Magic Behind the Music: Magic Kingdom – Adventureland – Swiss Family Treehouse ~ Swisskapolka
Twenty-seven years before guests to Walt Disney World marveled at the enormous Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney Imagineers already had adequate practice at constructing life-like trees! Our Swisskapolka D-COT track was added to the Jukebox on July 7, 2008 and has been heard by guests of the Swiss Family Treehouse daily since it opened with the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971. In fact, that Swiss Family Treehouse is a copy of one that was originally constructed at Disneyland in California on November 18, 1962.
The one at Disneyland was closed on March 8, 1999 to be reimagined into Tarzan’s Treehouse, but the one in the Magic Kingdom is still operating after all these years. Disney’s concept of the Swiss Family Treehouse has its origins in the Disney film, “Swiss Family Robinson” that was released in 1960. The film was loosely based on the novel, “Der Schweizerische Robinson,” published in 1812. The story features a ship-wrecked family’s struggle for survival on an uninhabited tropical island. The family builds an intricate and advanced treehouse for long-term shelter which has multiple rooms, an organ for music, and even running water! In the film, they use the organ to play the Swisskapolka, and that is what we hear in the Treehouse at Magic Kingdom and on the Jukebox. It has a play count of 9,568 with a weekly count of 3. D-COT Supporters have it on 22 custom playlists, while 146 members have it as a favorite. It’s a short track that gets a 4.7/5 average rating with 67 votes.
The Disney film featured actors that appeared a number of times in other Disney films of the time, such as Kevin Corcoran, Tommy Kirk, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, and Dorothy McGuire. It also starred John Mills whose daughter, Haley Mills, was a prominent Disney star herself. The film was such a success that Disney had a scale replica of the treehouse built in Disneyland, and later Walt Disney World, that guests could walkthrough and tour. The tree, though realistic, is actually made of concrete reinforced with steel and coated with stucco. After the original one opened, John Mills and Haley were among the first to take the tour. The tour, however, is not for those with delicate legs as it involves going up and down a total of 116 steps! So if you’re looking for a bit of exercise and a good look at a classic Disney attraction, be sure to take the tour next time you find yourself in the Robinson’s neighborhood. Until then, go watch the movie if you’ve never seen it – it’s a fun and exciting Walt Disney classic!