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Florida Guide > Magic Kingdom

Swiss Family Treehouse

The Swiss Family Treehouse opened in 1971 and is located in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. It is just before the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland. It is not a ride but a walk-through attraction. The treehouse is a reproduction of the treehouse, which was built by the shipwrecked family in the Disney film “Swiss Family Robinson”. The film was released in cinemas in 1960.

The amount of detail that has gone into the recreation is amazing. The two hundred ton, steel tree is sixty feet tall and is a replica of a banyan tree. It has roots of concrete, which are fixed forty-two feet into the ground. There are one thousand, four hundred branches, spreading ninety feet wide, with three hundred thousand leaves attached, all of which are made of polyethylene. However, the Spanish moss, which covers the tree, is authentic. The Disney designers have given their own Latin name to the tree “Disneyodendron Eximius”, this translates to “out of the ordinary Disney tree”.

You will need to be fairly fit to get to the top of the tree as there is a fair amount of climbing - one hundred and sixteen steps in all. The whole walk-through takes roughly fifteen minutes along winding stairways and a rope-suspended bridge. It’s a good idea to read the plaques as you climb to the top as they tell the story of the Robinsons and their three sons.

As you climb the tree you will see various rooms, all of which are furnished with items that were saved from their shipwrecked boat, Swallow. In the living room are the ship’s wheel and a log book. Water basins made from shells, the table is set for dinner, books have been left open, and the pipe organ is playing. Each room has running water, which is brought up to the top of the tree by means of a water wheel and pulley system. It’s so authentic that it almost seems lived-in. Any moment you expect one of the Robinson family to appear!

When you reach the very top, take a look beneath you for a fantastic view of the park. You can see the river from the Jungle Cruise and you feel as though you could be on a tropical island. If however, you are nervous about heights this attraction is probably not for you.

The tree is an amazing piece of artwork and the only way to appreciate it is to take your time and climb to the very top. I suggest an early morning visit before your feet and legs become too tired.

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Page added on: 23 September 2010
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