Last week on Tuesday and Wednesday, Disneyland Annual Passholders (APs) were invited to an in park event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. Mostly this made me feel super old as I have very clear memories of waiting in line for three hours for the ride (this was before Fast Passes) when it first opened. Normally I don’t get to attend these events as we live far enough away that it is difficult to get to the park on a weeknight. Plus there’s the whole kid/job thing to worry about. But the hubs and I both had a relatively easy work week so we decided to call the nanny and head out on a school night (gasp!).
When we got to the park, we checked in and got our wristbands. The park was closed to the public during the event so we had to continually show our bands to get on rides. We also got one of these super cool decoder cards. If you rode Indiana Jones back before Fast Passes, they used to give you one of these when you were in line so you could decode the symbols on the wall. One of the things I always loved about Indy was that the line for the ride was interesting. There was stuff to do and look at, and even though it was always long (and still is) it wasn’t boring to wait in line. I thought these were a nice little throw back.
Since the park was closed to the public, the event was restricted to Adventureland and Frontierland. We headed into Adventureland first to see what special stuff was happening for the event.
Hubs was stoked to see this live band playing right outside the entrance to Indy. The fezzes were a nice touch.
We stood and listened to these guys for a while before moving on to do some rides. We went on Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder Mountain, all of which had pretty short lines.
This guy was rolling around on this ball for a long time! It was pretty impressive. He even posed for pictures with people.
After riding Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder, we headed back toward Indy to see if we could get on the main event attraction. Despite the limited attendance, the line was still pretty long and it was starting to get late for us (we knew it was going to take us 45 minutes to get home, and we did have to work the next day). We decided to skip it and make Jungle Cruise our last ride. We got in line and were shocked when we got toward the front; the upstairs section of the line (which is usually only used during Jingle Cruise and super busy summer days) was open, meaning it was probably a good 20-30 minutes before we would be getting on the ride. We decided to skip it (and several other people jumped out of line when they saw how long it actually was). Apparently they were giving out straw hats at the end of the ride, hence the huge line.
Overall, while we had fun and got to ride our favorite rides, there were still way too many people there. If you are familiar with the layout of Disneyland, the area right in front of the Indy line is one of the most easily congested in the park (it’s an area I try to avoid whenever possible). Having the band and the guy on the ball right there only made it worse. We were bummed that we didn’t get to go on Indy as it’s one we rarely do because the line is always so long and we can’t always get a Fast Pass. We didn’t even try to get into the talk with the ride creators because so many people were waiting to get in. And we missed the mini Indy show that took place on the Tarzan Treehouse bridge because we didn’t know there was going to be one (it wasn’t in the event info). So basically, next time they need to let fewer APs in so that the people there can fully enjoy all of the experiences offered.