The Jungle Cruise is a classic Adventureland attraction located in the Magic Kingdom. You may have heard the news that the attraction is going to be undergoing some updates during 2021 in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. These new updates will welcome new characters, show scenes, and some adjustments to the current storyline. Let’s take a look at what we can expect in the next year for the Jungle Cruise, as well as some fun facts about this family-friendly attraction.
Upcoming Changes to the Jungle Cruise for 2021
Disney is always adjusting their attractions and shows to offer guests the best experience possible. The Jungle Cruise will be undergoing some major changes in 2021, and it’s something that’s received a mixed reception from Disney fans. The changes to the attraction hope to add more wildlife, humor, and fun to the ride while also striving to make the Jungle Cruise more reflective of the diversity in our world. Disney is taking a phased approach to this project, and the great news is that the attraction will remain open in the Magic Kingdom throughout the work. You would be surprised by the amount of change that can be achieved in just a night or a day or two, and it’s expected that the changes will be smaller ones rather than a complete rebuilding of the current attraction.
One of the biggest changes we can expect to see in the attraction is the removal of the head salesman, Trader Sam. At the current time, his previous spot remains empty, and no replacement has been put in his place. Instead, artwork has been released for a replacement final scene to the attraction, where we will see Trader Sam’s gift shop recycling lost and found items to make a quick buck. Expect the classic humor associated with the Jungle Cruise to be present throughout this scene and all of the changes made to the attraction.
To tease the changes to the attraction, Imagineering released The Daily Gnus, with a 1938 issue of a newspaper showcasing new characters. It shares a few pieces of information about the backstory of the ride, which has been expanded to include more about Alberta Falls, who is the granddaughter of the proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd. Many new characters are going to be introduced, including Victoria Marie Falls, Dr. Leonard Moss, and Rosa Soto. For Disney fans around the world, they’ll be excited to learn there are also connections to the S.E.A., which began two decades ago at Tokyo DisneySea.
Fun Facts About the Jungle Cruise
While we can’t wait to see the updated version of the Jungle Cruise this year, there’s so much to enjoy when riding this attraction already. Let’s take a look at some fun facts about this classic attraction. The next time you ride, keep your eyes peeled for some of these hidden treasures.
1. The Inspiration for the Scenes
Walt Disney produced a film series back in the 1960s, entitled the True-Life Adventure series. The scenes in the Jungle Cruise were designed to match scenes from this series. Each scene within the attraction matches a specific frame or moment within the film and offers riders and cast members a connection to Walt Disney each time they ride.
2. The Jungle Cruise Jokes
When you ride the Jungle Cruise today, you can expect dozens of witty puns and jokes throughout your ride. In fact, that’s one of the expectations now when you meet your skipper. However, the original ride was actually designed to be more of a serious and educational tour of the Nile. The ride was later reimagined, and at that point, the hilarious jokes we enjoy today were added into the script and story.
3. The Attraction’s Airplane
One of the stand-out props in the ride is the airplane, and believe it or not, it’s actually a real plane. If you remember the classic Disney’s Hollywood Studios ride, The Great Movie Ride, you might remember there was a plane during the Casablanca scene. Well, that ride actually took the front half of the plane, and the back half was left for the Jungle Cruise. It was a great way for the company to use a real plane in the attractions without the expense of purchasing two of them.
4. Real Animals Were Considered for the Attraction
The original Disneyland attraction was an opening-day attraction for the park. When Walt Disney was creating the Jungle Cruise, he originally thought about adding real animals to the ride. However, the type of animals that the ride would be best suited to would be nocturnal animals, which would make a very boring ride for guests. Instead, Walt and his team opted to add animatronic animals so that there was something to keep their guests entertained throughout the journey.
5. The Dirty Water
When you sail through the Jungle Cruise, you might be wondering how the water became so grubby. While it might look like dirty lake water, in fact, the water is actually crystal clear and is just dyed brown for the attraction. This helps to hide the tracks the boats sail along and creates a more natural and jungle-like appearance. It’s all part of the theming of the ride and allows guests to believe they are heading off into the jungle like real explorers would do.
The Jungle Cruise is a classic Disney attraction, and it’s one of the many attractions which Walt Disney himself worked on during his life. The upcoming refurbishment to the ride this year is something we are excited to follow throughout the changes. The Jungle Cruise wouldn’t be the ride it is today without its slapstick humor and the animatronic animals, so it’s crazy to think the ride nearly didn’t have either of these elements. The next time you are visiting the Magic Kingdom, keep an eye out for all of the changes and fun facts we’ve shared with you today while you enjoy exploring the jungle with your skipper.