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

Jan 25, 2021 in "Jungle Cruise"

Jungle Cruise concept art

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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Article Posted: Jan 25, 2021 / 4:21pm ET
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ppete197518 days ago

la jungla is a complete ripoff of disney, as is alot of things... such as dumbo rides painted diff colors or a defunct park that even copied the castle. As far as Disney... im not sure they copied that. I mean a kid thats ridden jungle cruise once or just saw a picture of it could have come up with the concept for the changes. Its not exactly a huge creative risk, its what would prob happen in the jungle.

Brer Panther18 days ago

Well, to be fair, that ride is a blatant knockoff of the Jungle Cruise already. Actually, it's kind of ironic that Disney is copying a ride that copied one of their rides.

JoeCamel18 days ago

Some imagineer is going to lose their job. Can't be closer to the concept art but with a couple more monkeys 😂

EagleScout61018 days ago

Quick tell the guy who originally started that thread!

ppete197518 days ago

Any word if they are going to put king louie back?

MisterPenguin18 days ago

It's a Small Police State

Brer Oswald18 days ago

You mean like actual Canadian representation?

Homemade Imagineering18 days ago

(Lol, skip to 3:48)

FettFan18 days ago

So... driving off a boatful of intruders is a BAD thing now? Shoot replace the bows, spears, and blowguns with Winchester shotguns and you’d get my great grandfather every time the parish tax assessor showed up. 😂 Hippity, hoppity, get off me property. 🐸

FettFan18 days ago

eh. It’s not nearly as funny as the schadenfreude of a trophy hunting party getting their comeuppance from an angry rhino.

monothingie27 days ago

Close it down and put up some screens with 12 minutes of "Baby Shark" on a loop and call it done.

The Mom27 days ago

One Jungle Cruise thread has already been moved there - this is supposed to be the second, attraction discussion only, thread that replaced it. :rolleyes:

WDW Pro28 days ago

Small World is on the list of attractions. I've never understood the aversion to cannibals, head hunters, etc - possibly because I don't tie that to race. I similarly am not offended by depictions of Vikings as berserker savages.

kpilcher28 days ago

I appreciate your perspective even when I don’t always agree. This is one of those times. I have heard complaints from a variety of people for many years about Jungle Cruise’s cannibals, head hunters and just natives. Strangely, more recently Small World has popped up,too. That one I have a harder time understanding.