Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Jungle Cruise attraction will be updated to remove scenes on the ride that have been criticized as racist, Disney announced Monday, the latest in a string of updates to the company’s decades-old theme park attractions that have addressed racial and gender-based insensitivities.
Jungle Cruise, which has been operating since Disneyland and Walt Disney World opened in 1955 and 1971, respectively, is a boat ride that takes park guests through jungle scenes—including several that include what Disney described Monday as “negative depictions of native people.”
The attraction will be updated to “reflect and value the diversity of the world around us,” Disney wrote on their Parks Blog, with Walt Disney Imagineering Story Editor Kevin Lively saying the ride will feature a new storyline in which guests “get to follow a skipper and his passengers as their journey goes awry.”
The attraction will not be updated overseas in Tokyo Disneyland or Hong Kong Disneyland, the Orange County Register reports, and Disney will not update its Trader Sam bars in Walt Disney World and Disneyland, which are themed to the Jungle Cruise.
Exciting enhancements are coming to the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland park at @Disneyland Resort and Magic Kingdom Park at @WaltDisneyWorld Resort later this year! Here’s a first look from Walt Disney Imagineering at some of the “gnu” magic being added: https://t.co/B8HF1peLdF pic.twitter.com/2mWI8RPl3K
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) January 25, 2021
“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, Imagineering’s Executive on Creative Development & Inclusion Strategies, said in a statement. “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’s Jungle Cruise update follows the company announcing in July that it would replace its popular Splash Mountain ride—based on the film Song of the South, which has long been criticized as a racist portrayal of the post-Civil War South—with a new attraction based on the film The Princess & the Frog. The company has also made updates to its popular Pirates of the Caribbean attraction to address depictions of women that were criticized as problematic, and has made other changes like renaming Walt Disney World’s antebellum-themed “Dixie Landings” hotel to Port Orleans – Riverside in 2001.