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.
Here is the text from the Live Narration of a Guided Tour, circa 1962 (previously started on this page):
BASE OF TREEHOUSE
Here is the Swiss Family Treehouse inspired by the Walt Disney film—Swiss Family Robinson. This is the largest treehouse inn the world standing 80' high. In its three lofty rooms, visitors gain an unparalleled view over the jungle area. The tree has 150,000 leaves and over 50,000 blossoms. For the botanical minded, the tree is known as species Disneydendron Giganteum. Now we're going to leave Adventureland for the frontier of the old west. Frontierland is a tribute to the faith, courage and ingenuity of the pioneers who blazed the trails across America. We find ourselves back in the exciting days when the story of our country's past was being lived.
To resume your vintage tour, please go to the Mark Twain page.