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Jungle Cruise Update

George Lucas on a Bench

Well-Known Member
We don't care about Joe Rohde, his distended earlobe, or any contrived backstories he and his WDI groupies may have made up in the Four Seasons Bali lobby bar drinking on an expense account in 2004.

This is the Disneyland side of the forums. We just don't get into that here. Especially when it's a ride Walt built and refined himself.

Walt just didn't have a great understanding of Immersion and Storytelling and he was limited by the technology and sexism of the time. Now with these new digital women, Disney Imagineering can finally fulfill Walt's Original Vision and bring the Jungle Cruise into the 21st Century for modern more sophisticated audiences.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
We don't care about Joe Rohde, his distended earlobe, or any contrived backstories he and his WDI groupies may have made up in the Four Seasons Bali lobby bar drinking on an expense account in 2004.

This is the Disneyland side of the forums. We just don't get into that here. Especially when it's a ride Walt built and refined himself.

It's not just Walt. The scenes they're replacing were designed by Marc Davis, and many of those figures were sculpted by Blaine Gibson.

Disneyland only has so many places left that are basically exactly as they were in the golden age of Disneyland. The Matterhorn is the same in name only, the experience is so vastly different then it was in Walt's time. Same with the ROA, Pirates, Fantasyland, Main Street, the Castle. The treehouse. The Monorail. The Submarines. It's a Small World. The Railroad. Very little that existed in Walt's time is still there- and what is still there is vastly different then what actually existed in the '60s.

But for the most part, the major show scenes in the Jungle Cruise are exactly the same. If you look at pictures of the Jungle Cruise in the '60s and the Jungle Cruise today- it's practically identical.

Here's the trapped safari in 1964-

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And here it is in 2006-

1616549547774.png


WDI needs to be very careful when they change stuff that goes back to the earliest days of Disneyland. And this Alberta Falls nonsense makes me feel like they don't quite get the Jungle Cruise.
 

Practical Pig

Well-Known Member
I don’t know what S.E.A. is and Mystic Manor isn’t a Disneyland attraction.
S.E.A = Society of Explorers and Adventurers. It's a backstory conceit Disney introduced with Tokyo Disney Sea and has been spreading around the parks. The Falls family of Alberta Falls, Albert Falls, and Sneh Falls (groan) are members, and were first introduced in Florida with The Skipper Canteen.

Disneyland has been previously mostly spared, though I understand that there is some reference in The Tropical Hideaway that I don't know, but it looks like Anaheim is getting synergized as Disney ramps up to the S.E.A TV series rumored to be in development for Disney+, as I believe @Disney Irish first mentioned here.

 

raven24

Well-Known Member
S.E.A = Society of Explorers and Adventurers. It's a backstory conceit Disney introduced with Tokyo Disney Sea and has been spreading around the parks. The Falls family of Alberta Falls, Albert Falls, and Sneh Falls (groan) are members, and were first introduced in Florida with The Skipper Canteen.

Disneyland has been previously mostly spared, though I understand that there is some reference in The Tropical Hideaway that I don't know, but it looks like Anaheim is getting synergized as Disney ramps up to the S.E.A TV series rumored to be in development for Disney+, as I believe @Disney Irish first mentioned here.

1616553579724.gif
 

Practical Pig

Well-Known Member
Agreed. I don't really care how elaborate today's WDI's contrived backstories become as long as they aren't smashed into my face as I ride. Decorate the queues however they want; I don't have to participate unless I want to. But don't force me to deal with it while I'm trying to enjoy the ride.

My glass half-full side is hopeful they won't cross that line. But ... well, we'll see.
 

Mac Tonight

Well-Known Member
I might be the only "Disneylander" who apparently doesn't have a huge problem with S.E.A as a general concept (who doesn't love a good connected universe?) and I'm very excited for the TV series. However, as a Disneyland "purist", I feel that it's more befitting of the International parks and WDW and I hope it doesn't encroach the park any more than it already has. (A quick glance on The S.E.A Disney Wiki reveals connections to not just The Tropical Hideaway, but Big Thunder Mountain, and Bengal Barbecue as well.)

The best part of it though, is that just like the other elaborate backstories Disney is trying to spoon-feed us these days, you are 100% capable of just ignoring it and enjoy the attractions as they are!
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
I might be the only "Disneylander" who apparently doesn't have a huge problem with S.E.A as a general concept (who doesn't love a good connected universe?) and I'm very excited for the TV series. However, as a Disneyland "purist", I feel that it's more befitting of the International parks and WDW and I hope it doesn't encroach the park any more than it already has. (A quick glance on The S.E.A Disney Wiki reveals connections to not just The Tropical Hideaway, but Big Thunder Mountain, and Bengal Barbecue as well.)

The best part of it though, is that just like the other elaborate backstories Disney is trying to spoon-feed us these days, you are 100% capable of just ignoring it and enjoy the attractions as they are!

I hope you re right and we don’t have to hear the name “Alberta Falls” coming out of the skippers mouths.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
I don’t know what S.E.A. is...

Because you are a normal person who goes to Disneyland to go on rides and have fun, not obsess over some celebrity Imagineer with a creepy vibe.

If your only Disney park point of reference was WDW, where they have theme parks Walt never saw or touched and that only have a dozen or less rides in each park, you'd need to entertain yourself by studying elaborate overthought backstories created by drunk Imagineers living on expense accounts in luxury hotels in exotic countries under the guise of "research".

But since this is the Disneyland forum, we are freed from that type of tedium and eye-rolling backstory.

This isn't rocket science, nor is it a 3-act play. It's just a jungle boat ride in a theme park that pretends to take you from Africa to India to South America in 7 minutes while the skipper tells funny one-liners. A made-up backstory is not going to help that core product.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Not quite sure why this S.E.A. stuff bothers me. I guess it has something to do with the fact that it feels so forced to create this corny, unnecessary overarching meta-ish back story connecting all of the Disney parks with cartoonified looking Jumanji meets Colonel Mustard characters. It comes across as trying to create some sort of interest or following in these characters in a very inorganic way. Anyway, as long as the stuff isn’t mentioned or referenced on the rides I can live with it. I don’t like the direction it’s trending though.

Now I gotta ask. Am I not the target audience at Disney parks anymore? How can I dislike so many things in a row? Or do the current people working at Disney just not get it? The plethora of Disneyland/ Disney parks history books sitting in my house seem to agree with me.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Now I gotta ask. Am I not the target audience at Disney parks anymore? How can I dislike so many things in a row? Or do the current people working at Disney just not get it? The plethora of Disneyland/ Disney parks history books sitting in my house seem to agree with me.

I've had a similar mental dilemma as of late. I have a huge Disneyland book collection, and I listen to various podcasts religiously. I've also spent more money then anyone should on various Disneyland memorabilia.

But then, I dislike almost every new addition or change that's made. At least in the last 5 years. And I'm like- there has to be a disconnect somewhere because it's weird to be such a huge fan of the brand but then to dislike almost everything the company does with it.

But, Disneyland without Splash Mountain or with an altered Jungle still has so much good- Main Street, the Railroad (even if I'll have to close my eyes as it goes through Frog Mountain), Space Mountain, Big Thunder, all of Fantasyland. It just won't be the same, and I'll be visiting far less then I have in the past.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
I've had a similar mental dilemma as of late. I have a huge Disneyland book collection, and I listen to various podcasts religiously. I've also spent more money then anyone should on various Disneyland memorabilia.

But then, I dislike almost every new addition or change that's made. At least in the last 5 years. And I'm like- there has to be a disconnect somewhere because it's weird to be such a huge fan of the brand but then to dislike almost everything the company does with it.

But, Disneyland without Splash Mountain or with an altered Jungle still has so much good- Main Street, the Railroad (even if I'll have to close my eyes as it goes through Frog Mountain), Space Mountain, Big Thunder, all of Fantasyland. It just won't be the same, and I'll be visiting far less then I have in the past.


Well, at least the new facade behind Luigis is really nice so we have that! But yes good way to put it - huge disconnect and yet it’s still one of my favorite places in the world and I imagine it always will be no matter what they do...within reason. The bones of the place are just too good and the atmosphere will always be there. The smells, sounds, layout, vistas, trees, and most likely all the icons will always be there. It’s the same thing that gives me some comfort that the Splash retheme won’t be a total loss. The queue, outdoor portion of the ride, smell of the water, bayou/ critter theme, flume layout, thrills, staging and maybe even some or most of the sets/ AAs will be there.
 
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Homemade Imagineering

Well-Known Member
It’s the same thing that gives me some comfort that the Splash retheme won’t be a total loss. The queue, outdoor portion of the ride, smell of the water, bayou/ critter theme, flume layout, thrills, staging and maybe even some or most of the sets/ AAs will be there.
Exactly. I'm sure there'll be a handful of AAs reused within the re-theme, most notably the gators/swamp boys figures, since they especially fit the theme. I'm gonna assume most of the geese will either be removed or re-skinned. Plus, we'll have new AAs to go along with some of the old ones, so hopefully it'll be a nice balance of new and old. I'm crossing my fingers. I think the turnout coming out of the JC renovation, will be a good indication, on what they'll be able to provide for SM.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Well, at least the new facade behind Luigis is really nice so we have that! But yes good way to put it - huge disconnect and yet it’s still one of my favorite places in the world and I imagine it always will be no matter what they do...within reason. The bones of the place are just too good and the atmosphere will always be there. The smells, sounds, layout, vistas, trees, and most likely all the icons will always be there. It’s the same thing that gives me some comfort that the Splash retheme won’t be a total loss. The queue, outdoor portion of the ride, smell of the water, bayou/ critter theme, flume layout, thrills, staging and maybe even some or most of the sets/ AAs will be there.

I'm never going to ride Frog Mountain- so I won't know. I think I'll just have Haunted Mansion's exit be the furthest I go on that half of the park, except for the occasional Canoe ride.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Not quite sure why this S.E.A. stuff bothers me. I guess it has something to do with the fact that it feels so forced to create this corny, unnecessary overarching meta-ish back story connecting all of the Disney parks with cartoonified looking Jumanji meets Colonel Mustard characters. It comes across as trying to create some sort of interest or following in these characters in a very inorganic way. Anyway, as long as the stuff isn’t mentioned or referenced on the rides I can live with it. I don’t like the direction it’s trending though.

Now I gotta ask. Am I not the target audience at Disney parks anymore? How can I dislike so many things in a row? Or do the current people working at Disney just not get it? The plethora of Disneyland/ Disney parks history books sitting in my house seem to agree with me.

The SEA thing, or whatever else Mr. Rohde and his Glendale Groupies created, feels fake and phony because it is.

That type of thing doesn't stand out so much at WDW where things feel way more corporate and are noticeably fake and phony.

But at Disneyland it sticks out like a sore thumb and feels off. When something is as original and genuine as Disneyland, a forced application of 21st century "backstory" created by overpaid celebrity Imagineers just clashes and comes off badly.
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
I don't even know that SEA is something that WDW people are really into-I think it really is (or was originally) targeted towards people who at least like the idea of the international parks-and that rules out a lot of WDW people, who won't even go to DL, let alone somewhere out of the country. The SEA content started and is still mostly in Asia, after all.

But clearly there are (or, more accurately, they perceive there to be) people into it enough to the point that they believe it's a marketable commodity, or maybe even that there are people dumb enough to be tricked into thinking something is good solely because it has that label.

Because to their credit, most of the stuff originally tagged as SEA was, and is, quite good.

But allegedly SEA is already tied Disneyland specifically via Big Thunder and Discovery Bay in addition to Tropical Hideaway, which is news to me. Or so the internet says.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
Except people do invest in new roofs that change up the materials. Roofs are less frequent since they’re not seen as much, but people pour thousands into kitchens and bathrooms and the return on that is little more than TV fantasy.

That's an odd comparison though. People redo kitchens and bathrooms because they get tired of the look, or find some kind of added efficiency (like adding more storage space). It may be harder to objectively define, but the spend is still being done to add some kind of value.

Disney isn't going to change an attraction that they are just tired of. They have to have a plan to recover the enormous costs that go into these redevelopment plans. Although, to amend my statement a bit, I should leave room to allow that they are making changes NOW in order to ensure future revenue for something like the Jungle Cruise.


Yes, you're right, it IS stupid for Disney to do overlays on Space Mountain!

It seems pretty dumb, but they had to have a reason for it. Hyperspace and Ghost Galaxy were both done to sell event tickets for limited time runs. That they didn't really turn out that way just happened to be more of a quirk on how the park operations adjusted to the ginormous amount of Annual Passholders. But it does point out another similar scenario, where Imagineering spent all of this money to build in the infrastructure for a daytime/nighttime show on Space Mountain that ended up never getting used, because the daytime show was popular enough.


But seriously, Disney has been doing this for decades. You speak as if this is some unfathomable thing.

No, I am aware, but I still feel we are disagreeing on the "why" of it. In the times of the old ticket booths, it wasn't uncommon to see attendance at individual attractions decline, and there was a little more motivation when revenue was being generated at the attraction level, to keep updating, replacing, and renovating attractions. There was also, generally speaking, far more unused capacity to be sold in the park back in the old, old days. So it's harder now to see that connection when something gets renovated, to the desire to get more people on the ride or in the queue. To see it as a financial decision rather than a purely creative one.


It's pretty much always going to be cheaper to upgrade an older attraction vs. build a brand new one. And unless they reuse Jungle Cruise's infrastructure it'd be a huge job to do something different there, and since it is a park original, you'd get quite a lot of pushback. Pushback that I'm not sure even modern Disney's ready to deal with.

It will always be cheaper to do nothing. If I'm Disney and I am being asked to spend three million dollars renovating a ride that is already doing fantastic business (near 90% capacity), then the best I can hope for with my three million, is that nothing changes and demand stays high. That's not really a good investment. I could take that three million and invest it into some other project that will bring in more people.

I do think we're getting a little deep into the weeds here, since we all know that Jungle Cruise is being changed out because of the story implications and social pressure, so the math on this is a little different, but the point still remains: They are changing out the ride in order to keep attendance at the ride up, not just now but in the future.


People may not come to the park just to ride Jungle Cruise anymore. It may not be one of the most popular experiences. But it's one of those things that makes Disneyland Disneyland. Because of that, they can't just gut the thing. Even the company knows that. "Maybe later they'll do it," you say. Sure, maybe. But we're not there yet, are we?

Oh no no no, not yet. But 30 or 40 years from now? I suppose it depends on how well audiences love Alberta Falls. Or maybe how much impact climate change has on the jungle or the societal pressure to save water? Maybe they will eventually outlaw gas powered boats? Or how much of a premium they can put on their newest attractions to siphon money off for jungle maintenance. A lot can change in time, and I can't think of a single attraction that hasn't been touched in 50 years...
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
For awhile now SEA has been an example of trying too hard.
That's a valid criticism. It is a contrived story that links a multitude of, in most cases, already existing elements of multiple parks.

To each their own. I like rich backstories and expansive universes in my media. Disney is a storytelling company, and they (or pieces of Disney at least) are among the best at it. The stories are what keeps me interested in the company and the parks. Some of those stories are non-fiction, like how Walt developed (or didn't) certain rides, and some are fiction. Most parkgoers don't know or care about whether S.E.A. is a thing, but they also don't know or care about which rides Walt worked on. They know what interests them, what entertains them, and what bores them. Jungle Cruise has been on the boring side (save for the good skippers) for a while now.

And yeah, I do like Joe Rohde, so if that makes me "not Disney" enough for some of the people here, I'm cool with that. I also like Marc Davis. 🤷‍♀️
 

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