10 More Facts About the Jungle Cruise!
Hello everyone and welcome to Celebrations’ world famous blog post about the Jungle Cruise! I’ll be your author for the remainder of the article, except for the parts you don’t enjoy. My boss wrote those parts. Just kidding. He’s great, certainly better than my last boss. I worked at the orange juice factory and got canned because I couldn’t concentrate.
Longtime Jungle Cruise fans will likely recognize some of the above from the Jungle Cruise spiel. The attraction is the gift that just keeps giving. Last week, we shared some trivia about the history of the attraction, as well as a little bit of information about the Jingle Cruise (the holiday overlay for the attraction). By the end, we realized there was still more to tell. So, without further ado: here are 10 more facts about the Jungle Cruise.
1. Albert Awol
As you wait in the queue to board the Jungle Cruise, you’ll hear the voice of Albert Awol. He’s the “Voice of the Jungle” for the DBC (Disney Broadcasting Company). As you wait, Albert will make announcements and serve as DJ, playing a variety of songs like Jeepers Creepers, Harlem River Quiver, and You’re the Top. The music helps set the mood that you’re going out on an expedition in the 1930s.
You can also catch a glimpse of Awol’s office as you make your way through the queue. Albert isn’t there, but you’ll see some of his personal effects like his boots, hat, and gun.
2. Missing Persons and Lost Boats
One of my favorite details in the queue is the blackboard with a list of missing persons and lost boats written in chalk. Take a quick look at some of the wonderfully punny names you’ll see: Al Belaite, Ilene Dover, Ann Fellen, and B.N. Eaton. As for the boats? Here’s a small sample: Lost Lucia, Blown-Up Bonita, Fateless Fiona, and Run Aground Sue.
3. Murky Waters
As you drift through the rivers of the Jungle Cruise, you’ll notice that you’re traveling through some mighty murky waters. It makes it really feel like you’re traveling down a river in the depths of the jungle. However, the water isn’t naturally that muddy. It’s dyed that color. Beyond adding a sense of realism to the attraction, it hides how shallow the water is as well as the boat track and mechanical parts of some of the animal figures you encounter. The dye is added in the morning before Guests arrive. The boats help churn and mix the dye as they travel along.
4. How Many Boats?
Ever wonder just how many boats run on the Jungle Cruise? There are 15 total, but only nine run at a time. Each boat is named after a river, typically with an alliterative second name. During the Jingle Cruise, the boats are renamed with a holiday theme. Their regular names are: Amazon Annie, Bomokandi Bertha, Congo Connie, Ganges Gertie, Irrawaddy Irma, Mongala Millie, Nile Nellie, Orinoco Ida, Rutshuru Ruby, Sankuru Sadie, Senegal Sal, Ucayali Lolly, Volta Val, Wamba Wanda, and Zambezi Zelda.
5. Mickey, Donald and Goofy
Believe it or not, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy make an appearance on the Jungle Cruise. However, you might have a hard time recognizing them. As you float along, you’ll come to a clearing with three canoes. Each canoe has a head on it, and though it may not be immediately recognizable, they’re designed to resemble Mickey, Donald and Goofy. Mickey is on the first boat. The curved horns are meant to resemble the classic Mickey ears. The canoe in the middle is Donald, and you’ll probably have an easier time seeing his bill. The last canoe has a face with antlers, which are meant to resemble Goofy’s ears.
6. Just Plane Fun
Near the hippo pool, you’ll see part of an airplane that appears to have crashed in the jungle. What you won’t see is the front half of the aircraft. To see that you’d have to travel back in time and take a trip on The Great Movie Ride.
The airplane is a WWII vintage Lockheed Model Electra Junior. The plane was purchased during the construction of The Great Movie Ride and the front half was used in the attraction’s Casablanca scene. For a time, the back half could be found on the now defunct Studio Backlot tour, but eventually made its way to The Jungle Cruise.
7. Get the Point?
One of the classic gags on the Jungle Cruise is the rhinoceros chasing a group of explorers up a pole. The unfortunate low man on the pole sits just above the rhino’s horn. It’s here that the Jungle Cruise skipper will make a joke about how she’s sure he’ll get the point…in the end. If you look close at the face you might feel like you’ve seen him before. That’s because he can also be found on the Haunted Mansion. He’s the terrified gravedigger standing outside the cemetery with his dog. Poor fellow can’t seem to catch a break no matter what he does.
8. Pneumatic Power
Typically when we talk about characters in a Walt Disney World attraction, we’re talking about Audio Animatronic figures. Of course, there are a few issues with having electronics submerged in water. So just how do the hippos and such function? They’re pneumatic, which means they are moved by compressed air.
9. The Eyes Have It
When you enter the darkness of the temple, you’ll see animals with glowing eyes. While effects at Walt Disney World tend to be on the cutting edge, sometimes simple tricks work just as well. The eyes are marbles that have been coated with a special paint.
10. New Adventures Await
As mentioned last week, the Jungle Cruise played a role in helping Walt Disney develop his philosophy that his parks would never be truly finished. So, it makes sense that the Jungle Cruise would continue to grow and evolve over the years. In early 2021, Disney announced some upcoming changes to the attraction. There will be an Audio Animatronic skipper featured in a scene, as will chimpanzees. Plus, we’ll finally get answers to some burning questions: why is the rhino chasing the explorers up the pole? How did they get in the predicament in the first place? What happened to some of the “lost expeditions” of the Jungle Cruise?
It’s an exciting time for one of Walt Disney World’s most beloved attractions, and we can’t wait to see what comes next.