1964 Photos: Walt Disney and the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park

George Savvas

by , Director, Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


This year marks the 50th anniversary of a previously undiscovered region at Disneyland park (now navigable on the Jungle Cruise) known as the African Veldt.

So intrigued by this discovery, Walt Disney himself decided to pay a visit to the region to checkout the wildlife.

Walt in Jungle 2

Among the things Walt saw that day was a lion pride “protecting a sleeping zebra.” Now, putting your hands near a hungry lion is no laughing matter…

Walt in the Jungle 3

Or is it?


  • I think this is a fantastic experience for anyone and everyone. My son and I make it a point to go to the Jungle Cruise before doing anything else when we visit the park. My appreciation to those who made the decision to have a wheelchair accessible boat integrated for this attraction, as so many are unable to transfer – and would otherwise not enjoy the wonder that is the Jungle Cruise. Thank you for this. Now if only we could get a wheelchair accessible ride vehicle for the Haunted Mansion 🙂

  • I love seeing these old photos of Walt. I have such great memories of Watching the Wonderful World of Disney and seeing Walt every week! (I wish we could see the reruns!) And when ever I see Tinkerbell, and here the music, I cry. Thank you Walt for making Disney “my happy place!”

    How wonderful for you Louis to have these photos of your Grandfather with Walt.

  • After my grandparents moved to Garden Grove from LA, one of the Park bosses was so impressed with the organization of grandpa’s garage he hired grandpa to work at Disneyland. He did a lot of work on the jungle ride and was one of the regular divers on the submarines. There’s a few seconds clip of him riding an alligator in the Modern Marvels Disney World episode. My wife gave me a copy of a similar photo that the Disney archives dug up for her. I also have the B&W version from Corbis (that version has a caption that mentions grandpa). Because of that connection, going to the Park, is like coming home.

  • The man in the photo is with Walt Disney is my grandfather, he retired from the Park as the Animation Shop foreman in 1972.

    • That’s incredible, Louis! He was obviously very good at his job.

  • As a former skipper (’93-’95) I love these photos. Thank for posting.

    • Glad you like them, Grant. I’ve located additional shots of Walt on the Jungle Cruise, and plan to share them here in the future.

  • Great photos! I love seeing photos of Walt enjoying Disneyland.

  • Please show us more of these old photos of Walt like this in the parks. They are so interesting, and you really get a good glimpse into his utter love of what he is doing!

  • Love the pictures, thanks for sharing them.

  • It’s amazing to see the transformation of this attraction over so many years. These photos make it seem like the attraction is more of a bushland type of terrain, whereas today it truly feels like you’re traveling into an actual jungle. But, I guess that’s what 50 years of vegetation growth does.

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