Keep an eye out for these little hidden details sprinkled throughout the Adventureland Treehouse that pay homage to other Disneyland attractions, stories, and more.
A staple in Disneyland Park since it first opened in 1962, the Adventureland Treehouse has quite a long history. In fact, while it reopened with a new name and a fresh reimagining on November 10, 2023, this incredible sky-high attraction has seen three different versions: the Swiss Family Treehouse until 1999; Tarzan’s Treehouse until 2021; and today’s brand-new iteration. Each version of the beloved treehouse has featured Easter eggs, Hidden Mickeys, and fun details that make it even more fun to experience.
Now, there’s a whole new slew of hidden details waiting to be found in Disneyland’s Adventureland Treehouse. When you take your first walk – or second, third, or numerous other trips! – through the attraction, make sure to look closely at every last room, tree branch, and walkway. We spotted the following hidden details ourselves, and there are plenty more fun details to find inside the Adventureland Treehouse if you know where to look.
1. The Waterwheel is a Returning Feature
If you remember the original version of the Adventureland Treehouse – then called the Swiss Family Treehouse – that was around for over 35 years, then you’ll likely notice something feels pretty familiar when you visit the attraction today. At the base of the Adventureland Treehouse, there’s a towering, working waterwheel, complete with bamboo “plumbing” that carries water up into the branches of the residence.
That waterwheel probably looks familiar because it is! It’s the original waterwheel that was used for the Swiss Family Treehouse. Well, kind of – according to Kim Irvine, Executive Creative Director of Walt Disney Imagineering, the Imagineers hoped to bring back the waterwheel and discovered Becky Cline of the Walt Disney Archives had it. However, there was a problem; it was in pieces.
So, Imagineers took that original waterwheel from the Swiss Family Treehouse and created molds from its parts and pieces. They then used those molds to create the new working waterwheel, fusing the old with the new in a creative way.
2. Tarzan’s Jane is Back
Okay, technically Jane isn’t a hidden detail – she’s eye-catching and quite obvious! But inside the Adventureland Treehouse, the Jane you knew from Tarzan’s Treehouse is a bit different. In fact, she’s an ostrich!
When you climb the first set of stairs into the Adventureland Treehouse, you’ll enter the father’s cooking space. Off to the left, you’ll notice a tall fence and a pair of large eyes watching your every move… and that’s Jane, peering over her enclosure.
Jane is a fun new animatronic who bobs and bounces around her enclosure, watching all of the Guests pass by. She’s also an adorable reference to the previous version of the treehouse: Tarzan’s Treehouse, which was themed after the popular 1999 Tarzan animated film. Jane the ostrich takes over from Jane the human, with a nod in their shared name.
3. Books Pay Homage to Previous Iterations of the Treehouse
There are so many small details, trinkets, and pieces to examine as you wander through the Adventureland Treehouse. Each room you pass by is chock-full of interesting and exciting items – but you’ll want to pay especially close attention to the books you see inside each one.
Keep your eyes peeled as you check out what’s inside Mother’s Magical Music Parlor, and you might spot two particularly interesting books: a copy of Swiss Family Robinson, which sits on Mother’s bookshelf, and a copy of Tarzan of the Apes laying on the table in front of the couch. These books are meant to pay homage to the previous tenants of the treehouse.
4. The Notes of “Swisskapolka”
In every iteration of Disneyland’s treehouse, musical notes have filled the air around the attraction. The Adventureland Treehouse is no different, and you’ll notice as you wander through its walkways and branches that tunes play as you pass by each room of this open-air home. However, as you stop by Mother’s Magical Music Parlor, pay close attention. If you’ve visited the treehouse in years past, you’ll hear a hidden little detail in the music playing.
Look closely at the sheet music sitting on the organ inside Mother’s room. It’s a hint: The organ is actually playing “Swisskapolka,” the very tune that played when the treehouse was the Swiss Family Treehouse.
Here’s another fun fact: “Swisskapolka” isn’t only a nod to the Swiss Family Treehouse. It’s also a reference to Tarzan’s Treehouse. When the treehouse was reimagined into Tarzan’s home in 1999, Imagineers kept “Swisskapolka” playing, and it could be heard on the bright blue phonograph present in the attraction.
Oh, and speaking of bright blue phonographs… When you stop by the Twins’ room, you’ll likely notice the bold turquoise hue of the phonograph inside!
5. Subtle References to the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.)
The latest iteration of Disneyland’s beloved treehouse is a bit unique, in that it no longer features a dedicated IP (intellectual property). Rather, the Adventureland Treehouse is home to a family inspired by Swiss Family Robinson – but the family has no specific name or identity. However, Imagineers didn’t leave this attraction completely free of any Disney association. Eagle-eyed visitors will spot hidden details that reference a more intriguing Disney narrative: the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.)
Those familiar with the fictional S.E.A. (and those who know where to look!) will spot hidden nods to this special society throughout the Daughter’s room in the Adventureland Treehouse. As you approach the Daughter’s space, you can spot a blue and white flag emblazoned with the S.E.A. logo. Inside her room, which is filled with astronomy tools and touches, take a close look at her desk. There, you can spot a letter from S.E.A.’s resident astronomer addressed to the young astronomy hopeful.
For more about Disneyland’s Adventureland Treehouse, keep reading:
Thanks to Disney for hosting us on the opening day of The Holidays Begin Here in Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure® Park, where we were able to experience food, beverage, and entertainment options including the Disney Festival of the Holidays Sip & Savor pass. #Disneyland #FestivalOfHolidays #VivaNavidad