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November 22, 2013

Magic Kingdom - Swiss Family Treehouse


You know that amazing treehouse we all wanted as a child? Imagine you found it... on a tropical island! Appealing little thought bubble ya got goin' there, right? Okay, now explain to me why so many people seem intent on complaining about the lack of pizzazz at this concept come to life! Not only does the Swiss Family Treehouse walk-through attraction seem neglected by the majority of Magic Kingdom guests, but a cursory Web search seems to yield an appalling number of derogatory results. I'm a wee bit baffled by that. True, it's one of those attractions that is void of innovative technology or heart-stopping thrills, but does everything have to be a chiller?


Much like Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland, Swiss Family Treehouse brings a literary classic to larger-than-life reality. The book Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss depicts a family learning to make the best out of a bad situation when they are marooned on a desolate tropical island. The Swiss Family Treehouse transports guests to that island, and the grand home the Robinson family created for themselves in a glorious Banyan tree. It is one of the original, opening day attractions at the park. 


While it looks quite real, the tree is actually man-made of concrete and steel, and it stands a massive 60 ft. tall and 90 ft. wide. It twists, turns and winds up, down and around the maze-like structure of wonderment. And... there's a lot to look at along the way. Take the time to admire the detail that was put into recreating the scenes from the novel/film. You'll notice loveable Robinson-scavenged contraptions such as: the pipe organ, pulley bucket system and water wheel. Story cards located throughout the structure tell the Robinson family's tale. It really is quite a cute and quirky little gem, this one! 

Make sure you pause a moment to soak up the view from the top of the tree. This is the element that truly sweeps you away. Although there are no rope or tire bridges (ala Sawyer), the Swiss Family Treehouse does require enough mobility to maneuver the winding steps - 116, to be exact. Plan on spending about 15 minutes on your treehouse adventure - longer if you really want to dawdle, but be forewarned, some guests get a little testy if they can't find the space to speed past you. C'est la vie!    


Can you spot this elusive hidden Mickey? It's profile styled & located on the trunk past the first bedroom!



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