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TheRaider.net Research Attractions Epic Stunt Spectacular
 
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
 
click to enlarge

Attraction: Stunt Show
Location: Disney-MGM Studios, Florida
Opening: August 25, 1989. Updated in 2000.
Ride time: About 35 min.

Information:
The Show
The Adventure Outpost
Stunt Show Upgrade
Stunt Show Casting
Epic Stunt Facts
Photo Gallery
 

The Show

From it's opening in 1989, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular has been one of the most popular attraction's at Disney's MGM Studios in Florida. Actually, it’s a stunt show, featuring several scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and showing to the audience how stunts are done. The demonstration reveals the props and skills that allow the excitement to be recorded on film, without injury to the star or stunt performer.

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Stunt Show entrance.

Directed by Raiders of the Lost Ark stunt coordinator Glenn Randall, the Stunt show features seventeen stunt performers as well as Harrison Ford and Karen Allen look-alikes.

The sequence of scenes lasts 32 minutes and is staged in a 2,000-seat amphitheater, allowing guests a close-up view of the action. From the audience, 9-10 volunteers are selected at the beginning of each show to participate as extras. While they are backstage dressing, the first scene opens at an ancient Mayan temple. With a startling crash of rocks and debris, the stunt actor playing Indiana Jones literally drops into the scene and slides down a rope to open the show. While in pursuit of a priceless golden idol, our hero avoids dangers such as a giant 400-pound stone ball -- which nearly crushes him -- and flames hot enough for the audience to feel. At the end of the scene the assistant director yells, "Cut!" He explains the stunts as the crew dismantles the grand set revealing the next scene: a busy street market on the outer edges of Cairo.

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An explosive moment.

Professional stunt performers are joined by the "extras" wearing costumes native to the Middle-Eastern setting. They act as bystanders while Indiana saves Marion from the machine-gun fire of German soldiers and an out-of-control truck that explodes on impact.

In the final scene, Indy and Marion are trying to escape from a German desert encampment in a World War II airplane. The tension builds as Jones is challenged to a fist fight by the most physically intimidating soldier in the regiment. Marion fends off a machine-gun attack from the remainder of the regiment, but is trapped inside the cockpit of the plane as flames from a leaking fuel tank get perilously close. Indiana again comes to her aid, braving the inferno to save her.

For a good seat, you should expect about 30-45 minutes of queuing up. It's really not that boring, however, because while waiting you walk through an artificial jungle with wrecked airplanes to your left and archeological excavations to your right.

 
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Download:
 
Title: Size: Format:

Stunt Show Trailer

1.22 Mb .mov

Stunt Show Script

67 Kb .doc
 

The Adventure Outpost

After the show visitors can swing by to the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost Store, the souvenir shop near the entrance of the stunt show. Its exotic architecture and the many props in the surrounding area make the shop almost an attraction itself. People can discover machine-guns on the roof and an exact replica of a WWI Arabic tank in the rear. The tank is believed to be one of the two tanks used in the filming of Last Crusade. Inside the shop, they can buy all kinds of Indy stuff, T-shirts & sweat-shirts, videos & books, mugs, posters and much more.

 
 

Stunt Show Upgrade

In January 11, 2000 and after 31.000 performances the show shut down for an overhaul. It hadn’t been fully serviced since the park opened. It took six months to service because it had more mechanical parts and special effects than any other attraction, Walt Disney World spokesman Craig Dezern at the time said: "They're really going in from top to bottom to make sure the show quality is back up to where it needs to be."

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The great finale.

To mark the show's return Disney invited 500 Floridians, mostly from the Orlando area, with the last name "Jones" to be in the audience for the grand reopening show on Saturday, June 10. The Joneses, decked out in "Jones" T-shirts and bushman's hats, enjoyed reserved seating as well as participated in a motorcade through the theme park accompanied by cast members and vehicles from the show.

Following the installation of all new state-of-the-art lighting, sound and other technical show enhancements, Indy and crew were back to wow audiences with earth-shattering crashes, fiery explosions and other glimpses into the art of movie-making.

"Guests will see whole scenes rebuilt -- we even have a new airplane," said show producer Joe Kivett. "But mostly, the show will reflect the incredible technical advances that weren't around when the show opened."

The revolutionary Disney Fastpass was added to the show. That means guests could choose to wait in a line, or they could obtain a Fastpass ticket -- free of charge -- with a designated return time when they can enter the theater with little or no wait.

Unfortunately, the events of Sept. 11, 2001 put Disney World in a difficult position that lead to the toughest economic times the company faced in decades. The Indiana Jones show was cut from two casts to one and instead of eight shows a day, there were five. At the same time more than 100 other actors were laid off, among them Mark Lainer who played the movie director in the Indy show.

 
 

Stunt Show Casting

What follows is a list of assets someone should have to be part of the show. Applicants must be between 5'5" and 5'9". Have an extensive background in gymnastics and tumbling. Skills required: Dive roll, back and front handsprings, cartwheels, standing back flips, somersaults, and handstands.

Indiana Jones' stunt double
Age range of the role is 25-35. Height range is 5'9" to 6' with experience in stage combat and rappelling, and the ability to work at substantial heights is required. Training in high falls is a plus.

Marion Ravenwood's stunt double
Age range of the role is 21-30. Height range is 5'4" to 5'7" with upper body strength, athletic looking with ability to rappel and complete six pull-ups, and ability to work at substantial heights is required.

Mechanic and Swordsman
Male, age 25-35, height range 6'4" and taller with a strong, muscular build. Dual role. Experience in stage combat required.
 
 

Epic Stunt Facts

You remember that boulder? Well, The boulder that is used weighs about 440 pounds. It is filled with compressed air, and trust me, it might be made of rubber, but that thing can hurt if your hit by it.
The moving sets (The temple) weighs around 100 tons making them the largest moving sets in history.
The piece with the Skull door was so heavy, special "foam" was added in the four tires in order to carry the excess loads.
The truck flip in the movie was suppose to go end over end as it does in the Disney Show. But when Stunt Coordinator Glenn Randall Jr. also the Stunt Coordinator whom put the theme park show together hit the charges the truck went on it's side not end over end. He wanted to re-do the gag; but Spielberg said he thought it looked better that way. When designing the show they decided to make sure they did it the way it was suppose to happen.
The moving set pieces in the Cairo Encounter (scene 2) weight about 40 tons.
 
Sources

- Indiana Jones epic Stunt Spectacular Official Press Release
- The Orlando Sentinel - January 11, 2000
- Indiana Jones show to get face lift, by Richard Verrier.
- Suite Disney
- Indiana Jones and the Sacred Community

 

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