NEWS: New Jungle Cruise Experience Opening Soon at Disneyland Park; Work at Magic Kingdom to be Completed This Summer

Earlier this year Disney announced the Jungle Cruise would receive updates at both Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom. While the updates at Magic Kingdom have been done in phases while the attraction remains open, at Disneyland the attraction remains closed. An opening date has been announced along with an end date for work at Magic Kingdom. Learn more below.


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

If you’ve missed the back side of water, hippos that wiggle their ears and skippers with a pun for every river bend, we have exciting news!

Jungle Cruise will reopen July 16, 2021, at Disneyland park, with an updated experience that welcomes new characters from around the world plus even more of the humor, wildlife, and skipper heart that makes this classic attraction a favorite. At Magic Kingdom Park, you can continue to enjoy the Jungle Cruise while updates are being made, and all changes will be completed this summer.

Progress continues at both parks as Imagineers build on the original story with new adventures that stay true to the experience we know and love. Today we’re revealing a behind-the-scenes look at the work on Trader Sam’s newest venture, which recently dropped in at Disneyland.

Credit: Disney

True to his reputation as the best merchant in the jungle, Trader Sam has found a way to convert the new Lost & Found location into something more profitable for the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd. The Jungle Cruise appears to be going the route of all the best rides – ending with a gift shop! Take a look at this first look above!

True to their reputations, our world-famous skippers will continue their unique presentations along the river with interactions that guests expect. In this video, Disney Imagineer Kevin Lively takes us on recent trip down the river at Magic Kingdom to share a reminder of some classic Jungle Cruise moments:


The Jungle Cruise enhancements include several new scenes along the river, all interconnected.  Unexpected scenarios along the way will give the jungle and the animals the last laugh!

Stay tuned for more updates on the Jungle Cruise progress, including events that led up to this final scene.

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:

Editor’s Note: The Jungle Cruise is being updated at both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park. Click here to learn more about what’s coming. The attraction will remain open and updates will happen in phases. 


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 1960s. 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 inspired 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 of 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, 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