The Jungle Cruise, located in the land of Adventureland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, is probably one of the most unique attractions in all of Disney. This classic attraction, which opened on Opening Day, October 1, 1971, is a boat ride — but not just any boat ride!
The Walt Disney Imagineers received their inspiration for The Jungle Cruise primarily from two sources — the first being a True-Life Adventure about a pride of lions, and the second being the 1951 film The African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.
The Jungle Cruise is one of those rides that I just really enjoy riding. When I was younger, I didn’t really care much about the Jungle Cruise, but lately, the ride has captured me and drawn me to it. I think it all started when we had the pleasure of visiting Walt Disney World with my sister-in-law Nancy and her family. Since Anna Jane had never been before, we made it our goal to try and expose her to as much of Disney as we could, and that included riding The Jungle Cruise. Then, when Cindy, Sophie, Stephanie and myself went to Walt Disney World for the Food and Wine Festival (and more importantly, the 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom) — on October 1st our goal was to experience all of the original attractions at the Magic Kingdom that are still open today — and that meant also riding The Jungle Cruise.
One of the best features of the ride, in my opinion, is that corny script that the boat captains have. We had as our boat captain when we rode it at the 40th Anniversary Veronica, and she was in perfect Jungle Cruise Captain form that day!
The queue for the Jungle Cruise is set in a depression-era theme, where you are navigating towards the dock of The Jungle Navigation Co., a company that offers tours of the Amazon River. One of the most notable areas is the office space of Albert Awol — who, by the way, just happens to be missing. His voice, however, can be heard on the radio, if my memory serves me correctly.
There are fifteen boats in operation for The Jungle Cruise, any ten of which are in operation at any one point. They include the following:
- Amazon Annie
- Bomokandi Bertha (Wheelchair lift equipped)
- Congo Connie
- Ganges Gertie
- Irrawaddy Irma
- Mongala Millie
- Nile Nellie
- Orinoco Ida
- Rutshuru Ruby
- Sankuru Sadie
- Senegal Sal
- Ucyali Lolly
- Volta Val
- Wamba Wanda (Wheelchair lift equipped)
- Zambesi Zelda
Of those fifteen boats, I have two trivia questions for you — which boat is the only one that has ever sunk at Walt Disney World? And secondly, which boat listed there is the only one not named after a river? Why not tell me the answers in the comments below, and thanks for playing!
When it comes to The Jungle Cruise, in my opinion it’s got several things going well for it. For starters, you’ve got a relaxing boat ride down some of the world’s major rivers. Secondly, your boat captain keeps things lively by telling you some great corny jokes. Third, the scenes are a lot of fun, and the plants that landscape architect Bill Evans selected are really interesting to look at.
When it comes to the classic Magic Kingdom attractions, the Jungle Cruise is one that has it’s own unique twist, and is one that is truly one of a kind at Walt Disney World.