Disney Parks has announced that it will be updating the 65-year old Jungle Cruise Ride at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. These major changes to the attraction will better “reflect and value the diversity of the world around us,” according to a post on the Disney Parks blog.
Disney will be removing tribal caricatures and “negative depictions of native people” in order to make the attraction more inclusive in its depiction of those cultures. When the attraction is finished, new scenes will be added to the story in order to add fresh life, activity and characters.
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“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, creative development and inclusion strategies executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “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.” Disney engaged several cultural advisers to weigh in.
Executive Chairman Bob Iger also tweeted out his response to the announcement.
“The exciting changes we’re making to one of Disney’s most popular classic attractions, Jungle Cruise, reflect our commitment to creating unparalleled experiences that reflect, not only the best in storytelling, but also the values and rich diversity of our world,” Iger said on Twitter.
Disney has made it clear that these changes are not related to the upcoming Jungle Cruise-inspired film, noting that there will be no movie characters or tie-ins. “Jungle Cruise” is scheduled for a theatrical release on July 30, 2021. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the film stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti.
Watch Disney Parks’ video announcement regarding the Jungle Cruise updates below.
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