- “Know this. Only one may enter here. One whose worth lies far within. A diamond in the rough!”
- ―Cave of Wonders
The Cave of Wonders, or the Tiger-God is a character in Aladdin. It is a large cave filled with treasure, magical items and above all the lamp, formerly. On the outside, the Cave of Wonders is a giant tiger head whose mouth is the entrance to the cave itself. He is voiced by Frank Welker .
In the original film, the cave is visited at the very beginning by Jafar, Iago and a thief named Gazeem. The location of the cave was revealed using a mystical golden Scarab Beetle, which also helped form the cave. Jafar orders Gazeem to go inside the Cave to retrieve the magical lamp. The Cave's tiger head warns the visitors that only one may enter, referred to as the Diamond in the Rough. Jafar not understanding what he means decides to order Gazeem to go in again. Gazeem makes one step inside. When everything seems to be fine the Cave roars and shuts its mouth killing Gazeem. Jafar then realizes he must find the Diamond in the Rough.
Back at the palace, Jafar takes the Sultan's mystic blue diamond ring in order to power his device. The device shows just who the Diamond in the Rough is. It is revealed to be the cunning street rat, Aladdin. Jafar orders the guards to capture Aladdin and take him to the Palace's prison. There Jafar, disguised as a beggar, takes Aladdin and Abu to the Cave. Aladdin identifies himself to the Cave, which allows him to enter, but warns him not to touch anything except for the lamp.
Aladdin and Abu successfully enter the cave, where they are tempted by the vast Forbidden Treasures, though Aladdin remembers the warning not to touch them. They come across a Magic Carpet, who offers to help and takes them to the central chamber where the lamp is located. As Aladdin goes to retrieve the lamp, Abu spots a large red gemstone and is overcome with temptation; despite the Carpet's best efforts, Abu grabs the gemstone, and the Cave's voice angrily says that Aladdin and Abu will die for ignoring its warning. The cave starts to fill itself with lava, and Aladdin and Abu nearly escape with the help of the Carpet, but are thrown down by Jafar, who thought he had stolen the lamp. The cave, after pained bellows, then dissolves with Aladdin, Abu and Carpet still inside.
Inside the cave, it is revealed that Abu stole the lamp back from Jafar. Genie is released and frees them from their prison (also tricking Genie into granting a free wish in the process).
At the very end of the film, Jafar and Iago are trapped in their own lamp and imprisoned in the Cave of Wonders.
Though the Cave of Wonders itself is not seen in The Return of Jafar, we see the area of desert where it is located, as Iago manages to pull himself and Jafar's lamp out of the Cave.
As Abis Mal and his thieves are returning to their lair after stealing gold, a statue of the tiger god of the Cave of Wonders is seen in the lair.
In the series House of Mouse, the Cave seems to be transportation for Jafar and Iago.
In the live nighttime spectacular, the cave is summoned by Jafar in an attempt to kill Mickey Mouse during Mickey's imprisonment. Inside the cave, Jafar transforms into a snake and attempts to eat Mickey. Mickey then finds the lamp who he believes is Genie's, but the lamps ends up transforming Jafar into a genie.
The Cave of Wonders appears as a background in the Aladdin sequence's reindition of A Whole New World.
The Cave of Wonders serves as a gateway into the Explore Zone, which is home to the Aladdin Virtual Magic Carpet attraction.
The Cave of Wonders is a location in both versions of the attraction, though the Tiger Head only appears in the Disneyland Paris version as the Disneyland incarnation was merely a retrofit of a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs based cavern.
In both versions of the Aladdin video game, the Cave of Wonders is featured as a level.
The Cave makes an appearance as a location within the Agrabah world, and is fought as a boss in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts coded. In the first game, Sora, Aladdin, Donald, and Goofy fight it after it was taken over by the Heartless and tried to destroy them. Once they destroy the dark power's source, which is located in his eyes (reached by climbing up its neck or by leaping onto its face when it's buried in the dirt), the guardian returns to being an entrance to the Cave of Wonders, and continues to be so throughout the series. The tiger reacts neither to their entrance into the cave nor touching the treasure within the cave.
Jasmine and the game's protagonist visited the cave in search of Abu and treasure.
- A similar cat-shaped cave appears to serve as the entrance to Hell at the start of Pluto's nightmare in "Pluto's Judgement Day".
- Oddly, in most of its appearances, the Cave retains its dark blue color regardless of the time of day.