Swiss Family Treehouse at Yesterland

Written by Werner Weiss. Posted in Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Features, Werner Weiss

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Published on May 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm with 9 Comments

Father, Mother, Fritz, Ernst, and little Francis invite you to visit their home. You may have seen this family at your local movie theater in 1960. You probably thought their treehouse was on a far-off-tropical island. But it’s actually right here in Yesterland.

Read the full YESTERLAND article HERE: Swiss Family Treehouse

When you are done reading, please leave your comments below.

treehouse-wdfmtheater
Photo by Jim Smith, courtesy The Walt Disney Family Museum

Disneyland: The Fan Driven Time Machine

with Sam Gennawey, Jeff Kurtti, Todd Pierce, and Werner Weiss
at The Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco,
Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney proclaimed, “Disneyland is your land.” Little did he realize that the public would take him at his word creating a new cottage industry driven by the fans themselves. Today, people can access Walt’s Disneyland of 1955 to 1966 easily through books, magazines, DVDs, websites, blogs, mobile apps, and podcasts—often products made possible by new technology and an online world that allows people to find and obtain these resources. Whether for reasons of nostalgia, scholarship, the desire to experience something from a time before they were born, or to understand the foundation of something they enjoy today, fans can relive the park through the work of people like themselves. How did all of this begin? And who will be responsible for separating the facts from the fantasy?

Join author and Disney historian Sam Gennawey as he moderates a discussion about this amazing cottage industry with guest panelists Jeff Kurtti, Todd Pierce, and Werner Weiss.

Tickets are limited to the capacity of the theater and are expected to sell out.

For tickets, see: TALK | Disneyland: The Fan Driven Time Machine.

For more about visiting the The Walt Disney Family Museum, see: the official website of The Walt Disney Family Museum.

About Werner Weiss

Werner Weiss is the Curator of Yesterland, the ultimate collection of Disney theme park past attractions. You'll find his handiwork featured on MiceChat every Friday.

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  • FerretAfros

    Do you know when they changed the color of the leaves? From my visits, I always remember the tree having green leaves, but the early pictures show it with reddish brown ones. I suspect it was fairly early on, but I have no idea

    And does the upper left photo from 1997 show a live macaw? Or is it an AA? Either way, it’s a nice unexpected addition!

  • Conconhead

    I always marvelled at the bamboo plumbing system. It was gorgeous. I wasn’t a big fan of Tarzan so I didn’t like the changes… but Disneyland is ever evolving so I can just lament a switch from real objects to cartoony ones.

  • Algernon

    In my opinion, they ruined the Treehouse, and everybody responsible should be fired. There was a certain magic there before, with that Swiss Polka music playing and the occasional Mark Twain whistle in the distance. All to plug what I consider to be a third rate cartoon. Now all that remains of the Swiss Polka is a token tribute at the end, playing from a phonograph. Before they mess with anymore classic stuff, perhaps they should ask themselves if the Mona Lisa would look better with sunglasses, blonde hair, and the latest style in clothing. It’s time to turn back the clock and restore the Treehouse, the Submarine Voyage, the Skyway, the Peoplemover, Astrojets and Mine Train through Natures Wonderland, plus bring back Skull Rock Cove and the Pirate Ship. For those who love change for the sake of change so much, then why not tear the entire place and rebuild it as something different, instead of doing it piece by piece. Face it, they don’t love Disneyland at all. They just want someplace new to go.

    • WDWfanBoston

      Walt Disney wouldn’t agree with you.

      “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
      -Walt Disney

    • DisWedWay

      Before Tarzan swung into the Jungle there were WDI plans and sketches being done that would upgrade the Swiss Family Tree-house more to the ending of the movie and what might have been a sequel film. More kinetics were being planned for kids to interact with. I really think it would have been better than the Tarzan ending that is there now. I really miss all the energy and sound that it projected to Adventureland and New Orleans.

  • Big D

    Changing it over didn’t bother me at all. I’m no fan of the Tarzan move, but it was fun to walk through before, and it’s fun to walk though now. The only thing I don’t like is the static cheetah display with the sound of it growling in the background. The growling just makes it look 3rd rate and cheap. Either do a real animatronic or don’t do one at all.

  • eicarr

    The cool plumbing and polka music was always my favorite part. They should donate the cheap fiberglass Tarzan figures to convenience stores to chain up near their entrances.

  • Werner Weiss

    Walt Disney’s famous quotation — “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world” — implies making Disneyland better, not just making changes.

    Walt Disney was committed to improving the Disneyland guest experience every year. The stewards of the park who came after him have continued to make changes. Some of the replacements, additions, and enhancements have clearly made Disneyland a better place for guests; others were done only to reduce operating costs or to promote Disney products. Some involved creative brilliance; others were creative missteps.

    I recall that Al Lutz once summed it up succinctly when he said, “Good change is good. Bad change is bad.”

    I’m sure there are guests who prefer the Tarzan version of the treehouse to the original. I’m not one of them.

    The Swiss Family version appealed to the imagination. You could imagine living in this amazing house that was completely different than where you actually lived. The Tarzan version, with its static “statues,” is about trying to remind you of the animated feature. The best things about the Tarzan’s place are leftovers from the Swiss Family.

    • DisWedWay

      Yes a lot of expensive nautical antiques were purchased for the expanded Swiss Family Treehouse concept that was in the works, and got absorbed into Tarzan’s Treehouse when it came about face. Will maybe if Disney does a remake of the Swiss Family movie as they have talked, the family can send Tarzan swinging.