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BREAKING: Disney to Update Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort with New Story, Cultural Sensitivity Changes Coming

Announced just moments ago, an entirely new story is come to the Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park.

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To continue the initiative addressed by Josh D’amaro, significant scene changes are being made to make the ride more “culturally sensitive”. Above, we see that the party being chased up a tree by a rhino is now a pack of ethnically diverse explorers. Below, a new scene shows apes taking over a sinking Jungle Cruise boat. Maybe that’s a little too close to reality

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Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Portfolio Executive Chris Beatty had the following to say about the new scenes to D23:

We want to make sure that we take this as an opportunity, right? So as we look to clean up a lot of the challenges that we have in the attraction, we want to make sure we go in and add all the humor that Marc Davis gave it, all those years ago. Anything new we add will be in that tone. And 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.

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Disney promises the changes will offer “more humor, wildlife and skipper heart – and also reflect and value the diversity of the world around us”. Imagineers Kevin Lively – former Jungle Cruise skipper – shares a video message about the project below:

Disney has stated to expect the changes to the Jungle Cruise on both coasts later this year, sometime in 2021.

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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Frank W
Frank W
1 month ago

Why does this make me very nervous?

Jesse James
Jesse James
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank W

I dunno, why?

Mark
1 month ago

What is next? The Robinson Fanilly tree or How about putting down Walt Disney statues in the park?

Sam Beckett
Sam Beckett
1 month ago

I’m always skeptical when I hear the words “culturally sensitive.” This attraction however, really needed an update. I’m anxious to check this out.

John Ford Jr
John Ford Jr
1 month ago

Another classic attraction that falls victim to gratuitous woke virtue signaling. Disney will not even spend money on basic maintenance of attractions but can find money to fix problems that never existed in the first place. Typical corporate America today so desperate to be perceived as politically correct at any cost.

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

eww.. this is just sad. Yes update it . give it TLC.. I’m all for that just leave the original as is.. wait. Let me also guess… The Rock will made into an animatronic and put on here too. Regardless I know I’m still gonna be buying a ticket to get into Magic Kingdom. Disney is life

Doug
Doug
1 month ago

Lot of political decisions lately. How about we use the money for this (and other) unnecessary changes for out of work cast members instead!

Last edited 1 month ago by Doug
Allen
Allen
1 month ago

I wish they would stop screwing with the park. They are going to totally ruin it with all the political correctness! Walt would never allow this! Shameful!

NewNormal
NewNormal
1 month ago
Reply to  Allen

You are correct regarding one thing – Walt wouldn’t have allowed something as wonderful as ensuring ethnic diversity in an attraction. How, exactly, is this update shameful? How, exactly, is it shameful that little non-Caucasian children will be able to see themselves in an attraction considered shameful? What IS shameful is the number of people in an uproar over this.

Prince Naveen
Prince Naveen
1 month ago
Reply to  NewNormal

NewNormal, nobody wants your “new normal.” We just want the parks left alone and to be entertained, not scolded by woke ideology.

Marcellus
Marcellus
1 month ago

Can we get rid of the Walt Disney name next? His statues are a blight to the park, we should embrace creating an environment for everyone. He made some of the most racist movies, and shows of all time, and shouldn’t be allowed to have his name on the parks or company as it currently stands any more. We should petition for it to be the house of mouse studios, and Mickey world / land. Replace the statues with a bigger Mickey Mouse statue, or maybe more diverse characters or leadership. Let’s get #cancelwaltdisneysname trending on Twitter and petition the… Read more »

bruh
bruh
1 month ago
Reply to  Marcellus

ok sure lets get rid of the FOUNDER of the company. Mickey world and Mickeyland just is dumb like yes mickey is important to the history of disney but everything goes back to walt. Don’t like walt then you can’t like mickey because walt created him. You cannot enter a disney park and say Yeah the founder namesake needs to be gone. If you think that, you are not a disney fan and I suggest you leave that idea to yourself

Robyn Marks
Robyn Marks
1 month ago

How was the old ride “racist”? Aside from the safari chased up the pole, I don’t recall any other humans depicted.

Beans
Beans
1 month ago
Reply to  Robyn Marks

There’s the supposed headhunter tribe…

Jesse James
Jesse James
1 month ago
Reply to  Robyn Marks

If you’re genuinely curious about the racist implications of the Jungle Cruise, I’d recommend googling British Imperialism, “othering” as a general concept, or “dark Africa” as a stereotype.

I love Disneyland and old rides (SoCal boy here), but context is kind.

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Robyn Marks

The original safari was comprised of 4 local Africans with the White explorer at the top. But I thought they changed that decades ago.

Never get into an argument with a rhino. They will always get their point. In the end…

Meg
Meg
1 month ago

No, no I never did question the back story of the group on the pole.

Ted
Ted
1 month ago

I hope this doesn’t result in the creation of the “generic Disney character’s grog grotto”.

Julia
Julia
1 month ago
Reply to  Ted

Coming 2022 in the magically reimagined Moana’s Polynesian Village Resort! Hei Hei’s Grog Grotto…Under New Management!

Dan
Dan
1 month ago

Part of it is to save money by not needing the cast members sit in each boat.. but feels like another victim of the cancel culture.. Walt Disney already rolled over in his grave multiple times in the last 10 – 20 years

Kristophre
Kristophre
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

Um…I think you “missed the boat”. There will STILL be a LIVE skipper in each boat as the article above states. They are adding an animatronic skipper within the story…on the tree/pole with the animatronic explorers. The fella in the video clearly states that there “will be a clever, witty host” and an animatronic skipper within the storyline…

Last edited 1 month ago by Kristophre
Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

I didn’t see anything about the elimination of CM boat skippers in the announcement. I did see something about the addition of an audio-animatronic skipper to one of the scenes.

Saari Toklaedea
1 month ago

Enough with the sensitivity already. I am “culturally Ethnic” and I don’t want this reverse racism.

Logan
Logan
1 month ago

LOL “reverse racism” is not a thing.

Karen Porter
Karen Porter
1 month ago

This feels like it should be a good thing. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with the head hunter themed sections of the ride though… I’d like to know more. This portion discussed sounds like a fun idea for sure though.

Jesse James
Jesse James
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen Porter

Yeah, def seems like they hit just left of what I expected them to address? I didn’t expect “cultural diversity on the pole but African stereotypes downriver” as their solution.

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen Porter

Poor guys. They are just trying to get a head.

Robert
Robert
1 month ago

This has nothing to do with cultural sensitivity, it has to do with making sure Bob employs even less people at his parks so he makes more of a profit. There was literally NO changes made in the name of cultural sensitivity. So having an all-white safari team makes it racist…how? If anything, assuming that African safaris would have people of color is racist. And why do we need a story for the ride anyway? The whole reason to go on this ride is for the skippers and their corny jokes, and this sounds like they’re negating a lot of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert
Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

I’m curious where you got the idea that the role of “live skippers with corny jokes” is somehow being diminished. Nothing in this article mentions, or even implies, that they’re being eliminated. In fact, imagineer Kevin Lively directly mentions those Cast Member skippers in his promotional announcement.

Mark Haneke
Mark Haneke
1 month ago

I would have preferred them to update the theme of the ride to the Jungle Book, with Mowgli, Baloo, Shere Khan, Kaa, etc.

Beans
Beans
1 month ago

This is the first update in a long time that’s actually sounded good. It’ll be great to get some semblance of narrative, to get rid of the “savage native” stereotype, but most of all, to watch the racists wring their hands and clutch their pearls.

MATTHEW MAZULLO
MATTHEW MAZULLO
1 month ago

I’m so tired of this crap! There is no way people or people who are not crazy and want to make something out of nothing can looked at the jungle cruise and be offended. What is happening is people like me who spend LOTS of money are be offended. This is just making people mad and causing people to look at others and be angered. This is doing nothing but making things worse. Faith in the place I have loved and gone to as a child and became a DVC member bring my children and wanted to bring my grandchildren… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by MATTHEW MAZULLO
Jaxparrothead
Jaxparrothead
1 month ago

Seems to me this is nothing more than marketing. Giving backstories to the explorers gives Disney more character figures to sell.

Fall for the diversity line if you wish, but it’s nothing more than American commercialism

Jesse James
Jesse James
1 month ago

I’m actually kind of surprised by reading this article. When I read that the ride was being updated I assumed it was going to be “we’re taking out the tribal villain figures we realized were problematic awhile ago to the point we added a hokey pokey joke” and not… backstory for the rhino guys?