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The Secret History of Disney Rides: Swiss Family Treehouse & Adventureland Treehouse

by Tad on November 1, 2023 9 Orlando   Video

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Haunted Mansion - Secret History of Disney Rides

Have you ever dreamt of living in a giant treehouse like the famed Swiss Family Robinson family? While exploring the new Adventureland Treehouse at Disneyland and the Swiss Family Treehouse at Magic Kingdom, you can get a taste of just that! The iconic treehouse still resides in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. At Disneyland, the treehouse has undergone changes over the years. It has gone back to its roots, so to speak, with the Adventureland Treehouse inspired by Walt Disney's Swiss Family Robinson (as of Nov. 10, 2023). During the secret history of the Swiss Family Treehouse and Adventureland Treehouse, we'll discover what it took to build these grand treehouses at both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom and how they look today. Let's get to exploring!

The Adventureland Treehouse Inspired by Walt Disney's Swiss Family Robinson at Disneyland

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Swiss Family Treehouse & Adventureland Treehouse-The new Adventureland Treehouse at Disneyland

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." The film "Swiss Family Robinson" is based on the 1812 novel with the same name.

Walt Disney always dreamed 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. 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!

Tarzan's Treehouse

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Swiss Family Treehouse & Adventureland Treehouse - Tarzan's Treehouse entrance

Disneyland re-themed its treehouse in 1999. Because of the 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, along with characters from the movie. As a tribute to the Swiss Family Treehouse, you could hear the "Swisskapolka" playing on the old gramophone at Tarzan's Treehouse. It was located on the bottom level interactive play area.

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Swiss Family Treehouse & Adventureland Treehouse-Tarzan and Jane in old treehouse

Post-pandemic in 2021, the treehouse closed for refurbishment. It was later announced that the Adventureland Treehouse inspired by Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson would take its place. The entrance and bridge were moved out of the middle of the pathway of Adventureland. Construction took place for about two years. The change is a nod to the attraction's history while introducing a new story.

In case you'll miss Tarzan's Treehouse like I do, enjoy this a walkthrough video on our YouTube channel. You can see the fun interactive area at the end, including that gramophone I mentioned.

The Adventureland Treehouse Inspired by Walt Disney's Swiss Family Robinson (as of Nov. 10, 2023)

The Adventureland Treehouse at Disneyland builds on a new fresh story for the next generation of parkgoers to explore as of Nov. 10, 2023. An upcoming new Disney+ show on the Swiss Family Robinson ties in nicely with the new theme. But it's a new family residing in the treehouse. You won't see them though, because they are out exploring.

The new Adventureland Treehouse showcases wondrous new environments nestled amongst the giant branches of a huge tree on the shores of the Jungle River. Guests can once again enter the tree near the giant waterwheel, climbing the wood rope stairways up into the boughs. The family created a pulley system to deliver water from the stream up into the tree. It generates the energy needed to activate many of their gadgets and inventions guests can discover. The Family Tree itself has a scientific name: Disneyodendron Semperflorens Grandis.

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Swiss Family Treehouse - Father's Art Studio

Guests can climb and weave past the rooms of this family. You begin and end on the lower level, which is wheelchair accessible. You can see the kitchen and dining room. Also on the bottom floor, the father’s art studio displays hand-drawn sketches and paintings of each room. That allows people who like to keep their feet or wheels on the ground a chance to stay low and still see the other rooms.

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Adventureland Treehouse - Jane the Ostrich peeks out of bamboo

Be sure to say, "hi," to Jane the ostrich. (Incidentally, a human Jane appeared in Tarzan's Treehouse. Coincidence?) Read the signs and take time to explore the tiny details along the way as you travel through the treehouse.

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Adventureland Treehouse - Mother's den with piano and books

The mother’s music den includes musical instruments including a harp, lute, guitar and organ, which she plays to fill the home with joyful melodies. Is that the "Swisskapolka" playing? You can even see the sheet music and lyrics! Look around at the books. You can see "Tarzan of the Apes," "The Swiss Family Robinson" and "Robinson Crusoe" novels in her collection.

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Swiss Family Treehouse & Adventureland Treehouse - Daughter's room with maps and telescopes

In the highest branches, the daughter has an astronomer's loft, decorated with planets. Can you find the hidden Mickey? We'll give you a hint. The daughter really loves the moon. She studies the nighttime skies and ponders the mysteries of the universe.

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Swiss Family Treehouse & Adventureland Treehouse- Twins room with animals, including a monkey

The twin sons’ nature room contains a large collection of plants and animals. There are a lot of moving animals here from hopping frogs to peeking birds in birdhouses to a mischievous swinging monkey who keeps turning the feed schedule to "feed monkey!"

There are other sweet spots to look out over Rivers of America and New Orleans Square, and you'll find even a cute nook to sit and rest. Just be sure to watch your step as you go. There is a lot to look at, but you do not want to miss a step.

Enjoy our YouTube video of the new Adventureland Treehouse.


The Secret History of Disney Rides: Swiss Family Treehouse & Adventureland Treehouse-Black and White photo of treehouse

The Secret History of the Swiss Family Treehouse at Magic Kingdom

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 opened with its own Swiss Family Treehouse on opening day of October 1, 1971.

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!

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Swiss Family Treehouse - Magic Kingdom

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. The root system of Magic Kingdom's tree goes four stories into the ground!

Here's a look at the Swiss Family Treehouse at Disney World.

Have you ever climbed the Swiss Family Treehouse or even Tarzan's Treehouse? Let us know in the comments below! Whether you are visiting Disney World or Disneyland, you can save some green with discount theme park tickets through your favorite froggy friends at Undercover Tourist!

Stay cool!

Keep hopping, Tad!
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Apr 8, 2020 at 12:37 a.m. Steven Bahrani Says...

my uncle Abid Bahrani actually did alot if the building of tje house and lived close by. We used to watch the fireworks every night from his driveway. Sad to see they re-themed it as Tarzans


Apr 8, 2020 at 8:11 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

That's awesome - thanks for sharing with us, Steven!

Stay cool!


Nov 1, 2019 at 11:18 p.m. Mark Borton Says...

I seem to remember that when the one at Disney World in Fla was built, many of the pieces were staged and reassembled at a vacant orange packing plant on Apoka/Vineland Road in the area called Dr Phillips.....the building was in fact in view of Dr Phillips' house. I grew up only 1 1/2 miles away from there. I did visit the Tree House several times at Disney World after the park opened in 1971.

Sep 28, 2019 at 3:22 a.m. Lee William (Willy) Nelson Says...

I went to the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse in Walt Disney World the first year it opened when I was 15yrs old. I had just seen the movie in ‘69 when I was 12yrs old. I was so fascinated by the idea of living in a treehouse I’ve dreamed about it ever since. Now I have the $ I’m looking to buy a small Island and build a treehouse (SFR style) and live their. Childhood dreams never end.

Feb 9, 2019 at 9:14 a.m. Rose m Glenn Says...

I was seriously disappointed when Tarzan replaced it. I've climbed SF Robinson often, Tarzan, once

Oct 25, 2018 at 8:56 a.m. Brickin It Up Says...

I love this attraction at Disneyland. My daughters love it too as the Tarzan version now. They went up and down the treehouse about 5 times while we waited for bathroom patrons to rejoin our group. I am so excited to see this treehouse inspiring the upcoming lego ideas set. Yes, it is going straight into our family's lego-built Disneyland.

Oct 25, 2018 at 10:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Oh my gosh, this sounds amazing! We would love to see.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

May 4, 2018 at 4:13 p.m. Julianne Born Says...

Loved going here the first time. Beautifully done. Can't wait to bring my grandchildren in October 2018.

Oct 24, 2017 at 7:11 p.m. Carlos Medina Says...

I ever been climbed a tree house before so I going to climb the Swiss family treehouse

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