Disney has revealed that the iconic Disneyland and Walt Disney World attractions are going to get a serious facelift.
After a declaration that Splash Mountain will get a retheme and shift away from Song of the South, and even older attraction, the Jungle Cruise has now been revealed as a huge upgrade.
Walt Disney Imagineering Artistic Portfolio Executive Chris Beatty announced a proposed update to Disney’s D23 website, explaining that the Jungle Cruise has not been completely revamped. It suggests, instead, that much of the current display scenes will continue. There are only a handful who are likely to change. Beatty explains why…
“We want to make sure everybody has the best time—that guests from all over the world can connect with the stories we share and that how we bring those to life are respectful of the diverse world we live in. And when they get off the attraction, they know that we have done our homework because these are the details that matter. When you look at the Jungle Cruise, as it is today, there are just a couple of scenes that don’t do that and need a refresh.”
Although Chris Beatty doesn’t get through what’s actually going to change, a recent piece of concept art reveals a subtly changed version of the sequence where the rhino has chased a group of adventurers up a tree, so that the scene remains.
In reality, the party of adventurers, rather than simply being a random group of people in a single scene, will now be part of a larger plot. Both of them would have their own history and cultural heritage, and, one hopes, merchandise.
One of the latest scenes will remind us what happened to the boat the colonists brought down the river, which sounds like a little bit of art imitating life. The Kongo Kate, another Jungle Cruise craft, will be seen against some cliffs, where some locals have taken over it. Really, the overhaul of the Jungle Cruise is not all that surprising. There have been suggestions since the upcoming movie was released that anything like this could be on the way. Having said that, it doesn’t seem that the film itself will play a role in the current attraction.
Chris Beatty went on to add that while the trip is likely to contain references to the movie in the form of Easter Eggs, don’t expect the animatronic Dwayne Johnson or Emily Blunt to appear at some point…
“Does that mean that as Imagineers we won’t put Easter eggs in there? We’ll definitely do that. But we are not adding a major storyline or character from that film.”
Anyone who is worried that the new version of Jungle Cruise could miss any of the classic ride’s charm obviously shouldn’t care if, for no other reason than the people who have a personal link to the attraction, they’re working on the new version.
Walt Disney Imagineer Kevin Lively is a writer working on the film, and he was actually a Jungle Cruise Skipper once and for all, so you can be sure he’ll make sure nothing bad happens to your favorite coaster. Disney Parks posted a video of Lively going through the changes. Although it is not clear what will be missing until the overhaul is completed, it has been reported that the ride will delete “negative depictions of native people.” You can checkout the video down below: