of Tarzan now we have reason to drive attendance at the gate which delivers increased revenue. I completely understand that but when an overlay has to do with a recent Disney animated film that has not proved any “staying power”, then we have increased revenue for a short time. But what is the long term implication? Removing the Tahitian Terrace for the Aladdin’s Oasis is a great example. Now both are gone. And the latter is “hot” again culturally. Imagine dining Polynesian style… Aloha!

JR said...

The waterwheel was Walt Disney's idea when he visited the location of the movie.