Disney Parks releases a behind-the-scenes video of Jungle Cruise, which is currently being redesigned by Disney Imagineers on both coasts.
A behind-the-scenes video from Disney Parks shows off some updates to the renovated Jungle Cruise ride, located in California’s Disneyland park.
Jungle Cruise will start booking official tours starting July 16 at Disneyland, with Alberta Falls, the proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd., also preparing a similar experience for the Magic Kingdom Park in Florida, which is expected to be complete this summer. The BTS video showcases how the Disneyland and Disney World creative teams worked together to reimagine the Jungle Cruise ride in what Chris Beatty, the Creative Portfolio Executive for Walt Disney World, called a “bi-coastal” project.
“When we set out to update the Jungle Cruise, we had three goals that were important to us as we went through our development,” said Beatty. “One, keep it classic. This has to remain the Jungle Cruise that everyone knows and loves. Two, bring a sense of inclusivity to this project. We wanna make sure everyone who rides the Jungle Cruise can see themself in the characters and this experience.”
The third thing Beatty emphasized was the importance of the Jungle Cruise skippers who pilot the boats that take guests through the experience. “The skippers are what bring this experience to life,” he said. The video also showcases the Imagineers working to bring the ride to life, along with new scenes and characters, all constructed by the bi-coastal Imagineering teams.
“Working with the Walt Disney World team, we developed the props together. There was a lot of conversation about the gags, so we worked very hard on making sure that we were in sync together with the story that we were telling,” said Kim Irvine, Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering. “This is a natural transition because [Walt Disney’s] original Jungle Cruise was very serious. After a few years, they decided that they needed to add some humor to it.”
First introduced to the park in 1955, the updates and redesigns to Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise began earlier in 2021, after decades of complaints about the ride’s racist caricatures of Indigenous people. Concept art of the possible redesigns was released in Jan. 2021, which is reflected in Disney Parks’ recent BTS video.
“One of the highlights of this experience is getting to work with our Imagineering partners at Disneyland,” said Beatty. “Not often do we get to do a project bi-coastal, so we have incredibly talented Imagineers who are working around the clock to do the same thing that we’re doing here at Walt Disney World, which is to bring a more inclusive, more relevant, fun experience to the Jungle Cruise.”
Jungle Cruise is not the only ride getting a redesign as part of Disney Parks’ efforts towards inclusivity and diversity. For example, Splash Mountain!, which was designed after the controversial 1946 animated film Song of the South, is being redesigned to instead feature characters from 2009’s The Princess and the Frog.
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