Now, my lack of movie knowledge is nothing out of the ordinary for me. Growing up, I had never seen most of the Disney classics, Star Wars, or any other movie everyone else seemed to love. I loved experiences. Being a child of the internet, I spent most of my time researching all the ins and outs of the Disneyland Resort, because that was a place I could be immersed in the magic, not just see it on a screen, which is exactly where my love for Indiana Jones began.
I was always enamored with Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, mainly for the queue. I knew all the signs that said “do not touch” actually triggered some pretty cool tricks, and I knew just the right spot to look for nods to what stood in the space before Indiana Jones, but I had no idea who Sala was, or why I wasn’t supposed to step on diamond shaped stones. Nonetheless, Indiana Jones remained one of my absolute favorite rides in the park.
As I’ve become much geekier over the last few years, I’ve dedicated a great deal of time to catching up on all the movie history I missed. The most recent series I’ve spent time catching up on is the one and only Indiana Jones. Once again, I fell in love. It was everything the imagineers had captured and put into Disneyland and more. Watching the movies felt like a trip to a home I never knew I missed. The adventures felt the same and the music gave me that same sense of excitement that I’ve loved since I’ve been tall enough to ride Temple of the Forbidden Eye.
My most recent trip to the park, I realized that I hadn’t run from any stray boulders with my favorite archeologist in a while, so I took a trip into the temple. This being my first ride since my introduction to the movies, I had so much more context, and felt the childlike wonder of experiencing the ride for the first time all over again. For once, everything just made sense. I knew who Dr. Jones was and why he was putting himself into such precarious situations. I looked around me and realized every piece of the ride was put together with care. References to the movies lay all around me, and I had never taken note.
It’s one of the many things I’ve always loved about Disneyland. You don’t need to have extensive knowledge to appreciate and love the park, but having context is like unwrapping little presents all throughout the resort. There’s always more to discover, so let’s go out and find them!