July 1955 – present
Adventureland – When entering from Main Street USA, you’ll find the Jungle Cruise on the left, just after Aladdin’s Oasis. If you enter Adventureland from New Orleans Square, you’ll find the Jungle Cruise on the right, across from the trading post gift shop.
When Walt Disney and his Imagineers first began planning Disneyland, they always envisioned a boat ride through the jungle. In the beginning, Walt wanted guests to ride past enclosures with real jungle animals, but experts advised him that the animals would likely sleep or hide from guests. So instead, Imagineers constructed animatronic jungle creatures. To add realism to the ride, skippers gave serious narration and provided a nature documentary experience for riders. But over the years, the ride went through few animatronic updates or changes, and the technology became less exciting compared to other rides. In response, the Jungle Cruise changed its mood, with the skippers adding intentionally bad puns and jokes to their narration. Today, the Jungle Cruise is a humorous tour through an imaginary jungle, and is an entertaining adventure for guests of all ages.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – none
- Duration – 7:00
Guests seeking adventure in the jungle begin their journey by walking through the River Expedition Company boathouse. The skippers then help guests load into their riverboats, and take off for a ride through the jungles of the world. The tour begins in Southeast Asia, and continues through India, central Africa, and the Amazon rainforest. Guests can see a wide variety of animatronic animals during their journey, including: a tiger, cobras, crocodiles, elephants, baboons, gorillas, zebras, wildebeest, giraffes, lions, rhinos, antelopes, hyenas, hippos, and piranhas. After meeting all the animals, and narrowly escaping an ambush of spear-wielding natives, the skippers lead guests back to port, where they offload and continue their exploration of Adventureland.
MY RATING: ★★★☆☆
The Jungle Cruise is a very unique ride; I am always amazed at its ability to transform Disneyland into a remote rainforest. While I’ve never been a big fan of the intentionally lame puns, the ride itself is a worthwhile experience. The animatronics are cool, you get to experience jungles from all over the world, and it’s fun to be out on the water. If you watch the movie that inspired the Jungle Cruise, The African Queen, you will have an added appreciation for this ride. I would recommend the Jungle Cruise to large groups, to families with small children, and to anyone that loves puns or bad jokes. And if it’s your first visit to the park, be sure to ride this Disneyland classic; it has stood the test of time for a reason!
So long as I’m not visiting during the busy season, I like to ride the Jungle Cruise in the evening. Exploring the rainforest at sunset is extra special, and the skippers up their game as the day wears on. However, if you are visiting during the summer or holidays, the evening is probably the worst time of day to ride. The Jungle Cruise does not have a single rider line or fast pass, and wait times can be really long. Instead, shoot to ride after dark. If you don’t want to ride later at night, just know you will have to wait in line.
The names of the different riverboats are: Amazon Belle, Congo Queen, Ganges Gal, Hondo Hattie, Irrawaddy Woman, Kissimmee Kate, Nile Princess, Orinoco Adventuress, Suwannee Lady, Ucayali Una, Yangtze Lotus, and Zambezi Miss.
The Jungle Cruise concept is loosely inspired by the 1951 film The African Queen, starring Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.
Like the rest of Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise took on a 1930’s time period when Indiana Jones Adventure opened.
The river’s path had to be rerouted with the installation of Indiana Jones Adventure in 1995. The waiting area changed too; Disney added the second floor rooms and staircase to leave room for Indiana Jones’ winding lines.
In 2010, Disneyland announced that the Jungle Cruise’s manmade forest had become “real”, and operated with its own ecosystem. This feat took 55 years to achieve.