Destinations

Disneyland revamps “racist” ride ahead of Jungle Cruise movie debut

Disneyland has unveiled an updated version of its Jungle Cruise following criticism of the ride’s representation of indigenous peoples.

The updated ride was opened to the public on 16 July, ahead of the premiere of Disney’s new movie of the same name, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.

According to IGN, Disney’s changes to its controversial Splash Mountain ride prompted Twitter users to call out the company for Jungle Cruise’s depictions of other cultures as headhunters and references to indigenous characters as “savages”.

Disney announced in 2020 that Splash Mountain, which was named from Song of the South, the studio’s 1945 film featuring racially insensitive depictions of African Americans, would be rethemed based on The Princess and the Frog.

Jungle Cruise was first unveiled in 1955 at Disneyland California and features a boat ride through animatronic scenes of several rivers in Africa, South America and Asia with a joke-cracking skipper to guide riders through a storyline.

Disney Parks first announced the changes in January, promising to deliver a new adventure that also “reflects and value the diversity of the world around us”.

“Continuing a tradition that Walt Disney started more than six decades ago when he first enhanced the Jungle Cruise, the new creative concept for our river’s journey will be original to Walt Disney Imagineering, just like the attraction itself,” according to the Disney Parks Blog.

Disney Imagineering executive Carmen Smith said Jungle Cruise underwent “needed updates” to ensure the park’s experiences and stories “reflect the voices and perspectives of the world around us”.

According to USA Today, the park has cut scenes showing tribal dancers, a war party waving spears and a shrunken head dealer named Trader Sam from the ride.

Trader Sam’s new business venture (source: Disney Parks Blog)

While Trader Sam no longer appears in the new version, characters new business endeavour, a lost and found stand turned gift shop.


Featured image source: Disney Parks Blog


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