It was bitter-sweet news for me to learn that the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show at Hollywood Studios, Florida is closing at the end of fiscal year 2014 to make way for a new Star Wars land in the popular park. While I can’t wait to take my grandkids, and children to the new Star Wars land, since in our family, those films have so much reverence—I have a long history with the Indiana Jones show that I will always cherish. I wrote about my latest visit to the park in an article complete with footage from the show. Years ago, I nearly moved my family to Florida to be a stuntman in the show which was only supposed to run for 3 – 5 years according to casting agents 20 years ago. But, the show has been so popular that it has endured all this time. On the same day as I received this news, my friends at U.S. Wings let me know that they had a new Indy jacket limited edition that they were releasing based on the original measurements from Raiders of the Lost Ark made of kangaroo hide. Kangaroo hide is a favorite of mine as many of my whips are made from the common Australian hide and is very tough stuff. The jacket will cost $849 which is well worth the price giving more meaning to fans of the popular show in Florida. Once the show closes, it will mark the end of an era with Indiana Jones that the world will never see again. If fans of the films wanted to buy a special jacket to remember this time—now would be the time to do it.
Closing the Indiana Jones show along with the American Idol exhibit will free up a lot of space in the already packed park. Star Wars is the future of Disney—so it is only fitting that they make good use of the area. As much as I love the Indiana Jones show, it is dated and can only really be enjoyed in a nostalgic way. Star Wars will fill that space far better than the same space is used now—so it’s a great decision. But for me, Indiana Jones will always have a special place that can’t be matched any other way. I am happy I was able to take my first grandson to the show at least once. Crowds for the show from now until the end of 2014 will be intense and in high demand as fans from all over the country will flock to see it one more time. For those people I suggest remembering this year with an official jacket from U.S. Wings which is the closest thing to the jacket shown in the show that anyone will ever get anywhere. Here is the press release from U.S. Wings:
Limited Edition – Back By Popular Demand! We last manufactured a kangaroo Indy-style jacket more than 10 years ago, but we’re once again offering one in this outstanding leather! We’ve chosen to offer our authentic Indy-style “Legend” Jacket (which is based on the specs of one of the original movie jackets from three decades ago) in this ultra-durable material. Besides being a rather rare and unique jacket material, Kangaroo-hide is outstanding for its practicality: it’s perhaps the most rugged leather available while still being light in weight.
Features include two front cargo pockets with original-style pocket flaps, side-entry handwarmer pockets, pleated action back for freedom of movement (with correctly-sized small side gaps), small yoke on back panel, original-length side adjustment straps with rectangular sliders, an interior pocket, satin nylon lining, brass zipper, and plain cuffs & bottom. Also features a shorter overall length and a trimmer, more tailored fit in the body & sleeves. Our Kangaroo jackets have that desirable “rugged look” right from the start, because the hides come from wild Kangaroos, not farm-raised. The hides will display naturally occurring scratches, scuffs, and other range marks which adds character to the jacket. This will be a limited production run, so get this unique jacket while you can. A U.S. Wings exclusive. Made from hides imported from Australia.
Limited production run: once these jackets are gone, they will no longer be available.
Availability: These jackets will be available late Summer 2014.
As I’ve said in previous articles I have a U.S. Wings leather jacket of a similar style and I wear it every day. They don’t just look good, but are actually functional—which is basically why Indiana Jones wears that type of clothing no matter if the time period is the 1930s, the late 1950s—or the current time. There isn’t a better style jacket for a person who conducts their life with actual adventure. I have an A-2 variation of the same jacket that U.S. Wings is offering made of Kangaroo hide and let me declare how tough and stylish it is.
Just the other day I had people from outside the country visiting and we were meeting in downtown Cincinnati for dinner. It was a hot day and I had to high tail it to the city from about 30 miles out in 20 minutes, so I was speeding down I-75 during rush hour in heavy traffic with bugs and grit from cement trucks bouncing off my U.S. Wings leather jacket. Without the jacket, the ride down a busy highway at those speeds would be nearly impossible. At times I had to use the emergency lane which was filled with gravel to avoid crashing into cars coming to sudden stops in the wall to wall procession of cars heading south. I was late to dinner and parking downtown anymore on a motorcycle is a nightmare as the parking garages no longer allow them, so I was pressed. After a series of adventures parking in a safe lot about eight blocks from Fountain Square, I climbed over walls, up ladders, across rooftops and then back through heavy traffic in a full sprint dripping with sweat dressed in a suit. Protecting the suit was my U.S. Wings jacket which was covered with bugs that I was brushing off as I approached the restaurant and directed the hostess to take me to my table where the guests were already waiting with expensive wine and appetizers. I was stylishly late, but better yet, the jacket was dressy enough to match the surroundings, but tough enough to get me there without screwing up everything that was underneath. That is the gift of a U.S. Wings jacket.
This is why the actors of the Indiana Jones show in Florida have used jackets like these A-2 types for years. Indiana Jones wore them to allow the stunt men to do all the dangerous stunts with an added layer of protection that still looks good on film. In the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, the actors use those jackets show after show, after show giving that added protection in the hot Florida sun as the stuntmen fall from the ceiling and rappel into the stage area five times a day for twenty years. The leather jacket doesn’t just to look good; they protect the people who wear them.
So in the year that the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is closing for those who are willing to drop a couple thousand dollars to watch the show one last time before it closes, do yourself a favor—buy the new Indy-style “Legend” Jacket from U.S. Wings at the link provided. Don’t even waste your time thinking about it—because it is a real treasure that you can give yourself. I like the jacket so much I may even buy another one. The jacket U.S. Wings is offering is thinner than the one I use everyday, and would have its uses on hot summer nights in remote locations far from home—which is of interest to me.
I’m sure Disney will do something with Indiana Jones that will appease fans—but it won’t be the same as the era that we have all just moved through. That era of live shows at Disney World and Harrison Ford films will end in 2014 and for that a treasure is deserved—and I can think of nothing better than a new U.S. Wings jacket from their “Legends” collection to hang in a closet and remind the owner of a period in their life where Indiana Jones was new, fresh—and original.
Rich Hoffman www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com