Disney Updating Jungle Cruise After Insensitivity Criticism
Disney constantly strives for and is dedicated to enhancing classic attractions in a manner that elevates the experience for all guests. Today, the company announced that the famed Jungle Cruise attraction will be getting a major refurbishment, including an overhaul of the storyline at both Disneyland California and Walt Disney World Florida.
The ride has long faced criticism for featuring racist depictions of people of color. According to Disney, the refurbishments will feature new adventures and updated animatronics that stay true to the experience guests know and love including more humor, more wildlife, and more skipper heart — while also reflecting and valuing diversity. These planned updates are to help bring more depth to the overall storyline of the Jungle Cruise, while still having the Skippers give out comedic commentary.
Although there is a new Jungle Cruise live-action movie starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson slated to be released this Summer, Disney has confirmed that this attraction will not feature any characters or major storylines from the new film. In fact, the ride will continue a tradition that Walt Disney started more than six decades ago when he first enhanced the ride. The new creative concept for the river journey will be original to Walt Disney Imagineering, while addressing how native people and their culture are represented, a spokeswoman for Disney said.
The changes Disney plans for the Jungle Cruise will make the skippers a key part of the attraction’s storyline. An animatronic version of a skipper will be added as part of the overhaul throughout the ride. In one re-imagined scene, the skipper will be shown being chased up a pole by a rhinoceros, for instance.
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.
“We are constantly evaluating ways to enhance attractions and experiences in our parks. And when guests get off the attraction, they know that we have done our homework because these are the details that matter,” said Chris Beatty, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Portfolio Executive.
“When you look at the Jungle Cruise, as it is today, there are just a couple of scenes that don’t do that and needed a refresh… It’s the Jungle Cruise you know and love, with the skippers still leading the way, and at the same time, we’re addressing the negative depictions of ‘natives.’”
The announcement was made via Disney Parks through a humorous video seen below.
The rehab follows a recent trend of updating classic attractions at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Recently, Disneyland’s Snow White Scary Adventures was upgraded and renamed as Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. Some of the updates can be seen in the video below.
At this time, there is no word on when the refurbishment will be completed at both parks. For more info and tickets, visit the official Disney Parks website by clicking here.
So what do you think about the refurbishment of the Jungle Cruise? Let us know in the Amusement Park Community FB Group HERE!
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