Sunday, July 01, 2018

Jungle Cruise, May 1959

The Jungle Cruise; I love it, but when I go through a stack of slides and find that half of them were taken from a Jungle Cruise boat, you'll find me crying silently as I look at them on my light box. You might even hear a sniffle or two.

That being said... this first one is pretty nice. There are no silhouetted heads in the way, and there is no sign of the striped awning or its support poles. I like the glimpse of the distant water buffalo. Plus there is a big scary python draped over that dead tree! He might just pluck someone out of the boat and wrap him in his powerful coils. Maybe that someone will be YOU. 

Here's "Old Smiley", a funny looking dog if I ever saw one. Maybe he has the mange? That's not going to stop me from petting him though. He's a good boy!


Nanook said...


"Maybe he has the mange?" Poor 'Ol Smiley; what a sad day, indeed. I'm certain a 'hand out, or two, from the Guests' will make quick work of curing that ailment.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I saw a boa - or an adder -
Climb a tree just like a ladder.
It kept me wond'ring through the night,
Was the bark worse than the bite?
While sailing slowly down the Nile,
I saw a lovely crocodile.
But then it struck me, some time later,
Had it been an alligator?

JC Shannon said...

I have been trying to figure out why I love the Jungle Cruise so much. I think it is the same reason I liked the MTTNW. Walt and the Imagineers created a world within a world. For a few minutes you could lose yourself in the magic of it all. How many of us will ever get to cruise down the Zambesi River for real? That is what draws me to Disneyland and the JC. Great photos today, thanks to Major.

Patrick Devlin said...

Doggy-kins! and snaky-poo!

JC Shannon said...

Mellissa, Love the poem! I really have to hit the circle-arrow thingy on the wachamacallit more often.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa

Ogden Nash is smiling.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, who among us has not had mange once in a while?

Melissa, wow, did you actually think up that bit of verse?! I feel so unworthy.

Jonathan, there are definite similarities between the Jungle Cruise and the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland. It does amaze me when our boats get away from the loading dock, and we quickly feel like we are surrounded by a real jungle. What an accomplishment!

Patrick Devlin, was that a Hanna Barbera cartoon series? ;-)

Jonathan, “the circle-arrow thingy on the wachamacallit”?? I’d like to blame my stupidity on the fact that it is early in the morning, but it is 10:00!

Patrick Devlin said...

Not Hannaa-Barbera, but Bob Clampett, I think

Nanook said...


I understand Smiley has an entire shelf of emollients for just such disagreeable conditions.

JC Shannon said...

Major, the browser refresh button. I feel so "tech-savvy" saying that. NOT! I Googled it.

Melissa said...

Ogden Nash, Benny Hill, whatevs.

outsidetheberm said...

Major - You may not have caught it, but with that water buffalo slide you have a very rare image of the large mechanical turtle that sat upon that nearby rock. Take a good look and you'll see him sitting there. Very few guests took a picture of him.

Matthew said...

Outsidetheberm - Oh my gosh... is that true? Never heard of this and I have never seen it, but I was wondering if that was a turtle. Sure looks like a turtle.

OK sticking to what I do know. Marc Davis used this as an example of re-staging in a lecture to WED artists in the early 1980s. When Walt asked him to take a look around the Park and try and infuse some humor, we wall know he looked at the Jungle Cruise. In the lecture, Marc basically said (and I am paraphrasing here), that we had a lot of single scenes but no real story. So, during the 1976 rehab he took the python and placed it near the water buffalo threatening a baby calf. By placing these characters closer together it created a stronger story... and adding the calf... well pure genius to pull into an emotional appeal and a sense of threatening danger.

Regarding our friend, "Old Smiley." I am reminded of one of my favorite S.O.P. jokes. "There's 'Old Smiley'. He's one of the laziest crocodiles along the river. He just sits here all day waiting for a hand-out. Don't believe me? Last week there was an English teacher on board... she stuck her hand out there... and now she's teaching short hand." This usually would start the groans. Which I learned to ask, "Are you folks feeling OK?" near the end of the trip I would say, "Where did you all eat today? You must have eaten at the same place to have it hit you all at the same time like that. Wherever it is... I'm avoiding it"

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

outsidetheberm said...

100% true, Matthew. One of those happy, obscure discoveries from early Disneyland. In case you're wondering, Mr. Turtle's head bobbed from side to side.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, hopefully Smiley has some unguents too!

Jonathan, AHA!

Melissa, I’ll bet you have never seen Benny Hill and Ogden Nash in the same room together. Just saying.

outsidetheberm, WOW! That is a detail of which I was completely unaware. Super cool, thank you for pointing it out!

Matthew, it is kind of amazing that merely by placing animals closer together a tension or drama is created. This is why Marc Davis was one of the all time greats. Of course anybody with the handle “Amazon Belle” probably has a million Jungle Cruise stories. I hope you write them down!

outsidetheberm, I feel like I’ve seen every bit of the Jungle Cruise 1000 times, so it is startling to discover an entire animal that I’ve never seen.

Anonymous said...

Another brilliant thread.

Come for the pictures, stay for the comments.

Poetry, Back of House knowledge, natural history and tech support. GDB has it all.

Thanks everyone.