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Disney's Jungle Cruise ride to be updated following racism claims

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·2 min read

Watch: Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride is getting an update

The Jungle Cruise attraction at Walt Disney theme parks will be updated to “reflect and value the diversity of the world around us” following allegations it was racist, the entertainment giant has said.

The ride, which takes passengers on a “high adventure on a scenic and comedic boat tour of exotic rivers across Asia, Africa and South America”, was accused of including offensive depictions of indigenous people.

It reportedly included white characters referring to “savages”.

Read more: Disney blocks Peter Pan and Dumbo after highlighting 'harmful stereotypes'

The updated version at Disneyland resorts in Florida and California will include an animated skipper and a wrecked ship boarded by chimps, Disney said.

(088636.ME.Disney.DOK)––The guns are back on the Jungle Cruise. And the famous teacups are spinning again. In what seems to be a role–reversing position on political correctness, park officials say they are returning the magic to Disneyland, which next year celebrates its 50th birthday. No word yet whether the wenches in Pirates of the Caribbean will be back.  (Photo by Don Kelsen/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
The Jungle Cruise attraction in action. (Don Kelsen/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The company said it will remain “true to the experience we know and love – more humour, wildlife and skipper heart – and also reflect and value the diversity of the world around us”.

Carmen Smith, executive, creative development and inclusion strategies at Walt Disney Imagineering, said: “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.

“With Jungle Cruise, we’re bringing to life more of what people love – the humour and wit of our incredible skippers, while making needed updates.”

Read more: Isla Fisher: Fairytales promote 'negative stereotypes' and 'toxic masculinity'

Jungle Cruise inspired a blockbuster film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt, which is due for release in July.

Watch a trailer for Jungle Cruise

Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim is closed due to the pandemic.

This is not the first attraction Disney has changed due to allegations of cultural insensitivity, as it wrestles with maintaining a legacy which includes its vast catalogue of properties created over nearly a century.

In June last year, the entertainment behemoth said it was redesigning Splash Mountain amid criticism of its links to 1946 film Song Of The South, which is widely seen as racist.

Walt Disney and park engineer and repairman Louie Francuz inspect the new African Safari area of Disneyland's Jungle Cruise Ride. Each Animatronic model is checked for realism.
Walt Disney and park engineer and repairman Louie Francuz inspect the new African Safari area of Disneyland's Jungle Cruise Ride. (Getty)

The movie is not available on the Disney+ streaming service.

Disney includes disclaimers on some of its older films, such as 1967’s The Jungle Book and 1953’s Peter Pan, warning some aspects may seem outdated. Recent changes to Disney+ has blocked films such as Dumbo and Peter Pan from younger audiences entirely.