. Disney Is 'Keeping Up With The Joneses'

Official Press Release

What's the next best way to herald the much-anticipated return of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular?

Invite the Joneses. Five hundred Joneses, to be exact.

To mark the show's return to Disney-MGM Studios after a six-month hiatus for refurbishments, Disney invited 500 Floridians, mostly from the Orlando area, with the last name "Jones" to be in the audience for the grand reopening show on Saturday, June 10. The Joneses, decked out in "Jones" tee shirts and bushman's hats, will enjoy reserved seating as well as participate in a motorcade through the theme park accompanied by cast members and vehicles from the show.

Following the installation of all new state-of-the-art lighting, sound and other technical show enhancements, Indy and crew are back to wow audiences with earth-shattering crashes, fiery explosions and other glimpses into the art of movie-making.

At the grand reopening, keeping up with the Joneses won't be easy. There's Joneses old and new. Joneses from near and far. There's even Orlando resident Juliet Jones and her 3-year-old son, Indiana Kent Jones.

Inspired by the blockbuster film "Raiders of the Lost Ark," 17 stunt performers recreate edge-of-your-seat scenes demonstrating techniques Hollywood uses to fool moviegoers into thinking a favorite celebrity has taken a punch, fall or bullet. The demonstration reveals the props and skills that allow the excitement to be recorded on film, without injury to the star or stunt performer.

The sequence of scenes lasts 32 minutes and is staged in a 2,000-seat amphitheater, allowing guests a close-up view of the action. From the audience, 9-10 volunteers are selected at the beginning of each show to participate as extras. While they are backstage dressing, the first scene opens at an ancient Mayan temple. With a startling crash of rocks and debris, the stunt actor playing Indiana Jones literally drops into the scene and slides down a rope to open the show.

While in pursuit of a priceless golden idol, our hero avoids dangers such as a giant 400-pound stone ball -- which nearly crushes him -- and flames hot enough for the audience to feel. At the end of the scene the assistant director yells, "Cut!" He explains the stunts as the crew dismantles the grand set revealing the next scene: a busy street market on the outer edges of Cairo.

Professional stunt performers are joined by the "extras" wearing costumes native to the Middle-Eastern setting. They act as bystanders while Indiana saves Marion, the heroine in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," from the machine-gun fire of German soldiers and an out-of-control truck that explodes on impact.

In the final scene, Indy and Marion are trying to escape from a German desert encampment in a World War II airplane. The tension builds as Jones is challenged to a fist fight by the most physically intimidating soldier in the regiment. Marion fends off a machine-gun attack from the remainder of the regiment, but is trapped inside the cockpit of the plane as flames from a leaking fuel tank get perilously close. Indiana again comes to her aid, braving the inferno to save her.

A few tense moments. One happy ending.

Until going dark Jan. 3, 2000, the Indiana Jones show was performed eight times a day since the show debuted summer 1989. Now -- 31,000 performances later -- Indy is back, better than ever.

"Guests will see whole scenes rebuilt -- we even have a new airplane," says show producer Joe Kivett. "But mostly, the show will reflect the incredible technical advances that weren't around when the show opened."

The revolutionary Disney's FASTPASS has been added to The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. That means guests can choose to wait in a line, or they can obtain a FASTPASS ticket -- free of charge -- with a designated return time when they can enter the theater with little or no wait.

Indyfan.com Site Author: Micah Johnson
Page Author: Micah Johnson
Created: June 9, 2000
Last modified: June 9, 2000