Everything You Need To Know About Jungle Cruise

Our Skipper telling us jokes as we ride along the Jungle River Cruise. One of the things you can see is the Boats and Baits service center in the Amazon Rainforest visited by Skipper Frank Wolff.
Our Skipper telling us jokes as we ride along the Jungle River Cruise. One of the things you can see is the Boats and Baits service center in the Amazon Rainforest visited by Skipper Frank Wolff.
Our Skipper telling us jokes as we ride along the Jungle River Cruise. One of the things you can see is the Boats and Baits service center in the Amazon Rainforest visited by Skipper Frank Wolff.
  • Save
Our Skipper telling us jokes as we ride along the Jungle River Cruise. One of the things you can see is the Boats and Baits service center in the Amazon Rainforest visited by Skipper Frank Wolff. (Photo by Bayley Clark for magicalguides.com)

In all of the trips we taken to Disney World, I had never been on the Jungle Cruise ride until last year. Now I have ridden it several times and I can’t get enough of this corny and fun ride in Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Jungle Cruise is one of the most under rated theme park attractions at Walt Disney World. Hop on board a Jungle Cruise Boat and let your Jungle Cruise Skipper entertain you with corny jokes as you cruise along the Jungle River Cruise.

The boat ride doesn’t typically have long waits for most of the year. There can be long lines at Christmas Time when the ride becomes Jingle Cruise for the holidays.

How Long Is The Jungle Cruise Ride At Disney World?

You will hop aboard your river-named boat (like the “Amazon Annie” or “Kwango Kate”) captained by an experienced skipper. Embark on a “two week” (approximately 12 minute) journey through the rivers of the world. 

The experience is aboard a floating vessel not a precisely timed track. It sometimes takes a little bit longer or shorter depending on any backups that you might experience while out in the jungle. If the ride is taking extra long to unload, that’s not a bad thing, since that means you just get more clever jokes from your boat skipper! 

R.V. Laust Surveying & Cartography was added to the Jingle Cruise attraction in 2022. (Photo by Bayley Clark for Magicalguides.com)
  • Save
R.V. Laust Surveying & Cartography was added to the Jingle Cruise attraction in 2022. (Photo by Bayley Clark for Magicalguides.com)

Some of my best experiences on the ride have been while stuck waiting to unload. The skipper keeps the whole boat entertained throughout the duration of the ride. When skippers have time to go off script and into their own catalog of jokes, some skippers can give a truly unforgettable experience!

During the ride, you’ll travel through all the major rivers across the world. The ride starts out in the Amazon river of South America. You will travel through the Nile river and African belt full of giraffes, zebras, and lions. Glide through the Congo river and ending in the Mekong. 

As you travel, you’ll float by plenty of animals making all sorts of trouble in various show scenes. See Hippos trying to knock over the boat and snakes and tigers keeping a watchful eye on you as you pass. The ride highlight is traveling behind a waterfall to see the amazing “back side of water”. 

What Land Is Jungle Cruise In Magic Kingdom?

The Jungle Cruise attraction is tucked away in the bottom section of Adventureland. It is sometimes skipped over by unwitting guests who aren’t keeping an eye out while traversing the park. The queue is located down a small hill near the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, a bit past the exit to the Swiss Family Treehouse. The ride definitely embodies the spirit of Adventureland. It offers both exciting encounters and mysterious jungle views.

Though the Jungle Cruise is a boat ride, you will not get wet. You will see many animatronic animals though.
  • Save
Some of the animals you can see on the Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom. The Giraffes are my favorite! (Photo by Bayley Clark for magicalguides.com)

After entering the park from Main Street, USA, you can simply follow the path all the way to the left to enter Adventureland. Stay as far as you can to the left to eventually enter the queue area for the ride. 

Other guests begin their mornings in Fantasyland to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. You could start with the Jungle Cruise and the other Adventureland rides to get a lot done in very little time! Since most guests are done with the park early, you can always come back and ride at night, when wait times are sure to be low.

Is Jungle Cruise Ride Scary For Kids?

The Jungle Cruise isn’t meant to be a scary ride. Some particularly timid kids may be a bit spooked by the part of the ride which takes guests through a dark temple. The ride is full of animatronic animals up to all sorts of mischief. Given the fact that the ride is full of punny jokes from your skipper, it’s unlikely that kids will get too scared.

Explorers trying to get away from the Rhino and other animals chasing them.
  • Save
Explorers trying to get away from the Rhino and other animals chasing them. (Photo By Bayley Clark for magicalguides.com)

If riding during the nighttime, kids may be a little more prone to be spooked by the animatronics surrounding the boat. Hippos in the water are a lot scarier if you can’t seem them coming, after all. The entire ride is not very scary and scariness should only be a concern for parents with particularly jumpy kids. 

All in all, it’s less scary than other dark rides like the nearby Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction or Haunted Mansion. The whole family should have no problem all riding together!

Why Was “Trader Sam” Removed From The Jungle Cruise Ride?

Trader Sam, known as the “head salesman” of the Jungle Cruise, was recently removed from the ride as a series of updates were made. He used to be present at the end of the ride in Trader Sam’s Gift Shop, holding a trio of shrunken heads, offering to sell them to guests as they passed. 

Another Elephant you can see on the Jungle Cruise attraction in Magic Kingdom.
  • Save
Another Elephant you can see on the Jungle Cruise attraction in Magic Kingdom. (Photo by Magicalguides.com)

The joke was that he was running a sale, “three of his heads for just one of yours.” So then “any way you slice or dice it, you’d be sure to come out ahead”. Despite being a bit creepy and sinister, his smiling face and the skipper’s jokes always created a sense of silliness and fun, at least to me. This scene now features a group of monkeys making mischief and taking pictures of guests as they pass by.

These changes were part of Disney’s push more what they deem more inclusive experiences. Though many guests were sad to see the iconic character removed from the attraction. The logic is that the ride is a misrepresentation of indigenous peoples culture. It needed to be changed to ensure positive representation of those cultures. 

The same group of Disney executives who labeled Trader Sam and other components of the attraction objectionable are responsible for the changes in other classic rides. Ride changes like the Redhead animatronic in Pirates of the Caribbean, the re-theme of Splash Mountain in Frontierland, and upcoming changes to the Country Bear Jamboree were the same people. 

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto bar at the Polynesian Village Resort still lives on, but his direct presence in the ride no longer exists. I highly recommend you experience this kid friendly bar at least once. The cast members make Trader Sam’s Grogs Grotto very interactive and fun and is still one of my favorite things to do on Disney property.

Do You Get Wet On The Jungle Cruise Ride At Magic Kingdom?

Elephant babies playing in the water on the Jungle Cruise Ride in Magic Kingdom.
  • Save
Elephant babies playing in the water on the Jungle Cruise Ride in Magic Kingdom. Though the Jungle Cruise is a boat ride, you will not get wet. You will see many animatronic animals though.(Photo by Bayley Clark for magicalguides.com)

Despite jokes about getting wet, riders will always remain dry during the ride on the Jungle Cruise. Elephants might aim their trunks at the boat, but they are “well trained” not to spray guests. In Magic Kingdom, the only way to get wet is from a splash of a cannonball on Pirates of the Caribbean or from the drop on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. If you’re looking to get soaked, try Kali River Rapids in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Walkthrough of the Jungle Cruise ride in Magic Kingdom. Check out the jokes and the ride before you go!

What Is The Jungle Cruise Ride At Disney Based On?

The Jungle Cruise ride is based on Walt Disney and other original Disney Imagineer’s ideas to create an exotic boat cruise. Initially, Walt wanted to have real animals on the cruise. Exploration, of this concept led to the conclusion that live animals would be too difficult. It would be difficult to keep animals within the view of guests for a consistent ride experience. 

The team drew inspiration from the idea, and came up with the concept of using animatronics to represent the animals. With that change, the focus of the ride shifted from exciting real-life encounters and education to a more silly and fun adventure!

The original Jungle Cruise ride was built and opened with the Disneyland park in 1955. Most other Disney parks across the world now have their own version of the ride including Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.

The ride incorporates a rich history of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. This is a common story elements tying the Disney parks across the world together.

If you’re more interested in the topic, try dining at the Skipper’s Canteen in Adventureland. You can find out more about the society and have more Jungle Cruise-themed fun while you eat. Albert Falls, whom the waterfall on the ride is named after, and his daughter Alberta Falls, have many references throughout the ride queue and restaurant.

Jungle Navigation Co LTD. Skipper Canteen World Famous Jungle Cuisine. My personal favorite Magic Kingdom Restaurant that is highly underrated.
  • Save
Skipper Canteen is an underrated restaurant in Magic Kingdom that is one of our favorites.

Is Jungle Cruise Worth The Wait?

Some people view the Jungle Cruise as a must-do ride while visiting Walt Disney World. Despite its fairly high capacity for guests, it can have long wait times throughout the day. That makes it a great option to use a Genie+ Lightning Lane for. It’s a good option, but not a popular attraction that makes grabbing a reservation time too difficult. Lightning Lanes are a great way to skip those  long lines in the Disney Theme Parks.

If you can visit early in the morning or late at night, you’re a lot less likely to experience high wait times. Even if you do have to wait, the Jungle Cruise Skippers will periodically entertain you will funny messages through their intercom system. The queue experience also has periodic automated messages which will also keep you entertained throughout your wait.

Lion animatronics on the Jungle Cruise ride in Magic Kingdom. (Photo by Bayley Clark for magicalguides.com)
  • Save
Lion animatronics on the Jungle Cruise ride in Magic Kingdom. (Photo by Bayley Clark for magicalguides.com)

All in all, it is a great attraction and deserves the long wait times it receives, but it is up to you to decide if you are willing to spend the time waiting in line during the afternoon when waits often exceed an hour. Dads everywhere are sure to love the Jungle Cruise, since many of the jokes are puns they would love to come up with.

Is Jungle Cruise Lit Up At Night?

The Jungle Cruise feels like a completely different experience at night. The ride features strategic lighting to brighten up the scenes throughout the ride, but it feels a lot different than a ride during the day. 

The skipper’s jokes will still be the same, the brightness level of the outside scenes will just be turned down a bit. If it’s your first time experiencing the attraction, it might be a good idea to try to ride during the day, where you can get a better look at everything that’s going on throughout the ride. 

However, if you have experienced the ride at least once, going at night is definitely a must-do. It makes the entire ride a bit more believable and encompassing, since smaller details that make the animatronics less life-like are hidden by the darkness.

During the holiday season, the Jungle Cruise transforms into the Jingle Cruise! The jokes completely change, and the ride features a few Christmas lights and decor in the sets. Overall, the ride is still similar to what it was before, but it’s a nice change of pace to encourage guests to embrace the spirit of the season. 

The holiday-overlay is the only ride change in all of Walt Disney World, and starts in the middle of November before ending at the start of the new year. If you’re a regular visitor looking to experience the normal Jungle Cruise, don’t worry – the holiday overlay changes the jokes a little bit, but the ride is still the same experience.

Is The Jungle Cruise Movie Like The Ride?

The classic movie Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, is completely inspired by the ride, as were the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean movies! The Jungle Cruise movie is loosely based on the ride, and therefore contains a few Easter Eggs to scenes in the ride, but doesn’t share the same story. 

Overall, the only things that are really similar are the fact that you’re traveling through the rivers of Asia and Africa on a boat. If you are a fan of the movie, you can imagine that your skipper is The Rock and you’re aboard his boat.

Both the Jungle Cruise Movie and Jungle Cruise Attraction were based off the movie “African Queen” from 1951 featuring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.

Is The Jungle Cruise Accessible?

Anyone and everyone in your family can ride the Jungle Cruise despite and mobility limitations they have. Though most riders will be asked to step down into the boat and sit for the duration of the ride, certain boats are equipped with seating for guests who cannot transfer from their ECV or wheelchair. This means that everyone is always welcome to ride!

Guests with hearing disabilities can make use of multiple options Disney offers to ensure everyone has a great experience in the parks. Assistive listening devices that amplify sounds are available daily at all of the parks, and sign language interpreters are available during specific days of the week at each park to ensure guests can experience the rides in the same way. For Magic Kingdom, those days are Monday and Thursday.

Everything you need to know about Jungle Cruise at Disney's Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Disney World Ride Guide. Also known as Jingle Cruise.
  • Save

Jungle Cruise or Jingle Cruise are both Disney attractions you should add to your must do list for your next Walt Disney World Vacation. It’s a great ride for Early Entry (Rope Drop) or for a Genie+ Lightning Lane. Other popular lightning lane rides are Peter Pan’s Flight and Space Mountain.

Will you include Jungle Cruise or Jingle Cruise on your next trip? Let us know below!

  • Save

Leave the first comment

Subscribe to Magical Guides!
Get updates on the latest posts and more from Magical Guides straight to your inbox.
Share via
Copy link