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Disney to upgrade Jungle Cruise ride to remove ‘negative depictions’ of cultures

Disney said Monday it will update the jungle adventure ride

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A person stands knee-deep in water aboard a Jungle Cruise boat after the vessel took on water, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

A person stands knee-deep in water aboard a Jungle Cruise boat after the vessel took on water, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Matthew Vince via Associated Press

Disney said Monday that it plans to update the legendary Jungle Cruise ride to address “negative depictions” of cultures, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

  • The ride has previously been accused of being racist. So Disney wants the new update to “reflect and value the diversity of the world around us,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • The changes could include the ride’s storyline as well as “skippers’ involvement,” according to THR. There has been no timeline shared yet with when the ride would go through its changes.

Key quote

  • “Imagineers are constantly looking for opportunities to enhance experiences, and when it comes to updating classic attractions, they employ a very careful and thoughtful approach,” Disney officials said in a statement, according to The Orange County Register. “In this particular case, Imagineers created a storyline that builds upon what people love the most while addressing negative depictions simultaneously.”

Context

Back in June 2020, Disney announced that Splash Mountain — which is based on the 1946 Disney film “Song of the South” — will be reworked to focus on characters from the 2009 film “The Princess and the Frog,” as I wrote about for the Deseret News.

The changes were announced because there has been controversy around “Song of the South,” which has been criticized for its portrayal of African Americans and use of racial stereotypes, as I reported for the Deseret News.

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said back in November that there would be “more to come” when it comes to inclusion products, WDWNT reports.

  • “This represents transformative cultural change,” D’Amaro said.