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It's a Jungle Up There!
Jungle drums ring out a message of danger. A young lady scampers across a bridge high above us, elegantly dressed in yellow and carrying a matching parasol. Hysterically relating her tales of jungle adventures, she begins her descent but pauses with the realization that countless eyes are fixed upon her. Remembering her manners, she greets the large group of onlookers. "Welcome to the wild jungle here at Disneyland! May I introduce myself. My name is Jane, Jane Porter and I'm here to study the creatures of the wild and I'm loving every minute of it!" Jane then introduces the Executive Vice-President of the Disneyland Resort, Cynthia Harriss.
Ms. Harriss reminds us that, "Tarzan's treehouse was created especially to help all of us discover the adventurous fun of the jungle. So, welcome to the neighborhood and we're going to love having you, Jane. This wonderful new attraction could not have been possible without the synergy and partnership of so many hardworking and dedicated individuals." She continued by thanking Feature Animation, represented at this event by the Directors and Art Director, for their inspirational work on the movie Tarzan. She next thanked Team Tarzan, headed by Tony Baxter and T. Irby , "the team of individuals who brought to life Tarzan's Treehouse" for producing what she called a "truly collaborative effort". Lastly, she thanked the many Cast Members who came out for the event, and the "unique and imaginative perspective of Edgar Rice Burroughs."
Ms. Harriss then introduced Danton Burroughs, grandson of Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs. He began by thanking Ms. Harriss for her invitation to "swing by from Tarzana" which was founded in 1919 by his grandfather. Mr. Burroughs said, "My grandfather would be so proud to see the classic character Tarzan get a permanent tribute right here at Disneyland beside many other classic adventures made famous by Walt Disney. He'd be delighted to see new generations of children and young minds of a new century come to know the adventure of Tarzan, King of the Apes." Having already viewed the treehouse, he stated that he was sure his grandfather would have "loved all of this!" He spoke of his grandfather's desire to develop Tarzan into animation. He had even started a company named Tarzan Toons. His grandfather wrote that the film "must have the excellence of Disney" in a letter to the speaker's father. He concluded his remarks by thanking all those involved in the treehouse's creation. "It is a great honor to my grandfather Edgar Rice Burroughs and his creation, may it continue for ages to come."
When Cynthia Harriss returned to the podium she recounted the tale of the Tarzan as the story of a young child overcoming adversity and "finding friendship in a land that wasn't his own." Disneyland extended its hand of friendship to over 100 Kosovo refugees who had recently relocated to Southern California by asking them to be the first official guests to walk-through the Tarzan Treehouse. Ms. Harriss even offered them a special greeting in their native language, Albanian.
Ms. Harriss invited two of the Kosovo children to join her and Jane in calling for Tarzan. At Jane's suggestion the two ladies lead the audience in a call for Terk, Tarzan's gorilla buddy. Terk appears and using jungle drums summons the "Lord of the Apes" who appears atop an elephant. The elephant lets Tarzan down by the newly created smaller tree which serves the Treehouse entrance. Tarzan grabs a group of vines hanging by the entrance. Jane announces, "In the spirit of adventure that dwells in the hearts of all children, young and old we hereby officially open Disneyland's newest attraction, Tarzan's Treehouse!" Tarzan pulls on the vines revealing the attraction's new sign, a jungle style ribbon cutting. Guided by Tarzan and Jane the Kosovo guests begin their adventure into the Treehouse.