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Hello and welcome to The WDW Radio Show – Your Walt Disney World Information Station. I am your host, Lou Mongello, and this is show #233 for the week of July 31, 2011.

With the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World’s opening taking place on October 1, over the next few months, we’re going to explore some of the Magic Kingdom’s opening day attractions/ We’ll look at their concepts, history, development, and changes over the years. This week, we’ll begin this new series with one of Adventureland’s three original attractions, the Swiss Family Treehouse. Simple in concept but rich in story, we’ll discuss it’s origins, and help point our some of its wonderful details, and even a few secrets as well.

I’ll have a few announcements before playing some of your voicemails at the end of the show. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s episode of the WDW Radio Show

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Question for YOU: Do you visit the Swiss Family Treehouse on every visit to Walt Disney World? Should it stay as is, or be updated somehow? If so, how would YOU change the Treehouse?

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15 thoughts on “WDW Radio Show #233 – Walt Disney World Opening Day Attractions – The Swiss Family Treehouse”

  1. Mark S. says:

    Rats, was hoping to hear about / see the box people logo.

  2. Norman Cavey says:

    I visit the tree house every time I go to Disney World. I had a chance to go to Disneyland in 2008 and I loved the Tarzan tree house. I think I like this better than the Swiss Family tree house. It might be because it’s a newer theme, and it might be becasue there seems to be more things going on. But It really doesn’t matter I’ll still go to the Swiss family tree house each time.

  3. Jen Tremley says:

    I do like the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, however I don’t necessarily visit it everytime I am visiting WDW. I LOVE the movie, so I do really enjoy walking through the attraction. I like to take first time visitors to this attraction so they can experience it. I am a little bummed to see that it will be closed for refurbishment in Sept when I go to WDW as I will have my niece with me and its her first time going to WDW and she is 16, but I don’t think it should be changed in anyway because it coincides with the movie. I am so glad that we still have the original version of Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and not the Tarzan Treehouse like Disneyland has.

  4. Fred says:

    I think this is a great podcast topic. My kids are 9,10 and 17. My two youngest were somewhat intrigued by the Treehouse. We have a treehouse and it is no where near this height or intricacy. None of us have seen this movie except for me when I was a kid. The thing that seems to be occurring, in my opinion, is that Disney is connecting with new audiences via media (eg. Pirates movies, Haunted Mansion movie,the new one planned for 2012 and to an extent video games) This is one of those attractions that may be endearing to an older generation but it skips a beat with tweens and teens. I know our kids these days are so very media centric and as a college professor I see it consuming them to a point where it is detrimental. But where Disney could be more effective is making that connection of movies to park event. They are definitely no slacker in this area but as I see Universal producing more contemporary, highly entertaining events, Disney seems to be a little behind. But then again…..that is why I like Disney far more than Universal. Tough balance.

  5. scott quaile says:

    i always visit, this is an atraction that needs no introduction or ties to a modern movie. tree houses are inherently cool.
    it,s a lot like rope bridges.

  6. Valerie says:

    Thanks for another wonderful podcast from you and Ryan! So happy to hear this episode about the Swiss Family Treehouse. We do enjoy visiting the Treehouse on most of our visits; we do try to make the time each year but it doesn’t always work out that way 🙂
    Years ago, my husband took our oldest who was 5 at the time (my youngest at 2-1/2 wasn’t ready for all those steps and was more interested in a Dole Whip instead LOL) and they thought it was “ok”. A few yrs later, I found the movie in our library so the girls and I watched it – we enjoyed the storyline and action and once we were back at WDW, we all really enjoyed the Treehouse so much more. Of course I think watching the movie helped tie in the experience but as they’ve gotten older (now 13 and 10), they enjoy looking at all the neat contraptions and cool ways this family adapted to their surroundings and circumstances. Even my hubby likes it.
    While I like to see other guests enjoying it too, I get a bit bummed when there’s a line behind us – I always feel that I should keep moving along instead of stopping to look at all the details or take in that view at the top. I hope that the Treehouse remains unchanged – I understand the reasoning behind updating the DL version to reflect the Tarzan movie and I’ve yet to see that so I really can’t judge which is “better”, but I really like that the WDW attraction continues to be a tie to Walt Disney himself.

  7. Brandy King says:

    I really enjoyed listening to you talk about the Swiss Family Treehouse. I have visited this attraction many times as a child, but have skipped it the last few visits – other attractions seemed more “fun”. I enjoyed hearing about some of the small details and look forward to my next visit in April 2011. I will be visiting the world with my family including my 4 year old son, who I know will bring new life to this attraction. I think most people visitng feel like they need to rush through less popular attractions and miss a lot of the extras that Disney has really taken the time to place in the areas.

  8. Jeff says:

    They could install some animatronics of the original cast or statues to put in the rooms. Maybe put someone at the organ to play it.

  9. michael crabbe-jones says:

    i enjoy going to visit this attraction whether i am visiting the right or left coast, this was a really interesting podcast for me, i enjoyed the history about james “danno” macarthur and the history and details about swiss family robinson. i wish the series from a year or two ago, “crusoe”, would have lived longer as it could have led to a newer following of the attraction, although it was not a disney production, at least i don’t think it was.

  10. Keith Chandler says:

    I love this attraction, its an old school low tech Disney attraction. It’s not based on the latest Disney franchise property but on a classic film and book. I see it once every trip. Long may it last.

  11. Dawn M. says:

    The very first time I’ve been to Disney World (only time, as of yet), the very FIRST attraction we went to was the Swiss Family Tree House. It was completely coincidental, but has become important to me anyway as my very first Disney World attraction.

  12. Jaron King says:

    I haven’t really seen a concrete reason or even much speculation as to what imagineers are doing to the treehouse. My thought is that they are adding interaction. The treehouse is currently such a static attraction and rather than completely re-theme, why not make things move about a bit for participating guests. Similar to the game in Epcot with Kim Possible, many rumors are flyng about that MK will adopt a game, too. What better place to put a few interactions than the Swiss Family Treehouse?

  13. Jim says:

    Please oh please do not dump on the Treehouse, it is timeless! Remember, you can always go west to see Tarzan. My kids love it, our family loves it. It’s an anchor of Disneyworld and a touchstone for us all.

  14. Chuck Zitta says:

    Love the pun from Ryan: “It’s roots in the film”! Could’ve followed it up with, “to it’s roots in the park”. At least that’s what immediately popped into my head. The Swiss Family Treehouse is one of those attractions that we (I) HAVE to visit on every trip down. It’s so simple, such a low-tech attraction (as you state in the show) which gives it this “pure” nostalgic vibe; and truly represents the essence of classic Walt Disney, his vision, and everything he intended his parks to offer us and our families. Long live the treehouse! Thanks again for another terrific show, Lou and Ryan!!!

  15. William Bragg says:

    What a great attraction to work off a Citrus Swirl or early morning pastry. Great way to take a break from the crowds also and get a great view. Definitely only a “C ticket attraction,”, but worth the ten minutes.