BACKSTORY (Nov. 18, 1962—Present): The 60' tall with 40' “roots” (or 80' tall, depending upon which Disney source you read) Swiss Family Treehouse was based on the 1960 Disney movie “Swiss Family Robinson.” Guests could look into the rooms of the shipwrecked family and see their furniture, supplies, and ship parts. The Treehouse was a combination of European goods and primitive jungle products, and even included plumbing! A water wheel drove a continuous supply of scoops, carrying water to the top of the tree. The water dumped into a system of bamboo gutters that provided running water. In early 1999, the giant artificial tree received a massive makeover, including thousands of replacement vinyl leaves (originally there were 300,000) and a new suspension bridge entrance from a new neighboring tree. In June 1999, the newly themed Tarzan’s Treehouse was unveiled just as Disney’s animated “Tarzan” opened in theaters. Guests can still hear “Swisskapolka” on the old gramaphone.
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