Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is an amusement show at Disney's Hollywood Studios based on "Raiders of the Lost Ark", the first film in the Indiana Jones franchise. It has various stunts, and recruits members of the audience to partake in it. It is executive-produced by George Lucas and directed by Jerry Rees, with stunt coordination by Glenn Randall. As part of it, volunteers are selected and invited to participate in the scenes.
- Raise your hand for the "casting call" when the casting director steps on stage to select adult volunteers. If chosen, you'll appear as a costumed extra in select sequences of the show!
- Against the backdrop of temple ruins, Indiana Jones makes a grand entrance and the show swings into non-stop action. In pursuit of the golden idol, Indy and his companion, Marion, battle dangerous bad guys, leap from tall buildings and make other daring escapes as fake bullets fly and a moving vehicle bursts into flames. The edge-of-your-seat suspense comes to a climax in an explosive finale!
- As Indy and Marion triumph over traps, villains and epic obstacles, a director explains the movie magic. Learn the difference between stunt doubles and stunt actors. And watch demonstrations of basic fight routines—how to safely throw and take punches, fall from tall buildings, and even wield whips in the midst of complex action sequences.
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is based on many of the popular stunt scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark. It uses various pyrotechnic devices which are incorporated into several of the stunts.
The action starts with Indy braving dangers in a recreation of the Peruvian temple scene from the beginning of the movie. Dangerous spikes, false floors, and ancient booby traps test the archaeologist's skills before he attempts to make a getaway with the golden Idol. After that the show moves on to the busy and audience-participant filled streets of Cairo. Indy and Marion, his girlfriend from the film, are watching street acrobats before the show takes a turn for the worst and a massive fight scene quickly follows. The Cairo street scene concludes with Indy shooting at a jeep loaded with explosives, producing a fiery conclusion. The final scene in the show recreates the action-packed part of the movie where Indy and Marion try to stop the Nazis from flying the Ark to Berlin, complete with a scaled-down version of a German flying wing aircraft. Indy fights the large German mechanic while Marion mans the aircraft's machine gun, blowing away everything in sight. Just as the whole place goes up in flames, Indy and Marion narrowly escape from the inferno.
Along with the former Superstar Television and Monster Sound Show, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is a show that relies on audience participation as part of its entertainment. Volunteers are chosen from the crowd to perform in the Cairo street scene though they safely stay away from the real stunt work. More recently, along with the volunteers, one real stunt actor is secretly chosen from the audience to do actual stunts.
This is the first theme park attraction to use a computer based show control system in conjunction with a custom made programmable logic controller system to trigger, control and sequence complex live events in real time. In many cases this can controlled by the actors, but all effects are triggered by a cast member at the booth. The control system runs on an Amiga computer with software by Richmond Sound Design Ltd. This began a trend in live stunt shows with both Disney and Universal Studios opening many more similar attractions over the next eight years.
On March 15, 2020, Disney's Hollywood Studios announced that all live shows and entertainment were suspended and closed temporarily, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, following Walt Disney World's reopening, Disney's Hollywood Studios announced that an updated version of this show would return in 2022 (later pushed forward to December 19, 2021), as part of Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary celebration.
On July 25, 2020, following Walt Disney World's reopening after being temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all stage shows closed due to a dispute between the Actors' Equity Association and Walt Disney World.
- "Actors’ Equity Union Targets Disney With Social Media Video: “There’s Nothing Magical About COVID-19”". www.blogmickey.com (July 25, 2020).