The river attraction, first seen at Disneyland (Calif.), will be revamped “to reflect and value diversity.”
Disney will revamp the Jungle Cruise attraction to remove “negative depictions of Native Americans” and “reflect and appreciate the diversity of the world around us.”
The changes are described in a blog post on the Disney Parks website, which also includes concept drawings of the redesigned attraction. This is a riverboat attraction that was originally developed for Disneyland when it opened in California in 1955. Since then, it has been recreated at Disney theme parks in Florida, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
In a statement quoted by USA Today, Disney added that its designers “address negative depictions of Native Americans while adding a humorous storyline…this group of adventurers [will be] diverse in backgrounds and areas of interest.”
Inspired by the 1951 film “The Queen of Africa,” Jungle Cruise has long been the subject of criticism for its inclusion of caricatures of Native Americans and a character, Trader Sam, who offers “heads” for sale. A post by design group Thinkwell calls elements of the attraction “horribly racist.”
Disney’s redesign of Jungle Cruise follows a decision announced in June 2020 to overhaul the Splash Mountain attraction. Originally inspired by the now-disparaged 1946 film Song of the South, Splash Mountain will be modeled after the 2009 animated film The Princess and the Frog, which featured an African-American princess for the first time.
Jungle Cruise’s film adaptation, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, has been postponed until July 2021.
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