Now, some will likely say, who recall...but RegionsBeyond (formerly titled darkfairycthulu), you've posted at length about this ride and your thoughts! And so I have.
However, I recently re-rode it for the first time in at least 4 visits this past trip out, last week. As such, experienced it anew, and had some fresh thoughts on it. First up, a brief recap on my initial thoughts after riding the ride semi-frequently since it's opening in 1994, and losing interest in it at roughly the 2002 year mark......
The attraction, overall, had a lot of money, time, and design put into it. I will not deny the overall effort and expense, or say it is a "bad" attraction. However, to me, the whole show suffers from both elements as a slightly weak main ride layout, the current manner of pulsing people into the temple from the outdoor waiting area, and ride elements within not being of as high quality in some areas. This has resulted in my being flat-out bored with the attraction, and walking right on by even if the outdoor queue is empty. This is something that has never happened with Pirates, Haunted Mansion, the Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder, Space Mountain, or even the train around the park. I don't feel compelled to stop in and ride it any more than I do the MaliBoomer or Heimlich's Chew Chew Train at DCA, honestly.
During the course of the ensuing thread, my thoughts came to crystalize that I find the ride itself laid out somewhat poorly, it feeling like "one large room" as opposed to a series of caverns and chambers for the main bulk of the experience (grand vista reveal, skeleton cave, bug room, swaying bridge, snake room, skull chamber). The space I am sure is literally huge, massive showbuilding. It doesn't feel that way, to me, though. If riding it, I find myself actively thinking, OK, what will I do next, or geez, that looks bad. That doesn't happen on really any other ride, that I am distracted in such a manner. Partly, this can be due to blank space or poor effects (the snake of recent years, the horridly cheesy blue light up demon in the skull room, the rat branch projection).
So, with all this being my mindset, I decided to give it a try after a long break this past visit. I went early in the morning, so crowds were minimal. When you can slow down and meander, take photos, the queue and even the exit are fantastically themed and full of fascinating details and atmosphere. One of my major gripes remains: the holding guests at the end of the film room so that when you pass Indy's makeshift office, there's a surge of people behind you, and you feel compelled to move on and clear the rather cramped line instead of stopping to look inside this (I am sure) very detailed and well-stocked display.
Once actually on the ride, I found myself less distracted by clear examples of tech infrastructure being visible, as opposed to previous visits. The space still feels too open and like a well-designed theme park ride, not an ancient temple with a series of separate chambers and nooks, to me, sadly. I enjoyed the skeleton cave very much, and the sound design within was great....good volume, startling, and intense. I like the new kind of lava rocks they have placed around the floor, amongst the fog: very cool. The flame effects seemed to be working, to my eyes, and were well done. Even better, the giant silly blue demon on a screen was missing, making the skull chamber much better.
The rat room projection is still very fake looking and a failure, to me. The spike room has a very good effect, if the wall paintings are a little weak. However, my largest issue with re-riding it was with the end, after the rolling ball. Literally, once our truck got to the bottom of the hill from the drop, it stalled out, in the pitch black, for what seemed like 5 minutes (quite likely less, but it was very uncomfortable in there, with the car movement, the darkness, and people getting more and more concerned gradually...nervous laughter, when will we move next, etc). Finally, the car started up again, pulling around to where Indy and the boulder scene is. We waited there a good twenty minutes, car still undergoing it's motion profile, as the service lights came on and announcements were made. This was interesting, at least partly, to observe the figure and look around with service lighting. The Indy figure is of course meant to be viewed in movement, for maybe 5 seconds, so the longer you look at it, it really looks weird and non-human (naturally). Not of course that something like that can ruin the ride for me, just interesting to observe.
This is not a statement, of course, against any Cast Member running the attraction that day, or overall, regardless of discomfort. They have procedures they must follow, and actions, before unloading the ride. This is not isolated, I would guess, however. Over my 3 day visit, the attraction was visibly closed at least two other times upon walking by. I have heard on this site, this is far from uncommon, the amount of overall downtime Indy experiences.
So, in the long run.....the tech and design flaws of Indy ensure I won't be riding this for a good while, again, between the boredom and it clearly needing a good, long refurb. I appreciate the details and effort put into the attraction, as a whole, but I don't need to ride it again for a while. This, on an attraction billed as the most-technologically advanced E-Ticket with endless re-rideability due to variations in the experience, and Disneyland proper's last new E-ticket in 16 years. Please, Disney: give Indy a proper, lengthy refurb, and make it live up to the promise it holds. Thank you all for reading, and you can commence flaming me now