29 December 2009

Disneyodendron eximus

The Swiss Family Treehouse, found in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, may be a walk through attraction, but the stories told within this tree are extraordinary. The Treehouse is the first attraction guests encounter on their journey through Adventureland, and is frequently overlooked in favor of the Jungle Cruise or, more often, Pirates of the Caribbean. The home of the Robinsons, this treetop bungalow is a representation of the home constructed on an island in the 1960 Disney film, Swiss Family Robinson. Throughout the boughs and branches, guests can see what island life in a tree could resemble as they make their way through bedrooms, a kitchen, study, and living area. Glimpses into the era, and handcrafted tools, can also be seen in the water ferrying system, the organ, even the barrel of brandy!

On the engineering side of things, Disney had to create a tree that could at once appear as lifelike as a real tree and still maintain the supports needed to house such structures and the guests traveling through them. The Imagineers decided to work with the idea that they tree they were creating was a banyan tree, a that has far reaching roots and happens to be native to Florida. The sixty feet tall, ninety feet wide Swiss Family Treehouse has over three-hundred thousand fabricated leaves and roots that burrow forty-two feet into the earth. Of course, since the tree is manmade, the species couldn’t be listed as a banyan tree. So, the Imagineers dubbed the tree Disneyodendron eximus, otherwise known as Out-of-the-Ordinary Disney Tree.

Let’s go ahead and traverse the 116 steps the comprise the Swiss Family Treehouse, and see just what the Robinsons lived through and with. As well as taking in some of the breathtaking views of the Magic Kingdom that the tree has to offer.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Ryan, I have always LOVED the Treehouse- and so look forward to seeing the remaining SFR one in Florida. (Of course, DLP has theirs, but it is harder to reach!)
Thanks for a great year on the Gazette!