Disney's Jungle Cruise
Source: Disney

Disney Will Renovate Jungle Cruise Attraction After Racism Claims

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Jan. 26 2021, Updated 2:55 p.m. ET

Disney has announced that their iconic Jungle Cruise attraction will undergo major renovations at both the Florida and California theme park locations. 

The news of the Jungle Cruise ride renovations comes after years of park-goers criticizing the ride for its depiction of indigenous people as "savages." Keep reading to find out more about the changes being made to the Jungle Cruise.

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Disney's Jungle Cruise ride is being updated after being deemed racist.

If you embark on the Jungle Cruise ride, which was built in Disneyland in 1955 (and in Walt Disney World in 1975), guests take a voyage down a river in Africa, Asia, or South America (depending on the park visited). While park-goers can see animatronic wildlife and the history of the British colonization, there are also indigenous people who some feel are depicted in a racist way.

disney park jungle cruise racist
Source: Disney
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"Crazy that it took until 2021 for Disney to change the Jungle Cruise. I rode it in 2019 with my family and was absolutely repulsed. Not the only racist content Disney has to reckon with by a long shot but def one of the more overt examples," one Twitter user wrote. Another person tweeted, "Even as a child, I knew this was racist. It’s about time Disney!"

“Imagineers are constantly looking for opportunities to enhance experiences, and when it comes to updating classic attractions, they employ a very careful and thoughtful approach,” Disney said in an announcement. “In this particular case, Imagineers created a storyline that builds upon what people love the most while addressing negative depictions simultaneously.” 

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What changes are being made to Disney's Jungle Cruise ride?

With people openly voicing complaints about the attraction, Disney has officially announced that changes will be made to the storyline of the ride.

"As Imagineers, it is our responsibility to ensure experiences we create and stories we share reflect the voices and perspectives of the world around us," Carmen Smith, Imagineer executive, said in a statement. "With Jungle Cruise, we're bringing to life more of what people love, the humor and wit of our incredible skippers, while making needed updates." 

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According to a Disney blog post, the new Jungle Cruise ride will include an immersive storyline that includes the skippers, played by Disney cast members.  

"For the first time ever, the skipper role will not only be that of a live, experienced, and witty guide but also represented by a show figure within the attraction itself," Kevin Lively, Disney Imagineer, said in a promotional video. "In fact, the expedition will be up a tree after their sunken boat splits apart and chimps climb aboard the wreckage, with monkey business ensuing." 

Per reports, the Jungle Cruise will be renovated this year.  

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