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Jungle Cruise Update

Professortango1

Well-Known Member
I've never viewed the African Natives in the attraction as savages, just like no one views the Native Americans along the Rivers of America as savages. African Natives are a culture that exists, and African Natives defending their territory is also a thing that exists.

I've always viewed the ride as, well, a jungle expedition- and in this case the tribe is defending their native land... which every civilization ever has done.

I can understand saying that the depiction isn't accurate and is therefore insensitive- whether that be the character design, costumes, the chanting- but to say having African Natives included at all is racist doesn't make sense to me.

Perhaps removing the 'attack' segment, and modifying the 'dancing' portion to be more accurate both in character design, set design, and costuming- and rewriting the script to not joke about that bit in particular could be a way to have traditional African culture represented in a way that's tasteful- like the Native Americans along the Rivers of America.

And the more I think about it the more I like my African restaurant replacing Tropical Hideaway idea- since I'm not a huge fan of Tiki culture and it'd be a beautiful extension of the Jungle Cruise, which is heavily inspired by Africa.

The Jungle Cruise isn't going to be able to effectively tackle a balanced view on colonialism and its treatment of indigenous cultures nor can overcome the appropriation for entertainment purposes.

Remember, the Noble Savage is still a racist trope. So having a comedic take on the adventure genre and then a noble and accurate representation of an African tribe isn't a good solution.

Luckily, it isn't necessary. The other 90% of the ride doesn't feature any natives. This one section can easily be altered to feature animals and nature or other elements.

I understand the attachment to it. I LOVED pile of skulls and headhunter concept. It was exciting and dark for me as a kid. But, I'm a white guy and I'm not having my culture constantly reduced to legends of cannibals' and spear chucking nor were these stereotypes used to oppress and dehumanize my ancestors.
 

Practical Pig

Well-Known Member
I haven’t had much time to respond to this thread in the last couple of days beyond hitting the like button. But now I do. First I’ll say that the announced changes to The Jungle Cruise seem appropriate and overdue to me. Concerns noted and respected.

Regarding what I think has become the principle subject of this expanded thread, I hesitate to say what I think because it seems to me that others could interpret it as self-congratulatory virtue-signaling. But there it is and here it is, coming from a really white guy:

As long as have I understood the concepts, I have believed that racism and it’s sibling xenophobia are the greatest evil that we as a society face. It is the root of so much … perhaps all of the pain and conflict that plagues our species.

I want to thank most of the participating members of this forum for an enlightening and respectful discussion on this vital topic.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
What’s telling is @Dr. Hans Reinhardt and I are the only black regulars here (I believe) and very few of you, you included TP, have made an attempt to ask us questions to gain our perspective on this topic which concerns black representation (the ones screaming WHO CARES and AFRICANS USED SPEARS IN THE JUNGLE). And that’s because you guys and gals don’t care. You don’t care to be educated on this topic, you don’t care to understand how we as black people might mentally and emotionally respond to things like this. You simply don’t care because you enjoy it and want to continue to be able to enjoy the ride without having to be forced into questioning the ride, all while mocking efforts for inclusivity and healthy representation. Let’s keep it real.

Continue enjoying Lincoln.

You're right. I don't really care about the cultural implications of the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland. It's a hokey boat ride in an amusement park. And the animals are obviously fake.

And you never once asked me my opinion on my perspective as an aging gay American who had to hide his very identity from the United States Department of Defense or else I would be dishonorably discharged and branded a national security risk and lose all my veteran's benefits; medical insurance, pension, etc. You never once asked me about my perspective on that, even though gays were once routinely kicked out of Disneyland by your fellow CM's for the sin of showing affection to one another.

I honestly have no desire to visit Africa, mainly because I have no idea how my allergies will react to all that animal dander and dust, and I don't find the culture that interesting enough to put up with all that hassle. Plus, I just don't have much of an interest in African animals that can't be satisfied with a once-per-decade visit to the San Diego Zoo or a once-per-year ride on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland.

No offense to Africa though, I also don't have much of an interest in visiting Mongolia or Russia or Indonesia. I don't even have a desire to visit Norway, and that's right next to my ancestral home of Sweden. I've only been looking into Viking Cruises and their itinerary that stops in Helsinki, Finland because I'd like to shop for 60 to 90 minutes at the Marimekko store there.

But when I visit Disneyland as an aging gay, Swedish-American who has a fondness for good Scotch and is cursed by a slowly worsening tennis game, I do not find any representation at Disneyland for me personally. Nor have I seen that representation of my demographic in any movie in theaters for the last 50 years.

But I think that's the difference between you and me. You apparently want to see "representation" of yourself personally when you visit Disneyland. I merely want to be entertained and laugh a bit when I visit Disneyland. Laugh at myself, laugh at others, I don't care. Just make me laugh and enjoy myself.

If removing all African people from a ride about Africa helps you get there, good for you! I just hope the revised version of the ride still makes me chuckle. That's all I care about when I go to Disneyland. I just need a good laugh. Because after the pain and difficulty I've had in my life, I need a good laugh. :)
 
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TP2000

Well-Known Member
I haven’t had much time to respond to this thread in the last couple of days beyond hitting the like button. But now I do. First I’ll say that the announced changes to The Jungle Cruise seem appropriate and overdue to me. Concerns noted and respected.
I agree with that. The Jungle Cruise is an old and hokey 65 year old boat ride at an amusement park. It needed updates a decade ago. So I'm glad to see them finally arrive.

Regarding what I think has become the principle subject of this expanded thread, I hesitate to say what I think because it seems to me that others could interpret it as self-congratulatory virtue-signaling. But there it is and here it is, coming from a really white guy:

As long as have I understood the concepts, I have believed that racism and it’s sibling xenophobia are the greatest evil that we as a society face. It is the root of so much … perhaps all of the pain and conflict that plagues our species.

There you lost me. "Racism"??? Racism is the belief that one particular race is inherently superior biologically and/or physiologically to another race. Did you really see racism in the Jungle Cruise circa 2019? And if you did see hateful racism, you just kept buying tickets to this amusement park that offered up hateful racism to customers and you never once thought to at least complain to a $17 an hour customer service clerk at City Hall, or more importantly to stop buying the product?

You thought a major E Ticket attraction at Disneyland was actually "racist", and yet you kept going to Disneyland and kept giving them money?

I find that fascinating. If I actually thought a product or service was "racist", I wouldn't use it any more. I wouldn't give them a dime. But you did apparently.

Are you sure you want to use the word "racist" to describe the Jungle Cruise show of the last 15 years since it's last major Imagineered update circa 2005? Is there maybe a more nuanced word you'd like to use instead? Or just continue to go for the jugular vein and declare the Jungle Cruise was an example of "racism"? But you still rode it and still gave the company that operated it a bunch of money?

That's my point. Was this really racism? Or is this merely an example of softening cultural mores and changing tastes for popular culture?

I honestly don't believe Walt Disney or Marc Davis who made these scenes decades ago, or any of the countless CM's who worked at the Jungle Cruise for the past 15 years, were racist. But some folks seem very comfortable throwing that very strong word around as if it was easy.

I want to thank most of the participating members of this forum for an enlightening and respectful discussion on this vital topic.

Agreed. Until the point that you implied the operators of the Jungle Cruise ride were engaged in racism by operating this ride daily for paying customers. Including yourself.
 
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TP2000

Well-Known Member
@TP2000, you have completely misinterpreted me. I suggest you re-read it in the morning.

No, I'm fine. I only had one glass of wine tonight, a couple hours ago. :cool:

You threw the word "racism" around to help describe the Jungle Cruise experience at Disneyland. And it's vocabulary friend "xenophobia".

I don't think the Jungle Cruise was an example of racism at all. Nor were the CM's who operated that ride for us for the last 15 years (since it's last major Imagineering overhaul and corporate approval) a gaggle of smiling racists in khaki outfits.

But you used the words "racism" and "xenophobia" to help describe the experience. And yet you, and all of us, continue to buy the product or work for the employer who produced that alleged "racism" and "xenophobia".

If I actually thought I was buying a product from a producer of racism, I'd be horrified and stop buying that product immediately. If I was working for an employer engaged in blatant racism I'd call HR and the Los Angeles Times immediately.

Apparently that's not always the case for others here. That's fascinating!
 
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TP2000

Well-Known Member
No. No I didn't. That is your invention. Pull yourself together man.

Read it again without your blinders.

What did this mean then exactly, if not to accuse the Jungle Cruise designers and operators of racism and xenophobia?...

Regarding what I think has become the principle subject of this expanded thread, I hesitate to say what I think because it seems to me that others could interpret it as self-congratulatory virtue-signaling. But there it is and here it is, coming from a really white guy:

As long as have I understood the concepts, I have believed that racism and it’s sibling xenophobia are the greatest evil that we as a society face. It is the root of so much … perhaps all of the pain and conflict that plagues our species.

I actually believe fascism outranks racism by a notch on the scale of human evil, if only because fascism so often uses racism as a tool for its broader evil.

But if you weren't alluding to the Jungle Cruise being an example of "racism" and "xenophobia", then why did you use those two specific words about a hokey old boat ride at an amusement park?

And you still buy tickets to Disneyland with that opinion?
 

castleparker

Well-Known Member
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Practical Pig

Well-Known Member
What did this mean then exactly, if not to accuse the Jungle Cruise designers and operators of racism and xenophobia?...



I actually believe fascism outranks racism by just a hair on the scale of human evil, if only because fascism so often uses racism as a tool for its evil.

But if you weren't alluding to the Jungle Cruise being an example of "racism" and "xenophobia", then why did you use those two specific words about a hokey old boat ride at an amusement park?

And you still buy tickets to Disneyland with that opinion?

The only reference I made to The Jungle Cruise ride was this: "First I’ll say that the announced changes to The Jungle Cruise seem appropriate and overdue to me. Concerns noted and respected."

Nothing after that was referring to the ride. As I said:

"Regarding what I think has become the principle subject of this expanded thread ..."

In other words that I really think you should not need to be explained to you, I was referring to the larger subject of our societal racism as reflected by significant posts in this thread from people of color that we all need to hear.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
The only reference I made to The Jungle Cruise ride was this: "First I’ll say that the announced changes to The Jungle Cruise seem appropriate and overdue to me. Concerns noted and respected."

Nothing after that was referring to the ride. As I said:

"Regarding what I think has become the principle subject of this expanded thread ..."

In other words that I really think you should not need to be explained to you, I was referring to the larger subject of our societal racism as reflected by significant posts in this thread from people of color that we all need to hear.

Got it. But it's a thread about the Jungle Cruise ride. So that's what I thought you were talking about.

So, let me ask you bluntly my friend (and I appreciate you playing along with me, even if my glass of Malbec wore off hours ago), do you think the Jungle Cruise ride is racist and xenophobic?

I'll go first. I do not think the Jungle Cruise is racist and xenophobic. I think if you went back to 1965 a few of the sight gags, long since removed or edited, would seem too silly or insensitive to our modern eyes. But racist and xenophobic? No way. Those words have specific meaning, and they should be used specifically, and in this case they are the wrong words to use. In my opinion.

Now, was the most recent full Re-Imagineering of 2005 the most Woke and Politically Correct thing by 2021 standards? No. I remember being actually kind of surprised how they played up the use of guns and dynamite in the '05 rehab; it seemed rather bold and not as PC as the cutting edge trends of the day, but it still made me chuckle so I really didn't care. But I made a quick mental note of the use of guns and killer dynamite.

But the references to African or South American tribal peoples in the ride? That's never seemed a problem to me personally. You barely even see 'em, the boat just keeps moving to keep that 7 minute trip time in place.

If anything, I would think a person visiting Disneyland from Africa would be upset that their fellow Africans get such short shrift in a ride ostensibly about Africa.

And that has me baffled the most. Some folks seem excited about the fact they'll be putting MORE WHITE PEOPLE into a ride about places and cultures where white people never lived. And that's a good thing? I don't get it. o_O
 

Practical Pig

Well-Known Member
So, let me ask you bluntly my friend (and I appreciate you playing along with me, even if my glass of Malbec wore off hours ago), do you think the Jungle Cruise ride is racist and xenophobic?

Since I have not applied either of the words "racist" or "xenophobic" to The Jungle Cruise, I don't understand your wish for me to address something that seems to only exist in your mind.
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
You're right. I don't really care about the cultural implications of the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland. It's a hokey boat ride in an amusement park. And the animals are obviously fake.

And you never once asked me my opinion on my perspective as an aging gay American who had to hide his very identity from the United States Department of Defense or else I would be dishonorably discharged and branded a national security risk and lose all my veteran's benefits; medical insurance, pension, etc. You never once asked me about my perspective on that, even though gays were once routinely kicked out of Disneyland by your fellow CM's for the sin of showing affection to one another.

I honestly have no desire to visit Africa, mainly because I have no idea how my allergies will react to all that animal dander and dust, and I don't find the culture that interesting enough to put up with all that hassle. Plus, I just don't have much of an interest in African animals that can't be satisfied with a once-per-decade visit to the San Diego Zoo or a once-per-year ride on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland.

No offense to Africa though, I also don't have much of an interest in visiting Mongolia or Russia or Indonesia. I don't even have a desire to visit Norway, and that's right next to my ancestral home of Sweden. I've only been looking into Viking Cruises and their itinerary that stops in Helsinki, Finland because I'd like to shop for 60 to 90 minutes at the Marimekko store there.

But when I visit Disneyland as an aging gay, Swedish-American who has a fondness for good Scotch and is cursed by a slowly worsening tennis game, I do not find any representation at Disneyland for me personally. Nor have I seen that representation of my demographic in any movie in theaters for the last 50 years.

But I think that's the difference between you and me. You apparently want to see "representation" of yourself personally when you visit Disneyland. I merely want to be entertained and laugh a bit when I visit Disneyland. Laugh at myself, laugh at others, I don't care. Just make me laugh and enjoy myself.

If removing all African people from a ride about Africa helps you get there, good for you! I just hope the revised version of the ride still makes me chuckle. That's all I care about when I go to Disneyland. I just need a good laugh. Because after the pain and difficulty I've had in my life, I need a good laugh. :)
Why in the WORLD would I ask you about your experiences as an elderly gay man in this thread which concerns BLACK issues? If this thread were discussing AARP benefits for the LGBTQ+ community, I would absolutely be interested in hearing what you have to say because I don't fit into either group and therefore wouldn't have the right to tell you how I feel and try and push my agenda on you. If a topic came up about gays and lesbians visiting the park in its early years and the problems they faced with public displays of affection, I would ASK YOU ABOUT YOUR PERSPECTIVE and NOT try to make it about me. THAT is the difference between you and I. That one glass of wine must have been five liters deep. Put the wine away. It's not about you.

I don't care about you not wanting to go to any of the 50+ countries in Africa and to be frank, that irrelevant information doesn't surprise me in the least. Same goes for the other countries you mentioned. None of that has anything to do with what I wrote.

If you actually understood my post and read another post of mine in this thread, you would know that I am indifferent about the African tribes people in Jungle Cruise. I stated that I didn't care if they stayed or if they went. @Dr. Hans Reinhardt also tried to explain it to folks, but again, ya'll don't want to hear it. My expressions and thoughts pertaining to this thread are based on an overall, huge issue with lack of representation of the black community. And after my long dissertation, you still don't understand where I'm coming from. You don't understand WHY representation is important to me as a black woman, despite laying out my trauma for you. You're absolutely right, I want to see some good representation at the park. We're given crumbs and I want those crumbs to be worthy.

Stop trying to make this topic about you because it's not.
☺️
 

unmitigated disaster

Well-Known Member
You're right. I don't really care about the cultural implications of the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland. It's a hokey boat ride in an amusement park. And the animals are obviously fake.

And you never once asked me my opinion on my perspective as an aging gay American who had to hide his very identity from the United States Department of Defense or else I would be dishonorably discharged and branded a national security risk and lose all my veteran's benefits; medical insurance, pension, etc. You never once asked me about my perspective on that, even though gays were once routinely kicked out of Disneyland by your fellow CM's for the sin of showing affection to one another.

I honestly have no desire to visit Africa, mainly because I have no idea how my allergies will react to all that animal dander and dust, and I don't find the culture that interesting enough to put up with all that hassle. Plus, I just don't have much of an interest in African animals that can't be satisfied with a once-per-decade visit to the San Diego Zoo or a once-per-year ride on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland.

No offense to Africa though, I also don't have much of an interest in visiting Mongolia or Russia or Indonesia. I don't even have a desire to visit Norway, and that's right next to my ancestral home of Sweden. I've only been looking into Viking Cruises and their itinerary that stops in Helsinki, Finland because I'd like to shop for 60 to 90 minutes at the Marimekko store there.

But when I visit Disneyland as an aging gay, Swedish-American who has a fondness for good Scotch and is cursed by a slowly worsening tennis game, I do not find any representation at Disneyland for me personally. Nor have I seen that representation of my demographic in any movie in theaters for the last 50 years.

But I think that's the difference between you and me. You apparently want to see "representation" of yourself personally when you visit Disneyland. I merely want to be entertained and laugh a bit when I visit Disneyland. Laugh at myself, laugh at others, I don't care. Just make me laugh and enjoy myself.

If removing all African people from a ride about Africa helps you get there, good for you! I just hope the revised version of the ride still makes me chuckle. That's all I care about when I go to Disneyland. I just need a good laugh. Because after the pain and difficulty I've had in my life, I need a good laugh. :)
I am considerably less than impressed that you think Africa has one giant monolithic culture.

I'm also less than impressed that you got in a whine about feeling unrepresented by Disneyland animatronics while dismissing black people who feel the same way.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
The black people in the JC as they are now is not representation. It is a stereotype colored through white colonialist glasses. Stereotypes dehumanize and reduce the natives to an exotic novelty that we the explorers are to laugh at.

Having people with different skin colors or orientations in an attraction or media does not automatically make it diverse or not problematic.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
If Jungle Cruise cannot have African tribes people representing despite reference as “savages”, which was common back in the day, then what’s the point of asking for more representation. Marvel Black Panther was in DCA in meet and greets where their costumes and weapons are so similar to African tribes. I assume there’s no problem with it. They are from a fictional African country.
F4CFBDF3-14C3-4A8E-A2F4-AEF61BF8C51E.jpeg
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Point still stands. The tonal shift may not have happened if the 55 version was a masterpiece. If they had built the POTC of Jungle Cruises in 55 I’m going to guess they don’t tinker with it 6 years later. Point is the park was a baby and was growing. Any example from those first 10 years needs to be thrown out
Except it kind of was. The Jungle Cruise was considered the premier attraction at Disneyland. When the D and E tickets were introduced The Jungle Cruise’s admission was raised to each new level. The whole reason Walt was shocked to hear people dismiss the attraction is because it was still supposed to be the park’s grand epic experience.
 

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