Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride is getting an upgrade. The boat-themed is located in Adventureland at four Disney theme parks worldwide, and today it’s been announced that the attractions in Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort and Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort will be receiving upgrades that will “stay true to the experience we know and love – more humor, wildlife and skipper heart – and also reflect and value the diversity of the world around us.” It’s also all but certain that these upgrades will include elements that tie into the upcoming Jungle Cruise movie.
Jungle Cruise Ride Updates
The news comes from the Disney Parks blog, which promises to upgrade the ride while staying true to the things fans hold dear. You know, like animatronic hippos and stuff like that. Regarding the upgrades, Kevin Lively, a Disney Imagineer and former Jungle Cruise Skipper, said:
“As part of this story update, we’ll get to follow a skipper and his passengers as their journey goes awry. That’s right, for the first time ever, the skipper role will not only be that of a live, experienced, and witty guide, but also represented by a show figure within the attraction itself. In fact, the expedition will be up a tree (literally!) after their sunken boat splits apart and chimps board the wreckage, with monkey business ensuing…Fans of the Jungle Cruise attraction may recall some boats that used to make their way around the river but haven’t been seen for a while…Ever wonder what happened tot hem? Well, you might go ape when you find out! Ultimately, the jungle gets the last laugh.”
Not sure why that last bit sounds vaguely ominous, but there you have it.
The details remain slightly vague at the moment, and while there’s no mention of the upcoming Jungle Cruise movie, it’s probably a pretty good bet that some of these new additions to the attraction will tie into the film in some way. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, Jungle Cruise is set during the early 20th century and follows “a riverboat captain named Frank takes [who] a scientist and her brother on a mission into a jungle to find the Tree of Life which is believed to possess healing powers. All the while, the trio must fight against dangerous wild animals and a competing German expedition.”
The fact that the updates will strive to “reflect and value the diversity of the world around us” also indicates that Disney is hoping to remove offensive elements from the ride. When it was announced that Splash Mountain would be removing references to the controversial Disney film Song of the South, many voiced the opinion that changes should be made to Jungle Crusie as well. As IGN reports, the attraction “includes animatronic human characters, depicting some native populations as headhunters and including insensitive period language (the ride is set during the 1930s) from white characters who refer to the indigenous characters as ‘savages.’”
The Jungle Cruise ride first launched at Disneyland in 1955. The Magic Kingdom version opened in 1971, with versions following at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983 and Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005. The Jungle Cruise movie is set to open on July 30, 2021, while more info on updates to the attraction are due to arrive later this year.
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. https://t.co/oy1fzKzgaI
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) January 25, 2021
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