The Creation of the Jungle Cruise Ride Was Personally Overseen By Walt Disney
The Jungle Cruise ride involves a wisecracking skipper who ferries people along a waterway. It is one of the last remaining attractions created with Walt Disney overseeing the project personally. The attraction is present at both US theme parks in California and Florida, and although the ride was inspired by documentaries focused on nature, it has not aged very gracefully. One of the sights that guests would see along the river route is a scene depicting wild, primitive, and threatening native people.
Disney Confirmed the Upcoming Overhaul of the Jungle Cruise
Disney has confirmed the ride’s overhaul in a recent press release, and one of the changes will be a new and animated skipper character. In a statement, Disney’s creative development and inclusion strategies executive Carmen Smith said that it was their responsibility to ensure the experiences they create and the stories they share reflect the perspective and voices of the modern world.
A Jungle Cruise movie is also due out in 2021. It will star Emily Blunt, Jesse Plemons, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson, who will play the role of the skipper. While Disney has not confirmed any overlap between the ride and the movie, a coincidence seems to be unlikely.
Throughout the year, the Jungle Cruise ride was one of several Disney attractions that were called out for having distasteful imagery. The Splash Mountain log flume ride was criticized for the featured characters from Song of the South and its cringe-worthy depictions of Black people. Last year, Disney said the ride would be reconfigured to include characters from The Princess and the Frog.
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride was also criticized for its animatronic scenes that depict pirates selling female captives. That ride was also changed and now the pirates auction off non-human loot.