Disney had announced that they are refurbishing The Jungle Cruise to update the story and scenes for “modern audiences.” It’s also been announced that it will remain open as refurbishment is done in phases.
We have some new information from Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley’s Instagram along with new concept art of a chimpanzees playing with butterflies.
View this post on Instagram
“You may start to notice some monkey business along the river as work begins on Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom. The good news for all of you visiting @waltdisneyworld is the attraction will remain open to guests while our teams update scenes in a phased approach over the next several months.
We can’t wait to share the enhancements with our guests as we build on the story of the Jungle Cruise at both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park.”
So we now know that they will be keeping the attraction open, while updating in phases. We also now know that there is yet another chimpanzee story line. Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Portfolio Executive, Chris Beatty, has already told us that they will being doing what they can to make sure that chimpanzees are also represented authentically.
“When introducing new elements—even animals—we make sure they’re done in a respectful way. We reached out to Dr. Mark Penning and his team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and said, “Look, we have these chimpanzees that are coming into this new world and we want to have fun with them. How do we make sure it’s done in an authentic way for the chimpanzees?” We want to have fun, but we’re not making fun of the animals. His team had great insights and it really elevated that new scene.”
Here are the new characters
Disney has even gone all out to try and represent everyone they can in the new characters. From an Irish red-head to a Mexican artist, they really went all out making sure they covered as many types of people as they could.
We already met Alberta Falls
- Alberta was born in 1911. Her mother, Sneh, was a world-renowned artist from India and her British father, Albert Falls Jr., was an art scholar.
• Young Alberta was always considered a rambunctious “free spirit” who was most at home during the family’s summer visits to grandma and grandpa Falls in Adventureland. She climbed trees, swam in the river, and enjoyed a special bond with her explorer grandfather and her “adopted family” of skippers who enjoyed the fearless little girl’s adventurous nature.
• She began to accompany her grandfather on his trips around the world where she was introduced to renowned botanist Dr. Moss in Nova Scotia and then-budding artist Rosa Soto Dominguez in Mexico City. On one of their wild adventures to New Zealand, Alberta picked up a new travel companion, a kakapo flightless parrot.
• When Dr. Albert Falls vanished in 1930, Alberta took control of the company and vowed to preserve the reputation of the Jungle Navigation Company. Moreover, to ensure that her grandfather’s legacy would be remembered by people all over the world, she began to promote the guided tours that we know today as the Jungle Cruise.
New Character Bios:
Felix Pechman XIII
• Closest to the rhino is Felix Pechman XIII who recently left his home in Silver Springs, Florida, and landed a position as a skipper with the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd. In an unexpected turn of events, Alberta had no choice but to ask him to lead his very first boat tour with her VIP guests. Unfortunately, Pechman’s trademark bad luck has followed him to the jungle.
Dr. Leonard Moss
- Above Skipper Felix is Dr. Leonard Moss, an acclaimed Canadian botanist. Having successfully photographed and cataloged every plant in the frigid Nova Scotia peninsula, Dr. Moss decided that his next photo excursion should be to a warmer climate.
Rosa Soto Dominguez
- Above him is the celebrated Mexican artist, Rosa Soto Dominguez. Known in the art world as La Rosa, she was on her way back to Mexico City from her latest gallery opening in Paris when she received a special invitation from her very close friend, Alberta.
• Rosa looked forward to their reunion in Adventureland when she would also get to paint some of the exotic wildlife, especially given her fascination with rhinos. As luck would have it, she ended up a little too close and personal with one.
Dr. Kon Chunosuke
- Next is Japan’s preeminent entomologist and a member of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers, Dr. Kon Chunosuke. He traveled to the jungle on a mission to find new specimens for his world-class collection of insects.
• As an admirer of Dr. Falls’ legacy, Chunosuke was hopeful that this younger Falls would be able to lead the way to the legendary Myrmecoleon, also referred to as the “lion of ants.”. Unfortunately, he has only been able to find butterflies, mosquitos, and a rhino.
Siobhan “Puffin” Murphy
Up top is Siobhan “Puffin” Murphy, who traveled all the way from the small island of Dingle, Ireland, to pay a surprise visit to her distant cousin twice removed on her father’s side, Alberta.
• Siobahn was nicknamed “Puffin” because of her love for the puffin birds that nest in the rocks of her seaside hometown. Many believe that it was Puffin’s love of exotic birds that drove Skipper Felix to get a little too close to an oxpecker perched on a particularly grumpy hippo.
This is what’s coming to The Jungle Cruise.
You will have fun, Disney just doesn’t want people to make fun of any of the animatronics. It’s okay if you have fun and laugh at someone and their situation, you just can’t make fun of them. Make sure you remember that.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Source: My Disney Experience App, Zach Riddley Instagram
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