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A Fabulous 45th: Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom Park

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

As Magic Kingdom Park’s 45th anniversary approaches this fall, this new weekly series will take a look at one of the park’s opening day attractions that can still be enjoyed today. This week, we’ll focus on Jungle Cruise.

A Fabulous 45th: Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom Park

One attraction that debuted at Magic Kingdom Park on opening day that remains a guest favorite is the Jungle Cruise. The “original” Jungle Cruise attraction opened in 1955 at Disneyland park and was originally inspired by Disney’s True-Life Adventure “African Lion” film and offered serious and educational tone (and at one point, featuring real animals at the attraction was even considered). Obviously, Audio-Animatronics technology won out. The direction of the attraction changed in the 1960s, when Walt Disney asked his righthand man (and now Disney Legend) Marc Davis to create some gags that would give the attraction a light-hearted tone.

A Fabulous 45th: Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom Park

Today at Magic Kingdom Park the attraction consists of a 10-minute ride that takes boatloads of guests on an adventurous journey through the Amazon, the African Congo, the Nile River and more. The fun is narrated by a Jungle Cruise Skipper, who’s guaranteed to show you a good time and plenty of “punny” narration.

This classic attraction hasn’t changed much since it’s debut at Magic Kingdom Park in 1971, with the exception of a special holiday overlay that began in 2013 to transform the Jungle Cruise into the Jingle Cruise. During Jingle Cruise season, guests can expect to see the addition of Skipper-designed holiday decorations, seasonal jokes told in Skipper style, holiday tunes and more.

Most recently, the theming of the Jungle Cruise and the humor of the Skippers inspired a brand-new restaurant – the Jungle Skipper Canteen – which opened its doors nearby in Adventureland.


  • this was closed in November 2015. I am going back next June (2017). I can’t wait to get on it again. Disney is the BEST place on Earth.

  • Also, I’d like to give a shout out to thirty years of outstanding tour boat guide comedy hijinx. I’ve ridden this over a hundred times and I have yet to get a driver who didn’t give it their all in the enthusiasm department !

  • I loved the Jungle Cruise at Tokyo Disneyland. The boat goes through a temple indoors.

  • I’m also a big Disney fan and Jungle Cruise is also my all time favorite ride. I grew up and live in Southern California so Disneyland is my second home for me and my family as we have been passholders for 11 years straight now. My son who is just 7 has well over 125 trips and counting to Disneyland and WDW combined. Although I have only made 6 trips to WDW (which is no where close to my Disneyland visits), I have a connection being that I also turned 45 years old this year.

    I hope that WDW creates some special and unique collectibles for the 45th Jungle Cruise anniversary, similar to what was available for the 50th here at Disneyland.

    By the way, can’t wait until my next visit to check out the new restaurant.

  • I was born and raised in Orlando and I was there during opening week, when I was only 7. I’m also 45 yrs older and I still love going there. I took my daughter there when she was 6, 11 and 14. She’s now off to college and I’m in Texas trying to find someone who will go with me because It was and is still the greatest place on earth. Can’t wait to get back!!

  • Love the jungle cruise! Also Love that WDW and I are celebrating our Fabulous 45 together. Can’t wait to get there. 19 days to go ? ? ? ? ? ????

  • I love the Jungle Cruise! It is my family’s traditional “first ride” when we go to Disney. We have visited Walt Disney World and Disneyland and we always go to Magic Kingdom or Disneyland Park on our first day of the trip. Jungle Cruise is always our first ride of the trip!

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