Photos In Wonderland – Themed Design Of Disneyland’s Adventureland

Written by Rustin Peece. Posted in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features, Photos In Wonderland

Tagged: , , ,


Published on March 17, 2013 at 2:01 am with 7 Comments

Hello once again, curious friends, and welcome to Photos In Wonderland! As always, we’ll be looking around and exploring an aspect of the theme park experience via photo examples.

For me, Adventureland is one of the most fascinating uses of detail and texture at the original Disneyland: unlike New Orleans Square or Frontierland where you can explore a multitude of different corners, little side streets or varied paths, Adventureland is basically one long straight path from the Hub to the River. In practice, that could have turned out rather boring thematically. However, somehow it works.

How modern Adventureland is ‘broken up’ and themed to offer visual interest along the way is essentially by contrasting many different styles of architecture. All of which could fall under the umbrella of ‘exotic locales’: you’ve got British – influenced colonial style elements in untamed jungles, a 1940′s American and English archeological dig site in the Lost River Delta, traditional African painting and crafts, a shipwrecked vessel transformed into a mighty treehouse, Polynesian Tikis and the flavor of the Hawaiian islands all shoved together in an area you could easily walk right through in 2 minutes on an uncrowded day.

So, let’s have a look around at some of my favorite themed elements and see if you can place where they are, and which matches which ‘exotic’ style of theme mixed throughout the land!

This thatched panel (very reminiscent of artwork over at Florida’s Animal Kingdom, I think) is near the popular Bengal Barbecue counter.

A flowing stream at the base of the Treehouse formerly occupied by the Swiss Family Robinson. (you can still hear the trademark Swisskapolka from a record player near the base, and a reference to the Robinson family from the ‘Adventureland Operator’ if the phones near the exit of the Temple of the Forbidden Eye are functioning.)

Rubber spiders and snakes are a must-have souvenir from the wilds of Adventureland, I still have a much more primitively-sculpted variation tarantula dating to my first visits to Disneyland in the 80′s.

Another Animal Kingdom-esque piece of sculpture (though these predate that park by decades), with the bright colors and African-influenced stylized animal.

Signs of danger are always visible along the jungle rivers of the world.

That about wraps up this particular expedition into the wilds of Disneyland – thank you for coming along with us, and remember, any spears thrown at you cannot be kept as souvenirs – kindly just throw them right on back at attacking natives. Hope to see you again real soon here at Photos In Wonderland!

About Rustin Peece

Photographer, horror enthusiast, professional cook, collector of old junk and morbid curiosities. Overly enthusiastic about area music, set-dressing and the obscure and historical as it pertains to the Disney theme park experience.

Browse Archived Articles by

  • Geezer

    Fun column…..and terrific theme photos. Thanks much…….
    I have a suggestion though……..You might consider giving “location text” somewhere during the article. There are some readers who aren’t as familiar with Disneyland and might like a bit more detail. ( a few still have me stumped)

    • Rustin Peece

      Thank you for your feedback! At current, I try and explain where some are, and leave a few ‘mysterious’ for visitors to find on their own when/if they visit Disneyland to encourage exploration, being my way of thinking – but I definitely see your point about more explicit location sharing. Thank you for posting!

  • ttrocc7007

    In the 4th picture down you have what you describe as a ‘thatched panel’ (it’s in the Adventureland Bazaar by the way and not the Bengal Barbecue). The ‘panel’ directly to the left not seen in this picture is actually a very well concealed door which I first saw in use back in January when a security officer swooped down out of it to nab a shoplifter.
    I snapped a quick photo of the door, but there’s no way I can find to attach it to this post.

    • Rustin Peece

      Good information to have about something I never even suspected, thank you! (and not sure why I remembered that piece being specifically near Bengal, likely the presence of the rest of the more African-artwork style theme pieces on either side of that location.)

  • DobbysCloset

    Bengal Barbecue Roasted Vegetables — yum!

  • DisWedWay

    Rustin Peece, I’m very happy to see you chose a shot of some of my work in Adventureland that I’m proud of.

  • Wreckless Abrandon

    Great article! These ones are part of why I continue to read this blog!

    It’s kinda funny… I tried to explain to the official Disney blog that their posts are lacking in any sort of depth, but they tried to say that their links and one sentence comments were more than enough. Go figure!