The mythos of Indiana Jones and his archaeological adventures needs no introduction.  Nearly everyone knows of the three (four if you count Crystal Skull) adventure films in which Indiana Jones scours the world in search of fortune and glory.  That is reason enough for you to go and check out the Indiana Jones exhibit at the Discovery Science Center (just down the road from Disneyland) in its final month. It closes on April 21st.

The exhibit is a $10.00 additional charge for adults and $8.00 for kids. Kids can get in free, however, with a paying accompanying adult with this voucher from the Science Center website.

The adventure begins when you check in. Each guest is handed their own multimedia guide. Entering your name into your device, you embark on your journey.

This allows you to access information on particular pieces in the exhibit and to move at your own speed. But they have also laced a brilliant interactive quest game throughout in which you are asked to locate missing pieces to an artifact of your choice.

Entering the main hall, the format of the exhibit is clear. It is divided into four sections, one for each film. Beginning with Raiders of the Lost Ark, guests are introduced to the iconic fertility idol that Indy steals at the beginning of that movie.

This fabricated relic is compared to real archeological finds. A fascinating anecdote; This prop was actually based on a greenstone carving in the Pre-Columbian collection at Dumbarton Oaks. The artifact is presumed to depict the Aztec goddess Tlazolteotl. It was later found, by the Smithsonian, to have been a fake from the late 1800’s. So the fake was based on a fake essentially. COOL!

Movie props are on full display here. Some of which a movie geek or fan could literally spend hours, like we did, drooling over.

Concept art from the films recalls legendary scenes.
Here is a diagram from the large boulder scene.
More concept art from the first film

Yes they have the Ark!
But you have to keep your eyes closed while looking at it or else your face will melt.

Art from the scene in Marion’s Tavern.

Then we have actual discoveries from the locations depicted in the films…

This actual cuneiform tablet features the earliest known map.

The adults can slow down and savor the details, while the kids can go on their own scavenger hunt. It’s really well done.

Part of the hunt asks guests to locate treasures using the power of deduction.

From the other films we get to see pieces from…

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Dooms famous lava pit.
The models from the mine cart scene.

Fun Disneyland connection: when Temple of Doom was in post production, the sound designers needed to find just the right noise for the mine carts.  They were allowed to ride the roller coasters at Disneyland all night, recording the sound.  They took those sounds and played with them to give the scene that fun, yet hair-raising, feel.

Good Ol’ Mola Ram. (cover your heart)
The actual head dress from the film.
The clothes from the beginning of Temple of doom in the night club.

The three glowing stones.

Even the section about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was fascinating. Perhaps even more so than the film itself (am I being too evil?).

Sure, there have been no aliens found, yet, in Peru.  But, there is a fascinating study of the Nazca lines in Peru featured here that should not be missed, along with more artifacts from the area.

At the end of the exhibit you can see how well you did along your interactive quest as compered to other visitors. what a neat way to make a museum exhibit fun for all ages.

And it wouldn’t be a Discovery Science Center exhibit without giving the kids a chance to let loose and have some fun. The exit lands visitors in a large interactive play area themes to the Indiana Jones films.

Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archeology is a clever exhibition that mixes the fun and romance of the blockbuster Hollywood franchise with real life artifacts from the locations depicted in the film for an entertaining learning experience. We absolutely recommend a visit before it rides off into the sunset on April 21st.