Want to scare yourself silly this October? Then join me for OC Metroblog’s five-part series, featuring the scariest, most demented, creepiest theme park attractions in our neck of the woods. It’s just in time for Halloween!
First let me clarify what kind of attractions we’ll be discussing. I’m not looking for thrills and cheap scares. We’ll be focusing on the thematically scary stuff. So you’re not likely to find Supreme Scream or Perilous Plunge on this list. It’s a list that’s decidedly less speed and more boogie-man.
Number Five: Indiana Jones Adventure – Temple of the Forbidden Eye.
[Photo by Seanutbutter]
I’ll bet this wasn’t your first choice for scares huh? Take another look at this mega-attraction and more importantly don’t take the thirteen year old behemoth for granted. Though some of you may disagree, the themes presented in Indiana Jones Adventure (located inside Adventureland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim) are the stuff that make up your worst nightmares.
Expanding on the scare tactics that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad employs, Indiana Jones capitalizes on death, destruction and the creepy-crawleys in a big big way. Not content with a few bats, or an earthquake or a demented goat hellbent on blowing himself (and most likely you) to the dark side of the moon; Indy takes the concepts of the classic runaway mine train attraction and pumps them full of steroids, then drops them in a vat of bugs, rats and snakes. Basically it’s fun for the whole family.
The year is 1935 and the setting is an exotic tourist destination in remote India called The Temple of the Forbidden Eye. The catch (and there is always a catch) is that a world of riches or eternal youth can be yours but you must not look into the eyes of Mara (an idol). For the record, the eyes of Mara are roughly the size of Rhode Island. So, you know, good luck with that.
Mara, as it turns out, is a real bitch on wheels. She doesn’t like it when you look at her in a certain way, or in any way at all for that matter. The safety film warns that anyone who gazes into her enormous implausibly large eyes will be vaporized or contract a flesh eating virus or turn into a pillar of salt. Don’t mess with Mara, she’s the Leona Helmsley of lost pagan idols. One glance and you’re toast.
As you may have surmised, everyone on your expedition not only looks into the eyes of the idol, they basically date rape her with their touristy persuasions. It isn’t long before your doomed expedition is sent on a fright filled journey inside the famed temple. A journey that might have ended in tragedy if not for the heroic intervention of famed archeologist and all around bad mofo, Indiana Jones.
So why does it make the top five? For starters the body count in this attraction is huge. I mean really really big. How many dismembered body parts can you cram into one space? Thousands. There are literally corpses around every corner. They fly out of the ceiling, they dangle from ropes, they pop out at you from the abyssal darkness and apparently, based on what you see throughout the ride, they make excellent candle holders. Now there’s a market that Illuminations has failed to exploit.
Another key factor are the oodles and oodles of creepy-crawleys. There are bugs – lots of them. There are snakes – really big ones with fangs that try to eat you as you zip past. There are rats – rats on a log that nearly decapitate the entire third row of your ride vehicle. Oh and then there’s that giant skull that shoots death rays from its eye sockets. Yup, when you round the first corner, the John Williams score swells, the vocalists sing like deranged angels and a green ray of destruction shoots out of the “forbidden” eyeball of the aforementioned giant skull and nearly blows the ever-loving-shitballs out of some unsuspecting tourists.
Indiana Jones Adventure – Temple of the Forbidden Eye rolls in at number five because while it’s scary, especially if you have any number of common phobias, it’s edging on more adventurous than truly horrific. Still I know some eight year-olds and some sixty year-olds who find the whole experience pretty damn terrifying – if not just the littlest bit jarring. Having a giant boulder dropped on your head can rattle even the strongest constitutions.