The Jungle Cruise is an attraction located in Adventureland at many Disney Parks, including Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, and Tokyo Disneyland. At Hong Kong Disneyland, the attraction is named Jungle River Cruise. Disneyland Paris and Shanghai Disneyland are the only Magic Kingdom-style Disney parks that do not have the Jungle Cruise in their attraction rosters.
The attraction simulates a riverboat cruise down several major rivers of Asia, Africa and South America. Park guests board replica tramp steamers and are taken on a voyage past many different Audio-Animatronic jungle animals. The tour is led by a live Disney cast member delivering a humorous scripted narration.
Inspiration and design
Walt Disney developed the Jungle Cruise alongside Adventureland, inspired by his successful True-Life Adventures nature-film series as Adventureland was originally named, "True-Life Adventureland". Walt originally wanted the attraction to feature live-animals though for many obvious reasons this was opted out for audio-animatronics (though later recycled for Kilimanjaro Safaris). Imagineer Harper Goff referenced the 1951 non-Disney film The African Queen frequently in his ideas; even his designs of the ride vehicles were modelled after the steamer used in the film. The project was placed on the schedule to open with the July 17, 1955 debut of Disneyland.
When plans began to develop, Bill Evans, the Imagineer responsible for landscaping Disneyland and most of Walt Disney World, faced the daunting task of foresting an entire jungle on a limited budget. Aside from importing many actual tropical plants, he made wide use of "character plants" which, while not necessarily exotic, could give the appearance of exoticism in context. In a particularly well-known trick, he uprooted local orange trees and "replanted" them upside-down, growing vines on the exposed roots. The clean water was dyed brown to prevent visitors from seeing the bottom of the “river”, which varies between three and eight feet deep.
Although Goff and Evans can be credited with the creation and initial design of the ride, Marc Davis, recognized for his work on venerable attractions such as the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, added his own style to the ride in later versions and Disneyland updates. The "Indian Elephant Bathing Pool" and "Trapped Safari" were among his contributions. In the 1990s, the ride received theming and aesthetics to imitate the popular Indiana Jones film-series of Lucasfilm as a means of tying into Disneyland's attraction Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Later refurbishments would orient the Jungle Cruise predominately towards campy jokes (most frequently improvised by skippers decades earlier and made part of an official script) and self-referential humor.
The attraction was in the opening day roster of the park, and has remained open and largely unchanged in theme and story since then. Aside from alterations and maintenance changes, four completely new show scenes have been added to date. In 1995 the river channel was rerouted to make way for the queue buildings and entrance courtyard of the Indiana Jones Adventure.
While the current version and most previous instances have made use of a comedic spiel, filled with intentionally bad puns, the original intent of the ride was to provide a realistic, believable voyage through the world's jungles. The original spiel had no jokes and sounded much like the narration of a nature documentary. Starting with the Christmas season of 2013, Jungle Cruise was given a seasonal overlay called Jingle Cruise and was decorated with various Christmas decorations.
The queue and station are themed as the former headquarters and boathouse of the Jungle Navigation Company, located in a British colony within the Lost Delta of India in the year 1938. The queuing area is cluttered with appropriate props, such as pinned insects, an old radio on top of a bookshelf, and a chessboard with miniature animals and decorated shotgun shells replacing the pieces. The extended queue winds upstairs, underneath an Audio-Animatronic hornbill, and then downstairs again. Big band music from the 1930s plays overhead from the Global Broadcasting Service and occasional news breaks by announcer Nigel Greenwater.
In the queue's entrance is company founder Dr. Albert Falls' map of the, "Jungle Rivers of Adventureland", a series of supernatural rivers connecting locations across the world into the realm of, "Adventureland". Throughout the queue are references to the lost crew of the Kwango Kate consisting of skipper Felix Pechman XIII, Dr. Kon Chunosuke, Siobhan Murphy, Rosa Soto Dominguez, and Dr. Leonard Moss. Guests also pass by the office of company president Alberta Falls containing her portrait and the cage of her pet bird, Kamaka.
Once aboard the boats, guests are introduced to their skipper and they head into the jungle, allegedly never to return. The first rivers simulated are the Irrawaddy and Mekong rivers, representing tropical Southeast Asia. The boats sail through a dense rainforest, and ancient Irrawaddy temple ruins where passengers see a Bengal Tiger, giant spiders, king cobras, and crocodiles. Passing a shrines of the historic King Jayavarman VII (c.1150–1160), a bowing elephant and a metal cobra, the boats enter the Sacred Indian Elephant Bathing Pool where dozens of Indian elephants prance in the water and squirt water at the passing vessels.
The theme transitions to the rivers of Africa, and riders see a family of baboons, and a safari camp that has been overrun by gorillas. The boats careen past the dramatic waterfall, Schweitzer Falls, between two African Elephants, and large termite mounds. A tableau of the African Veldt follows, showing zebras, wildebeest, and giraffes watching a pride of lions feasting on a zebra beneath a rocky outcropping. Beyond the lion's den, an angry rhinoceros has chased the marooned crew of the Kwango Kate up a tree. Antelope and hyenas watch from nearby while hyenas wait at the bottom of the tree for their coming meal.
The skipper then pilots the boat into a large pool, containing the sunken Kwango Kate and belongings of the lost expedition. This disturbs a pod of hippos that signal their intent to attack the boat. Armed with a gun filled with blanks, the skipper fires into the air to frighten them away. The boats narrowly escape and encounter the lost Jungle Cruise boat, The Mekong Maiden being crewed by chimpanzees while chimps along the riverside play with the marooned crew's belongings. The boat also passes another pair of chimps with a magnifying glass and net observing an infestation of butterflies that they had released from their crates.
The boats pass behind Schweitzer Falls (famously referred to as "the Backside of Water") to enter the Amazon River. Skeletal animal remains and warning signs featuring pictures of dagger-toothed fish forewarn the next show scene, where the boats encounter a swarm of leaping piranha. The guests then pass a pool of water buffalo nearby a large python before finding their way to the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Lost & Found. This establishment was left in possession of Indigenous South American, "Trader Sam" who turned the lost & found into a gift-shop to sell of the belongings of guests. In Sam's absence, the shop is overrun by monkeys who snap a photo of guests while they pass by a hornbill (who originally appeared on the rafters of the ride's queue until the most recent refurbishment) and Sam's pet elephant Ellie.
The boats proceed to make their return to the boathouse but not before passing through an uncharted tributary within a Polynesian river. Along the water's edge are Jungle Navigation Company docks along the Enchanted Tiki Room and advertisements for, "The Tropical Hideaway". A white cockatoo named Rosita appears waiting for a Jungle Cruise boat and turns to sing to and crack jokes at the guests. Finally, the boats return to the Lost Delta where guests disembark.
- 1962 - Addition of Indian Elephant pool
- 1964 - Addition of African Veldt and Lost Safari scenes
- 1976 - Addition of Cambodian Temple and Gorilla Camp scenes
- 1993 - Various minor additions
- 1994 - Addition of boathouse queue
- 1995 - Rerouting of river to accommodate the Indiana Jones Adventure
- 1997 - Replacement of the original ride vehicles
- 2001 - Skippers' guns removed after March 24.
- 2004 - Skippers' guns return starting October 1.
- 2005 - Happiest Homecoming on Earth refurbishment, opened May 4, 2005. Various replacements and reconstructions, addition of piranhas, and updates to Gorilla Camp scene.
- 2013 - Debut of the seasonal Jingle Cruise overlay, which became more elaborate the following year.
- 2016 - The attraction is closed until May for refurbishment to install a new docking system.
- 2021 - New storyline at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom announced on January 25. However, following Disneyland's reopening after being temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Disneyland version of this ride remained closed and the refurbishment was delayed until July 16, 2021. The updated version of the ride soft-opened on July 9, 2021.
Description of specific changes
The baboons at the safari camp previously sat on the African termite mounds. A total of six lions have been removed since opening day: one that growled when the African Veldt was added, two lionesses from the Veldt that were fighting over a bloody strand of zebra meat, a lion and a lioness that each had a zebra leg in their mouth, and a dead lion hanging on a spit over a fire in the native village. Also removed from the Veldt were African wild dogs laughing at the pride. The native village was originally a dense jungle filled with tikis, masks, and several more natives. Trader Sam previously wore a mask and a gorilla across the channel tried to grab his merchandise.
Starting in 2013, a holiday overlay was added themed to Christmas at both Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom with holiday-themed jokes and decorations on the boats, and holiday music on the radio station in the queue in the aptly-named "Jingle Cruise". This refurbishment ceased in the January of 2017 but continued to be performed at the Magic Kingdom.
In January 2021, Disneyland and Walt Disney World both drastically changed their Jungle Cruises to remove overt racism from the attraction. This was likely due in part to the Black Lives Matter movement sparked in 2020 which had already rightfully pressured Disney into changing Splash Mountain, an attraction based on the infamously racist film Song of the South. Disney marketed much of this refurbishment as "Cultural sensitivity" changes, likely to downplay the overt racism of the original attraction while also portraying the refurbishment as politically progressive.
The changes included removing the headhunter tribe, the original trapped safari, the Buddhist statues, and Trader Sam. The attraction also began to amplify its focus on campy superficially self-referential humor and convoluted lore with little-to-no payoff within the actual attraction; most notably in relation to new characters created for the trapped safari who were each given their own biographies despite appearing for a few seconds with no dialogue or conclusion to their stories. The headhunters were replaced with a scene of chimpanzees riding the Mekong Maiden, an allusion to a decommissioned Jungle Cruise boat. This attraction also explicitly featured "Adventureland" as a geographic location in-universe rather than an anachronistic combination of locales.
Asides from compulsory discourse over changing the attraction, this incarnation of the ride was criticized due to still featuring racism and colonial propagandistic elements and as having been headed by white and non-Indigenous Imagineers. Notable points of criticism have included romanticizing British colonists such as the Jungle Navigation Company & Society of Explorers and Adventurers, portraying Indigenous people as being absentee and the jungles as uninhabited (a piece of racist colonial propaganda known as, "Terra Nullius" which is historically used to justify colonization in regions like New Guinea), and continuing to reference Trader Sam while portraying him as a greedy, corrupt and untrustworthy thief.
There are 12 vehicles, with a maximum of 9 in operation at any given time. The boats in 1955 were painted as clean, idealized replicas, but have since been given a more realistic theming reflecting the grunge and wear of actual watercraft due to the addition of Indiana Jones Adventure and its ruggedness.
Names in use:
- Amazon Belle
- Congo Queen (gold-painted for 50th anniversary)
- Ganges Gal
- Hondo Hattie
- Irrawaddy Woman
- Kissimmee Kate
- Nile Princess (Wheelchair lift equipped)
- Orinoco Adventuress
- Suwannee Lady
- Ucayali Una (Wheelchair lift equipped)
- Yangtze Lotus
- Zambezi Miss
Names decommissioned in 1997:
- Magdalena Maiden
- Mekong Maiden
The ride is set in the year 1938 as guests enter the Amazon River Base of the colonial business, the Jungle Navigation Company. The boathouse's radio broadcasts AWOL Airwaves, the service of one Albert Awol who plays music and relays announcements. Within the boathouse are several allusions to the corruption and negligence of the Jungle Navigation Company including a board of lost boats, an escaped orangutans, crates of damaged cargo, attempts to sell a feral tiger, and the employee of the month dying of disease. Additionally is a map of the Jungle Rivers of Adventureland, a series of mystic waterways which make up the jungle realm of, "Adventureland" mapped by skipper Frank Wolff and gifted to the Falls family before being augmented by Alberta Falls for skipper usage.
Throughout the queue are references to a lost Jungle Cruise tour containing the likes of skipper Felix Pechman XIII, Dr. Kon Chunosuke, Siobhan Murphy, Rosa Soto Dominguez, and Dr. Leonard Moss. Guests proceed to board boats on docks across from the shack of the elusive O.I. Cyhu. The skipper introduces themselves and begins to take the boat full of guests down the tropical rivers of the world. The ride starts out in the Amazon River, where the passengers encounter butterflies with one-foot wingspans, or as the skipper might say, twelve inches.
The boat then passes Inspiration Falls, which transitions into the Congo River in Africa. Here, the boats happen upon an empty mercantile called Boats & Baits AND Bites! run by one, "Skipper Sully". This shop is shown to have originally been called Boats & Baits before being turned into a quick-service dining establishment selling exotic fish such as piranhas. The boats proceed to encounter a giant python before making a getaway. After this, the boat then passes a camp that has been raided by gorillas, which transitions the cruise into the Nile River. The boats also encounter a downed airplane with the words, "The Amazing Hathaway Browne" on it, referencing the vehicle's owner.
While making the transition, the boats pass by Schweitzer Falls, named for the company founder Dr. Albert Falls. After encountering two elephants, the boat passes along the African Veldt, where numerous African animals watch a pride of lions eat their kill. The boat then finds the lost crew of the Kwango Kate, referenced in the queue. They have been chased up a tree by an angered black rhino while hyenas wait at the base of the tree for a free meal. After this, the boats encounter the sinking Kwango Kate which is taken over by chimpanzees, some of whom are eating Dr. Chunosuke's rare butterflies. The group then passes by another waterfall, Schweitzer Falls, and encounters a pool of hippos. They are about to charge the boat until the skipper scares them off, either via yelling or gunshot.
They enter a temple which has been destroyed by a natural disaster. Inside the skipper is silent as they encounter, baboons, cobras, and an Indochinese tiger. After they exit, they come across an elephant bathing pool where numerous elephants are relaxing in the water. The boat narrowly avoids being sprayed by water from one of the elephants. Following this, the boat returns to the Amazon rainforest where they find the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Lost & Found. This establishment was left in possession of Indigenous South American, "Trader Sam" who turned the lost & found into a gift-shop to sell of the belongings of guests. The guests see the shop overrun by monkeys before making their return to port.
Description of specific changes
Due to being opened much later than its Disneyland counterpart, the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise had much more involvement by Marc Davis. The plane is the back-half of the Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior found at The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the Casablanca scene.
The character of Albert Awol was added in 1991 to the Jungle Cruise during a refurbishment:
- "Standing in the Jungle Cruise queue was a somber affair prior to the aforementioned 1991 rehab; once guests crossed the threshold they were faced with a series of twists and turns that led past bare walls, their fellow guests and occasional glimpses of the river. There was no background music at that time either, so if the queue was full it promised a fair amount of shuffling drudgery. Of course, DL's Jungle Cruise queue is now closer to the full embodiment of how cool a ride's waiting space can be, but Florida's 1991 upgrade did include queue music interspersed with radio commentary by Albert AWOL, 'the voice of the jungle.' A considerable array of visual enhancements were also made at that same time, from a series of new destination-based wall murals to the artifact-laden 'office' in the center of the queue."
Around the time of the opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom, the skippers' guns were removed. They returned around November 2004 in the form of wired props that played gunfire sounds over the boats' PA systems.
Each variety of plant throughout the attraction was carefully selected by landscape architect Bill Evans to ensure that the foliage would be able to endure Florida's unique climate: hot summers and relatively cool winters. The most difficult aspect of this was making sure these plants had the appropriate look and feel of traditional tropical plants in the equatorial jungle. During the Christmas season of 2013, Jungle Cruise was given a seasonal overlay called Jingle Cruise and was decorated with various Christmas decorations.
In January 2021, Disneyland and Walt Disney World both drastically changed their Jungle Cruises to remove overt racism from the attraction. This was likely due in part to the Black Lives Matter movement sparked in 2020 which had already rightfully pressured Disney into changing Splash Mountain, an attraction based on the infamously racist film Song of the South. Disney marketed much of this refurbishment as, "Cultural sensitivity" changes, likely to downplay the overt racism of the original attraction while also portraying the refurbishment as politically progressive.
The changes included removing the headhunter tribe, the pygmy camp, the previous trapped safari, and Chief Nah-mee. The attraction also began to amplify its focus on campy superficially self-referential humour and convoluted lore with little-to-no payoff within the actual attraction; most notably in relation to new characters created for the trapped safari who were each given their own biographies despite appearing for a few seconds with no dialogue or conclusion to their stories. This attraction also explicitly featured, "Adventureland" as a geographic location in-universe rather than an anachronistic combination of locales.
Asides from compulsory discourse over changing the attraction, this incarnation of the ride was criticized due to still featuring racism and colonial propagandistic elements and as having been headed by white and non-Indigenous imagineers. Notable points of criticism have included romanticizing British colonists such as the Jungle Navigation Company & Society of Explorers and Adventurers, portraying Indigenous people as being absentee and the jungles as uninhabited (a piece of racist colonial propaganda known as, "Terra Nullius" which is historically used to justify colonization in regions like New Guinea), the plane featured implied to be a plane called the Gipsy Moth which is named for a Romani racial slur ,and continuing to reference Trader Sam while portraying him as a greedy, corrupt and untrustworthy thief. In the midst of these refurbishments, Disney begin quietly removing allusions to the Society of Explorers and Adventurers and Mystic Manor, with some speculating it being due to their racist elements.
There are 15 vehicles, with a maximum of 10 in operation at any given time.
- Amazon Annie
- Bomokandi Bertha (Wheelchair lift equipped)
- Congo Connie
- Ganges Gertie
- Irrawaddy Irma
- Mongala Millie
- Nile Nellie
- Orinoco Ida
- Rutshuru Ruby
- Sankuru Sadie
- Senegal Sal
- Ucyali Lolly
- Volta Val
- Wamba Wanda (Wheelchair lift equipped)
- Zambesi Zelda
- Kwango Kate (Retired in 2000)
- 1973 - Expansion of boathouse queue, frogs removed from Amazon River scene
- 1986 - African Veldt is enclosed by trees to hide views of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- 1991 - Queue updates, introduction of the Albert Awol music loop. New scripts give Trader Sam the alternate name of Chief Namee
- 1994 - Crashed Airplane scene is added
- 1996 - Several figures on the Lost Safari are replaced.
- 1998 - Skippers' guns removed around the time Disney's Animal Kingdom opened.
- 2000 - A canopy structure is removed from the Amazon River scene for safety concerns. Queue is reconfigured for Fastpass and the boats receive a rustic makeover.
- 2004 - Skippers' guns return around November.
- 2016 to 2017 - "Crocs eating children" joke briefly removed after toddler was killed by a real alligator at the Grand Floridian Resort
- 2021 - New storyline added over the course of several months from January through the summer. Besides the new Trapped Safari and Chimpanzee Boat scenes, Pygmy Village is turned into a boat and bait shop and the crashed airplane is turned into an Adventurers Club tribute. Frogs returned in October.
The Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland attractions are very similar to each other, with the exception of a few minor differences. While the boats in the Magic Kingdom's attraction travel counter-clockwise, the boats at Tokyo Disneyland travel in a clockwise direction. The current incarnation of the attraction is known as Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions. This version includes unique effects in the temple, a full musical score, and an alternate experience for nighttime cruises.
The station and surrounding area are themed to a more upscale African city, as opposed to an isolated jungle outpost. This version shares a station building with the park's steam train ride, Western River Railroad. Within the boathouse, voices of Jungle Navigation Company personnel give instructions to guests. The spiels in Tokyo Disneyland are delivered in Japanese and skippers bow to the audience after each joke.
The story focuses on establishing a "friendship with nature", with the Skipper keeping three animal totems in their boat: The Tiger of Courage, the Elephant of Wisdom, and the Monkey of Cleverness. Using one of these three totems and calling upon their matching animal spirits, the Temple's carvings are brought to life in a celebration with man's connection with nature. The first lines from the song "Circle of Life" from The Lion King can be heard when the boat passes through the African Veldt scene. At the end of the attraction, guests encounter Chief Nah-mee (also known as "Salesman Sam") and Ellie who are trading fruit and the three medallions which the skippers have in their boats.
There are 13 vehicles, with a maximum of 12 in operation at any given time.
All boat names, except Orinoco Ida, are alliterations.
- Amazon Annie
- Congo Connie
- Ganges Gertie
- Irrawaddy Irma
- Kwango Kate
- Nile Nelly
- Orinoco Ida
- Rutshuru Ruby
- Sankuru Sadie
- Senegal Sal
- Volta Val
- Wamba Wanda
- Zambezi Zelda
- Mid-1990s/Early 2000s - The blank-firing guns are replaced with wired props that play gunfire sounds when used.
- 2008 - Chief Nah-mee (Salesman Sam) offers bananas instead of shrunken heads starting March/April.
- 2014 - The original Jungle Cruise closes on January 6 to undergo a revamp. It reopens on September 8 as Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions. The skippers' guns and the skulls/skull imagery were removed during the revamp.
Hong Kong Disneyland
The shape of Jungle River Cruise's route is significantly different compared to the others, and circumnavigates Tarzan's Treehouse. A grand finale is included with a battle between angry fire and water gods. Three languages are regularly available: Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. Each language has a separate queue, allowing visitors to experience the journey in their preferred language.
The queue takes place in a small boathouse less elaborate than the boathouses found at the other parks. After winding through the queue, guests board one of the boats and meet their skipper who speaks either English, Cantonese, or Mandarin, to accompany the park's guests who speak many different languages themselves.
The boats then depart and head down the river, past Tarzan's Treehouse where the skipper tells guests to wave goodbye to the guests traversing the treehouse, for they will never see them again. The boats then drift past a mother Indian elephant and her calf playing in the water, followed by another elephant showering in a waterfall. A large bull Indian elephant emerges from the water squirting a plume of water at the boats with the guests narrowly avoiding the free shower.
The vessels then drift down a narrow stream past ancient Cambodian ruins which have been claimed by the jungle. Giant spiders and king cobras watch the boats as they move on. Up ahead several crocodiles are seen resting on a small beach, while a school of hungry piranha are jumping in the hopes of attacking the guests. The boats escape into Africa and they pass a large safari camp where several curious gorillas have discovered clothes, guns, hammocks, and books, as "Trashin' the Camp" plays on a nearby 1930s radio. The African Veldt comes into view where antelope, giraffes, zebras, and African elephants stare at the boats. The vessels then drift into a small pool where a pod of hippos try to tip the boat. Several feet ahead a rhino is seen chasing a safari group up a tree while several hyenas look on laughing.
Skulls and cloth impaled on broken bamboo sticks appears as tribal drums and horns fill the air. The skipper tells guests that they have entered head hunter country and must quietly sneak by. The boats slowly pass through the main village where several upright shields rest in the tall grass. A native notices the boats and all the shields now revealed to have head hunters behind them begin firing spears and poison darts at the boats as they narrowly escape into a rocky canyon. In the rocky canyon, the boats stop near two unusual rock formations that look like faces, revealed by the skipper to be the fire god and the water god who constantly feud over their differences. The fire god sets the river ablaze while the water god vomits a water bomb, causing the flames to die and the whole canyon to become a cloud of steam. The boats escape the canyon and pass a baby elephant before returning to the boathouse.
- 2006 - Piranha Attack and Trapped Safari scenes added, enhancement of Gorilla Camp, African Veldt, and Headhunter's Territory
- 2007 - Temporary scene added during the "Pirate Takeover" summer event (from May to August); attraction name changed to "Jungle River Cruise: Pirate Takeover!"
- 2015 - Seasonal overlay added during Halloween event; attraction name changed to "Jungle River Cruise: Curse of the Emerald Trinity"
There are 9 vehicles, with a maximum of 8 in operation at any given time.
- Amazon Annie
- Congo Queen (Wheelchair Accessible)
- Ganges Gal
- Irrawaddy Irma
- Lijiang Lady
- Mekong Maiden
- Nile Nellie
- Yangzi Ying Ying
- Zambezi Zelda
The Disneyland version of the attraction uses live revolvers firing blanks. They are always fired at the Hippo Pool scene, but are also used to signal to the dock in the event of an emergency. Each signal has a different meaning, and is signified by the amount of shots fired using the louder emergency blanks:
|# of shots||Meaning|
|1||Not used; usually a misfire|
|2||All-clear; used at the Hippo Pool on all trips|
|3||Boat cannot proceed forward. Often a mechanical issue, usually with the boat's engine or something blocking the path.|
|5||Unused to avoid confusion with the four and six shot signals|
|6||Derailed boat; according to David Koenig, skippers can be fired for this, but maintenance usually covers for them and blames a faulty guide|
Live guns were used at the Magic Kingdom until 2001, when they were replaced with fake props and an on-board sound effect following 9/11, owing to fears that someone could steal a gun and load it with live ammunition and carry out a mass shooting; in such an event, Disney would ultimately be held liable.
In popular culture
- In the Disney's Sing-Along Songs video Disneyland Fun during "Following the Leader", Jungle Cruise made an appearance.
- In the film Tarzan, gorillas in Tarzan's troop homage the gorillas of the jungle cruise when they hold a rifle to their eye.
- Jungle Cruise was parodied as Timon and Pumbaa's Virtual Safari on The Lion King Special Edition.
- A stand up comedy show featuring only Jungle Cruise Skippers, called The Skipper Stand Up Show, has been doing shows in Fullerton, California since May 2006.
- Disney's "Fab Five" characters, cruise boat and the "River Expedition Company" boathouse were incorporated into an original painting and limited edition print offering by artist Randy Souders entitled "Jungle Cruise" created for the 1999 Official Disneyana Convention at Disneyland.
- In Australia's Disneyland special: The Wiggles Live at Disneyland Park, Greg and Murray are on this ride thinking they're in the wrong place.
- In the episode Mickey Monkey of Mickey Mouse, the, "Fab five" ride a Jungle Cruise boat and accidentally abandon Mickey in the jungle. In the episode Wish Upon a Coin, Goofy briefly appears dressed as Chief Nah-mee.
- A behind-the-scenes look at Jungle Cruise was featured in the Disney+ Original series Behind the Attraction.
The film adaptation, originally scheduled for release in 2007, has experienced various delays and changes. The shooting of the film, originally scheduled for 2006, was cancelled. Moreover, the original screenplay by Josh Goldstein and John Norville was reportedly rewritten by Al Gough and Miles Millar. This original screenplay followed a group's riverboat journey through a jungle in search of a cure and was to have featured a contemporary setting. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen were set to star as a Skipper and a frustrated passenger respectively until this version was cancelled.
A new version of the project starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt was announced in 2017, with a planned shooting time in the Spring of 2018. This version of the project is described as a comedic action-adventure film in the vein of Indiana Jones and the attraction's original inspiration, The African Queen. Jack Whitehall joined the cast as "Disney's second openly gay character". Said character was criticized due to being a campy gay character portrayed by a heterosexual actor who is also subject to coded jokes by Dwayne Johnson's character about his sexuality. The film was eventually released on July 30, 2021.
- Jungle Cruise is one of the few original rides at Disneyland that is still open today.
- Disney's Animal Kingdom has two attractions inspired by the Jungle Cruise. One is Kilimanjaro Safaris which reuses Walt's original plans for a faux environment with real animals while the other is the alien jungle cruise of Na'vi River Journey which is an Avatar-themed reimagining of the attraction.
- Both Kevin Costner and John Lasseter worked there as captains of the boats in Disneyland. 
- In a popular story recounted by Jeff Lange, a writer for weblogging site Jim Hill Media, an experience at the Jungle Cruise helped bolster John Lasseter.
- Disneyland Park in Paris does not have any Jungle Cruise attraction, due to the cold and overcast climate of Northern Europe. Because many copies of the original Jungle Cruise attractions exist in other French theme parks, French guests might be used to the experience and not find it exciting. An indoor jeep ride called Jungle Expedition was originally planned which would have had hybrid elements with Indiana Jones.
- Disneyland Paris used to have a Jungle Cruise themed gift-shop called Trader Sam's Jungle Boutique but this was replaced with the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost.
- The Jungle Cruise and its spin-offs have had many allusions to their source of inspiration, the African Queen:
- The name of the Jungle Cruise's most famous boat The Congo Queen was likely a tribute to Charlie's boat The African Queen from the film.
- The Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise featured a container of, "Rose's Leech Salt" referencing a scene in the Jungle Cruise where Rose Sayer helped Charlie Allnut recover from leeches. Also in this queue was a map of the Congo with the words, "Follow the Route of the Jungle Queen" and highlighted route passing Ponthierville where a church was illustrated. This alluded to how the film of the African Queen was partly filmed in Ponthierville, most notably within its cathedral and by using, "The Jungle Queen" as a surrogate name for the African Queen of the film.
- One of Chief Nah-mee's heads was allegedly made to resemble the head of Katherine Hepburn as a tribute to her character Rose Sayer.
- In Bengal Barbecue is a (photoshopped) photograph of Charlie Allnut and Rose Sayer riding the Zambezi Miss past the original lost safari in the African veldt.
- In Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar is a post-card sent to Trader Sam from Charlie Allnut, offering his advice and services.
- The Jungle Cruise film takes influence from the African Queen with Frank Wolff even being modelled after Charlie Allnut.
- The Minnie Mouse section of Magic of Disney Animation featured the poster for a film called, "The Jungle Cruise" modelled after the poster for the African Queen albeit with Mickey Mouse as Charlie Allnut and Minnie as Rose Sayer.
- There are several references to the Jungle Cruise film within the Jungle Cruise attractions.
- The clothes of Frank Wolff and Lily Houghton are hung up in Alberta Falls' office in Disneyland. The map of the Amazon river is framed in the boathouse and a conquistador hat seemingly references the villainous Lope de Aguirre. While difficult to see, the chimp's map aboard the Mekong Maiden is signed by, "F.W." AKA Frank Wolff from the film.
- During the world premiere of the Jungle Cruise, one of the boats was turned into Frank's boat La Quila.
- In the Magic Kingdom, there is an office with Frank's hat, Lope de Aguirre's helm and the map of the Amazon in Alberta's office. The map of the Rivers of Adventure is also signed, "F.W." for Frank Wolff, a major character from the film.
- During the Jingle Cruise, a crate addressed to Rosita's owner Nilo Nemolato from the film was added to the African Veldt.