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Why Is Disney Changing Jungle Cruise?

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Disney, the world-renowned entertainment conglomerate, has recently announced significant updates to its Jungle Cruise ride at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. This decision has led to a flurry of questions and discussions among Disney fans worldwide – the most common one being, “why is Disney changing Jungle Cruise?” This article aims to address this question in-depth, providing examples, reference points, and statistics to help readers understand the topic better.


Disney is changing the Jungle Cruise ride to remove negative and racially insensitive depictions of native peoples, aiming to make the ride more inclusive and reflective of the diversity of the world. The changes are part of Disney’s broader effort to address outdated cultural depictions in its attractions. The updated ride includes new scenes and characters, while maintaining its humor and adventure elements.

Disney’s Decision to Change Jungle Cruise

Disney decided to update the Jungle Cruise ride to remove negative and racially insensitive depictions of native peoples. The company aimed to make the ride more inclusive and reflective of the diversity of the world around us. The changes were part of a broader effort by Disney to address outdated cultural depictions in its attractions and ensure that the experiences they create and the stories they share are more inclusive.

The New Jungle Cruise: What’s Different?

The new version of Jungle Cruise has undergone significant changes to address and remove negative depictions of native people. These changes aim to make the ride more culturally sensitive and relevant to today’s audience while maintaining its humor and adventure elements. Some of the updates include:

  1. A large cobra holding a glowing orb replacing the tribal ruins at the beginning of the ride.
  2. The scene with spear throwers being replaced by chimps releasing a crate of fleas.
  3. The native dance scene being replaced by a boat taken over by curious chimps that have opened the luggage and are creating havoc.
  4. The addition of a colorful new snake shrine and an elephant sculpture that replaces one formerly steeped in religious iconography.

Implementation of the Changes

The changes to Jungle Cruise at Disneyland took effect on July 16, 2021, after a soft opening on July 9, 2021. As for Walt Disney World, the changes were being implemented in stages while the attraction remained open, with no specific completion date mentioned.

Reactions to the Changes

Disney fans have had mixed reactions to various changes and announcements made by the company. For instance, the addition of Marvel-themed content to Disneyland was met with excitement by many fans. However, when Disney announced updates for several rides at Disney World, the reactions were more mixed, with some fans expressing excitement and others being unhappy about the changes.

The Impact of Cultural Changes and Criticism

The Jungle Cruise ride has been impacted by cultural changes and criticism, leading to a revamp of the attraction to remove negative and racially insensitive depictions of native people. Critics had accused the ride, which first launched in 1955, of having racist overtones in its portrayal of some non-Western characters as savages and cannibals. In response, Disney updated the ride to “reflect and value the diversity of the world around us”.


The decision to update the Jungle Cruise ride aligns with Disney’s current strategy and values by promoting inclusivity, diversity, and cultural sensitivity. The updated ride also addresses environmental concerns, focusing on the havoc humans wreak on the environment. Disney has been working on updating its attractions to be more culturally sensitive and inclusive, demonstrating their commitment to creating experiences that reflect the values and rich diversity of the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What other Disney attractions have been updated for cultural sensitivity?

Besides Jungle Cruise, Disney has updated other attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain for cultural sensitivity. Pirates of the Caribbean has been revamped to remove a scene that depicted women being auctioned off. Splash Mountain is being re-themed to remove its association with the racially insensitive film “Song of the South,” and will now be based on the animated film “The Princess and the Frog.”

How long did the changes to Jungle Cruise take to implement?

The exact timeline for the changes to Jungle Cruise is not publicly disclosed by Disney. However, the changes were announced in January 2021 and implemented in July 2021. This suggests that the planning and execution of the changes took several months.

Are there plans to change other rides in the future?

Disney has not made specific announcements about future updates to other rides. However, given their commitment to promoting inclusivity and cultural sensitivity, it’s likely that they will continue to evaluate and update their attractions as needed.

Are the changes to Jungle Cruise permanent?

Yes, the changes to Jungle Cruise are permanent. Disney has made these changes as part of their ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusivity, and they have not indicated any plans to revert these updates.

Did the changes affect the ride’s duration?

No, the changes to Jungle Cruise did not affect the ride’s duration. The updates were mainly focused on the ride’s storyline and characters, not its length or course.

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