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Jungle Cruise (facts, tips, & history)

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Jungle Cruise (facts, tips, & history)

Jungle Cruise is one of several classic attractions that remains a fan favorite at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

You hop on a boat for a safari adventure led by pun-filled Skippers, who will not only make you laugh, but will also show you the eighth wonder of the world — the backside of water!

Quick Facts

  • Location: Magic Kingdom, Adventureland
  • Height Requirement: None
  • Description: Jungle Cruise is a river raft ride where animatronic animals and corny jokes abound. Every Jungle Cruise Skipper has their own “routine” with jokes, so every ride is a little bit different. Little ones who are easily scared should maybe be told ahead of time that the animals are all pretend.
  • When to Visit: 3rd hr
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Tip(s): Ride at night for a unique experience and shorter lines.
  • Genie+, Individual Lightning Lane Selection, or Virtual Queue: Jungle Cruise is available with Genie+
  • Scheduled Refurbishments
jungle cruise boat with skipper in mask

Everything You Need To Know About Jungle Cruise

Location

You can find Jungle Cruise in Adventureland across from Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Here’s the location on the map.

jungle cruise location on the disney map

Height Requirement

There isn’t a height requirement for Jungle Cruise. FYI: we have a page dedicated to the height requirements for attractions.

Rider Switch & Single Rider

Rider Switch, the system that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one, is not offered for Jungle Cruise. There also isn’t a Single Rider Line.

History

Jungle Cruise first opened in 1971 during Magic Kingdom’s opening day. It was also an original opening day attraction at Disneyland Park in 1955.

Before becoming known for its laughs and jokes, the attraction as a whole was initially more of a serious one with only a few jokes.

jungle cruise boat at magic kingdom

The original script for Disneyland was written by Winston Hibler and inspired by Disney’s True-Life Adventure African Lion film. This led to a more serious and educational tone, but that all changed in the ’60s when Imagineer Marc Davis took over and turned the ride into what many know and love today.

During the holidays, Jungle Cruise receives a holiday overlay and becomes the “Jingle Cruise.” It’s mostly the same ride, but the jokes are holiday-themed, there are fun decorations, and more.

Believe it or not, but Jingle Cruise actually hasn’t been around that long — only since 2013!

2013 jingle cruise poster

In January 2021, Disney announced that some much-needed changes are coming to the Jungle Cruise on both coasts. Those updates are now complete.

Some of the enhancements include incorporating an animatronic skipper, new characters, including Alberta Falls, adding new jokes (don’t worry, many of the classics are remaining), and freshening up the story with chimpanzees, new explorers being chased up the pole, and making the Skippers more of a focus.

Here is the concept art shared by Disney:

jungle cruise concept art
jungle cruise concept art

Most importantly, the outdated depictions and problematic scenes have been removed.

As Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Portfolio Executive Chris Beatty told D23, “This is not a re-envisioning of the entire attraction. It’s the Jungle Cruise you know and love, with the skippers still leading the way, and at the same time, we’re addressing the negative depictions of ‘natives.’”

This also means the removal of Trader Sam from the final scene of the ride. But he isn’t totally gone; Trader Sam is still part of the attraction in a unique way.

jungle cruise trader sam update scene

The final scene features a Lost & Found/Gift Shop with a sign indicating that it is managed by Trader Sam (in place of the Trader Sam animatronic). As stated by Disney, “But, while he’s out lost and finding some new inventory, it’s the animals that get the last laugh!”

Queue

The Jungle Cruise queue is completely outdoors, but part of the line is covered. While the ride doesn’t have an interactive queue like many other attractions, there are plenty of sights and sounds to enjoy.

Motion Sickness

Jungle Cruise’s boats are slow-moving and don’t have any fast turns, so motion sickness seems very unlikely. That said, we do have a guide on motion sickness that’s filled with information and tips, so feel free to check that out.

Ride Vehicles

The ride vehicles for Jungle Cruise are small boats. There is seating around the entire interior of the boat for guests to sit.

seating on the jungle cruise boat

You will ride in the boat with other groups, but your party will always be seated together — or at least near one another.

You are not strapped in or anything like that, but simply sit down and ride around inside the boat.

Is It Kid-Friendly?

Overall, Jungle Cruise is kid-friendly. But, keep in mind some of the animals may scare little ones. There’s also one scene in which the boat rides through a dark cave that could be scary for children.

Anyone riding with kids may want to tell them that the animals aren’t real prior to riding.

We also have a full guide on several other things that might scare little ones at WDW.

snake on the jungle cruise

PhotoPass/On-Ride Photos

Your photo isn’t taken on Jungle Cruise.

If you want more information on this, be sure to check out our PhotoPass and how Memory Maker works guides.

Video

You can go on the Jungle Cruise in the video below — and get a good laugh in the process.

Other Fun Details

  • Easter Eggs: Rumor has it that when you enter the hippo pool, you’ll see the back half of a plane on the right, and, apparently, the front half was used in the Casablanca scene in the now-deceased Great Movie Ride.
  • Play Disney Parks: N/A
  • Movie Connections: The ride isn’t based on a movie, but there is a new live-action Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt that was inspired by the attraction.
  • Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen: A Table-Service restaurant themed after Jungle Cruise that has a unique menu and is just as fun as the attraction. Reservations are recommended.
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