Walt Disney Presents: "Swiss Family Robinson"
In 1960 Walt Disney Productions created "Swiss Family Robinson" which was loosely based upon the 1812 novel by Swiss Pastor Johann David Wyss. Johann Wyss set out to create a book that was teach his four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world and self-reliance. Wyss enjoyed the earlier book by Daniel DeFoe called "Robinson Crusoe", and used some of its castaway concepts as a way to add adventure to the setting for the lessons that he wanted to impart to his sons. His 4 real life sons translated into 4 sons in the book, but only 3 were seen in the movie version. The literal translation of the original book title is The Swiss Robinson.
The movie had several changes from the original novels, as movies tend to do, but much of the basic storyline was the same. The shooting of the film took place in tropical island of Tobago. It starred John Mills (real life father of Disney Star Hayley Mills) as the father, Dorothy McGuire as the mother, James MacArthur as oldest son Fritz Robinson, Tommy Kirk as middle son Ernst Robinson, & Kevin Corcoran as youngest son Francis Robinson.
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse is one of the original Disney World attractions, opening at Disney World on October 1, 1971. This was the 2nd Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse to be built based upon the movie since Disneyland added their Treehouse in 1962, just 2 years after the movie was released.
Although it is just a walk through attraction is has been built in 4 of the Disney Parks worldwide. It was added to Disneyland Paris on April 12, 1992 and at Tokyo Disneyland on July 21, 1993.
The over 60 foot tall and 90 foot wide structure was based upon the one shown in the 1960 Disney movie. Throughout the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse you will find signs denoting the contents of the room and notes relating to what the Robinson family did there.
Disney World Classic
The original Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse at Disneyland has been changed to become Tarzan's Treehouse, leaving the Magic Kingdom version as the longest standing Swiss Family Robinson version.
Although many of today's youth may not be familiar with the 1960 Disney Movie, Treehouses almost universally appeal to youth and the young at heart. The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse may not be an attraction that takes advantage of technology, but it still has elements that make it worthwhile for guests to visit and explore.
Like the universal appeal of Tom Sawyer's Island, the Treehouse appeals to the kid in all of us and beckons us to explore. Here your imagination takes over. The attraction is different for each guest, but as long as you give in to your childlike imagination, the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse will be relevant and a must do attraction each time you visit Disney World.