Everything You Need to Know About the Jungle Cruise

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You’re going on vacation to Walt Disney World! The only problem? You’re not sure which attractions are right for you and your kiddos and you have questions. Which attractions are too intense for little ones? What rides do I really need a FastPass+ reservation for? What’s the disability access like for certain attractions? We’re answering all those questions and more in our Everything You Need to Know attraction series with today’s focus on a classic, the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise.

What is the Jungle Cruise?

Adventure is out there

The Jungle Cruise is an outdoor boat tour piloted by pun-loving skippers down the rivers of the world. During the venture, guests encounter audio-animatronic wildlife, a mysterious temple, and even the eighth wonder of the world!

Where is the Jungle Cruise?

The Jungle Cruise is located in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom. Guests can find the attraction next to the Swiss Family Treehouse and across from The Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.

What is the History of the Jungle Cruise?

The Jungle Cruise was an opening day attraction at Disneyland inspired by Walt Disney’s True-Life Adventures films and “The African Queen.” The original iteration of the attraction was much more serious than today. Walt wanted it to be the Kilimanjaro Safaris of the 1950s. He even wanted live animals to be used in the attraction before learning that wasn’t exactly the best idea.

©Disney

Over the years, the Jungle Cruise became more about the joke-filled spiel and its trademark, humorous scenes added by Imagineer Marc Davis. Due to the ride’s ability to adapt and its vintage charm, the Jungle Cruise was and has remained a classic Disney attraction.

The Jungle Cruise was also an opening day attraction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. While based of Disneyland’s original version, the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise offered a few differences, including a cruise through an Asian temple.

The Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise received one of the park’s first holiday overlays back in 2013. The Jingle Cruise is the same Jungle Cruise adventure, but with holiday-themed jokes and Christmas decor courtesy of homesick skippers. This festive overlay is currently being offered from November 2 through January 3.

©Rikki Niblett

In 2015, the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen restaurant opened in Adventureland which further expanded the world-famous Jungle Cruise’s mythology. Here the skippers are your servers, and the menu reflects flavors from all the parts of the world featured in the Jungle Cruise, as well as a few of the puns!

What Do You Need to Know About the Queue for the Jungle Cruise?

The Jungle Cruise queue is an open-air outpost accepting bookings for cruises. Winding through the queue, guests can see the boats pulling up to the docks, as well as cargo, artifacts, and maps.

What are the Ride Vehicles Like for the Jungle Cruise?

Each Jungle Cruise boat approximately accommodates 30 guests. In order to board, guests must step over a moderate height wall onto a bench and then down a moderate step. Cast Members usually lend a hand to help guests step from the dock and into the boat, as well as to disembark.

Bench seats line the interior perimeter of the boat with some seating provided in the middle. There are no safety restraints due to the slow-moving nature of these ride vehicles.

What Do You Need to Know About the Jungle Cruise Ride Experience?

The premise of the Jungle Cruise is guests have signed up for a lengthy tour down the rivers of the world guided by a skipper from the Jungle Navigation Co. While the ride only lasts about 8 minutes, guests journey down the Amazon, the Congo, the Nile, and finally the Mekong.

Each section has audio-animatronics or a scene specific to that region, such as a giant python, a camp raided by gorillas, headhunters, waterfalls, or a pride of lions. While many of the scenes are humorous, they’re even more so thanks to the rapid-fire puns and jokes from the skippers. They are, after all, the main draw of the attraction.

Several jokes and gags from the skippers spiel have become iconic over the years, and they often get the biggest reception from guests who have cruised before. Be expecting the famous “backside of water” cheer when your skipper takes the boat behind a waterfall, as well as Trader Sam at the end of the attraction. He’s the “head” salesman of the jungle offering two heads for one of yours!

The Jungle Cruise is a gentle, slow-moving boat cruise with plenty to see and just as much to make you chuckle. It’s the perfect family attraction as it truly offers something for every age and member.

What Do You Need to Know About Accessibility for the Jungle Cruise?

Guests may remain in a wheelchair/ECV.

What Do You Need to Know About the Health and Safety Advisories for the Jungle Cruise?

There are no health and safety advisories for the Jungle Cruise!

What are the Height Restrictions for the Jungle Cruise?

There is no height requirement to ride Jungle Cruise!

What Do You Need to Know About FastPass+ for the Jungle Cruise?

The Jungle Cruise isn’t the most popular attraction at the Magic Kingdom, but it’s definitely a must-do and can generate long lines. I recommend making a FastPass+ reservation if it’s a priority for you.

Does Weather Affect the Jungle Cruise?

A June storm pops over World Drive as a rainy afternoon gets started.While the Jungle Cruise boats are covered, certain weather conditions may result in the attraction’s closure. Also, while the main part of the queue is covered, it’s not enclosed; and those waiting in the extended queue may be exposed to the elements.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Experience the Jungle Cruise?

As always, the line is shorter first thing in the morning and then at night during the fireworks or before closing. I personally think the nighttime cruises are the best.

This chart shows you roughly how long you’ll wait for Jungle Cruise when you visit on a day with a given Magic Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average “peak” wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it’s the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Jungle Cruise Wait Times.

Did I answer all of your questions about the Jungle Cruise? Is this attraction at the top of your family’s vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments.

Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

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