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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jkh366191 day ago

sure, why not

larryz1 day ago

The gas stations or the MK attraction?

RSoxNo11 day ago

64 or gto

MansionButler842 days ago

I’ll stick with my 1971 Impala.

Master Yoda2 days ago

I hear the 2035 Corvette is a piece of garbage. ;)

MisterPenguin2 days ago

Facts don't matter anymore.

Bocabear2 days ago

Glad to hear...

DisneyExpert2 days ago

Huh? The spiel is still the same as it's been, they haven't started the new one yet.

Movielover2 days ago

The current of the water carried it. Why you can learn all about it over at the Moana Journey of Water... Synergy!

Sharon&Susan2 days ago

This appears to be the other half of the boat judging by the pipe that's present on this half of the ship, but not the one in the concept art: Don't ask me how the other half got all the way over to what used to be the native scene without an engine.

discos2 days ago

Will this be what we're getting for the concept art that showed the sunken boat with the chimps or will there be another sunken boat scene?

RSoxNo12 days ago

Would love to see that as part of the script.

Animaniac93-982 days ago

Amity 3, no! :eek:

wdwmagic2 days ago

The new spiel isn’t live yet