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PHOTOS: Tribal Dancers Removed From “Native Celebration” Scene of Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom

The latest change to remove culturally insensitive elements from Jungle Cruise comes to the “native celebration” scene, where the animated figures of dancers have been removed from the hut.

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The nearby drummers are still playing away.

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Two out of the six “headhunter” animatronics have also been removed.

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Trader Sam was also removed from Jungle Cruise and is being replaced with his own “gift shop”, though Sam himself won’t be present. The same has been done to the Disneyland version of the attraction, which remains closed, but will reopen on July 16.

Keep checking WDWNT for Jungle Cruise updates from both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

    1. So easy to say when your culture is not there one being displayed for entertainment.

      1. I doubt the headhunters living in the forest in the middle of nowhere care about Disney rides. If culture being on display is offensive, then what about Epcot? Is the entire park offensive to you? Wait… don’t answer… I already know *facepalm*

        1. It’s offensive because there’s no real authenticity to the culture being portrayed, just an amalgamation of messy stereotypes

      2. I’m 98% positive you aren’t from the culture in question; just one of the one who want to speak for other cultures and what’s offensive to them… this “cultural sensitivity” is actually erasing cultural depiction in anything…

  1. I wonder if roles were reversed, and instead of Western economies thriving over the past century, it was the African economies that had prospered.

    And then suppose westerners visited a theme park in Africa, and found White society represented entirely by an attraction featuring individuals performing a ritual dance that was a meaningless knock-off of western religious ceremonies like church services or weddings or by an obese shop-keeper selling whatever.

    Call it “cancel culture” if you like, but I think Disney–a global enterprise–is making the right move.

    1. would not be much fun! Dont think it would get the following jungle cruise has had since it was made.

  2. Complete ridiculousness and a waste of time and money. This is the nonsense those ticket price hikes go towards. Shameful.

  3. So does this mean no tribal societies exist in the world today? The point of the Jungle Cruise was exploration and acknowledgement of the jungle civilization. Next we will be censoring National Geographic.

    1. Jungle Cruise is hardly on the scale of National Geographic. Humor is its purpose, hence the queue/pre-show, the skippers’ corny jokes, and the overall theming.

      The native dances and Trader Sam weren’t meant to educate. They were caricatures meant to entertain through humor. On reflection, the Walt Disney Company can see that those caricatures could be reasonably perceived as offensive, just as blackface performances–once accepted vaudeville acts–are understood now to offend.

      If the new Jungle Cruise bothers you, then please don’t go.

      1. The further you look into it, the more you’ll realize everything in the parks is some play on cultural stereotypes and appropriation. It’s a big part of what theme parks are, in order to play on what people know about subjects. Certainly some is offensive, but some is also likely not. Eventually they’ll get to something you care about too.

        1. I’m confused by your reply, Tom, especially this sentence “Eventually they’ll get to something you care about too.”

          I _DO_ care about it. Hence my comment that the change by Disney to remove offensive stereotypes from Jungle Cruise is a good thing.

          1. Where does a stereotype end and a reality begin? Have you been to these actual places and know this isn’t accurate and is actually just a stereotype? Because Marc Davis, who worked on this attraction, was someone who traveled to these places, learned about these cultures, and was typically quite respectful of them. People can be offended by things that aren’t actually offensive out of ignorance, the same way someone of a different upbringing may not realize something actually is offensive because they were not exposed to that in their life. Both sides of the argument can be wrong in some cases. Assuming everything in the ride is offensive is just as dumb as assuming none of it is.

            1. Yes, I have been to Africa on multiple occasions, and I have seen native Africans performing ceremonial dances that assumedly are what Jungle Cruise has been parodying.

              Assuming everything in the ride is offensive is just as dumb as assuming none of it is.”

              Of course it is. But who said anything about EVERYTHING on the ride being offensive? I surely didn’t. I love the attraction and enjoy taking it in as much as anyone.

              But as someone else posted here, as this “reengineering” was announced and has been progressing, on reflection I can see how Trader Sam could reasonably be seen as an offensive stereotype. Likewise the tribal dance could to me be reasonably construed as an affront to legitimate rituals that hold deep meaning for some guests.

              Others here–and you, apparently–disagree, and that is their and your right. But to my thinking I’d rather see Disney err on the side of not offending cultures than doing so. There is plenty of other humor to keep the attraction fun.

              And I agree with your comment “People can be offended by things that aren’t actually offensive out of ignorance.” People nowadays seem sprung to be offended, and that’s wrong. But in the case of Trader Sam and the warriors dance (or whatever it was called), I can see how sincere people of African heritage could legitimately be hurt by them, and I agree with Disney’s decision to rethink those items in the attraction.

              1. I’m not arguing Trader Sam, who is parody as he was comedic in nature, but there was a significant amount more realism to the native village scenes than there was to Sam. I’m not sure I have ever heard a complaint or seen a comment with a strong feeling against this scene, but maybe I am wrong and it is offensive.

                It seems what is being removed goes far beyond what was announced to be removed, and as it is removed, the outrage seems to grow. Disney could’ve been more honest about all of the changes and quoted some of this, they chose not to be. I think they played this wrong.

  4. Fantastic news and long overdue! I remember visiting Disneyland in 1968 on my Dad’s return from his 2nd tour in Vietnam. I was 6 and my sister was 5. He’d received 2 free booklets from Disney because he was a veteran. We wouldn’t have been able to afford it otherwise. Long story short, Louis Armstrong played live to an all-white audience, everyone there was white. My sister and I cried when we asked our mother where the Black families were and she told us they weren’t allowed in Disneyland. That meant our best friends and classmates Brenda, Donna and Kenny from Hampton, Virginia couldn’t have the same fun as we did just because they were black?! That was so unfair!!!

    Jungle Cruise’s depiction of Africans was cartoonish and racist, pure and simple. I know Africans from Ghana, Mozambique, Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal. I’m embarrassed by this ignorant portrayal of their culture. The countries that are the most advanced economically and culturally in Africa are the ones that share that most precious and rare political system in the world with us: Democracy. As a woman whose ancestors were elites in Charleston in the 1700’s and 1800’s, and fought with Britain against the US and later with the Confederacy against the Union, I recognize that African-American slaves made a greater contribution to building this nation than my own ancestors did. They deserve what my ancestors received plus interest! They worked harder, sacrificed more, were given less, they taught my ancestors how to grow rice! they were much truer Christians than they were, still are! My ancestors kept other poor whites poor and looked down on them too. They had them do the unsavory work, the cruel work, they believed themselves too genteel to do. They paid them subsistence wages, and didn’t even provide them with adequate housing, or schooling for their children. Of course as rich Episcopalians, poor whites weren’t allowed in their churches. Poor whites attended Methodist and Baptist churches instead. My ancestors married into other wealthy land-owning families. They didn’t marry for love. Those who tired of marrying first cousins preferred to not marry at all than to marry a landless white person. And so they surely and slowly will die out with my generation. This is as it should be! This country needs fresh blood, new ideas, brave souls, compassionate hearts, to carry this great country forward. No more going backwards. It’s a dead end.

    Disney is changing with the times, bravo! Old ideas, decrepit and harmful traditions must be retired for something different at first but better as time goes by. Now Disney, I welcome these changes but it’s time to pay your employees, my fellow Americans, a living wage- I don’t mind making only 3% on your stock a year. Cut the outrageous CEO pay! I’m with Abigail Disney on this one.

  5. When will they remove the Dumbo ride from their parks? That movie is quite racist.

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