There are many attractions at Walt Disney World that are classics, what I like to call the OG’s of Magic Kingdom. The Jungle Cruise is one of those attractions. The original Jungle Cruise opened in Disneyland in 1955 and then was one of the first attractions at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom when it opened in 1971. It also made it’s journey over to Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland. The attraction simulates a riverboat cruise down several major rivers of Asia, Africa and South America. We have boarded the Jungle Cruise many times on stream, making our wway down the river aboard a replica tramp steamers from a 1930s British explorers’ lodge and are taken on a voyage past many different Audio-Animatronic jungle animals. Unmistakably, the tour is led by a live Disney Cast Member or “Skipper’ who is always incredible at delivering humorous narration. This narration is based on a written and practiced script, but generally is largely delivered ad-lib which I believe is the best part of the attraction.
Now, Disney has decided to give this OG attraction a new journey and adventure. According to Disney Parks Blog, it will include “new adventures that stay true to the experience we know and love – more humor, wildlife and skipper heart – and also reflect and value the diversity of the world around us. Continuing a tradition that Walt Disney started more than six decades ago when he first enhanced the Jungle Cruise, the new creative concept for our river’s journey will be original to Walt Disney Imagineering, just like the attraction itself.”
Here’s a first look at some of the “gnu” magic they are adding:
As Walt Disney himself said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” I love the Jungle Cruise and have since I first started coming to Walt Disney World as a kid. It holds a special place in my heart and my first feeling upon hearing this news was that I was going to be having to say goodbye. But, just like Walt said, we need to keep moving forward, and that is what the Imagineers are always doing. Walt Disney was a visionary, an absolute creator and a boundary breaker. He did things that people could not understand and because of that they criticized and sometimes even wrote him off. Thank goodness he never took it to heart and just kept “moving forward” making the ‘impossible, possible’.
In that same creative path, Imagineers are excited to invite current Jungle Cruise skippers at Disneyland park and Magic Kingdom park to a Jungle Navigation Company Roll Call, where they will be among the first to hear more about the new adventures and wonders coming down the river. Recently, Imagineers had the chance to provide a sneak peek to a few skippers at Magic Kingdom park – check out the Walt Disney World Ambassador team on Instagram, @WDW.Ambassador, to see additional reactions, and stay tuned for more details about the enhancements in store for the Jungle Cruise, coming later this year.
Are you excited about the new additions and revisions to the Jungle Cruise attractions? What would you like to see them take out or add? Are there are attractions that you would like to see “updated”? Let me know in the comments and be sure to follow on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook so you don’t miss out on any news and updates from the parks.
Disney Parks Blog; Spokesmayne; Wikipedia