Changes coming to the Jungle Cruise at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort

Jan 25, 2021 in "Jungle Cruise"

Jungle Cruise concept art
Posted: Monday January 25, 2021 4:21pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has today announced that it plans to update the Jungle Cruise with new additions to add "more humor, wildlife and skipper heart – and also reflect and value the diversity of the world around us."

For the first time, the Jungle Cruise will have a continuous story to go along with updated scenes. Hear from Walt Disney Imagineer Kevin Lively talking about some of the changes in the video below.

As part of the story update, we'll get to follow a skipper and his passengers as their journey goes awry. The skipper role will not only be that of a live guide, but also represented by an animatronic figure within the attraction itself. 

Disney has said that many of the classic jokes will remain, including "the backside of water," but the skippers will have new material to work with. Also confirmed is that the upcoming Jungle Cruise movie will not be part of the new attraction, but there may well be a few easter egg nods to the movie.

Imagineer Chris Beatty shared some more details on the new show scenes with D23.

For the first time, we are actually linking scenes together.

So if you think of the famous rhino pole scene, with the team of explorers who have somehow camped that night and then been run up the pole by the rhino and a group of other animals… that will really kick off the storyline. Did you ever wonder who those explorers were or where they came from? What’s their backstory? As part of the enhanced storyline, each one of them will have their own story and cultural heritage. There’s a birdwatcher, an entomologist, a wildlife painter, and a photographer, and each one will have a different reason for being on the expedition. And, of course, they did one of the things you’re never supposed to do, which is leave the boat. And one of the things we’re adding to the attraction is an animatronic skipper, who’s been chased up the pole by the rhino, along with the other explorers. They each have great personality, and I think our guests will connect with these characters in new ways. So we’re not really re-envisioning that scene, we’re just adding a narrative and storytelling to bring things to life and connect that moment with other happenings along the river.

And you may ask yourself, Wait, what happened to their boat? And we find out that the front of the boat has been beached upon these rocks. We wanted to put something here that feels like Marc Davis had a hand in it, that has a bit of humor in it. And we wanted the animals to have the last laugh. So you’ll see that the family of chimpanzees has moved in. And we don’t currently have chimps on this attraction—all of these amazing animals have been brought to life through the years on the Jungle Cruise and yet we’ve never had chimpanzees. The family of chimpanzees jumps on the wreckage of the boat and they are almost making fun of us. One is wearing the skipper’s hat and is on the microphone. The mother chimp has opened up all the maps and it looks like she’s reading them. A little chimp has gotten into the wildlife painter’s supplies and has made a mess with paint everywhere. It’s the animals really getting the last laugh in this cute scene—these silly explorers really came in and invaded their world.

Disney has not yet offered a timeline of when the changes will be completed, but has indicated that it will be coming "later this year."

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Magicart87Nov 03, 2021

This Skipper was great with the Christmas puns. Although some didn't land. Just need to change up the delivery a little. Still don't like the canoe rental scene.

MisterPenguinNov 02, 2021

DragonmanNov 02, 2021

So does anyone know where the frogs exactly are this time? Even though there’s buzz around them (pun intended), I’ve yet to see any videos actually showcasing them, just announcements.

ToTBellHopNov 02, 2021

Yeah…it’s supposedly been updated since the whole ride was updated.

Dear PrudenceNov 02, 2021

Secular? That's why they started putting out the Xmas crap halfway through October. (only a light exaggeration, there was Xmas stuff out ON Halloween)

celluloidNov 02, 2021

You are the first then. Are there supposed to be anything different enough to note?

GimpYancIentNov 02, 2021

Secular? Disney? Nah it's about "more money!" as in $ $ $. Grease the squeaky wheel and bring in more $ $ $ $. Pretty simple actually.

ToTBellHopNov 02, 2021

I was being serious. Jingle Cruise is open. Shocked there are no comments.

celluloidNov 02, 2021

They are working on making it more secular, more "disney", more money!

Dear PrudenceNov 02, 2021

Jungle Cruise at Disneyland also loads and off loads pretty quickly

UNCgolfNov 01, 2021

Mansion, Splash, Pirates (my favorite ride as a kid, so partially nostalgia although it's still quite good), CoP... and I'm not sure what would go in the 5th spot. Maybe Big Thunder. Pan and Small World would be in the running too.

ToTBellHopNov 01, 2021

No comments on Jingle Cruise being updated?

JoeCamelNov 01, 2021

Pan Small World Mansion Splash amirite?

UNCgolfNov 01, 2021

Definitely can't agree there -- CoP is one of the only attractions I can't miss at WDW. It's the best attraction in Tomorrowland and one of the top 5 at the whole Magic Kingdom for me.