BREAKING NEWS: Disney Announces Jungle Cruise is being Updated at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park

Disney has announced a Disney Parks classic attraction will be receiving updates at both Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park. Learn more below.


Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Michael Ramirez:

At Disney Parks, we continue to look for ways to enhance classic attractions and elevate the experience for all of our guests. Today, we’re excited to share that we are building on the story of the Jungle Cruise at both Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort and Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort to include new adventures that stay true to the experience we know and love – more humor, wildlife and skipper heart – and also reflect and value the diversity of the world around us. There are no bigger fans of this attraction than our Imagineers so I’ve invited Kevin Lively – former Jungle Cruise skipper – to share a transmission from the world’s most remote tropical rivers!


Continuing a tradition that Walt Disney started more than six decades ago when he first enhanced the Jungle Cruise, the new creative concept for our river’s journey will be original to Walt Disney Imagineering, just like the attraction itself. Here’s a first look at some of the “gnu” magic we’re adding:

Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

Imagineers are excited to invite current Jungle Cruise skippers at Disneyland park and Magic Kingdom park to a Jungle Navigation Company Roll Call, where they will be among the first to hear more about the new adventures and wonders coming down the river. Recently, Imagineers had the chance to provide a sneak peek to a few skippers at Magic Kingdom park – check out the Walt Disney World Ambassador team on Instagram, @WDW.Ambassador, to see additional reactions, and stay tuned for more details about the enhancements in store for the Jungle Cruise, coming later this year.

Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Facts and Secrets about the Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom at Disney World

by Christy Caby

The Jungle Cruise is a classic attraction that started in Disneyland and then became a part of Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.  The ride holds a lot of history and is a fan favorite for diehard Disney fans.  With all of that history, there are a lot of great facts and secrets that you may not know about.  Here are 10 of my favorites:


10 – A comment about the Jungle Cruise inspired Walt’s entire philosophy for enhancements.

It is said that it is actually a comment that Walt heard a guest say in regards to the Jungle Cruise that changed the way he thought about enhancements to the park and made him realize that he would always have to keep things changing and fresh to keep them interesting and keep them coming back. He heard a mother and son in the park. The boy asked to go on the Jungle Cruise, and the mom responded that they had already done that ride last time and didn’t need to do it again. This has helped guide everything in the parks today.

9 – The scenes are recreations.

The scenes were intentionally created to match the scenes from the True-Life Adventure film series that Walt Disney actually produced in the early 1960’s. The scenes were each created to represent the moments within the film, which is just another reason why this is such a unique attraction and holds a piece of Walt.

Jungle Cruise-4

8 – The jokes weren’t part of the original ride.

Believe it or not, the ride was originally a serious ride that was a more educational tour down the Nile. Later the ride was reimagined, and the jokes that we all know and love today were added. I prefer the attraction with all of the slapstick jokes. I can’t imagine it as a serious attraction at all, and it staying very entertaining as a serious attraction. Good change, Disney!

7 – The glowing eyes in the temple.

Have you ever wondered how they got the effect of the glowing eyes when you are in the Asian temple? You might think that these are lights or something more high tech. Well, they are actually marbles that have a reflective coating on them that create the effect. Pretty simple and cool, huh? I’ll be paying extra attention to these next time I ride!


6 – The truth about the airplane.

The airplane that you see on the attraction is actually a real airplane. Well, it is the back half of a real airplane. The front half was used in The Great Movie Ride during the Casablanca scene. It was a great way for Disney to get the most bang for their buck and kill two birds with one stone if you will. Airplanes are expensive, so this was a great move on their part and one that you might never have noticed on your own.

5 – The ride almost had real animals.

Walt’s original vision for the attraction was to feature real animals. The animals that would be featured on the attraction are mostly nocturnal, so it wouldn’t have created a fascinating attraction to see. This is ultimately why Walt and the Imagineers decided to create their own animals so that they could have activity and entertainment for the guests to see.

Jungle Cruise-2

4 – One way to get exotic looking plants.

If Disney actually had to purchase and ship exotic plants, it would become costly very fast. Plus, there would be the usual care and maintenance for the plants. They found a way to give the appearance of exotic plants. They actually planted orange trees upside down, which let the vines grow and intertwine with the exposed roots. These trees are also native to the area, so they are easier to maintain and take care of.

3 – There have been famous actors that were Jungle Cruise Skippers.

The Jungle Cruise has a lot of lines to memorize and requires the commitment of the Skipper to deliver each line correctly and get the most out of the experience. There have been a few famous folks who actually got their start as skippers on the Jungle Cruise. A few known ones are Kevin Costner, John Lasseter, and Ron Ziegler.

2 – The water is dyed.

Have you noticed how the water is all brown and dirty looking? You might have thought it was lake water or water from some other source. Nope… this water was actually initially crystal clear water that was added to the attraction and then dyed. The water was dyed brown to look more natural and to hide the track and other mechanical components in the water that would be seen if the water were clear.

Jungle Cruise-3

1 – The Jungle Cruise was almost a movie.

Many (if not most) of the attractions at Disney parks are inspired by Disney movies. Once in a while, a Disney attraction is so popular it becomes the inspiration for a Disney movie. This was the case Jungle Cruise’s neighbor attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean. The Jungle Cruise is the latest Disney parks attraction that will be brought to life on the big screen with the release of Jungle Cruise the movie. Jungle Cruise, the movie is scheduled to release the summer of 2020 and will star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, which means that there is a 99.99% chance it will be awesome!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
Back to top button