Albert Awol or, "The Voice of the Jungle" is a character from the Jungle Cruise. He is heard throughout the attraction and frequently referenced but has yet to make any physical appearance.
Albert Awol is the radio-announcer of AWOL Airwaves, a radio broadcast used by the Jungle Navigation Company for their operations during the 1930s. Announcements included vital information such as: communication between employees, weather warnings, updates on ports and routes, reminders, and entertainment based radio games for morale. He also mentions being sponsored by Aero-Casablanca, an airline which apparently offers exotic vacations and tours (and which is seemingly responsible for the crashed Lockheed Electra 12A airplane seen along the Nile River).
Albert Awol was created for a 1991 refurbishment of the Jungle Cruise, specifically for a 47 minute-long audio loop which would be played in the ride's queue. He has only been integrated into the Jungle Cruise of the Magic Kingdom however with his character not appearing in Disneyland's incarnation of the attraction.
Awol's name is a pun on the world, "Awol" which is short-hand for "Absent without Leave". The gag being that the incompetent and reckless employees of the Jungle Navigation Co. are reliant on a radio-broadcast which is by its name alone, absentee. This gag is heightened upon realization that while the broadcast is supposedly vital for the operations of skippers, AWOL airwaves is never heard upon the Jungle Cruise itself meaning the skippers in the ride are unable or unwilling to tune in.
The Jungle Cruise
Albert Awol is heard throughout the queue of the Jungle Cruise as his radio programming plays throughout the boat-house guests wait in. He plays Great Depression-era music which he infrequently interrupts to make announcements on behalf of the Jungle Navigation Company and its employees.
Music played by Albert Awol includes:
- Here Come's my Ball and Chain-Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra (1928)
- With Plenty of Money and You-Dick Powel (1936)
- Jeepers, Creepers (instrumental)- Louis Armstrong (1938)
- Yes, Yes! My Baby Said Yes, Yes-Sam Browne & The Carlyle Cousins (1932)
- Song of India (instrumental)-Paul Whiteman (1926)
- It's the Girl-The Boswell Sisters and Dorsey Brothers (1931)
- (Listen to the) Rhythm King-The Coon Sanders Nighthawks (1928)
- Love is Good for Anything that Ails You-Ida Sue McCune (1981)
- Harlem River Quiver (instrumental)-Duke Ellington and Orchestra (1927)
- What a Girl, What a Night-The Coon-Sanders Nighthawks (1928)
- Diga Diga Doo (instrumental)-Duke Ellington (1928)
- I get a Kick out of You-Artist Unknown(1934)
- You're the Top-Artist Unknown (1934)
- Let's Misbehave-Irving Aaronson, Phil Saxe (1928)
- Painting the Clouds with Sunshine-Jack Hylton and Orchestra (1929)
- The Mooche-Duke Ellington (1928)
- The King's Horses (And the Kings Men)-Jack Hylton and Orchestra (1931)
Additionally, Albert's office can be seen in the queue and is made to appear as if Awol stepped out for a moment.
Albert Awol's book, "Illustrated Guide to Radio Broadcasting" seen in the library of the Skipper Canteen.
Albert Awol appears as a character in the Tales from Adventureland books, namely in the Keymaster's Quest. Here he is associated as having been an old friend of Nedley Lostmore and a member of the Jungle Explorers' Society. He is a widow in these books and has a child named Lucy Awol who is a trained aviator. Later in the books, Awol moves to Hawaii as a protector of the Enchanted Tiki Room.
- Albert Awol's sponsors Aero-Casablanca are a reference to the defunct attraction The Great Movie Ride which operated from 1989 to 2017 in Disney's Hollywood Studios. This attraction featured a scene dedicated to the 1942 film Casablanca portraying the leads in an airport with an (allegedly authentic) airplane nearby. This airplane would be cut in half by imagineers with its rear-half being used as a prop in the Jungle Cruise, hence the name Aero-Casablanca.
- In his script, Awol makes several pop-culture references:
- While calling one Col. Williamson to report to the JNC's minister-general's office, Albert clears his throat by doing a Tarzan yell.
- At one point he relays a message for Sir Henry Morton Stanley to contact one Dr. Livingston so that they can meet at Schweitzer Falls. Both Stanley and Livingston are famous European explorers who were frequently featured in jungle exploration themed pop-culture. While trying to make out Livingston's name, Albert says, "Dr. Livingston I presume" which is a famous quote of Sir Stanley from his meeting with Dr. Livingston that is frequently homaged in pop-culture.
- During his advertisement for Jungle Cruises on the Amazon river, Awol brings up golden idols. This is of-course an allusion to the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol from the opening to the 1981 adventure-film, Raiders of the Lost Arc.
- The Jungle Explorers' Society which Awol is a part of in the book was originally intended to be the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.
- In Disneyland's Jungle Cruise and in the Magic Kingdom during the seasonal Jingle Cruise overlay, Albert Awol is replaced by a character called Nigel Greenwater of the Global Broadcasting Service.