Monday, July 21, 2008

Adventureland - Swiss Family Treehouse (Walt Disney World) June 21, 2008

On its own island in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom's Adventureland stands the Swiss Family Treehouse. We had the original at Disneyland until it was Eisnerized into Tarzan's Treehouse. My stomach has churned just a touch ever since. In a way, I felt transported back to Disneyland's Adventureland circa 1986-87. WDW's Treehouse is a bit different in its layout from Disneyland's original version, but the feel is very much the same. The Swisskapolka tune bounced from the organ in the treetop above and stirred fond memories of the past. As we scaled the tree, it was amazing how perfectly it fit into its surroundings. Talk about theming!
The walkway and stairs wind their way up through the branches, allowing us to peer into the Robinson's arboreal home. Each of their "rooms" is tucked into the branches and topped with a thatch of palm fronds for a roof. It is the realism of the Treehouse that helps sell its charm, in my opinion. You can imagine a family actually living in this space (the bed upstairs sure looks comfortable). In the story laid out in both the book and movie, the Robinsons used salvaged portions of their wrecked vessel to build their home (somehow they got the organ ashore AND about four stories up into a tree---thank Providence for all those pulleys, block and tackle they were able to retrieve from the wreck!).Central Florida's climate is utterly conducive to foliage that blends perfectly with the Treehouse. Take a look. It is tropical and beautiful.
In order to get to the base of the tree (on its own island) one must cross this bridge.
Of course, the ingenious system of running water remains impressive. The waterwheel, powered by the stream, operates pulleys that carry the water in bamboo "cups" high up into the tree, where it is deposited into a bamboo flume.

The Treehouse remains a gem. Thank Goodness attractions like the Swiss Family Treehouse, the Carousel of Progress and The Country Bear Jamboree remain unchanged at Walt Disney World so that those of us who loved them when they were part of Disneyland can still experience them.