Indiana Jones et
le Temple du Peril, Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris was hardly swamped initially with visitors and the
media coverage surrounding it hardly benevolent, anything that got the
park into the press was good, whether it was complimentary or not was
merely academic. In the long term, this tentative start benefited the
park with a spate of investment around the mid 1990s which did enough to
bring in enough visitors to disband the press and leave them to cover
more worthy news stories.
One thing that was learnt from the dubious start Disneyland
Paris had was that the French are really not into shows and spectacles
in the way that America were. The French visited for the rides, and the
only coaster at the park, Thunder Mountain, was subject to audaciously
long queues even in off-peak periods.
A quick fix was sought, and in less than a year, the quick
fix opened, ironically, to longer queues than Thunder Mountain. Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Peril was the first Disney coaster to invert
riders head-over-heals, and as an experiment, it led the way for other
coasters to follow.
Although the name isnít synonymous with many Disney
attractions, it was Intamin that were approached to supply the ride.
Intamin developed the ride from the Pinfari Zyklon, a small single
looping coaster with tight-banked turns and sharp drops.
Due to the thoughtlessness of the designers, the low
capacity and very nature of the ride attracted unbearable queues, and a
few years later, the eight seater trains were re-designed so as to hold
50% more people, another was added, and to attract the queues back, the
trains were flipped around so that they ran the entire circuit
The ride resides in the sundry Adventureland, home of
Pirates of the Caribbean and the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. It is
actually quite a way out the back of the park, and right on the
As you approach the ride in a path shrouded in lush,
tropical flora, the decaying temple around which the cars hurtle around
the scaffolding surrounding the crumbling structure.
The queue starts away from the temple to your right. The
entrance is rather inconspicuous and at the outset takes you into the
undergrowth. The temple was at the centre of an archaeological dig by
Jones. It now stands abandoned, for unknown reasons, and as a haunting
reminder of this, the queue takes you past the adventurersí campsite
with an abandoned jeep and canvas tent.
As the queue now bears to the left, the temple now stands
before you. The large sandstone style construction is falling into a
state of disrepair, the aging structure surrounded in ropes, scaffold
and the track rising and falling around it. Huge stone steps start your
accent up the temple before you turn to the left and past a crumbling
Every few minutes, conversation is broken by the thunder of
a train swelling into a roar as the two-car train hurtles around the
archway, fully inverting in front of irresolute riders. As the train
disappears, the archway concealing the 360-degree loop is all that
remains to remind you of the forthcoming terrors that lay in wait.
The pathway soon takes you over the small station, before a
staircase takes you onto the station platform. The best place to ride is
undoubtedly the end that looks like the front. This is the back of the
train and offers great visuals and the faster ride.
The platform is tiny and can only take a minimal amount of
people. Picking and choosing where you wish to sit is quite awkward and
not worth the effort.
The trains are really ugly. They look like wooden boxes and
are probably the most awkward to get into. The high sides and deep-down
nature of the trains mean you have to virtually take a running jump.
Once you countermand the subconscious urge to face the direction of
travel, you turn 180 degrees to board, slither into your seat, and pull
down the restraints before the train is dispatched, backwards.
Visuals are limited only to the back of the car in front
unless you are in the front of a car, and legroom is very limited. The
train is tyre-driven backwards around a clockwise 180-degree turn that
will smoothly feed you onto the lift-hill.
The lift hill is actually quite fun, and now that you are
going backwards, it affords you reasonable views of the park wherever
youíre sitting. The temple structure is to your left and as you begin
to look down on the more sizeable parts of this structure, the train
uprights and accelerates into a sharp turn.
As the train straightens out, it curls over the top of a
sharp drop accelerating as it does before rising up on the opposite side
of the temple before traversing another sharp turn.
Another drop into the structure of the temple comes more
predictably with the binding rise and turn following it. As the theme
continues, it becomes more and more of an effort to keep the head free
from being knocked by the poorly engineered track-work that the train
An abrupt turn and drop throw you deeper into the edifice
before your head begins to be pulled forward, the incline gets steeper,
and steeper as you begin to see the ground appear and disappear in a
flash, the train tightly wraps around a compact vertical loop as the sky
darts past in a moment before youíre up righted and thrown into what I
would say is the worst part of the ride.
track following the loop is taken at high speed and is a nauseating
culmination of intensely unpleasant banked helixes and turns. As you
spiral round and round, you begin feeling heady, not only because of
these brutally unpleasant turns, but also because you have been bashed
so much up until this point.
wish comes true and you clatter into the final brake run. A slow advance towards the station ends with the bars
rising and you leaving feeling rather dizzy and disorientated.
This is probably the only ride I can think of at Disneyland
Paris that has blatant disregard for a story line or plot. It is rare
you go on a ride at Disney and donít actually feel that you are a part
of the adventure. On Indiana Jones, you feel that you are riding a
coaster around a temple and you donít understand why.
Even if a ride doesnít tell a story, the theming should
make up for it. Indiana Jones is unable to achieve this either. Whilst
the theming is not appalling, Disneyland Paris have set a standard and
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril doesnít come anywhere near
carrying this metaphorical baton of consistency.
The ride too is hardly inspiring. The coaster it is based
on is not Italyís finest export it has to be said, and it is a bit
strange, therefore, that Disney approached Intamin to copy the ride.
Although it is slightly more professional (for want of a better word),
it is still rough, lacking, and now the trains run backwards, it can be
quite painful if you are new to the ride and donít know what is coming
The capacity issue has improved now that each car holds six
(a train, twelve) and that the ride now operates Fast Pass, the Disney
scheme that allows you to return to the ride at a designated time.
For the amount of hype Disneyland Paris apply to Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Peril, it really fails as a ride, as a major
attraction (which, at the moment it is), it fails and as an entertaining
and rousing ride, it fails.
The ride was incredibly rushed from drawing board to
opening, and it shows, blatantly.
▪ A coaster unique to
▪ Offers a contrast to
other coasters at the park
▪ Fast and peppy
▪ Overly rough, with it
being hard to prepare due to going backwards
▪ Last half of ride will
leave your head spinning
▪ Basic theming for a