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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
The Jungle Cruise
I have seen the Eighth Wonder of the World. It is the breath-taking back side of water. And the only place that you can see it is on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. (Well, maybe not the only place...) This ride takes you on a river safari. Your boat will be piloted by humorous skippers. The Jungle Cruise is a very popular ride at Disneyland and is usually the first thing that comes to mind when one hears "Adventureland." Except for Disneyland Paris, every Magic Kingdom has a Jungle Cruise.

The Disneyland Hotel has a miniature Jungle Cruise for their remote control boat pond.
The Disneyland Hotel has a miniature Jungle Cruise for their remote control boat pond.

This ride is set in the 1930's and 1940's when exploration was catching on. This was one of the rides that was at Disneyland on Opening Day. It is still operating, of course. This is a ride that everyone should enjoy, but small children might get a little scared if they aren't the adventurous type. On the Jungle Cruise, you will see zebras, hippos (my favorite), a gorilla, rhinoceroses and all kinds of jungle animals. When this ride was being designed, Walt Disney had wanted it to be the home of real animals. He changed his mind though after he was asked to consider a few things, including the fact that the animals would probably be sleeping or hiding the whole time people were on the ride.

There were originally 14 boats used in the Jungle Cruise. The boats' names were: Amazon Belle, Congo Queen, Ganges Gal, Hondo Hattie, Irrawaddy Women, Kissimee Kate, Magdalena Maiden, Mekong Maiden, Orionco Adventuress, Suwannee Lady, Ucayali Una, Yangtze Lotus, Zambezi Miss and the Nile Princess. After Indiana Jones Adventure opened, Disneyland bought new boats. They only bought 12, though, so now there is no Mekong Maiden or Magdalena Maiden. They usually run six boats at a time. I have also heard that Rebecca and Maynard are two of the best skippers on the river. I have never ridden a boat piloted by either of them, though.

Walt Disney taking TV viewers on a tour of the under construction Jungle Cruise in his Rambler wagon - Image  Disney
Walt Disney taking TV viewers on a tour of the under construction Jungle Cruise in his Rambler wagon - Image Disney

On this ride, you are taken down a river through a jungle. The queue takes you through a boathouse. When the line gets really long, it goes upstairs as well as downstairs. This time of year, the line usually doesn't take up both levels, this mostly happens in summer. This is a good ride to go on during the hot summer months, because between the water and all the trees, it keeps you cool. In the queue, there are lots of odd little things that -I guess- you might find in a boathouse. Pictures of old boats, a chess table, an old pair of tall boots. There is a parrot, too. Once you get to the loading area, Cast Members will help you into your boat. Watch your step, though. It's easy to lose your balance if you aren't careful getting in.

When you take off, you will be amused by your skipper. They will tell LOTS of jokes. Some are good, some are cheesy, all are funny. There is a Jungle Cruise script, however, most of the time the skippers don't exactly follow it. The jokes are the best part of the ride, to be honest. One joke I heard the last time I rode was when we were passing the tiger. "The Bengal Tiger can weigh up to 500 pounds and jump over 20 feet. But don't worry, we're about 15 feet away. He'll jump right over us." Other jokes include one concerning a gorilla and a giant snake sittin' in a tree, "H-I-S-S-I-N-G." It's always very entertaining to go on this ride even if you end up being the only one laughing.. or staring blankly at the skipper the whole nine minutes. The skippers always joke around with the Guests, so be prepared to interact! Once, I was wearing a yellow shirt and when we went by the gorillas, I was told to make a sound like a banana!

The Disneyland Hotel's miniature Jungle Cruise is perfectly detailed except for one thing - the boats load in front of the building, not behind like the real ride
The Disneyland Hotel's miniature Jungle Cruise is perfectly detailed except for one thing - the boats load in front of the building, not behind like in the real ride.

When you get off, you are conveniently standing right by Tropical Imports, a store carrying puka shells, rubber rats and snakes, shrunken- heads (I don't believe these are REAL) :} and other jungle- related things. This is a fun store to look around in. It carries lots of strange items. Sometimes, Trinidad Steel Drum Band plays on the roof of the Tropical Imports building. These guys (and gal) are really good. If you ever see them playing, you should hang around and listen. I've also heard that a Peruvian band, called Alturas, plays there, but I don't think I've ever seen them.

The Jungle Cruise is a great ride, and I always enjoy going on it. Right next door is Indiana Jones Adventure. Last time we went to the Park it was broken down, so it was referred to as the "Temple of the Broken Down Ride." The temple fits right in with the scenery of Jungle Cruise, only adding to the atmosphere. I would definitely recommend this ride to anyone who is looking for a good time and enjoys a good laugh. Even if it is only to yourself. :)

"And please take all your personal belongings. Bags, cameras, small children... anything left on board will be thrown, screaming, to the crocodiles." ~Our skipper this past Monday, upon reaching the dock.

Ciao!

~Jewel


PS- Is there anything you'd like to say? Have you ever been on Jungle Cruise? Drop me a line! E-mail me at CoolKids@MousePlanet.com


Jewel's FastFact: I have never been to Tokyo, but I read that because of the weather in Japan, Tokyo Disney's Main Street is covered by a glass canopy. The area can be heated or cooled, depending on the season.

The Jungle Cruise

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jewel
Hi!
My name is Jewel.

I am 13 years old, and a typical junior high student. I live with my mom, dad, and little brother. My family and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we go quite often. I love school, and science has always been a favorite subject of mine. I am in band and hope to be involved in music for the rest of my life.

Right now, my career goal is to become a deejay. In my mind, that is the coolest job in the world! My hobbies include: listening to and playing music, reading, writing, messing around on the computer and hanging out at Disneyland. We have seven cats (four of them found us), a black Labrador, and I have a goldfish.


Special thanks to Jason Schultz for one of the photos - visit his Magic Kingdom Chronicles for a more detailed overview of Disneyland's construction

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