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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Walt Disney World moves to update the Jungle Cruise's racist portrayal of indigenous people

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2021 at 4:48 PM

click image Concept art provided by Disney for the revamped Jungle Cruise - PHOTO COURTESY DISNEY PARKS BLOG
  • Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog
  • Concept art provided by Disney for the revamped Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise at both Disneyland and Orlando's Walt Disney World will undergo major changes in order to update racist portrayals of African people.

Since opening in 1955 (Disneyland) and 1971 (Walt Disney World), the innocuously titled Jungle Cruise ride included problematic descriptions of indigenous Africans as spear-shaking "savages" — or in Disney-speak "negative depictions of native people" — hidden among the corny skipper jokes, animatronic elephants and tropical greenery.

Finally, Disney is moving to update both rides, most likely this year, according to a post on the company's official Disney Parks Blog

The move to revamp the ride follows Disney's decision to update older, also controversial attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain

Disney fans on Twitter were, naturally, not holding anything back in their initial responses to these changes..
Twitter outrage or not, these changes to Jungle Cruise are as good as happening.

Carmen Smith, executive of creative development and inclusion strategies at Walt Disney Imagineering, spoke of the importance of updating the ride.

"As Imagineers, it is our responsibility to ensure experiences we create and stories we share reflect the voices and perspectives of the world around us," Smith told Disney Parks Blog. "With Jungle Cruise, we're bringing to life more of what people love — the humor and wit of our incredible skippers, while making needed updates."

Concept art released by Disney has shown updates to the "trapped safari" scene, which originally portrayed a white explorer on top of a tree avoiding a rhino attack, while indigenous safari guides are seen below him in a much more dangerous position.

According to Disney Disney Parks Blog, more updates on the Jungle Cruise revamp and any possible closures will come later this year. 

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