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The History and Evolution of the Disney’s Jungle Cruise
Since it opened in Disneyland Park in July of 1955, Jungle Cruise has become one of the most iconic attractions in Disney’s theme park catalogue. Everything from the distinctive ride vehicles, comical tableaus, animatronic animals, and even the purposely over-the-top skipper spiel have become iconic elements of the Disney theme park experience, explaining why the Jungle Cruise has been cloned to nearly every Disney resort around the world.
However, despite its beloved stature, the attraction has met its fair share of controversy over the years, which has led to numerous changes, including a major refurbishment in 2021 .
To analyze this attraction’s controversial history, we must first look at its origins, years before Disneyland was constructed.
The origins of the Jungle Cruise can be traced back to the late 1940s, when Walt Disney Pictures began production on their True-Life Adventures series. Beginning with Seal Island in 1948, these somewhat staged wildlife documentaries followed various groups of animals in their natural habitats. The series was so successful with movie-goers and critics that it eventually evolved from two-reel shorts to full-length documentary films that quickly became a cornerstone of Walt Disney Studios.
Guests would view the animals from skipper-guided ride-vehicles modeled after the titular boat from the 1951 hit film The African Queen, while traveling through a jungle designed by Disneyland landscape extraordinaire Bill Evans.
Welcome to the Jungle
Jungle Cruise opened with the rest of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. However, a modern guest would be hard-pressed to recognize much of the attraction. Sure they would be familiar with Goff’s general concept, and if they squinted they could imagine how the rather light jungle Evans planted would grow into the lush greenery seen today, but many iconic elements of the attraction would be absent. There was no ad-libbed humor from the skippers, who played the entire experience straight. In fact, there was no humor period.
The Jungle Cruise, like Disneyland overall, was a massive success upon its opening, quickly becoming an integral part of American pop culture. However, as the park’s first decade came to a close, Walt Disney felt his park needed some new blood. According to legend, he once overheard a child ask his mother to ride the Jungle Cruise and was aghast when the mother responded that they’d ridden it last time and didn’t need to again. Whether this story is apocryphal or not, in the early 1960s Walt brought over animator Marc Davis from the Studios to “plus up” some of Disneyland’s attractions.
One of the first attractions Davis – who would go on to become one of the company’s most influential Imagineers – worked on was Jungle Cruise. A visual comedian by nature, Davis decided to liven up the attraction by adding the playful elephant pool and comical trapped safari sequences.
These comedic elements in-turn influenced the ride’s skipper narration, which became more and more comical over the years. Davis’ changes led to the attraction becoming even more popular.
Disney World’s Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise’s status as one of Disney’s premier attractions was further solidified when a version of the ride opened with Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom in 1971.
The Orlando version of the ride was similar to its Anaheim counterpart, though not a direct clone, and served the same purpose as the anchor attraction of the park’s Adventureland section.
Jungle Cruise International
A near-direct clone of the Magic Kingdom version of the attraction opened with Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, but when Disneyland Paris, then known as EuroDisney, opened in 1992, the park became the first “castle park” not to feature a Jungle Cruise on opening day. This was due partially to the cold French climate not being hospitable to water rides and partially because there were several knockoff Jungle Cruises already built at various French amusement parks.
Disneyland Levels Up
While these alternate versions of the Jungle Cruise were being built around the world, the Disneyland original continued to be “plussed” over the years. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, various new animals and show-scenes were added to the attraction. The biggest changes up to that point came in 1994, when the attraction was rerouted and shortened to make room for the then-upcoming Indiana Jones Adventure attraction. In addition, the ride (and the entirety of Adventureland) were rethemed to be set in the 1930s to tie into Indy.
While these changes were substantial, they were nothing compared to the original plans , which were going to see a portion of the Jungle Cruise take place inside the Indiana Jones show building, as part of a plan to build a massive complex that would house four attractions.
Following these mid-90s refurbishments, the Jungle Cruise continued to be one of Disney’s marquee attractions. As a testament to said importance, in 2013, both American versions of the attraction were given a holiday overlay and temporarily renamed The Jingle Cruise.
The overlay was so successful that it was greatly expanded for 2014, and remained in both parks through 2016. For reasons unknown, Disneyland dropped The Jingle Cruise from its Holiday offerings in 2017, though the overlay remains a Magic Kingdom staple to this day.
Controversy in the Jungle
Despite Jungle Cruise’s ongoing popularity, in recent decades the attraction has become controversial due to its purported negative depictions of native people, specifically the “headhunter” party as well as the Trader Sam “head salesman” character.
In January 2021, Disney announced that it would be making significant story changes to the Jungle Cruise at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World to alleviate these issues. Carmen Smith, creative development and inclusion strategies executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, explained the changes in a statement to the Los Angeles Times , saying:
As Imagineers, it is our responsibility to ensure experiences we create and stories we share reflect the voices and perspectives of the world around us. With Jungle Cruise, we’re bringing to life more of what people love – the humor and wit of our incredible skippers — while making needed updates.
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger added , “The exciting changes we’re making to one of Disney’s most popular classic attractions, Jungle Cruise, reflect our commitment to creating unparalleled experiences that reflect, not only the best in storytelling, but also the values and rich diversity of our world.”
As part of these announcements, Disney made it clear that these changes to the attraction were not going to be related to the upcoming film based on the attraction.
Said film, simply titled Jungle Cruise , was released in July of 2021. The film starred Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti and was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. It was such a hit, a sequel is already in the works.
How do you feel about the upcoming changes to the Jungle Cruise? Do you agree that they’ve been years in the making? Beyond that, how do you feel about the attraction overall? Let us know in the comments below.
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2021, Adventure/Action, 2h 7m
What to know
Its craft isn't quite as sturdy as some of the classic adventures it's indebted to, but Jungle Cruise remains a fun, family-friendly voyage. Read critic reviews
Funny, full of action, and an all-around good time, Jungle Cruise is a ride well worth taking. Read audience reviews
Where to watch Jungle Cruise
Watch Jungle Cruise with a subscription on Disney+, rent on Vudu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, or buy on Vudu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video.
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Jungle cruise videos, jungle cruise photos.
Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE, a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank's questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila--his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities--possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate--and mankind's--hangs in the balance.
Rating: PG-13 (Adventure Violence)
Genre: Adventure, Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Original Language: English
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Producer: John Davis , John Fox , Beau Flynn , Dwayne Johnson , Dany Garcia , Hiram Garcia
Writer: Michael Green , Glenn Ficarra , John Requa
Release Date (Theaters): Jul 30, 2021 wide
Release Date (Streaming): Aug 31, 2021
Box Office (Gross USA): $117.0M
Runtime: 2h 7m
Distributor: Walt Disney
Production Co: Flynn Picture Company, Walt Disney Pictures, Seven Bucks Productions, Davis Entertainment, TSG Entertainment
Sound Mix: Dolby Atmos
Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)
Cast & Crew
Sir James Hobbs-Coddington
Douglas C. Merrifield
James Newton Howard
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Critic Reviews for Jungle Cruise
Audience reviews for jungle cruise.
Silly but enjoyable. Sort of dual remake of both "The Mummy" (1999) and the first "Pirates of the Caribbean".
Disney film that is enough to watch with the family and friends, but offers little return value. Between all the remakes of animated classics, Disney lacks a focus on new and fresh ideas. Jungle Cruise may not be the step in the right direction but it demonstrates they are still willing to take a risk. Blunt is well cast and she is rarely miscast, but it's Johnson who feels out of his element. The film is a mess of special effects mixed together with Pirates of the Caribbean. It's an odd choice the filmmaker and writers made for this mega budgeted film. I just don't understand why they make these films so massive and risk not turning a profit. This should've been a more character focused film with a splash of big adventure. I have heard they are planning a sequel, but I thought they closed this off well enough to avoid a sequel.
A great adventure film and while it is reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the Mummy, it has some original twists and the humor makes the film. Blunt and Johnson are great and Plemmons looks like he is seventh heaven chewing up the scenery!. Well Directed and written. Enjoyable from beginning to end. 09-06-2021
Disney turned a theme park ride that mostly involved sitting into a billion-dollar supernatural adventure franchise, so why not try another swing at reshaping its existing park properties into would-be blockbuster tentpoles? Jungle Cruise owes a lot to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and actually owes a little too much for its own good. For the first half of the movie, it coasts on the charms of stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt and some light-footed visual misadventures. Then the second half turn involves a significant personal revelation, and that's where the movie felt like it was being folded and crushed into form to closely resemble the Pirates franchise. It gets quite convoluted and littered with lackluster villains, too many and too stock to ever establish as intriguing or memorable (one of them is a man made of honey, so that's a thing). I found myself also pulling away in the second half because of the inevitable romance. Their screwball combative banter between Johnson and Blunt gave me some smiles and entertainment and then, as they warm to one another, it sadly dissipated, as did my interest. The comedy is really labored at points. Johnson keeps referring to Blunt as "Pants" because she's a woman and she wears pants in the twentieth century. It was not funny the first time and it's not funny or endearing after the 80th rendition. The supernatural elements and curses feel extraneous and tacked on. With the Pirates films, at least the good ones, there are a lot of plot elements they need to keep in the air and you assume they're be able to land them as needed. The competing character goals were so well established and developed in those movies and served as an anchor even amid the chaos of plot complications and double and triple crosses. With Jungle Cruise, it feels like a lot of effort but also a lot of dropped or mishandled story and thematic elements. This feels more creatively by committee and the heavily green screen action is harder to fully immerse with. As a wacky adventure serial, there may be enough to keep a viewer casually entertained, but Jungle Cruise feels too beholden to the Pirates formula without bringing anything exciting or fresh on its own imagination merits. Nate's Grade: C
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Five Things to Know About the Jungle Cruise
Every trip to Walt Disney World should include a couple classic attractions. Peter Pan, it’s a small world, and of course, the Jungle Cruise. If you’re a first-timer to WDW, you’ll want to be sure to add the Jungle Cruise to your itinerary – you won’t be sorry you did! And if you’ve ridden before, you already know why you need to sail again. Here are five things you should know about this classic pun-tastic ride – including why you should plan to be sent up the river on your next trip.
1. A river runs through it.
The full name of the attraction was originally the Jungle RIVER Cruise. Because you’re cruising down a river (four rivers actually, but we’ll get to that), not just through the jungle. It still bears that same name at Disneyland Hong Kong. But most of us continue to call it the Jungle Cruise, because who has time these days for an extra two syllables? I shore don’t.
2. You gotta go with the flow.
The original version at Disneyland was inspired by Walt Disney’s True-Life Adventures films and the classic movie, “The African Queen.” When it was first imagined, the attraction was way more serious than today – no jokes or puns at all. Walt wanted it to be more like Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom. He wanted live animals throughout the attraction before learning that wasn’t the best idea. When the Walt Disney World version opened on October 1, 1971, it was an instant hit.
As time passed, the Jungle Cruise became more about the skipper’s pun-filled narration and visual humor of the scenes. The freedom of the skippers to spin their own spiels while sticking loosely to a script means that you’ll never have exactly the same ride twice. And because the ride has been able to retain much of its vintage charm over the years, the Jungle Cruise remains a classic Disney attraction.
In January 2021, Disney made the announcement that the ride would be updated. New characters, new scenes, more humor, and more wildlife would be added. There was a sense that some of the scenes had become dated and out of step with the times. Scenes of the “headhunter” party and the Trader Sam “head salesman” – portraying negative representations of native peoples – would be eliminated. The experience would, as Bob Iger tweeted, “reflect, not only the best in storytelling, but also the values and rich diversity of our world.”
Updates at WDW were completed in August 2021 including:
- a new skipper’s office in the queue
- trapped skippers up the pole menaced by a rhino
- a sunken boat near the hippos
- chimps on the wrecked boat
- and animatronic characters added to Trader Sam’s.
Worth noting: Back in 2013, the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise received one of the park’s first holiday overlays. The “Jingle Cruise” has holiday-themed jokes and Christmas decor courtesy of homesick skippers. This festive overlay is offered during the Disney Christmas season starting in November and ending shortly after New Year’s Day. Our family had a holly jolly time when we experienced it!
In 2015, the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen restaurant opened in Adventureland further expanding the Jungle Cruise’s mythology. Here, the skippers are your servers, and the menu reflects flavors from all the parts of the world featured in the Jungle Cruise, as well as a few of the puns! How a-boat that?
3. You visit four rivers until you “Congo” no further.
As you probably know, the ride is an outdoor boat tour which Disney describes as, “a 10- minute, 10,000-mile journey that you won’t soon forget!” During your ride, you’ll glide through the Amazon in South America, the African Congo, the Egyptian Nile, and the east Asian Mekong River.
Your skipper pilots you safely through “the world’s most treacherous waters,” all the while delivering a pun-filled narration. You’ll come across scene after scene of audio-animatronic wildlife, visit a mysterious temple, and – pay attention here – the eighth wonder of the world! As you pass under the waterfall (insert famous “backside of water” joke here) and a couple of spraying fountains, you may get a little … damp.
4. Waiting can be an “oar-deal,” but you won’t get seasick.
No need to pack your Dramamine; the Jungle Cruise is a gentle, slow-moving boat ride. While there’s a lot of water involved, the depth is never much greater than three feet. We think it’s the perfect family attraction as it truly offers something for everybody. As such, the Jungle Cruise has retained its status as a must-do ride when visiting WDW. Lines can get really long and standby wait times often exceed 60 minutes, especially during the middle of the day.
While the main part of the queue is covered, it’s not enclosed, and those waiting in the extended queue may be exposed to the elements. The mid-day sun can become an issue for some. If you can’t ride Jungle Cruise when Adventureland opens or near closing time, visit a bathroom before you get in line and bring along a refreshing beverage and the SPF of your choice.
Once under cover, you’ll quickly see that the queue itself is one of the most richly themed at WDW. Be sure to read all the signage and take note of all the props. You’ll discover that the visual humor and pun-tastic narration of the Cruise begins before you even board the boat! As they say, “getting there is half the pun” – er, I mean “fun.”
5. The nuts and bolts.
You’ll board your exciting ride from the dock in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom. It’s next to the Swiss Family Treehouse and across from The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Lightning Lanes are available for this ride through Genie+ which can help you avoid the long lines and cut down on your wait.
While the Jungle Cruise boats are covered, certain weather conditions may result in the attraction’s closure.
Each Jungle Cruise boat accommodates around 30 guests. To board, guests must step over a moderate-height wall onto a bench and then down a moderate step. Cast Members usually lend a hand to help guests step from the dock and into the boat, as well as to disembark. Guests may remain in a wheelchair/ECV.
Bench seats line the interior perimeter of the boat with some seating provided in the middle. There are no safety restraints due to the slow-moving nature of these ride vehicles. There are no health and safety advisories for the Jungle Cruise and there is no height requirement to ride.
The bottom line.
The Jungle Cruise is the perfect ride for those who want a classic Disney attraction laced with puns that make even Dad groan. Some say it’s even better at night. Whenever you ride, the Jungle crews will ensure your Jungle Cruise is simply “pun-derful.”
What’s your take on Jungle Cruise? Must-do or skip it? Let us know in the comments.
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Bob Jacobs lives in Wisconsin where he retired as Editorial Director for a well-known catalog company. He and his wife Cristie have four children, seven grandchildren and a cocker spaniel named Penny the Dog. They’ve visited Walt Disney World regularly since 1992.
6 thoughts on “ Five Things to Know About the Jungle Cruise ”
It is helpful to know that this attraction, despite its age, remains quite popular. I recommend it and would suggest further that riders spring for Genie+ Lightning Lanes to book a ride time and avoid a surprisingly long wait.
Thanks for your suggestion. Our last visit, we were in line as the wait times went from 30 to 40 and finally 60 minutes. We were surprised, indeed!
Love Albert AWOL’s background music!
After seeing your comment, I did a little online “research” and read that Albert was replaced by his sister, Skipper Missy, at WDW. But to be totally honest, I have to admit that this past December I don’t even remember hearing ANYTHING as we waited in line. Anybody have any recent info?
I love this attraction at night. I’ve taken it I don’t know how many times but now that I’ve started taking it at night I love it again. Also very handy because getting a lightning lane later in the evening means you can turn a few others before you book it with genie+
Great suggestion! and yes, the nighttime trip is LOTS of fun! Thanks for sharing!
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- Main content
'Jungle Cruise,' starring Dwayne Johnson, is now available to all Disney Plus members without an extra fee
When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
- " Jungle Cruise " is available now on Disney Plus for all members to watch without extra fees.
- The movie is inspired by the popular theme park ride, and stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.
- Disney Plus costs $8 a month or $80 a year.
Disney's " Jungle Cruise " stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in a big-budget adventure based on the popular theme park attraction. The movie is now available for all Disney Plus members to watch with no additional charge.
In "Jungle Cruise," Johnson and Blunt embark on a perilous riverboat journey through the Amazon jungle to find the Tree of Life. The action-adventure movie is inspired by the ride of the same name at Disneyland and Disney's Magic Kingdom.
Earlier this year, Disneyland revealed a new version of its Jungle Cruise ride for theme park visitors to enjoy. The updated attraction no longer includes offensive portrayals of Indigenous people .
Though initially exclusive to Disney Plus, "Jungle Cruise" is also available to purchase through multiple video-on-demand (VOD) retailers, like Amazon Prime Video and Vudu , for $13.
How to watch 'Jungle Cruise' on Disney Plus
" Jungle Cruise " is now available to watch on Disney Plus. Although the movie previously required an extra Premier Access fee, all Disney Plus subscribers can now stream "Jungle Cruise" at no additional cost.
Disney Plus costs $8 a month or $80 a year. The streaming service is home to entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and more.
For viewers who want a wider variety of entertainment options, Disney Plus offers a bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for a discounted rate of $14 a month. The bundle saves you $8 off the regular combined price of all three services.
You can access the Disney Plus app on most smartphones, smart TVs, and media players. You can find a complete list of devices and platforms that support Disney Plus here . "Jungle Cruise" is available to stream in up to 4K with HDR color and contrast on compatible devices.
How to watch 'Jungle Cruise' without Disney Plus
At first, "Jungle Cruise" was exclusively available to stream on Disney Plus , but the movie is now available to purchase via multiple VOD platforms like Prime Video , YouTube , Vudu , Apple TV , and Microsoft .
"Jungle Cruise" costs $13 to buy through VOD retailers. After you purchase "Jungle Cruise," you get unlimited access to watch the movie whenever you want.
You don't need a subscription to Disney Plus or any other service in order to buy "Jungle Cruise" from a VOD retailer. If you have questions about VOD services, take a look at Insider's guide covering the most popular ways to rent movies online .
What other movies can I stream on Disney Plus?
Subscribers looking for more entertainment on Disney Plus will find an extensive catalog of movies from Disney, Pixar , Marvel , Star Wars , and 20th Century Fox.
" Cruella, " " Mulan, " and " Black Widow " were originally offered on Disney Plus for an additional fee, but these movies are now included as part of the standard membership. Fans of animated movies will enjoy " Luca ," a coming-of-age adventure, and " Soul ," a jazz-focused exploration of the afterlife.
Viewers who enjoy Marvel can now stream movies like " Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings " and "Avengers: Endgame" with IMAX's extended aspect ratio that includes up to 26% more picture.
Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals. You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here . Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected] .
Walt Disney's Jungle Cruise, From Dream to Reality
With its charming Audio-Animatronics® and leafy adventures, the Jungle Cruise has long been a fan favorite. How did this attraction come to be?
In 1951—four years before the grand opening of Disneyland—a man named Harper Goff browsed the shelves of Bassett-Lowke, a miniature train store in central London. When a particular antique train took Goff’s eye, he was told that it had been promised to someone else. “I found one,” Goff later remembered, “and the man said ‘There’s a gentleman coming in this evening who’s shown some interest in that…’”
The gentleman in question was Walt Disney. When Walt returned to the store later that day to collect his model train, he struck up a conversation with Goff. “He turned to me and said, ‘I’m Walt Disney. Are you the man that wanted to buy this engine?’ Well, I almost fell over. He asked me what I do for a living, and I told him that I was an artist,” explained Goff. Walt was interested in Goff’s background as an illustrator and set designer, so much so that Walt said, “When you get back to America, come and talk to me.” After Goff returned home, he did just that and began working for The Walt Disney Studios later that year.
Dreaming of Disneyland
As Walt’s plans for an amusement park began to take form, he asked Goff to draw up some ideas. What might this park look like? What would make it stand out? “I liked the idea of working with Walt Disney… he wanted to build something adults could enjoy along with their children,” Goff recalled.
Walt tasked Goff with visiting amusement parks across the country to gather inspiration, but, after those visits, Goff returned home unconvinced. “They were dirty places and it was hard to imagine what Walt had in mind… I said to him… ‘Walt, I don’t think this type of environment is what you want,’ and he replied, ‘Mine will be immaculate and the staff will be young and polite’—then I realized he could do it.” That confidence Walt had—that his own creation would be different from to anything that had come before it—eventually convinced Goff as well.
Most everyone has been impressed by, and curious about, the realism of Adventureland.
Adventureland and the Jungle Cruise
As plans for Disneyland started to take shape, Walt’s team considered building a nature-inspired area on the east side of the park. It was to be named True-Life Adventure Land, after Disney’s popular True-Life Adventures documentary films. But when construction began in 1954, Imagineers decided that the abundance of eucalyptus trees over on the west side of the land would help them to more convincingly create the jungle-inspired environment they had in mind. The lands were reshuffled: the east side became home to Tomorrowland, while True-Life Adventureland was moved to the west side and renamed, simply, Adventureland.
The only Adventureland attraction to exist on opening day in 1955 was the Jungle Cruise , an elaborate river ride where guests sat in small boats that took them on a trip through what Walt called “the waterways of our man-made jungle.” At the time, Walt seemed to view Adventureland as one large attraction of its own. In a 1956 segment for his Disneyland television show, he talked viewers through the appeal of the land: “Ever since Disneyland Park opened, one of the most popular realms has been Adventureland,” he shared. “Most everyone has been impressed by, and curious about, the realism of Adventureland—the lifelike animals, the authentic tropical settings...”
It was these lifelike animals that really grabbed the attention of Adventureland’s guests—the Imagineers had created moving ‘creatures’ that looked and sounded just like the real thing. Originally, Walt had hoped that real-life animals would roam Disneyland’s jungle, but he soon decided that this ambitious approach was not feasible, and asked his team to consider other options. As he later explained, “…to stock Adventureland with live animals was neither safe nor practical, so on paper we began to sketch and design replicas that would be made of plastic and steel, but when in action would be as lifelike as their real counterparts.”
The plastic and steel animals Walt referred to were early examples of Audio-Animatronics® figures. Chris Mueller, sculptor, and Bob Mattey, head of Disney’s Mechanical Effects department, were instrumental in turning artists’ sketches into these physical creatures.
Absurdity in Decorating the Jungle Cruise
“Whenever you try to duplicate nature, you have to work on a grand scale,” Walt explained as he discussed Adventureland in 1956—and he meant it. In 1954, when Walt had decided he wanted to populate Disneyland’s jungle with real, full-size trees, he tasked Harper Goff and horticulturalist brothers Bill and Jack Evans with ‘buying expeditions’ for the landscaping of Jungle Cruise .
“We would call cities to see if they were tearing out trees for improvements and go and buy them—we got many that way,” recalled Goff. “We drove all around in places like Pasadena seeing great big nice trees. We’d go up to people and ask them ‘Any chance you’re tired of that tree? We’ll give you $200 and carry it away!’ Most of these people looked at us like it was some kind of joke…”
One house in Beverly Hills had a tree in its front yard that looked perfect, and, after driving past several times, Goff asked Jack Evans to pull over outside the house. “I thought: what have we got to lose?” Goff later laughed and recalled, “I went in to ask the people if they would consider selling it. I told the owner we would replace it with a flowerbed or anything they wanted, and surprisingly the owner told me ‘yes’—it was blocking the sunlight and view coming through his windows… It was the tree that went around the original Burmese Temple, and we got it for nothing.”
A Disney Classic
How is the Jungle Cruise still entertaining guests more than half a century after it first opened? Perhaps because, as Disney Legend Marty Sklar wrote, “no-one settled for ‘good enough’ in the design phase.” The effort and imagination that Walt and his team poured into Adventureland is ever-present, and additions throughout the years—from Marc Davis’s 1960s scenes and gags, to each Jungle Cruise Skipper’s delightfully corny spiel—have only served to enhance the attraction’s appeal.
Adventureland is true, immersive Disney magic, designed to transport guests to another realm. “As we enter the gates of this tropical settlement,” Walt declared on Disneyland’s opening day, “we leave the everyday world far behind…”
Visit Us and Learn More About Disney’s Amazing History
Originally constructed in 1897 as an Army barracks, our iconic building transformed into The Walt Disney Family Museum more than a century later, and today houses some of the most interesting and fun museum exhibitions in the US. Explore the life story of the man behind the brand—Walt Disney. You’ll love the iconic Golden Gate Bridge views and our interactive exhibitions here in San Francisco. You can learn more about visiting us here.
Sophie Jo is a writer and long-time Disney fan from England. Find her tweeting @sophiejowrites or happy-crying over ' it's a small world .'
- Walt Disney on Jungle Cruise boat, 1955; courtesy of the Walt Disney Archives, Photo Library, © Disney.
- Walt Disney exploring the Jungle Cruise with machinist Louie Francuz, 1964; courtesy of the Walt Disney Archives, Photo Library, © Disney.
- United Airlines Disneyland travel poster, c. 1960; collection of the Walt Disney Family Foundation, © Disney.
*Cited in order of appearance.
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Jungle Cruise (Disney Classic)
By brooke vitale illustrated by paul conrad, part of little golden book, category: children's picture books | children's media tie-in books.
May 25, 2021 | ISBN 9780736440783 | 6-5/8 x 8 --> | 3-7 years | ISBN 9780736440783 --> Buy
May 25, 2021 | ISBN 9780736440790 | 3-7 years | ISBN 9780736440790 --> Buy
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May 25, 2021 | ISBN 9780736440783 | 3-7 years
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About Jungle Cruise (Disney Classic)
This Little Golden Book takes readers through the iconic Disney Parks’ Jungle Cruise attraction! Climb aboard the Jungle Cruise and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime! Featuring terrifying tigers, mysterious ruins, and the eighth wonder of the world, readers can experience Disney Parks’ world-famous Jungle Cruise attraction like never before in this new Little Golden Book, perfect for Disney and Little Golden Book fans of all ages!
Also in Little Golden Book
Also by Brooke Vitale
About Brooke Vitale
Brooke Vitale is a children’s book editor and author. She has written dozens of books, including The Magic Is in You, Disney Who’s Who, Olaf’s Journey, and Happy Birthday, Mickey. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two sons.
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July 30, 2021
Action, Adventure, Comedy
Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney’s Jungle Cruise, a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila—his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities—possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate—and mankind’s—hangs in the balance.
Rated: PG-13 Runtime: 2h 7min Release Date: July 30, 2021
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June 30, 2021
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We can't wait to go on an adventure with emily blunt and dwayne johnson in jungle cruise.
August 26, 2019
Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE, a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton.
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15 Things to Know About 'Jungle Cruise' From Our Visit to the Disney Adventure Movie Set
Who's ready for an adventure?
In Disney's Jungle Cruise , Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt take the helm for a rip-roaring river adventure that goes beyond the banks of a Brazilian port town and into the heart of the Amazon to unearth secrets borne of ancient myth and legend. If that doesn't get you excited, perhaps our report from the Hawaii-based set of the soon-to-open movie will. We've got interviews with the leads, as well as supporting characters played by Jack Whitehall and Paul Giamatti coming your way this week, but to get you all comfy-cozy for your river cruise, we've put all the highlights together in one convenient location for you before the movie opens in theaters and Disney+ Premier Access on July 30th.
Check out the official synopsis to get acquainted, and then dive in to 15 Things to Know about Disney's Jungle Cruise :
Inspired by the famous Disneyland theme park ride, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” is an adventure-filled, rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila—his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities—possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate—and mankind’s—hangs in the balance.
RELATED: Here’s What’s New on Disney+ in July 2021
- Jungle Cruise takes inspiration from the famous Disney Parks' attraction in the same way that Pirates of the Caribbean did, and Disney is hoping for the same level of success with this potentially franchise-launching first movie.
- Part world-tripping adventure, part action-packed quest for the truth behind ancient secrets and legends, Jungle Cruise really starts steaming once Johnson's rough-and-tumble skipper Frank Wolff and Blunt's progressive and independent explorer Lily Houghton meet up in a Brazilian port town.
- The core of the narrative here is definitely the adventure along the Amazon river (and beyond) but the heart of the story is the relationship between the leads.
- Romancing the Stone , Pirates of the Caribbean , and The African Queen were often cited as inspiration for Jungle Cruise .
- Complicating Wolff and Houghton's journey into the unknown is the local businessman Nilo ( Paul Giamatti ) who wants to run Wolff out of business to control everything in the town, as well as the more worldly antagonist Prince Joachim ( Jesse Plemons ), who is as well-connected as he is devious and deceitful.
- Wolff and Houghton aren't alone in their journey; they'll have the somewhat stuffy but charming McGregor Houghton ( Jack Whitehall ), Lily's brother, by their side, along with some unexpected allies.
- McGregor, a very proper British gentleman, has quite the wardrobe in this movie. Whitehall has somewhere on the order of 10 costume changes, which is more befitting a leading lady in classic Hollywood productions than a supporting male character. (He had a team tasked with following him around to keep his all-white three-piece suit crisp and clean in between takes on the muddy jungle set.) Jungle Cruise plays this up quite comedically, especially when McGregor and Wolff first meet aboard the skipper's rickety steamer ship, La Quila. As Whitehall himself said of the character, "McGregor might just be the worst person that you could have in this environment."
- McGregor also acts as the voice of reason, a counterpoint to his headstrong sister Lily.
- Whitehall's mother, Hilary Gish , read lines with him for his audition tape, playing the part of both Blunt and Johnson's characters. We're told the footage of this exists somewhere, but we have yet to see it (and would love to.) Meanwhile, Whitehall and his father Michael can be seen together in Netflix's Travels With My Father .
- During our set visit, Whitehall had to act opposite an actor in a leotard performing as a jaguar which was terrorizing the tavern. Whitehall has worked opposite real animals before, such as some rather rude horses in The Nutcracker , but on this occasion he remarked, "It's so good that this is not a real jaguar."
- The early villain of the piece, Nilo, is a well-appointed but severely sunburned businessman, played with plenty of personality by Giamatti, who had quite a bit of latitude when it came to shaping his character.
- The "really wacky" script, as Giamatti said, called for Nilo to have an animal friend in the movie. Originally this was intended to be a monkey, which can be found throughout the port town's market, but eventually they went with a cockatoo named Lover -- named Rosita in the film itself -- for the final shoot. Giamatti's rapport with Lover ended up getting the bird more time in the spotlight and even a few more lines in the script.
- While Nilo will antagonize our heroes in the first section of the movie, he's not the Big Bad of Jungle Cruise . Knowing that, Giamatti wanted to make him a little goofier, a little funnier, and a little more cartoonish.
- Johnson in particular did a lot of research into the iconic ride for this movie, including spending time with the Imagineers in the Disney Vault. He and the whole team are quite proud of the movie, especially since the adventure ride was so important to Walt Disney, who was the attraction's first skipper when Walt Disney World first opened.
- Roughly the first half hour of Jungle Cruise takes place on the Hawaii-based stand-in set for the Brazilian port town, where our set visit took place. The hotel, the market, the tavern, and all the boats and boathouses along the docks were practical creations for the set, and they're all phenomenal. If they had been left standing, they would have been quite the adventurous attraction for tourists to explore. Sadly, these sets were dismantled when the production moved to Atlanta in order to explore more of the magic and mythology (and "Adventureland" Easter eggs) that can be found in the remainder of Jungle Cruise .
Jungle Cruise opens in theaters and Disney+ Premier Access on July 30th.
KEEP READING: New Trailer for Disney's 'Jungle Cruise' Has Strong 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Vibes
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Based on Disneyland's theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element. Based on Disneyland's theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element. Based on Disneyland's theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element.
- Jaume Collet-Serra
- Michael Green
- Glenn Ficarra
- Dwayne Johnson
- Emily Blunt
- Edgar Ramírez
- 1.3K User reviews
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- 50 Metascore
- 5 wins & 9 nominations
- Frank Wolff
- Lily Houghton
- MacGregor Houghton
- Prince Joachim
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- Sir James Hobbs-Coddington
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Dwayne Johnson & Emily Blunt Answer Burning Questions
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- Trivia Many of the puns Frank uses are taken directly from the Disney Parks attraction on which the movie is based. These "so bad they're good" jokes are one of the reasons why Jungle Cruise skippers are so important to the ride experience.
- Goofs Prince Joachim knows where the trapped Spanish are located. There was no record of this because only Skipper knew where he trapped them.
Frank Wolff : If you're lucky enough to have one person in this life to care about, then that's world enough for me.
- Crazy credits The bay in the Disney logo is seen to have the water glowing purple, and after the Disney logo fully appears the camera dives into the water and leads to the Tree of Life, which opens the film.
- Connections Featured in AniMat's Crazy Cartoon Cast: D23 Expo 2019 Extravaganza (2019)
- Soundtracks Nothing Else Matters Reimagined by Metallica and James Newton Howard With featured performances by James Hetfield , Lars Ulrich , Kirk Hammett , Robert Trujillo Written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich Associate Producer and Engineer Greg Fidelman
User reviews 1.3K
- Jul 30, 2021
- Will 'Weird Al' Yankovic's song 'Skipper Dan' about Disney's Jungle Cruise ride be featured in this movie?
- July 30, 2021 (United States)
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- Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA
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- Flynn Picture Company
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- $200,000,000 (estimated)
- Aug 1, 2021
- Runtime 2 hours 7 minutes
- Dolby Atmos
- IMAX 6-Track
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Jungle Cruise (Disney Classic) (Little Golden Book) Kindle Edition
- Hardcover $5.99 15 Used from $2.99 23 New from $5.01
- Part of series Little Golden Book
- Print length 0 pages
- Language English
- Grade level Preschool - 2
- Publisher Golden/Disney
- Publication date May 25, 2021
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- ISBN-13 978-0736440783
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- In This Series
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About the author, product details.
- ASIN : B07ZC4RYC3
- Publisher : Golden/Disney (May 25, 2021)
- Publication date : May 25, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 11232 KB
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- #2,281 in Children's eBooks on Girls' & Women's Issues
- #2,450 in Children's Popular Culture Literature
- #3,905 in Children's Folk Tales & Myths (Kindle Store)
About the author
Brooke Vitale began her career as a children's book editor twenty years ago with one goal: create books that children would enjoy reading and that would have a lasting impact on their lives. But it wasn't until she started teaching her own son to read that she realized just how important it was to have the right books. And she realized that the right books weren’t available. That realization led Brooke to learn more about how children actually learn to read. She teamed up with Orton-Gillingham trained literacy specialist Marisa Ware to design a line of beginning readers that children could ACTUALLY read. The result was the Charge into Reading Decodable Book series, now being adopted by school districts around the country.
In addition to the Charge into Reading line, Brooke is also the author of more than 100 traditionally published books including The Magic Is in You, The Mandalorian: A Clan of Two, and Goonies: An Illustrated Classic. All told, Brooke’s books have sold over 500,000 copies and climbing.
When Brooke is not writing books for children, she works as a children's book editor. Over the course of her 15+ years at top New York publishers including Disney and Penguin Young Readers, Brooke Vitale edited thousands of books, including best-selling titles Hide-and-Hug Olaf and Olaf’s Night Before Christmas.
Today, Brooke is a freelance children’s book editor and runs brookevitale.com, a website dedicated to helping aspiring authors navigate the publishing and self-publishing industry. Since beginning her freelance career, Brooke has helped more than 1,000 authors achieve their dream of publishing a book.
Brooke can be found on Instagram @Brooke.Vitale. For more information on her newest venture and upcoming books, visit chargemommybooks.com or head over to @chargemommybooks on Instagram.
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PHOTO: A Classic Jungle Cruise Character Is GONE in Disney World
By Kelly Oliveros 4 Comments
Earlier this year, Disney announced that it would be making some changes to Disney World and Disneyland’s classic ride — the Jungle Cruise.
Jungle Cruise Sign in Magic Kingdom
As part of the refurbishments/retheme, the rides will get a new storyline, a skipper animatronic will be featured IN the ride itself, and more changes will be made. And, today we found that one of this ride’s signature characters was totally GONE!
Not too long ago, we shared our thoughts with you on WHEN the Jungle Cruise refurbishment might begin, and it seems the answer to that is “now.” Recently, Disney announced that the ride would remain open as the refurbishment takes place over the next several months. So, we hopped on the ride today and to our surprise… Trader Sam was GONE!!
Where Did You Go?!
The Trader Sam animatronic is the one you see near the end of the ride, holding some shrunken heads in his hand. And he typically offers guests a great deal — 2 of his heads, for one of yours. What a bargain!!
Trader Sam — Where Are You?!
Well, we’re not quite sure where Trader Sam has gone. Perhaps he’s off exploring other jungles or taking a vacation from the shrunken head business — we hear his sales might have been… shrinking!
We just got off the Jungle Cruise and something was missing…. pic.twitter.com/hGnbIPC98L — AJ Wolfe (@DisneyFoodBlog) April 5, 2021
As part of this refurbishment, Disney has said that they will be addressing the negative depictions of “natives” in the ride. Imagineer Susana Tubert has explained that the reimagining is less focused on “ solving the ‘negative depictions’ ” and more centered around creating new, positive cultural representations.
Disney hadn’t specifically announced what this could mean for the Trader Sam animatronic . But, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are set to stay intact.
Trader Sam, Before He Went Missing
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more news about Trader Sam and any other changes we spot being made to the ride.
The Back Side of Water!!
As part of the Jungle Cruise refurbishments, the ride will be getting a NEW storyline . This is the first continuous story that the ride will have . The attraction will also be getting updated scenes, new characters , and other details.
For example, in the scene where the characters are climbing up the pole to escape the animals below, each character on the pole will get their own story and cultural heritage.
Concept Art ©Disney
There will be a birdwatcher, entomologist, a wildlife painter, a photographer, and even a Jungle Cruise skipper!
Click here to meet the NEW characters coming to the Jungle Cruise as part of the refurbishments!
So far, we’ve gotten a peek at concept art for some of the new scenes and even a look at the more in-depth backstory being incorporated to the ride centered around Alberta Falls.
It’s Alberta Falls! ©Disney
If you’re a fan of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, you’ll LOVE this!
Click here to see more about the expansion coming to the ride’s backstory centered around Alberta Falls!
But, Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty has emphasized that it is important for guests to know that they are NOT changing the whole Jungle Cruise. According to Beatty, “This is not a re-envisioning of the entire attraction. It’s the Jungle Cruise you know and love, with the skippers still leading the way, and at the same time, we’re addressing the negative depictions of ‘natives.’ So that’s one of the scenes we’re going to go in and change.”
As we said earlier, the Jungle Cruise is set to remain open as these refurbishments begin to take place. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more details and let you know what we find.
Click here to see everything we know about the changes coming to the Jungle Cruise so far!
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Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!
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April 7, 2021 at 5:18 pm
Well its time to start looking for a new place to take the grandkids. Disney’s ” woke ” imagineer are to much for me ! Glad Walt didn’t think that way ..
April 7, 2021 at 5:19 pm
Guess freedom of thought is no longer allowed?
April 7, 2021 at 5:53 pm
Sounds like a perfect time for Disney to bring back The Adventurer’s Club! It was one of a kind and would certainly tie right in with the theme. Anyone agree?
May 1, 2021 at 8:25 pm
I agree, Tana. I understand that the Adventurer’s Club was wonderfully fun, but I never got to go there. I say, “Bring it back!”
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Jungle Cruise (Disney Classic)
Golden books , brooke vitale , walt disney company ( illustrations ).
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First published May 25, 2021
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Disney’s Jungle Cruise Closed Indefinitely Following On-Ride Incident
in Disneyland Resort
Disney’s legendary Jungle Cruise attraction is no more, at least for the foreseeable future.
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Few rides are as beloved or unique as Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise . Sure, it may not be the most thrilling or exciting attraction at the original Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, but it sure is one of the most entertaining. Jungle Cruise was an opening day attraction in Disneyland, opening alongside Disneyland Park in 1955. The ride has entertained millions of guests since, becoming one of the most classic and iconic rides in all of The Walt Disney Company’s history.
The ride can be found all across the world, with locations like Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort, Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland. For those who haven’t been able to experience this incredibly fun ride, guests go aboard a boat as they embark on a journey through mysterious rivers, all of which are guided by a trusty Jungle Skipper. These versions are all fairly similar, though the version of Jungle Cruise found at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort features some impressive elements like massive flames.
Guests won’t find any flames over at the American Disney parks, but they will find other cool features.
Credit: Disney (Top), Attractions360 (Bottom) Related: ‘Elf’ Reboot Announces Cast Ahead of Theatrical Release
These skippers provide most of the fun, telling jokes, making fun of themselves and guests, and poking fun at the ride itself. While the attraction does feature some incredible theming, as well as some lovely animatronics, the main reason guests want to experience Jungle Cruise is for these skippers. You never know what they may do or so, with each Disney cast member offering their own personality to the mix.
Unfortunately, this ride has been offline and unavailable for multiple days for guests visiting the Disneyland Resort.
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Guests checking the Disneyland website or the Disneyland app on their smartphone will notice that Jungle Cruise is currently closed and has been for quite some time. While the cause of this closure has not been confirmed, we expect it has something to do with the incident that happened earlier this week. There are a lot of ways Disney’s Jungle Cruise can go wrong, though most of these are intended. From large flames engulfing jagged rocks to sunken boats and monkeys shooting guns at guests like in the header for this story, the Jungle Cruise is a wild ride, even though it’s incredibly slow. However, what happened earlier this week truly was shocking.
A shocking video was shared online of a Jungle Cruise boat getting stuck in the water. The only way to rescue the guests and cast members aboard was for other employees to pull and guide the boat as it got towed by a boat in front of it. Eventually, the boat was able to dock, and guests were able to safely exit the ride. It’s quite possible this is the cause of the attraction’s unexpected downtime and refurbishment, and we truly hope that it returns very soon.
It’s possible that this boat is not the actual reason the ride is closed, and it’s something entirely different. Several guests have noticed there are now tarps and scrims surrounding the exterior of Jungle Cruise, as you can see in the Reddit post below:
Current Jungle Cruise Status (11/3) by u/Sloth_Dream-King in Disneyland
Surprisingly, this is far from the first time we’ve seen a Disney boat ride get stuck like this. Over the last few years, several viral videos have popped up online, showing the various ways guests can get stuck at Disney, as well as the various ways Disney park employees can help rescue the trapped guests.
We’ve seen brave employees wade into the actual waters of Pirates of the Caribbean and “it’s a small world” to help rescue guests, and we could not be more grateful for the excellent service from these employees.
Typically, when guests are evacuated from a ride or attraction at the Disney theme parks, they are granted a pass they can use to bypass the standby queue for other rides and attractions. This helps make up for the negative experience and lost time.
Have you ever had to evacuate a Disney theme park ride or attraction? Do you enjoy Jungle Cruise?
What's Coming to the Disney Theme Parks, Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney in 2024
Posted: November 20, 2023 | Last updated: November 20, 2023
- 2024 is set to be a big year for Disney theme parks with new attractions or lands opening at every resort.
- Disney Cruise Line is ready for a landmark year with the debut of a new ship and a new private island destination.
- Disney hotels will also get a big boost in 2024.
With new rides, restaurants, shows, and more all set to debut at Disney’s theme parks in Orlando , Anaheim , and around the world, plus a brand new Disney Cruise Line ship and new guided tour options coming both Adventures by Disney and National Geographic Expeditions, it sure seems like 2024 is shaping up to be a monumental year for House of Mouse.
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If you’re planning a Disney vacation in 2024, here’s everything you need to know about what’s coming (and what’s opened the last few months of 2023) no matter which way your family wants to travel with Mickey.
What’s Coming to Walt Disney World in 2024
With four massive theme parks, two Disney water parks , more than two dozen Disney hotels in Orlando , and a lively dining and entertainment district, Walt Disney World is always a popular family vacation spot even when there aren’t new attractions to buzz about. But in 2024, I’m looking forward to a number of new attractions, dining venues, and resorts that give me a reason to be even more excited than usual for a trip to “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”
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New Attractions at Magic Kingdom in 2024
When most people think about Walt Disney World, they instantly think about classic attractions and Cinderella Castle. In 2024, there’s even more adventures to be had at Magic Kingdom.
1) Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
One of the most highly anticipated attraction openings for 2024 at Walt Disney World is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which replaces the now-shuttered Splash Mountain. The new Princess and the Frog -themed ride will still be a log flume like its former occupant, but now it take you into the bayou of Louisianna as you join Tiana, Naveen, Ray, and Louis on an adventure that takes place after the story of the beloved Disney animated movie. The attraction will feature new songs, too. I’m excited to go sliding down that big drop again, and see Tiana in her new outfit created just for the attraction.
2) Country Bear Musical Jamboree
At Destination D23 in September 2023, it was announced that the Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom would be getting a refresh. The new show will feature classic Disney songs from movies spanning the decades, all sung in various country music genres like bluegrass and rockabilly.
3) Hatbox Ghost Is Coming to The Haunted Mansion
Fans of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction love the Hatbox Ghost, a ghoulish character that’s seen just after the attic scene within the ride. Now the iconic ghost will make his way to the endless hallway of the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom starting in November 2023.
4) Disney After Hours Is Returning
If you’re a Disney fan who loves spending time inside the parks after the moon rises, you’re in luck because Disney After Hours is returning. The party kicks off at Magic Kingdom on January 11, 2024, and will be available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT on January 6 and February 2, respectively.
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One thing to know about After Hours at Magic Kingdom is that this will be your chance to see “ Enchantment ,” the fireworks show that debuted at the park for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, again. I love going to Disney After Hours because the lines for attractions are short, I get to see characters quickly, and there’s complimentary snacks included in the price of admission.
New Attractions at EPCOT in 2024
The massive transformation of EPCOT is almost complete, and in 2024 you’ll finally be able to freely walk through World Celebration back to World Showcase again. Here’s what you can look forward to.
1) Luminous The Symphony of Us
EPCOT’s current fireworks, EPCOT Forever will end on December 4, 2023, and make way for Luminous The Symphony of Us starting December 5, 2023. The new nighttime spectacular will feature fireworks, fountains, music, and lights that are all set to a new soundtrack.
2) Festival Season Returns at EPCOT
One thing that continues to draw guests, including myself, to EPCOT is its year-round festivals. This year, there will be four festival seasons, each of which has its own distinct theme. January 12 through February 19, 2024, will be the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts . This is my favorite festival of the year, and worth taking a vacation to Walt Disney World to experience.
In the spring, EPCOT is in full bloom during the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival. Summer will bring EPCOT’s iconic International Food and Wine Festival, which will run until the holidays, when the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays starts. Dates for these three festivals have not been released yet.
3) Reopening of World Celebration
The center core of EPCOT has been closed for years as designers, Imagineers, and construction crews tore out and built up an all-new center plaza and walk-through for the park. Now World Celebration, one of three neighborhoods in EPCOT’s former Future World concept, is set to be revealed.
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The new area of the park will encompass the already open Creations Shop and Connections Eatery, plus a new meet-and-greet area for Mickey Mouse and his pals, Dreamers Point where a new statue of Walt Disney can be seen, and CommuniCore Plaza and CommuniCore Hall which will be the base camp for all of the EPCOT festivals.
New Attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2024
Living out adventures from your favorite Disney movies is easy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While the park doesn’t have a huge list of new additions coming in 2024, there is one I am excited about: New adventures on Star Tours. Starting next year, Ahsoka will become part of the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (as well as at Disneyland).
New Openings at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels in 2024
1) the cake bake shop at disney’s boardwalk.
Opening where the shuttered ESPN Club was formerly located at Disney’s BoardWalk will be a new whimsical bakery called The Cake Bake Shop. The eatery will be part bakery and part restaurant with brunch, lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea service. The bakery is a welcome addition to Disney’s BoardWalk, which continues to get major upgrades. The Cake Bake Shop was originally announced for 2023, but the project was later pushed to 2024.
2) Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort DVC Tower
If you’ve been to Walt Disney World in the back half of 2023, you’ve seen the speedy build-up of the new Disney Vacation Club tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The new tower sits on the edge of Seven Seas Lagoon, and some rooms will have spectacular views of Magic Kingdom. The building will also have new dining and recreation for guests to enjoy. The villas are currently set to open in late 2024.
3) DVC Villas Coming to Disney’s Fort Wilderness
One of my favorite places to stay at Walt Disney World is the cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. In 2024, the cabins are set to become a Disney Vacation Club resort with a new modern look and updated amenities. The proposed plans by Disney include swapping out the old cabins with 350 new DVC cabins.
New Openings at Disney Springs in 2024
Disney Springs always has something going on, and in late 2023 and early 2024, two new additions are going to make hungry guests very happy.
1) eet by Maneet Chauhan
Set to open before the end of 2023 is eet by Maneet Chauhan. The celebrity chef-backed restaurant will be in the location of the former Wolfgang Puck Express, and serve modern Indian dishes like a walking taco with spicy pork chili, a chicken tikka naan bread pizza, and a chopped salad topped with miniature samosas. This is one new restaurant I cannot wait to try.
2) Summer House on the Lake
Across Disney Springs, Summer House on the Lake is set to open late 2023 or early 2024. The restaurant will serve dishes inspired by the local ingredients in Florida, have a grab-and-go counter, plus a cookie bar.
What’s Coming to Disneyland in 2024
The original Disney theme park in California will have a plethora of openings to celebrate in 2024, and with the recent opening of The Villas at the Disneyland Resort , there’s no better time to go to Disneyland than right now.
New Attractions at Disneyland Park in 2024
Walt’s original theme park is set to get some fun expansions in 2024. Be sure to plan your trip around the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which is expected to be one of the best additions to the 2024 lineup.
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1) The Adventureland Treehouse
The Adventureland Treehouse recently opened at Disneyland Park, so if you’re heading to Walt Disney’s original theme park in 2024, be sure to take time to see the updated attraction. The treehouse pays homage to the original treehouse that Walt built based on the movie The Swiss Family Robinson .
2) Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
Just like at Walt Disney World, Disneyland’s version of Splash Mountain is getting overhauled into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The new attraction is set to open in 2024 and will be almost identical to its Orlando counterpart.
3) Haunted Mansion Is Expanding
One of the most popular attractions at Disneyland Park is the Haunted Mansion. In 2024, the grounds of the attraction will be expanding with a larger queue that enhances the story of the ride, plus you can shop in a new merchandise location just outside of the exit of the ride. Additionally, there will be a new elevator exit from the Haunted Mansion for those with disabilities.
4) Fantasmic! Returns
After being closed down due to a fire, the nighttime spectacular Fantasmic! is returning to Disneyland Park on May 24, 2024. You and your family can gather almost anywhere around the Rivers of America for a great view of the show. This is the one show that I can’t miss when I visit Disneyland.
Festival Season at Disney California Adventure in 2024
With the opening of Avengers Campus and San Fransokyo Square in recent years, Disney California Adventure seems to be slowing down new additions, but there are still some returning fan favorites to experience in 2024.
Like EPCOT, Disney California Adventure hosts food festivals throughout the year. In 2024, the festival season kicks off with the Lunar New Year festival, which takes place in January and February. The festival celebrates all things Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese culture through food and entertainment.
March and April bring the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival to the park and feature some of the best bites of the year. Disney Festival of the Holidays will take place starting in November and run through the first part of January 2025, though specific dates have not been announced yet.
New Openings at Hotels at the Disneyland Resort in 2024
The Disneyland Resort recently opened The Villas at the Disneyland Hotel, and in 2024 it will host another hotel opening: Pixar Place Hotel . Starting January 30, 2024, Paradise Pier Hotel will officially become the Pixar Place Hotel. The newly remodeled hotel will have all-new resort room themes, a cute Finding Nemo -themed pool, a new dining option with Great Maple, and more. I can’t wait to stay at this hotel, especially in one of the rooms that overlooks Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure.
RunDisney returns to Disneyland in 2024
RunDisney races are returning to Disneyland in 2024 with the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend and the new Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend in January and September, respectively. Each race weekend will feature distances from a 5K to half marathon, kids races, and yoga in the parks.
What’s Coming to Disney Cruise Line in 2024
With five ships in its current fleet and three more on the way, Disney Cruise Line is gearing up for a major expansion of its family cruises in the next few years. In 2024, though, the cruise line has two big things to celebrate.
1) The Disney Treasure Sets Sail in 2024
The next ship to debut in the Disney Cruise Line fleet is the Disney Treasure , which will start sailing on December 21, 2024. The sister ship to the Disney Wish will feature new ways to have fun as a family, including a Coco -themed restaurant, a Moana stage show in the Walt Disney Theater, new stories on the AquaMouse, and the highly anticipated Haunted Mansion-themed bar. One area I personally can’t wait to see on the ship is Skipper Society, which is a lounge themed after the iconic Disney attraction the Jungle Cruise.
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2) Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point
Disney Cruise Line fans are always happy to pull into port at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay . Well, starting June 8, 2024, your family can sail to Disney’s second private island in the Bahamas, Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point . The new island destination will have a family beach and dining area, a small water play area, an adults-only beach and dining area, three bars, and a cultural pavilion that showcases the vibrant lifestyle of the Bahamas.
What’s Coming to Adventures by Disney in 2024
With a sprinkle of Disney magic and the company’s signature storytelling expertise , Adventures by Disney is Disney’s take on family tours . The tour operator runs guided family travel adventures to all seven continents while engaging kids and parents alike on the history and culture of the destinations visited. In 2024, Adventures by Disney is adding three new tours to its lineup.
1) Adriatic Expedition Cruise
The first new adventure is an eight-day expedition cruise around the Mediterranean that starts in June 2024. The itinerary starts in Venice, Italy, where you’ll board the luxurious PONANT Le Bougainville ship. Then you’ll make stops in Croatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro. Highlights of the trip include visiting the Mali Ston oyster beds, exploring the Lipa Cave, and a Croatian wine tasting.
If you have kids who can’t get enough of the Disney animated movie Encanto , then you’re going to want to book the new Colombia Adventures by Disney trip. The eight-day land-based trip will bring you right to the heart of the inspiration for Encanto , where you can learn to make arepas, visit a coffee farm, and hike the magnificent Cocora Valley.
3) Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
The last new trip for the 2024 season is Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island , which is also eight days. Your family can enjoy a visit to the “Anne of Green Gables” Museum, learn about lobster fishing on a lobster boat, and even go sailing on a 130-foot schooner boat that was constructed in the 1930s.
What’s Coming to National Geographic Expeditions in 2024
National Geographic Expeditions offers you the chance to get deeply immersed in a culture through education and hands-on activities. The group travel company, which is owned by Disney, has three new tours for 2024, plus new additions to its day outings.
1) Bhutan: Land of Mysticism and Mythology
If you’ve ever wanted to travel to Bhutan, the new 11-day trip with National Geographic Expeditions may be your best opportunity. The land-based trip will have you and your travel partners hiking to Bhutan’s Taktsang Lhakhang, dining with community members and dignitaries at a special dinner, and taking in a private cultural dance performance. Your group will travel with a National Geographic expert who can share more about the land you are exploring throughout the trip.
2) Colombia: Connections to the Land and the Past
For travelers who don’t want to sing “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” every day while in Colombia, the National Geographic Expeditions Colombia: Connections to the Land and the Past trip is ideal. The nine-day land-based trip starts in Bogotá, where you will get a private tour of the Museo del Oro and its pre-Columbian gold relics. Other highlights of the tour include exploring a fourth-generation coffee farm and touring Tayrona National Park with a naturalist.
3) Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia: Enchanted Forests and Medieval Castles
NatGeo’s third new trip for 2024 is Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia: Enchanted Forests and Medieval Castles . The land-based tour is 11 days, and on it you’ll visit important landmarks in each of the three countries. Highlights of the expedition include a guided tour of the 14th-century Trakai castle, a tour of Riga Central Market (which is the biggest in Europe), and an exploration of the Gutmanas Cave.
4) National Geographic Day Tours
Another new offering from National Geographic is day tours, which will now be available as direct booking land tours (versus shoreside excursions booked through cruise companies as before). More than 30 new half-day and full-day tours are currently available in destinations like New York City, Paris, and Barcelona.
National Geographic Day Tours are operated by tour company TUI and led by National Geographic-trained guides. I can’t wait to take a day tour next time I’m on a trip with some extra time, or on a family vacation where we want to do a unique activity or exclusive tour together.
More from FamilyVacationist:
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The post What’s Coming to the Disney Theme Parks, Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney in 2024 appeared first on FamilyVacationist .
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The 12 Best Disney Easter Eggs And References In Wish
Wish is full of classic references to Disney's animation history. Here are a few of the best.
The following contains SPOILERS for Disney’s Wish .
Wish is the newest musical adventure from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Coming as it does in this 100th year of The Walt Disney Company , it’s maybe not surprising that Wish is a movie very much following in the footsteps of classic Disney, as it features a female protagonist, a magical villain and incredible music.
Easter Eggs and fun references are nothing new in Disney movies , but Wish takes things to quite another level. The movie celebrates the Disney anniversary by making a lot of nods to the best Disney animated movies. There are too many to list them all, and I won’t pretend I’ve even caught every one, but here are a few of the best.
Wish isn’t based on a classic fairy tale like so many of Disney’s animated films from its golden age, but it does open the same way. Snow White , Cinderella and even The Jungle Book include an opening shot of a storybook opening as the story begins, and Wish does the same.
Asha’s Friends Are The Seven Dwarfs
There are a lot of characters in Wish , as Asha has no fewer than seven close friends. The number is significant because each one of Asha’s friends is modeled on the Seven Dwarfs from Snow White . Each character in Wish has a name that shares a first letter with their dwarf counterpart, as well as sharing physical and personality traits with each one. Dario has Dopey’s big ears, Simon is perpetually sleepy, Bazeema is a bashful introvert, Dahlia wears Doc’s trademark glasses, Hal is always smiling, Safi has terrible allergies and Gabo is perpetually angry.
Many of the classic Disney references come in the form of wishes that the various townspeople of Rosas have. One of the characters wishes to be an incredible dressmaker, and when we see her wish, she is creating a dress that looks like the ones the fairies make for Aurora in Sleeping Beauty .
Snow White Wishing Well & The Poison Apple
The Dwarfs are far from the only references to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs found in Wish . A couple of background easter eggs are also on display for fans. Shortly after Asha makes her wish that brings down Star, she walks past a well in the forest that is modeled after the one that Snow uses during the “I’m Wishing” song. Later, while Disney's newest villain, Magnifico , is working on his magic, an apple covered in green goo, the classic Snow White poison apple, can be seen on the table next to him.
"We Love Crazy"
As the magic of Star begins to fill Rosas animals, trees, and even mushrooms gain the ability to talk. At one point Asha wonders if she’s going crazy, to which one of the mushrooms (potentially an Alice in Wonderland reference in itself) says “We love crazy,” a callback to the same line that was spoken by Hans in Frozen .
Bambi, Thumper And (Maybe) Humphrey
If there is one Disney reference you will absolutely notice in Wish , it’s following the song “You’re A Star” when a talking bear named John talks to a deer whose name, we learn, is Bambi. We don’t get the name of the rabbit who thumps his foot against the ground, but he’s clearly a reference to Bambi’s friend Thumper. The bear might also be a Disney reference, as he dances around at one point in a way that is reminiscent of Humphrey the Bear in the classic Disney short In the Bag .
Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, And Other Destroyed Wishes
When Magnifico discovers he can gain power from his wishes, he destroys several of them. In one scene alone he destroys the wish of somebody who wants to be able to fly, which shows an actual clip from Disney’s Peter Pan . Following that, he destroys the wish of somebody looking for the perfect nanny, a Mary Poppins reference, which Magnifico pops. Then he takes the wish of somebody looking for true love, which, to be honest, could be a reference to any of a dozen Disney movies. The Peter Pan reference comes back around at the end, when we meet a character named Peter, dressed very much like the Disney version of Peter Pan, who is paired up with a woman who wants to fly, whose clothing is similar to that of Wendy Darling.
“Knowing What I Know Now” Is An Homage To Tarzan’s Trashin’ The Camp
One of the last songs in Wish , “Knowing What I Know Now,” sees Asha and her friends together trying to figure out what to do about Magnifico, it leads into the song, where the group begins to sing and play music, using whatever they find lying around. Wish co-director Chris Buck told CinemaBlend’s Sarah El-Mahmoud that the visuals are an homage to Tarzan where the apes do the same thing in the “Trashin’ the Camp” sequence. He explained…
One of our music supervisors keeps teasing me about it because I said, ‘Oh, you kept saying trashing the camp. Trashing the camp. Trashing the camp.’ And it was because they were taking just these found objects, the apes were, and just making music and sounds out of it. So we kind of did that with this. We did it as a homage.
Magnifico Is The Magic Mirror
The mirror is a recurring symbol throughout Wish that is key to Magnifico as a character. He loves his reflection and we see his face in mirrors often. As such, there are multiple connections between himself and the Magic Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs . At one point, Magnifico actually says the classic “Magic mirror on the wall” line. Later, when he is pulled into his own magic staff, we actually get a few quick frames of Magnifico’s face replaced with that of the Magic Mirror. The queen decides to leave him behind the glass hanging on the wall.
Valentino Wants To Live In Zootopia
As the movie comes to a close there is much discussion of the wishes various people have. Valentino the talking goat admits that would like to live in a utopian community where animals live together and also wear clothes. It sounds like a lovely dream, and it also sounds exactly like Zootopia .
Asha Becomes A Fairy Godmother
Before Star returns to the sky, the little guy bestows upon Asha a magic wand. While she’s not sure she knows what to do with magic, her friends say she can be their fairy godmother. Asha's clothes, especially when she's wearing her hood, also strongly resemble the robe of Cinderella's fairy godmother.
So Many Mickey Mouse References
If you’re going to use your movie to celebrate 100 years of Disney, you have to include the guy who started it all, and Mickey Mouse is all over Wish . There are several “hidden Mickeys,” i.e. where the classic three-circle design is hidden in the background, but that’s far from all. Producer Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster-Jones told CinemaBlend’s Sarah El-Mahmoud that Star itself was significantly influenced by Mickey. He said…
Star, who is also deeply inspired by Mickey Mouse himself. You know, if you look at the shape on the mask, it's very reminiscent of Mickey. And a lot of the energy is very reminiscent of early Mickey.
In addition to that, during a scene in Magnifico’s lab, Star accidentally enchants a quill pen, which begins to write on its own. Before it stops, it has drawn a partial image of Mickey that resembles the Disney Channel logo. Then, in the movie’s closing moments, fireworks are going off over the castle, with the final shot being three exploding fireworks making one last, not-so-hidden Mickey.
Critics are split on Wish , but the real question is what the audience thinks. Wish is a love letter to Disney fans in every conceivable way. It has all the elements that made Disney the king of animation in the first place. Fans will almost certainly love the movie and the references it makes to Disney's history. Perhaps they’ll love the movie enough to want to see it again, and maybe that way they’ll actually be able to catch all the easter eggs they missed.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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