Ever dreamt of living in a giant treehouse like the famed Swiss Family Robinsons? While exploring the Swiss Family Treehouse, you can get a taste of just that! This iconic treehouse resides in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. During the secret history of the Swiss Family Treehouse, we'll discover what it took to build this grand treehouse at both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. Let's get to exploring!
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The Secret History of the Swiss Family Treehouse
Opening first in Disneyland Park, the Swiss Family Treehouse debuted almost two years after the release (1960) of Disney's adventure film "Swiss Family Robinson." Walt Disney remembered always dreaming of building a treehouse as a child, like most other kids do. (I know I've always begged for a treehouse by the pond!) So, he decided he was going to make the biggest treehouse in history!
Imagineer Bill Martin helped design the treehouse, while Wolfgang Reitherman (designer of the treehouse for the Disney film) also helped. The Swiss Family Treehouse at Disneyland proved to be a hit, leading to its inclusion in Magic Kingdom's grand opening. The Orlando theme park had its own Swiss Family Treehouse on opening day of October 1, 1971. When building the treehouse, Disney imagineers used around 330,000 fabricated leaves on the tree. Of course the tree is fabricated so it can withstand the test of time!
Swiss Family Tree House construction
While you can still hop through the Swiss Family Treehouse in Magic Kingdom, Disneyland actually re-themed its treehouse in 1999. Because of the 1999 release of popular Disney film "Tarzan," the treehouse had a makeover to replicate Tarzan's own treehouse from the film. The treehouse received new vinyl leaves and even a new suspension bridge entrance. Not only can you visit the Swiss Family Treehouse at Magic Kingdom, but you can also see the grand treehouse at Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland!
Swiss Family Treehouse Fun Facts
- While the tree at Magic Kingdom does in fact look real, it's actually made of concrete, steel and stucco!
- The Swiss Family Treehouse is not a rest-your-froggy-legs attraction — there are a total of 116 steps!
- The tree is actually classified as a building. This is because of the requirements of certain permits.
- As a tribute to the Swiss Family Treehouse, you can hear the "Swisskapolka" playing on the old gramophone at Disneyland's Tarzan's Treehouse.
- Disney's film "Swiss Family Robinson" is based on the 1812 novel with the same name.
- The root system of Magic Kingdom's tree goes four stories into the ground!
Have you ever climbed the Swiss Family Treehouse or even Tarzan's Treehouse? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out more Magic Kingdom ride wait times and more!