Disneyland to remove racist elements from 'Jungle Cruise'

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/26/disneyland-to-remove-racist-elements-from-jungle-cruise.html


“He’s got a great deal going on right now. Two of his heads for one of yours.”
ETA: Should read the article before posting.

“Named after the great philanthropist Albert Falls.”

“It looks like their about to get the point.”

Song of the South was such a weird choice to make a ride out of. Even when the ride first came out, they had already decided never to release the movie again because of race issues.

They JUST overhauled the entire ride in 2016 - it took four months.

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When I went on the ride almost a year ago for the first time in decades a lot of the racist elements I remembered were taken out, as was the simulated killing of the hippo.

The absolutely awful puns and jokes remain, thankfully.

ETA: I see they have a new family movie based on the ride, so the timing makes more sense.

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I wondered how long it would be before they addressed this. I love the ride overall, but was stunned the last time I rode it that those elements were still around. I wonder if the they’ll do the same thing at Tokyo Disneyland, since Disney doesn’t actually own it? (For that matter, will Tokyo Splash Mountain be re-theming, as well?)


The racism wasn’t to shocking to me - this is Disney after all, still releasing racist movies in 2020.

The shoddiness and cheapness was a bit surprising. I was under the impression that Disneyland was a place people spent exorbitant amounts to visit, that commanded a zealous die-hard fan-base, and that folks would spend copious time planning to maximize their enjoyment at. But any video I see of their attractions looks like something from some crummy roadside tourist trap. Cheap, shabby, barely-mobile simulacra of animals you could actually see at any zoo? Really? This is the most magical place on Earth?


Disneyland isn’t for everyone, and some of the animatronic attractions are showing their age. What you’re not seeing in the videos is the attention to detail and theming, the professionalism and enthusiasm of the “cast members” (i.e. the staff), the smooth and clean operation of the park, and the constant innovation by the Imagineers (the design department).

The new Star Wars area, for example, incorporates LARP elements. The “Smuggler’s Run” simulator ride there has a gaming element, and the “Rise of the Resistance” attraction is so immersive that you feel like you’re a character in a half-hour episode of a TV show.

There’s also a nostalgia element about the classic rides for older people who’ve been there before (I love Mr Toad’s Wild Ride), and of course kids love the place (kind of fun to see their excitement). I can’t say I’m a super fan, and when I went I really wondered if the experience would be as good as I remembered from years ago. It exceeded expectations.

Planning was easy thanks to the Disney app, independent fan Web sites, and the Fastpass system that reduces time in line. I did just about every ride in operation at both parks within two days. The relatively new California Adventure park is also pretty great and has a more grown-up vibe (including alcohol sales and better food options).

The parks are expensive and designed to sell-Sell-SELL pricey souvenirs and over-priced food, but it’s a soft sell (as long as you’re there without kids like I was).


To that I would add that the Jungle Cruise ride in particular is presented (at least in recent decades) as an intentionally campy tongue-in-cheek romp through the jungle rather than a wondrous display of cutting-edge animatronic technology meant to astound and terrify the viewer.

Luckily they ought to be able to keep that campy spirit without retaining the racist elements.


Defunctland’s videos are remarkable if you want to know more about that sort of thing.

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A few fans of the old script were upset when they changed the hippo thing and it was sad when they took away the gun entirely for a period after 9/11, but the current version where they just use the gun to scare off the hippos is just fine.

Still some unauthorized t-shirts out there referencing the original version though:


Disney Land is great place, but not $200-$300/person/day great.


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