You won’t be climbing up into the branches of the classic Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland again in 2011, we can now say with some certainty. The latest round of Closure and Refurbishment dates to November 2011 confirms that La Cabane des Robinson will be closed for the entire period, right up to 30th November. Internal sources suggest even this new “until” date is conservative, with the closure now certain to continue into 2012.
What’s going on at the Treehouse, the visual icon of Paris’ Adventureland? You tell us. No really, please do. The multi-levelled walkthrough up and around the branches of the giant steel tree just happened to close right after the incident at Big Thunder Mountain on 25th April, when a piece of scenery fell and caused the brief hospitalisation of one guest. As well as immediately shuttering Big Thunder for repairs, adding one week to an already-planned closure, Disneyland Paris reportedly switched off all mechanical effects which come close to ride tracks or are situated above or close to guests.
Let no-one make any ridiculous conclusions that the tree is about to collapse. In fact there’s nothing definite to say these events are actually linked, and this could likely be more a part of the Guest Safety department’s recent generalised jitters around the parks than anything else. The same over-cautious (or depending on your view, perfectly cautious) bearing that saw the benches of Le Theatre du Château spaced out far enough to (supposedly) prevent children jumping between them or the long-standing Rocher Qui Bascule (the “rock which rocks”, a wobbling boulder just below the treehouse) made permanently static with a lump of concrete, to give just a couple of examples.
The Swiss Family Treehouse is a Disneyland classic, operating at Magic Kingdom, Florida and Tokyo Disneyland, whilst a refreshed version titled Tarzan’s Treehouse operates at Disneyland, California and Hong Kong Disneyland. The Disneyland Paris version is markedly different than all four, occupying a much higher, more prominent position at the heart of the land. Many of the elements around the tree, such as the shipwreck with a floating bridge passing through it, are directly tied in to the Swiss Family Robinson story, which was made into a 1960 film by Walt Disney.