About the Column

People have always squabbled over which whatever at Disney is better. You like the Contemporary, I like the Polynesian. You like Cinderella, I like Pirates. It never ends! But now it does. Dan Sisneros, for years a professional boxing judge for the state of New Mexico, rings the bell for biweekly bouts between classic and not-so-classic Disney rides, resorts, and more. Dan tells the tale of the tape, then calls the action until a winner is declared.

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FROM: Disney Tale of the Tape Published Every Other Saturday

Journey into Narnia vs Swiss Family Treehouse

In today's undercard, a grizzled veteran (Swiss Family Treehouse) takes on a fledgling fighter (Journey into Narnia) eager to show his chops in the ring. The crowd buzzes in anticipation of this classic match-up between age and attitude.

Today's battle features two journeymen that have become "opponents" rather than contenders. This is the kind of bout you see on the "under-card" of a big event, but sometimes they turn into pretty good battles (and sometimes not!). One grizzled old veteran on his way down takes on a young opponent that never really made it into contention. This one is scheduled for four rounds and this bout is probably the best chance for either of these guys to get one more win on their record!

And now we head up to ring center for the introductions by ring announcer Bob McLain:


Opened: 2008

Location: Disney's Hollywood Studios

Attraction Type: Walk-through / Museum


Opened: 1971

Location: Magic Kingdom

Attraction Type: Walk-through / Structure

Let's go straight to the action!

ROUND 1: Theme and Appearance

The theme of Journey into Narnia (JN) is mostly a museum setting. You can take a picture with Prince Caspian, and then it's mostly a museum from there. If you are into the Narnia series, you will get much more out of this attraction. For the rest of us, it holds some discoveries, but not a lot of interest. The appearance from the outside isn't really much - just a sign that leads into a building. You could easily pass it by without even realizing it's an attraction!

Swiss Family Treehouse (SFT) is an old classic that has plenty of appreciative fans. Like its opponent, it's also based on a movie - The Swiss Family Robinson. It requires much stair climbing and can be challenging for the older set, but it's the older folks who will most appreciate the details of the treehouse. And your climb will be rewarded with a nice view from the top! The kids will love the climbing in a 'treehouse'. Seeing SFT as you walk by may spark your curiosity if you haven't encountered it before, but if you're not into stairs, you may want to distract the kids as you're walking past (a shouted "Hey, there's Captain Jack!" while pointing in the other direction usually does the trick).

Round 1 sees Swiss set the pace for this bout. With experience comes the knowledge that every round is important in a 4 round bout, and SFT takes it 10-9.

ROUND 2: Location

Narnia is located in Pixar Place, right next to Toy Story Midway Mania. Not the best location for such a minor attraction, since most folks hoof quickly past it on their way to grab a FastPass and check the standby wait times for Toy Story!

Swiss stands tall in Adventureland, inviting guests inside for a closer look on their way to the central hub. The location is ideal for the theme of this minor attraction. Since things are a bit more spread out in Adventureland, as opposed to the cramped Pixar Place, you're more likely to spend time checking out this giant tree and all that it holds.

Round 2 is another solid round for Swiss, who is starting to feel young again after two impressive rounds. SFT takes it 10-9 on my scorecard.

ROUND 3: Technology and Imagineering

Narnia has more electronics and gadgetry, for sure. It boast a big screen with clips from the movie, set in a forest. When entering the museum section, it's best to hang back and let the crowds pass if you really want to take in the displays. But you never get the feeling that much heavy Imagineering went into this attraction. The technology you will appreciate most is the air conditioning.

Swiss has no fancy sound system or big screens, but it's a nicely Imagineered attraction. Little ones can let their imaginations run wild here, thinking what it would be like to live here. The ropes and gadgets, the furnishings - they all up to a very "Disney-like" set-up for adults, especially those who have grown up visiting the Disney parks.

Round 3 goes to the simple display-type imagineering that went into Swiss. Another 10-9 round for SFT.

ROUND 4: Intangibles

Narnia's only hope for a win in this one is a KO, but that doesn't seem likely. JN doesn't have the punching power and seems resigned to just surviving. The few Narnia fans scattered in the audience are yelling for a KO. But it's not in him - a movie trailer with a small museum has, at best, a few jabs in his arsenal. JN does have two minor advantages, though: air conditioning and no stairs! But they're not enough to make a difference.

Swiss has plenty going for it in round 4. As one of the classic Disney attractions, in existence since the early days of Disneyland, it has a strong nostalgia factor, and Narnia takes that nostalgia on the nose, repeatedly. SFT is colorful, more imaginative, and a place for the kids to burn off some energy climbing the stairs. Swiss fans drown out the few Journey fans as the final bell sounds.

Round 4 goes to Swiss by a score of 10-9 and a sweep on this judge's scorecard.

Narnia shows class and heads right over to hug Swiss and show respect. SFT gives it right back and raises Narnia's hand for the fans, a very classy way to end this lopsided contest.


Let's go to our ring announcer, in suit and tie - Bob McLain.

La-DIES and GEN-tleman, we have a UUUUnanimous decision...

  • Judge Noah Lyons scores the bout: 40-36
  • Judge Chip Rex scores the bout: 40-36
  • and Judge Dan Sisneros scores the bout: 40-36

All in favor of the winner- SWISS FAMILY TREEHOUSE!

A nice victory for the old journeyman boxer, winning every round on every judge's scorecard. Swiss Family Treehouse can go out with a win, but dropped hints in the post fight interview about "one more bout".

On the other side of the ring, it might be a good time for Narnia to consider retiring. I hear there's an up-and-coming boxer over at the Universal Studios gym that could use a good sparring partner. "Harry" Something.