D - Major Attraction/Headliner
Supervise children at all times.
The Jungle Cruise is a classic opening day attraction that is one of the anchors to Adventureland. A lighthearted boat ride through the Amazon, Congo, Nile and Mekong Rivers, guests are accompanied by a wisecracking Skipper that tells the story of the attraction.
The attraction begins with a few sight gags in the queue, as well as an overhead narration with classic Jungle Cruise jokes. The show scenes feature animatronics of animals, people on safari, tribal warriors, and of course Trader Sam/Chief Nami.
Board a jungle boat to travel exotic rivers of the world, guided by a witty and experienced skipper.
Located across from the Enchanted Tiki Room down the stairs/ramp to the lower boat dock.
This attraction appeals to the entire family, but some people may be turned off by the corny jokes if the skipper is sub par.
Times Guide – Opening/Closing
Jungle Cruise opens and closes with the park, but does not participate in Morning Extra Magic Hours or special events like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Jungle Cruise is one of the mid range demand Fastpass+ reservations in the park. Same day availability typically exists, and guests can save time using Fastpass+ at this location.
Before you Ride
The level of enjoyment for this ride can be highly variable. It is largely contingent on the Skipper that is leading your boat. If he/she is funny the ride will be far more enjoyable than if they're not.
The queue can be deceptively long. Switchbacks weave in and out of different rooms giving a false sense of nearing the end of the line.
Queue entertainment involves a small selection of props and gags that includes references to Imagineers. There is also a caged tarantula near the loading area that occasionally moves to spook guests.
There is a narration that can be heard in the queue as well. It's a loop, but the loop is approximately 30 minutes long so it doesn't get too repetitive. The narrator is a fictional character named Albert Awol, and the narration was added to the queue during a 1991 refurbishment.
Occasionally bored Skippers will jump on the attraction's PA system and make fake announcements as well to entertain the guests waiting to board the attraction.
The vehicles are 27 feet long with seating around the boat and a center area of crates that can also seat guests. Each vehicle can accommodate 28-32 guests.
The vehicles are powered by a 4-cylinder Chevrolet engine.
The top speed is 3.2 feet per second.
The full list of boat names are as follows:
- Bomokandi Bertha
- Ucyali Lolly
- Congo Connie
- Mongala Millie
- Irrawaddy Irma
- Zambesi Zelda
- Nile Nelly
- Ganges Gertie
- Amazon Annie
- Wamba Wanda
- Orinoco Ida
- Sankuru Sadie
- Volta Val
- Senegal Sal
- Rutshuru Ruby
An additional boat (Kwango Kate) has been retired.
Jungle Cruise initially drew inspiration from the True Life Adventure shows as well as the movie African Queen. Today, the story is that guests are venturing out on a 2 week safari beginning in an outpost along the Amazon River.
The time period of the attraction is meant to be during the 1930's (Great Depression era).
Beyond this general back story, the ride is a tour of various show scenes native to the four rivers (Amazon, Congo, Nile and Mekong Rivers) that the guests are touring.
As the boat leaves the dock, the Skipper will often tell the guests to wave to the people on the dock. Variants of this line include:
- Wave goodbye to all the people on the dock... you're never going to see them again. Of course you never saw them before so I guess it doesn't matter.
- Wave goodbye to all the beautiful people on the dock... now wave goodbye to [Insert fellow Skippers Name]. He/She needs love too.
The Skipper advises guests that we are on the World Famous Jungle Cruise and goes over the safety spiel interjecting jokes throughout.
The first river the boat approaches is the Amazon river where, "everything is larger than life". Larger than life butter flies line the river banks often prompting this joke:
- Their wing span can range from 12 inches up to a whopping... one foot.
The Skipper will continue talking about how the Amazon River has more water than any river in the world and that much of that water comes from waterfalls like Inspiration Falls.
- The reason they call it Inspiration Falls is because if you stare at it long enough, it will inspire you to go...
After Inspiration Falls, the river bends and the boat is now traveling into the Congo River of Central Africa. The Skipper claims to have arranged a Pygmy welcoming party. The Pygmies are nowhere to be scene, even though remnants of their ships can be seen along the beach. The Skipper indicates that something must have scared them off and then they proceed to get scared by a Giant Python wrapped around a tree. Jokes in this area include:
- Do you know what kind of snake that is? It begins with a P... Plastic... it's a plastic snake.
After the python, the boat passes by a camp full of gorillas. The Skipper mentions that he/she has to stop at the camp to pick up a few things before they're startled by the gorillas. The gorillas are in front of the tent and there is an overturned jeep on the left side of the scene.
- You know, I couldn't get that Jeep started this morning... it looks like they got it to turn over.
Following the gorilla camp, the boat transitions into the Nile River...
- The Nile River goes on for niles and niles and niles. If you don't believe me, you're in denile.
Along the river banks is an African Bull Elephant. Around the corner from the first elephant is a second elephant. This prompts a wide range of jokes. These include:
- Do you know how you can tell this is an African Elephant? We're in Africa.
- The African Bull Elephant is the second most feared animal in the jungle. Coming up is the most feared... his mother in law.
The second elephant will also trumpet as the boat passes, and occasionally Skippers will use this trumpting to prompt another joke:
- Speak! (Elephant trumpets) Louder! (Elephant trumpets louder) Spray the boat! (Elephant does nothing)
The next scene features the African Veldt. As the boat approaches the scene, it passes by a large rock formation.
- This rock is pure solid sandstone... so don't take it for granite.
In the African Veldt, a selection of giraffes, wildebeest, impalas and more stand along the water. Nearby a small pride of lions is in their den with a zebra that appears to be dead:
- Look at those lions watching over that sleeping zebra. That's how zebras usually sleep with their necks off to the side. He looks dead tired.
- This shows is the first rule of the jungle... don't be a zebra
The real first rule of the jungle is survival of the fittest, and this allows the Skipper to transition into the next scene where the discuss survival of the fastest. The scene features a rhinoceros that chased down a safari. The rhinoceros is standing at the foot of a pole with several members of the safari on the pole trying to avoid the rhino.
- You know I told those guys that a rhino can run as fast as a horse, but they didn't believe me. I guess they'll get the point... in the end.
The boat turns down the river into crocodile country. Here the Skipper introduces Old Smiley and his girlfriend Ginger.
- Old Smiley just sits around all day waiting for a hand out... or a foot out...
- Keep an eye on Ginger though because Ginger snaps... She is one tough cookie.
Straight ahead of the boat is a waterfall identified as Schwitzer Falls. The boat takes a sharp right turn avoiding the water fall.
- That's beautiful Schwitzer Falls, named after the famous explorer, Dr. Albert... Falls.
Following the waterfall, the boat passes by a downed airplane. This prompts a few joke options as well:
- A lot of people ask me how I landed my job in the jungle. It's plane to see, I took a crash course...
- Oh no! A downed air plane can only mean one thing... hippos. Anti-aircraft hippos.
The river leads into a pool of hippos. The hippos emerge from the water and the Skipper attempts to scare them away. Historically, there have been complaints about whether or not the Skippers should use the guns they have on board. Because of this, Skippers will also wave the gun at the hippos and yell "Go away!" or some variant instead of shooting them. The guns used to be cap guns, but now they play a recording of a gun shot. The hippos will go back underwater regardless of what the Skipper chooses.
Headhunter territory is next and the boat passes by a boat full of skulls and a group of head hunters marching in a circle. Then,a group of headhunters wield spears on the left side of the boat. The Skipper tries to get everyone to duck so they don't get hit with a spear.
Following the headhunter scene, the boat passes underneath Schwitzer Falls again to see, "The Backside of Water!" This has historically been one of the oldest jokes on the Jungle Cruise. This leads into the Mekong River in Southeast Asia and an ancient Cambodian Temple.
Inside the temple, the Skipper typically does not talk. Previously, they would make jokes through this scene but it does not typically happen anymore. Scenery includes a tiger, monkeys, snakes, spiders, statues and more. The boat emerges from the temple into the secret bathing pool of the Indian Elephants.
- It's ok to take pictures, they all have their trunks on.
At the end of the elephant bathing pool there are a pair of elephants submerged in the water. The first elephant pops up in front of the boat and sprays water. As the boat approaches the second elephant, it appears that the boat will be sprayed. The elephant makes a motion as if it's going to spray the boat but then doesn't.
- I guess he forgot to pack his trunk.
The last stop is visiting Trader Sam. Trader Sam is holding a series of shrunken heads and the Skipper tells us about Trader Sam:
- Trader Sam is the Head Salesman of the Jungle. He's offering a special deal, two of his heads for one of yours. Any way you slice it, you come out a head.
At this point, the boat approaches the unload dock. There will often be a delay here where the Skipper will continue to make jokes before unload.
The boats ride on a track situated below the vehicle. The track is similar in concept to the track found at the Tomorrowland Speedway as it's more of a guide rail. The guide rail allows the boats to move with limited range, but the actual direction of the boats is restricted by this guide rail. The only thing that's really controlled by the Skipper is the throttle.
The water in the Jungle Cruise is dyed by placing the dying agent in Schweitzer falls. This functions as a way to mix the dye throughout the entire attraction.
There are no attractions that are particularly similar to the Jungle Cruise. From a comedic standpoint it's comparable to Turtle Talk with Crush and Monster's Inc Laugh Floor, however the attractions are fundamentally very different.
The closest ride vehicle on property to the boats used at the Jungle Cruise are the vehicles found in Living with the Land.
The below video is used with permission from the YouTube channel Virtual Disney World. These videos allow users to manipulate the camera a full 360 degrees using their cursor or directional arrows on their computer. Users on a smartphone or tablet can also manipulate the camera by moving their device in the direction they wish to look.
The below videos are used with permission from the YouTube channel SoCal Attractions 360. These videos are in 4K or 1080p resolution for peak quality.
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