Disneyland's Jungle Cruise is — on the surface — a trip down a jungle river. Now here's where the Disney magic kicks in. In that one short trip, you'll see scenes which look like the Nile, Burma's Irrawaddy River, Cambodia's Mekong, and Africa's Congo.
But the real show here is the skippers, who are infamous for their never-ending stream of bad jokes and punny patter. Here's a sample: "Ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please. Would the party that lost the roll of 50 $20.00 bills, wrapped in a red rubber band, please report to the turnstile … we have good news for you. We found your rubber band." Or the always punny: "And, of course, those are lions, ’cause if I called them anything else, I’d be lyin’.”
What You Need to Know About the Jungle Cruise Ride at Disneyland California
Even though it's a little corny, most Disneyland visitors say it's a don't-miss attraction and a Disney classic.
- Location: Jungle Cruise is in Adventureland.
- Rating: ★★★
- Restrictions: No height restrictions. Children under age seven years must be accompanied by a person who is 14 years or older.
- Ride Time: 9 minutes
- Recommended for: Everyone
- Fun Factor: Medium, if you don't mind the bad jokes. Low if you don't like slow rides
- Wait Factor: Medium
- Fear Factor: Low
- Herky-Jerky Factor: Low, but once in awhile boats will bump into each other when approaching the unloading zone
- Seating: The ride vehicle is a boat. It has rows of bench seats facing the center. You step down from the dock to get into it.
- Accessibility: If you're in a wheelchair, ask a Cast Member how to get in. You will have to go up and down a few steps to get on and off the boat. If you're in an ECV, you'll have to transfer to a wheelchair first, then to the ride. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV
How to Have More Fun
- Younger children especially like this ride during the day, but it seems a little scarier at night.
- When the line splits, choose the left one. By doing that, you will get on the side of the boat that faces most of the scenery.
- If you're friendly with the skipper Cast Member, laugh at their jokes and chat them up, they're likely to be funnier.
- The line at Jungle Cruise can be deceptive, making you think it's short when it isn't and luring you into a maze of queues that you may worry that you'll never escape. And happy that at least it's in the shade. Check a wait times app or ask a Cast Member if the wait time isn't posted.
- Some people think the Jungle Cruise one of the best things to do at Disneyland after dark.
- During the holiday season, the Jungle Cruise sets sail as the "Jingle" Cruise, and even the skipper's jokes are holiday-themed.
While you're thinking about rides, you should also download the essential Disneyland apps (they're all free!) and get some proven tips to minimize your Disneyland wait time.
The Disney Jungle Cruise was one of the original Disneyland attractions, introduced on Opening Day, 1955.
Disney Jungle Cruise is one of only three Disneyland attractions where a cast member rides with you (the others are Storyland Canal Boats and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes). It's also one of the few Disneyland rides that is not based on a Disney animated film, although you may notice that the boats resemble those from another studio's classic film "The African Queen" starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.
When the ride was in the planning stages, Walt Disney wanted to use live animals on the Jungle Cruise, but when he found out that many of them were nocturnal, Imagineers turned to mechanical ones instead.
"Weird Al" Yankovic wrote and recorded a song titled "Skipper Dan" about a failed actor who ended up as a guide on the Jungle Cruise, but sometimes those skippers often go on to bigger things. According to MentalFloss.com, famous wisecracking skippers include Kevin Costner, John Lasseter, and Richard Nixon's press secretary Ron Ziegler.
The water in the Jungle Cruise doesn't look dirty because of poor maintenance: Its clarity is deliberately reduced to obscure the boat's guidance system and other unsightly items.
Just outside the Jungle Cruise entrance, look for a large palm tree. It's the oldest thing in Disneyland and dates back to the late 1800s. When Walt Disney bought the Dominguez family's land for the park, they asked him to spare it. Disney obligated and moved the 15-ton plant from the parking lot area to its current location.
If you can't get enough of those wise-cracking skippers, check out Skipper Show, which features stand-up comedy from a group of former cast members.
Is It Different than the Jungle Cruise in Florida?
The jokes are no better in California, and the only major difference is that the Anaheim ride doesn't have a cave section.