Getaway Brigade

Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye

This year, the Walt Disney parks and resorts are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Disney Imagineering; since Disneyland is one of our favorite getaway destinations, we at Getaway Brigade are paying our own homage to these artists by sharing with you some fun facts about our favorite Disneyland rides. 

The air in Adventure Land is heavy with humidity and excitement. Sleeping Beauty Castle is out of sight, torches are burning, and the elephants from the Jungle Cruise are trumpeting. The entrance to the Indiana Jones ride appears, and adventure is calling.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye is one of my favorite rides at Disneyland. The Indiana Jones trilogy has always stirred my imagination and inspired me to conquer the unknown, and the ride always rekindles my sense of adventure. It is the perfect blend of action, retroism, and Disney’s world-famous attention to detail.

While the ride is certainly entertaining, it is not what excites me most about this particular attraction. No, it is the half-mile long queue that I look forward to. There is so much to discover along the twisting passageways that thirty-five minutes—a normal wait period for the ride—is almost too little time to find the hidden secrets created by Disney’s Imagineers.

There are many webpages filled with fun facts about the ride, its history, and its queue ( has a great list here), and so rather than attempt to list all of them, I will include a selection of our favorites below. Of course, I always like to hear what others find exciting, so please share your favorite parts of the queue in the comments!

Mercedes-Benz Troop Transport Truck

The Mercedes-Benz troop transport truck at the beginning of the queue is an original from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

This is arguably one of the coolest things about the queue. The Mercedes-Benz troop transport truck that sits at the entrance of the ride is one of the original vehicles used in the filming of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. The nearby mining cart is also an original from Temple of Doom.

Mara in the Temple of the Forbidden Eye

Mara’s eyes remain closed throughout the queue and only open when you enter the ride.

It took me a while to discover this fun fact. Mara’s eyes are closed in each of the statues and depictions of her throughout the queue. It is only when you board the ride and enter the temple that her eyes open.

Whatch Your Head, Sharp Spikes!

Watch your head lest the spikes from the ceiling get you!

Spikes and Bones

Many before you have perished in the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.

Shake the loose bamboo pole in the Spike Room to experience a few surprises. Be sure to also pull the rope in the Rotunda Room to hear from the local archeologists.

(Of course, these are well known parts of the ride but they still deserve a mention!)

There are more to the lights than meet the eye.

Disney’s Imagineers have incorporated a hidden signal into the lighting system of the ride. When the lights flicker, the ride is working. But when the lights glow brightly and steadily, the ride is temporarily out of service. Next time the ride breaks down, watch for this signal that all is well again.

Temple of the Forbidden Eye Petroglyphs

Have you deciphered the petroglyphs throughout the Temple of the Forbidden Eye?

Temple of the Forbidden Eye Decoder

The original Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye decoder from 1995. (Source:

You can actually decode the petroglyphs on the wall.

The last of our favorite fun facts is really quite interesting. Spread throughout the queue are various petroglyphs in the “ancient Marabic dialect.” When the ride first opened in 1995, decoder cards (like the one pictured above) were issued to guests to help them decipher the messages. Once “translated,” these petroglyphs actually spell out real messages! (If you absolutely cannot wait for your next trip to discover what the hidden messages say, head back on over here.)

As we prepare for our next trip to Disneyland, there are two more hidden aspects of the queue I am looking forward to discovering. The first is a map of the ride supposedly on the back wall of Indy’s office. The second is the sign commemorating the old Eeyore part of the Disneyland parking lot that was demolished during the construction of the ride.

What are your favorite parts of Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye?

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  • Jules on August 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm.

    Nice article! We’re planning a trip to Disneyland at the end of the year (my first time) and I’m hanging for this ride! We’ll definitely be revisiting this article at the end of the year to stock up on tips!

    • Bryce McLaughlin on August 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm.

      Hey Jules! It’s a great ride, one of my absolute favorites. You’re going to have a blast when you visit!