The Jungle Cruise is a Disney classic ride where guests take a steam boat ride with The Jungle Navigation Co. through the treacherous water of the Amazon (South America), Nile (Africa) and the Mekong rivers (Asia).
The ride starts out with guests boarding one of the replica 1930’s British river tramp steam boats that have names like the one below called “Senegal Sal”. Once greeted by your zany guide, your adventure begins.
Along the way your tour will encounter lions, gorillas, baboons, snakes, alligators, elephants, hippos and the occasional headhunter. You’ll even see another group that literally gets run up a tree stand. But don’t be afraid, you guide will take you the safer waters.
What makes the trip is the guide who are among the most entertaining cast members is all the Disney parks. They really get into character and their jokes & antics are all part of the fun along this 10-minute ride.
While the tour it surely based on a general script, the ad-libbing of the different cast members really adds to the character of the ride. We’ve been on the Jungle Cruise dozens of times over the years and we can easily say that is quite different every time.
As usual, Disney has done an excellent job of theming and guests feel like they are in the middle of a jungle. One of the coolest parts of the ride is when your tour boat goes behind the waterfall (you won’t get wet). And about mid-way through the trek you guide takes you deep into a forgotten ancient temple – what out for the tiger that lurks in the darkness.
The Jungle Cruise is located in the Adventureland section of the Magic Kingdom just adjacent to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. This attraction first opened in 1971 as one of the opening day attractions at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
The Jungle Cruise is suitable for all ages (other than seeing the lions eat a zebra) and there are no height restrictions. It is a fairly slow ride but a bit dark when entering the Asian temple.
FastPass+ is offered and highly recommended as wait times will exceed 30 to 60 minutes on a typical summer day. There is some shade in the queue line while helps in the heat of the day. If you can’t get a FastPass+, try to visit this experience early in the morning before the crowd levels get too high.
During the holiday season the Jungle Cruise is transformed into the “Jingle Cruise” and the attraction is fully decorated with the spirit of the season. There is even a new holiday themed “script” that differs from the traditional one – the skippers really get into the holiday spirit.
So if you find yourself at the Magic Kingdom around Christmas time, make sure you see the “Jingle Cruise” as the holiday decor is only in place for a limited time.
Did the Jungle Cruise Ever Sink?
During early 2020 there were a number of reports that the Bomokandi Bertha sunk during the middle of a Jungle Cruise ride. While there are rumors that this was a publicity stunt to promote the “Jungle Cruise” movie with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.
We have seen the photos on Twitter and it does not look like it was staged as the boat is pretty well submerged. It’s probably a good thing that water is only about 5 feet deep and the shore is just a short distance away!
In addition to the Bomokandi Bertha, we’ve heard that the Sankuru Sadie also had sunk back in 2004 but details on this are a little sketchy as the boat returned to service shortly afterwards.
Learn More about the Walt Disney World Resort with our Theme Park Guides
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Where Should We Stay When Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort?
The Walt Disney World Resort has a number of great on-site hotels and each and every one of them have their own benefits, characteristics and price points.
There are multiple “categories” of hotels which are as follows:
- Deluxe Resort Hotels
- Deluxe Resort Villas
- Moderate Resort Hotels
- Disney’s Campgrounds
- Value Resort Hotels
Deluxe resort hotels include the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. These resort hotels are all located adjacent to a Walt Disney World theme park (Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom) and offer easy access to that park as well as superior amenities and accommodations.
In addition Disney’s hotels and resorts, there are a number of other hotel options including the hotels in the Disney Springs Resort Area and those within the Bonnet Creek Resort.
Click here to learn more about hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort