Classic Disney Ride Deemed “Problematic,” Changes Made

in Disneyland Resort

Boats lined up on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland

Credit: Psychosisblue / Flickr

Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort announced changes to the Jungle Cruise ride in 2021, eliminating culturally insensitive depictions of Native people amid a reimagining of multiple outdated attractions.

Despite multiple updates throughout the decades, any change to the Jungle Cruise is controversial. While some felt the ride should’ve stayed as it was, others praised the modern updates. A few Disney Parks fans believe that Walt Disney Imagineers didn’t change the attraction enough.

The Jungle Cruise

jungle cruise disneyland boats are lined up at the dock
Credit: Disney

One of the most beloved Disneyland Park attractions, Walt Disney Imagineers created different versions of the Jungle Cruise for Adventureland in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disneyland at Tokyo Disney Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. The ride inspired the 2021 film starring Dwayne Johnson (“The Rock”) and Emily Blunt!

“Cast off on a guided tour of the world’s most remote rivers where adventure abounds—and the animals get the last laugh,” Disneyland Resort writes. “Board a canopied tramp steamer and leave civilization behind on a tongue-in-cheek journey through the globe’s most ‘treacherous’ rivers—and oldest gags… Throughout your voyage, you’ll enjoy lively narration from your brave and trusty skipper. It’s a sometimes perilous, always hilarious 10,000-mile journey you won’t soon forget!”

The Jungle Cruise elephant animatronics at the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Brittany DiCologero, Inside the Magic

“The original Jungle Cruise opened on July 17, 1955 at Disneyland Park. Based on Disney’s award-winning True-Life Adventure films, the attraction had a more educational tone. In the early 1960s, Walt Disney introduced more drama and asked animator Marc Davis to sketch some humorous gags. Over the years, more ‘wildlife’—and new wisecracks—were added. These updates, along with our talented skippers, make for fun surprises on every trip down the river.”

What’s Changed?

After visiting Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park for the first time in decades, one guest was pleasantly surprised with the Jungle Cruise updates. Despite waiting longer than expected, they were happy to see the attraction in a “less problematic” state.

Jungle Cruise sign
Credit: Disney

“Hopped in not crazy line for The Jungle Cruise, but unfortunately a boat died and they had to shut down for about 15 min,” Reddit user u/napstimpy wrote. “But they let us stay in line.”

“Glad I did it, but to be honest, it’s a silly ride and I’ve never loved it,” they added. “Nice to see they’ve gone almost completely animal animatronics only. Much less problematic.”

Should Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort further change the Jungle Cruise? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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