Sunday, February 07, 2021

The Jungle Cruise, 1960s

If it's Sunday, there's about a 50/50 chance that you're going to find Jungle Cruise photos on GDB. That doesn't mean that I dislike the Jungle Cruise, it's just that all photos tend to look the same. The boat did ride on a rail after all, so options were limited. Here's the "African Veldt" scene, added in 1964.

One of my favorite scenes has always been this elephant, happily splashing and playing in the beautiful waterfalls; I think part of me wished that I could sit right next to him and splash away myself!


"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, there may be a 50/50 chance of seeing Jungle Cruise pictures on Sundays, but there's a 100% chance I'll love them. Warm jungle scenes beat what I'm seeing out my window, now: snow, ice, icicles, and a practically-frozen bunny eating a [now frozen] carrot that I tossed out for him (her?).

Thank you, Major!

Nanook said...

Yes, Major... I can definitely see you frolicking with the elephants, luxuriating in all that refreshing water. No dull Sunday for you.



I’m sure everyone had heard the announcements of the changes coming to the Jungle Cruise attraction - the removal of any representations of any natives and other scenes including a alteration of the famous TRAPPED SAFARI scenes . I won’t rush as say “they ruin everything” but sadly WDI lacks the techniques and theatrical staging past imagineers have like Marc Davis .... and their work today is more of trying to copy what past Imagineers did and they end up going with the tacky or the cliche. Jungle Cruise is becoming a miniature golf course version of what it was .

And regarding WDI’s current use of color with projects I’m going to be professional and not even mention Kim Alison Irvine’s name.

....... they are working on “Ruining Everything”

In the future as Disneyland guests roam thru the park on the Cel phones drinking Starbucks coffee and buying popcorn buckets and pins .... they can come to GORILLAS DON’T BLOG as see what real Disney theme parks were all about and how at one time Imagineers once created a perfect well planned ,designed and maintained place ..... that was painted over in plastic metallic paint....

"Lou and Sue" said...

Well said, Mike! What I don’t like about the current Disney parks is that you can’t escape the commercialism; practically every ride and attraction now has a Disney cartoon character/movie attached to it. As a result, I am getting tired of a lot of the Disney movies and characters. I may be one of the few who would be happy to NEVER see Elsa, again. She’s everywhere. Too much of a good thing ruins it. I’ll get off my soap box now and head for the elephant pool...

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I can see you traipsing around under that waterfall!

These Sunday pics aren't too bad. At least the first one has something gnu!

JC Shannon said...

Major cavorting under a waterfall has all the makings of an 80s rock video. He does cut a rakish figure in leather pants and a ruffled shirt. At least we still have a Jungle Cruise. Sort of. Thanks Major.

Budblade said...

I’d frolick with the elephants all day any day.

I just like frolicking

zach said...

Is it true? Major is splashing, gamboling, cavorting, frolicking and traipsing with the elephants this morning? Me, too, if I could.

Agreed, 100% chance that I will enjoy photos of the Jungle Cruise.

Sue, I'm looking at melting snow. We got ours last week on the west coast.


Chuck said...

Major, part of what I love about GDB is your playful commentary,but sometimes I worry that your more absurd assertions might be taken by the uninitiated as gospel fact. Some poorly-informed Disney fan could stumble upon today's post and actually believe that the Jungle Cruise boats ride on a rail. The idea is just so preposterous it's hard to accept that somebody could fall for it, but you know how "facts" like these get picked up and repeated throughout the online fanosphere until they are accepted as bedrock truth, and no amount serious scholarship can ever fully eradicate it because people want to believe in it.

Nanook said...


The sad thing is, if any company is capable of 'subtly-forcing' the present-day guest away from the crass commercialism and distraction of the world we now live in, it is [or was] the Walt Disney Company. But as they have grown into a very-successful, multinational, publicly-held, behemoth - the only thing that matters is profits. And sadly among other things (such as 'bringing the outside world inside the berm'), that also means IP everywhere-all the time.

I can only hope some day, someone at Disney (clearly not Bob Chapek-!) will figure out how [at least some of] what Walt and his imagineers so successfully created has all but vanished now, and must be re-captured, before the public realizes they're truly being hoodwinked, and finally abandons the Parks.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, I’m glad that you like most Jungle Cruise pictures (and hopefully others do too)! Aw, I’m glad you are helping the bunnies, my mom’s yard often has four or five of them hopping around, especially at dusk.

Nanook, what about cavorting? I just hope that water doesn’t contain any of those awful Candiru.

Mike Cozart, yes, I saw the announcement about the upcoming changes to the Jungle Cruise. To be honest, I am surprised that those questionable depictions of natives have remained for so long. I’m OK with them swapping those out (especially since I have heard that they WON’T be adding scenes from the Jungle Cruise movie (starring “The Rock”). I know what you mean about later scenes lacking Marc Davis’ staging; but I also know that Davis had a TON of gag concepts that were never used, I am hoping that at least some of those will be referenced for the new changes! That would be pretty neat. (Trying to stay positive, I guess). Thanks for the kind words about GDB, if nothing else, it’s true that folks can come here and see the way the park was in the golden years.

Lou and Sue, I have to wonder if there will ever be another ride that isn’t tied to a movie. “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Haunted Mansion”, for instance. It seems like it would be almost unheard of to devote that much money and effort and NOT have a ride tie in to a big movie franchise. And I’m one of the rare people who is not a fan of “Frozen”… I like some of the songs (NOT “Let it Go”, however), and there are parts that I enjoy, but overall it’s not a film I want to watch.

TokyoMagic!, listen, when I traipse, I do it everywhere, even under waterfalls!

Jonathan, hey, you used the word “cavorting” just like I did in my comment to Nanook! Time to break out the thesaurus. I’m very glad that we still have a Jungle Cruise… what in the world could replace it if they ever decided to rip it out?

Budblade, I think most guests envy those bathing elephants on a hot SoCal summer day!

zach, I never gambol because I always lose money (rimshot). I DO always lose money, by the way. I feel like there might be dumber ways to throw away good money, but I can’t think ot too many. Pyramid schemes, maybe. We had some lovely snow on the nearby mountains, but it has nearly all melted by now. Still, it’s one of my favorite sights.

Chuck, um, er… um…! I guess I should add a note to this blog, warning all visitors to ignore everything I’ve ever said. That should protect me from any legal action, in theory anyway. Besides, we all know that the Jungle Cruise boats actually have bicycle wheels mounted below the water line, and that they actually ride on the concrete bed of the river. Bob Gurr thought that the boats should just float like regular boats, but I convinced Walt that bicycle wheels were the wave of the future.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I can forgive a certain amount of movie tie-ins, since those have been at the park since day 1, but of course there is always the danger of overdoing it. One thing about Walt, he certainly liked company profits, but he was also not afraid to make attractions that created their own worlds; those were so successful that they spawned films based on the rides, instead of the other way around.

Anonymous said...

We JC skippers of the past want to remind members of the current generation that there were limitations back then too. And to this day, the elephants keep their trunks on while in the pool!

On a serious note from this skipper, I feel some updating is needed. The premise was always something that was not taken seriously by any guest that I can recall...irrespective of race or creed. And yes, Virginia, there were once headhunters and cannibals irrespective of what action is taken here. So while I initially recoiled knowing that another part of my history is going to be removed, from what I've seen, I'm also intrigued to see how it plays out based on the scenes that have been presented. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

KS, I’ve always felt that (for instance) pirates were pretty rough, and portraying them doing bad things should be expected. But I also don’t want guests to be upset; maybe just because a scene doesn’t bother me, I can’t assume that it won’t bother somebody else. And I don’t feel like the native scenes in the Jungle Cruise were ever my favorites anyway, and like I said to Mike Cozart, maybe they will dust off some of Marc Davis’ old concepts. Fingers crossed.

K. Martinez said...

The Jungle Cruise is my all-time favorite Disneyland attraction. Saying that, I think it's badly in need of an update. Some of sets are cringe inducing and have been for a long time. It's time for a change. I'm going to give Disney the benefit of the doubt and hope the upgrade serves the attraction well in maintaining its spirit while refreshing it for today's audience.

As for commercialization, Disneyland has always been heavily commercial with its corporate sponsors and now with self promotion/synergy. If anyone took notice, the corporate sponsorship has been pretty much dwindled away since corporations now find the internet a more viable way to advertise what they are about.

Sponsoring Disney attractions isn't attractive to most companies anymore. For that reason, if Disney wants to be able to make attractions, then self-promotion/synergy is a way of helping with the return on investment. Like it or not, Disney is a business first and the business climate isn't the same as it was in Walt's time or even in the 90's. Personally, I love Pixar Cars Land and look forward to the new Marvel attractions at the theme parks.

BTW, great Jungle Cruise pics today. Thanks, Major.


MAJOR: you comment regarding the bunnies in your mom’s yard : my mom’s house and the neighborhood is over ridden with rabbits !! I’ve never seen it like this. They EAT EVERYTHING!! They are a kind of jack rabbit - with the white tail. They have destroyed hillside ice plant beds that have flourished since 1978 .... to wear the plants can not recover from the tender new growth the rabbits chew on first ... now the rabbits have learned to sit up and eat oranges from the lower branches of the citrus trees . Almost any Bush , plant and grass has been eaten , chewed on or killed by these rabbits. The state of California doesn’t allow the killing of the rabbits despite they are in no way endanger. The county will catch tiny coyotes and relocate them ..... taking away the rabbits natural predator. The loss of vegetation is so bad now when it does rain , the erosion and flooding is bad!! Not even during the massive rains of 1980 and 81 did my parents house have problems with erosion . These “cute” bunnies are bad for the environment!!

I saw a travel channel show ( yes another travel channel show) about some small islands off the coastline of Italy that had the finest grape vineyards Italy ever had ..... for sport hunting and to entertain the grape farmers some rabbits were brought in ..... in a few years the rabbits are every growing thing on the group of islands and today the grouping of islands have no life on them at all and are totally desolate - I guess the State of California wouldn’t let the Italians control the rampant rabbits either!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Ken, you and I have spoken privately about the upcoming changes to the Jungle Cruise, and I think we are on the same page, basically. And while I know that Disneyland has always been “commercial” to a degree, there were areas of the park where it seemed less “in your face”. Frontierland, especially (though of course you had the Pendleton store and the Golden Horseshoe, sponsored by Pepsi Cola). Maybe it is a case of our nostalgic feelings toward those old sponsors, while disliking modern examples such as Starbucks or FedEx. I’ve mentioned this before, but I used to get a happy feeling whenever I heard about Monsanto, because they sponsored one of my favorite Disneyland rides. It was only years later when I learned about what an evil corporation they’d become!

Mike Cozart, there are definitely a LOT of bunnies in Thousand Oaks, but I am unaware of them doing the extensive damage that you mentioned. My mom’s neighbor complains that “all the rabbits come into my yard from your yard”, meanwhile there are bunnies literally all up and down the street. They seem to like the warm asphalt at night, so I often have to slow down to avoid smooshing them. You’d think that coyotes, owls, hawks, and other predators would be fat and happy these days, but they can’t seem to keep up. I have no problem with eradicating pest animals (feral pigs, overpopulations of deer, and yes, even rabbits) within reason of course. My guess is that lawmakers probably don’t want folks shooting .22 rifles in their backyards or on hillsides where a stray bullet could do some bad stuff. Just a theory. But it just goes to show what can happen when we don’t allow nature to take its course.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, do those "street" rabbits just sit on the road, or do they lie (lay? I never remember which is the correct word) down? In the hot summer, our backyard bunny lies (lays?) down in the shade - all sprawled out. It's cute!

We don't have too many rabbits, as the hawks, owls, feral cats and coyotes do eat them - especially the little ones. Sadly, the coyotes eat the neighborhood dogs because we don't have enough rabbits. Feel free to send some of your extra rabbits our way.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, the bunnies look like they are just sitting, not splayed out on their tummies. My sister brought her little dog to visit my mom, and he terrorized those poor rabbits who thought they had the run of the backyard; they didn't come back for weeks. After some major fires up near my sister's house, all the coyotes have migrated to their area, and neighborhood cats have been vanishing at an astonishing rate - including my sister's beloved Zuzu. :-(

"Lou and Sue" said...

Zach, I’m looking forward to when our snow melts!! We’re frozen solid.

Major, I feel bad for your sister, AND Zuzu!