Memorable Moments: Attraction Down!

by | Aug 29, 2022

At some point during the six-hour drive home from our Disneyland vacation, my family likes to discuss our most memorable moments from the trip. Often, we have a mix of magical, not-so-magical, funny, and surprising things to share. On the way home from our most recent visit, we all agreed that the attraction evacuation we experienced was one of the most memorable moments from our trip.

Jeeps! Why does it have to be Jeeps?

A little background: In 2021, my husband and I went on a Jeep tour through Puerto Vallarta as part of a cruise excursion. During that excursion, we had a few misadventures…. One of the Jeeps on the tour caught fire and we had to stop to redistribute the guests into different Jeeps for the duration of the tour. No one was hurt, so we were able to carry on. Later in the tour, the Jeep carrying our tour guide and a few other guests flipped! This time, there were injuries and our group had to work together to evacuate the people buckled inside. When we returned to the ship, I posted about our adventure on Instagram, joking that at least the Indiana Jones Jeeps don’t flip or catch on fire. 

Marie Jeep Flipped
Cruise excursions gone wrong!

Since then, we have started to notice many coincidental occurrences around this style of vehicle: broken down Jeeps on the side of the road, Jeeps in accidents, unique-looking Jeeps around town and during our travels. We have also had multiple misadventures when attempting to ride Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland. Often, the ride goes down when we arrive to join the queue or at some point in the line. I always joke that it’s because of the Jeeps. They can’t be trusted!

When the ride goes down, we usually laugh it off and try again later. During our last visit, we tried to guess at what point the ride would go down as we adventured further and further into the queue. We were pleasantly surprised that even though the line stopped for a few minutes here and there, the announcement that the attraction was down never came. 

When it was our turn to board, we piled into the middle row of the vehicle and looked at each other excitedly now that we finally got on to the ride! We lifted our arms and tugged on the yellow strap. Sallah warned about the brakes and Mara admonished us for looking into his eyes. We entered the Gates of Doom where Indy sent us swerving “TO THE LEFT!” racing through the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Just after we bounced over the rope bridge, hurried past the snakes, and approached the cavern of skulls, our Jeep jerked to a stop.

We waited expectantly, sure that the ride would continue momentarily. The family behind us wondered aloud if this was supposed to be part of the experience. It was their first time riding, so they were unsure of what was happening. The group of girls in front of us giggled and explained this delay wasn’t part of the ride and that it also wasn’t the first time they had stalled out on Indy.

About five minutes passed before we saw cast members coming toward our jeep with a large step ladder. We were told our “transportation devices died” and we would have to evacuate. As our group climbed out of the vehicle and walked to the nearest exit, the cast members assured us that we would still be able to ride. We were escorted back to the boarding area where we waited to board another Jeep. While waiting, the family behind us joked that maybe they didn’t want to try again but it was a momentary hesitancy. Our family and the teens from the front row assured them that it was worth the inconvenience and that we should all try again.

Not Bad, for Tourists

As our transports approached, Sallah wished us “a successful and wonderous expedition.” Once again, we lifted our arms and tugged on the yellow strap. Sallah warned about the brakes and Mara admonished us and we entered the Gates of Doom! This time, we whizzed through the cavern of skulls and our whole car cheered! We made it! Or so we thought…. Suddenly, we came to an abrupt halt, stuck again. We couldn’t believe it!

Cast members quickly worked to bring the step ladder to our Jeep once more and we followed them down the now familiar path towards the exit. However, instead of making our way back toward the loading area, our whole group walked single file to the next ride vehicle on the track. We waited while that group of tourists disembarked from their jeep and our group of ten now joined by this group of twelve, walked to the next Jeep and waited for them to be unloaded.

By the end of the evacuation, we had walked to five vehicles and collected ten to sixteen people at each stop. We never completed our ride on Indy that night, but we did get two Multi-Experience Lightning Lane passes for our troubles and a fun story to tell. 

For our family, the experience of being evacuated from the attraction was unique and memorable. We were able to peek behind the scenes, seeing things that most guests never do! A few things that stood out to us were:

  • There are railings hidden along the track that spring up when the attraction experiences a prolonged, unscheduled stop.
  • The Jeeps are much taller than they look from the loading area. We board on an elevated platform, but once the vehicle pulls away, a three-step ladder had to be used to exit the vehicle.
  • The floor of the attraction is extremely sticky! Our shoes sounded like they were pulling duct tape off the ground with each step. 
  • My daughter said the most shocking thing she learned was (Spoiler Alert!) the lava pit didn’t even have real lava!

Although missing out on riding a favorite attraction is disappointing, this experience reminded our family that unanticipated events occur all the time! If you shift your perspective, you may find a hidden gem in the unexpected! As Sallah had promised, our Indiana Jones Adventure was unlike anything we had ever experienced, I assure you. 

P.S. I think we’re done with Jeeps for a while.

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