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The Indiana Jones franchise is getting an upgrade on screen. So it only makes sense that a significant theme park ride with deep roots in the Indy series would undergo some refurbishments, at the same time.
Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure attraction is about to undergo some renovations in 2020, according to a report in the Orange County Register. Building permits filed locally say that the theme park ride plans to replace both a plank bridge and some steel structures that are part of the ride’s show in 2020. The last time that Disneyland invested in the improvement of the ride was 2014.
While these renovations are taking place before Stephen Spielberg and Harrison Ford step back into the world of Indiana Jones for the announced Indiana Jones 5, it’s unlikely that the ride will give away any details about that sequel’s story. For one thing, we believe that the script is still being worked on by David Koepp (though the screenwriting duties have alternated from various hands over the years, with talented people trying to crack that walnut).
The Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland pulls more from Raiders of the Lost Ark and, specifically, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Dubbed “The Temple of the Forbidden Eye,” the ride takes patrons on a quest into an archaeologic treasure chest. It’s a slow-rolling roller coaster attraction that moves viewers through sets from a staged Indiana Jones adventure. A fan took a video of the ride in 2019, and now this video stands as a time capsule of what the ride looked like before the announced renovations.
If anything, we could see the new ride pulling in a scene or two from the somewhat recent Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Maybe a wax “Mutt” Williams? Or a cameo by the evil Irina Spalko?
While renovations are improving the Indiana Jones theme park ride in Disneyland, our attention will stay on the progress of Indiana Jones 5. We’re fairly confident that Spielberg and Ford don’t want to end their legacy on a sequel that most fans deem a disappointment. The series ended on the perfect note as a trilogy, but for reasons unknown, they dusted the hero off for Crystal Skull, and left a sour taste in all of our mouths.
The issue is, with each passing year, Harrison Ford gets older, and that makes the dashing derring do of a whip-cracker like Indiana Jones harder to pull off. Listen, Ford looks better at 77 than I currently look at 45. And that man has earned the right to BE Indiana Jones, so let’s not recast him. But the story idea better be rock solid, if Spielberg and Ford want to do this again. And will it be?
Right now, the renovations for the Indiana Jones ride will take place in 2020, while Indiana Jones 5 will open in theaters on July 9, 2021.