|By Randy Crane|
Editor's Note: Disney Avenue is thrilled to welcome a new contributing writer to the site, the amazing Randy Crane! Many of you in the Disney community may already know Randy from his books and his wonderful podcast Stories of the Magic. Randy has some amazing new articles lined up for us that fuse together life, scripture and, of course, our love of Walt's park and attractions. So please join me in welcoming Randy Crane to the Disney Avenue family!
Disneyland is all about story. Every land in the park tells a story. Every attraction tells a story. Some of the stories are obvious. Some are hidden, but still there. Walt Disney was among the best at making movies that tell stories, and Disneyland is the ultimate, immersive, interactive “movie.” The park is one huge narrative. These articles are going to unpack those stories in new ways because like all good narratives, there are lessons, examples, reminders, and warnings throughout. So, starting with the Indiana Jones Adventure we're going to dig into these tales and see what we can learn from them to take with us outside the park and into our daily lives. Some will be about character. Some will be about faith and spirituality. All will be a new way to look at a familiar place. So let’s start the journey...
When it comes to things Disney does best, right at the top of my list are the themed attractions. From the themed queue (line), to the attraction itself, to the exit––the very best attractions tell a unified story from beginning to end. A great example of this complete theming is the Indiana Jones Adventure.
Imagineers call the queue for an attraction “Act I” of the story. This is where the stage is set and the story begins. The Disneyland Encyclopedia says of this attraction queue, “At over a quarter-mile long, this would be the longest, and most densely detailed, queue in Disneyland history.”
From the moment you cross the entry (under the sign) of the Indiana Jones Adventure and enter the attraction’s environment you are immersed in the story of an ancient temple, recently found by Indiana Jones—who has now disappeared. The overgrown foliage, stuttering generator, odd markings throughout the temple, strange noises, and more all tell the story. There are even some hidden surprises—most of which get completely bypassed now thanks to FastPass. When the ride first opened, Cast Members even handed out decoder cards so guests could decode the “maraglyphs” found throughout.
The ride itself takes you on a wild expedition through the deepest interiors of the temple, encountering fire, snakes, insects, skeletons, and much more. And after the ride, the walk back out of the temple keeps you in the story, including more maraglyphs to decipher. Two movie props contribute to the realism of the exit to the Indiana Jones Adventure: the mine car from Temple of Doom and the truck from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
All facets of this attraction, from the queue through the exit, work together to tell a single story. What you see on the outside is what you find on the inside. The story is consistent. In short, the attraction has integrity.
Dictionary.com defines integrity as:
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.
Integrity is highlighted as a critical character trait of godly people. The apostle Paul tells Titus, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:7–8) All the parts work together and give the same message.
Several more biblical passages describe this desirable trait:
“Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for and expect You.” (Psalm 25:11)
“Receive instruction in wise dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity.” (Proverbs 1:3)
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9)
“And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.” (Romans 5:4 (AMP))
This isn’t a call to perfection—none of us is perfect nor will we be this side of heaven—but that doesn’t let us off the hook when it comes to growing in integrity. Part of integrity is acknowledging that we fall short. Contrary to popular belief, hypocrisy is not making mistakes or falling short, it’s pretending to be someone or something that you know to be not true.
It’s easy to look good on the outside, but how are you on the inside? When people look beneath the surface you present to the world, do they find consistency and honesty? How does your life look from entry to exit? Are your stated values reflected in your daily conduct?
Takeaway: What story are you telling with your life, and do you tell it all the way through?