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Disney announces Christmas makeover for the Jungle Cruise at Disney World and Disneyland

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Published: October 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM

The Jungle Cruise rides at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Disneyland will become the "Jingle Cruise" for this holiday season, Disney announced today.

Jungle Cruise

For the holiday makeover, Disney will decorate the attractions' waiting areas with holiday ornaments, the boats will get new holiday-themed names, and the skippers will get a bunch of new holiday jokes to add to their repertoire. Of course, experienced Jungle skippers have been adding unapproved Christmas-themed jokes to their spiels for years. Among many other unapproved jokes. ;^)

This will be the third current holiday attraction makeover at Disneyland Park, joining Small World Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. But Jingle Cruise will be the first holiday makeover of an attraction at the Magic Kingdom since the demise of the Country Bear Christmas Special.

Jingle Cruise will debut at both parks in early November.

Readers' Opinions

From 76.16.3.214 on October 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Funny enough, this makes perfect sense to me. I always thought some holiday theming would fit the Cruise well, this could be fun to watch and spark some new popularity.
From Russell Meyer on October 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Is it really an overlay/makeover, if they're just saying a new script and placing some Christmas decorations in the queue? The effort put forth for this is miniscule compared to what's done for other holiday overlays, and the more general park decorations. This seems like a marketing gimick more than anything else, while fans are still waiting for Haunted Mansion Holiday to come to Florida, which will probably never happen, because the park can't afford to take the attracton down 6 weeks every year to put out and take up the overlay.
From 98.85.131.87 on October 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM
The country bears don't celebrate the holidays anymore but a bunch of realistic jungle animals and head hunters do.

So much for the real life adventure and travel theme of Adventureland.

Is there any thing else left to be cheapened at the park?

From Anon Mouse on October 23, 2013 at 1:28 PM
When I heard this, I thought it was a joke on the Avatar boat ride. It is ridiculous, but it will make detractors of Avatar seem silly to like this and hate Avatar.

Of all things Christmas, why not dress up the Matterhorn bobsleds. Add garland on the vehicles. Put a Santa hat on the bigfoot.

From Annette Forrest on October 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM
I have mixed feelings about the holiday overlays. I love Christmas and I like how Main Street gets wonderful Christmas decorations...but I absolutely hate that the Haunted Mansion disappears for many months (including the weeks of putting decorations up and taking them down) to become that Nightmare Overlay. The last four times I have been to Disneyland I did not get to ride Haunted Mansion because it was down for either installation or take down of Nightmare. I want them to just build a Nightmare ride over at DCA and leave the Mansion alone.

It really sucks for families who may be making a once in a lifetime trip to Disneyland...and they never get to experience Mansion. My sons, actually, have never been able to ride the Disneyland Mansion because of the fooling around Disney does to make that Nightmare overlay. It's always been a disappointment on our trips.

I wish this 13th year would be the last time they do it. Unfortunately, my family is not able to go to California any other time than in September/October so this impacts us every year.

I know locals love it, but for people who rarely get to ride Mansion it sucks to not have it available in its original form.

From Orrin Carstarphen on October 23, 2013 at 1:55 PM
In all actuality Nightmare Before Christmas deserves it's own dark ride, not just an overlay in California for 2 months.
From James Rao on October 23, 2013 at 2:58 PM
Won't help. The Jungle Snooze needs an overhaul not an overlay.
From Eric G on October 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM
Annette Forrest if you don't like the overlay then go to Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom. Disneyland is primarily for locals. Most of the tourism happens during the summer months when the overlay is not there.

Boo hoo to the few who visit during the holidays, miss out, and instead must suffer through the Haunted Mansion Holiday, It's A Small World Holiday, Christmas Fantasy parade and Believe In Holiday Magic fireworks! For crying out loud! Trust me, you're in the minority. Most people LOVE what they do at Disneyland!

Also, thanks to the overlay, our Haunted Mansion is in tip-top shape the rest of the year!

From Jay R. on October 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM
Annette,

I understand what you're saying, but I doubt Disney will stop the overlay due to popularity. Based on the lines, there are people who enjoy it, or people who may not personally like it, but still ride it because they paid to get in the park & are going to ride as much as they can, lol.

And while DLR is considered a "locals park", it's the 2nd most visited theme park in the country....those aren't all local folks, so there are TONS of tourist who visit. Locals don't run DLR.

But visiting any major park during ANY season will have disadvantages.

If you visit during:

The "slow season" - Expect more rides closed for refurbishments & shorter operating hours.

The "Peak seasons" - Expect crowds, extreme wait times, higher traveling rates.

The "Holiday season" - Expect seasonal overlays, some good & some not.

From TH Creative on October 23, 2013 at 4:05 PM
This is the best thing to happen to Christmas since rum was added to eggnog! Classic! Genius! Brilliant!

While the WDW edition of the Jungle Cruise stands out as the single greatest attraction in theme park history, this delightful seasonal romp will take the fabled river journey to another level. It will certainly be a better production than tacky overlays like that Grinch thing at IOA.

I've never actually seen the Grinch thing but you can bank on my opinion because I am qualified as a "a serious Sci-Fi and movie fan."

On a related note: Hey Rao-Stabout ... Santa Claus HATES you!

From Wok Creative on October 23, 2013 at 4:47 PM
I think the feelings will be very mixed.
It makes me laugh every time the Disney Parks Blog comments just seem like a bunch of marketing department - way-too-sugary even too sappy for Disney) - fake comments, instead of actual fans posting the way they really feel. I know there are plenty of other sites for that.
It will be interesting to see how it goes over. They've priced us out of going at all any more, so we'll miss it anyway (maybe catch it on youtube)
From James Rao on October 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM
TH, tell Santa not to hate the playa...hate the lame attraction instead.
From Kelly Muggleton on October 24, 2013 at 3:24 AM
Wow... Eric G, I thought Disneyland was for anyone who bought a ticket at whatever time of they year. Is that the welcome I'll get when I finally visit the park (probably off the 'tourist' season) in 2015?
From 70.184.105.94 on October 24, 2013 at 2:13 PM
I'm excited for a Christmas Jungle Cruise. My family visits Disneyland almost every year and during different times of the year, so something different is always welcomed. This will be our first trip during Thanksgiving Weekend.
From Eric G on October 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM
Kelly Muggleton you missed the point of my post. Tourists are more than welcome, but the park's offerings are frequently catering to their primary demographic... Southern California locals. At one point and I believe it's still very true today the attendance in Anaheim was 80% locals and 20% out-of-area. The holiday overlays in no way cheapens the offerings at Disneyland Park, so whining about them is just ridiculous!
From Tim Hillman on October 26, 2013 at 4:29 PM
Wait a minute, THC! Are you saying that eggnog is made without rum? No way!

Do you think they're gonna sing Jungle Bells on the Jingle Cruise?

From 98.85.131.87 on October 27, 2013 at 7:21 AM
The only way this works is if they celebrate Festivus.

Why not make the Swiss Family Robertson Tree house a giant Christmas tree or do a overly of Splash? Cute singing critters with Santa hats would make more sense then a head hunter with a spear and a Santa hat. Disney is so out of touch its sad.

From Annette Forrest on October 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Eric G -- Not liking something you like is not "whining" about it. The fact is that my family can only afford to go to California when my husband is taking a business trip there, and that happens only once a year when his company does a trade show in Anaheim and we get to tag along and go to Disneyland with him.

I wish we could go anytime we want, but I'm a stay at home mom and that's not going to be able to change for a few years due to my younger son's health problems. My boys love the Haunted Mansion and are so sad whenever we go to Disneyland because the Nightmare overlay is there instead (or the Mansion is closed because they are putting the overlay up or taking it down). I wish the conference would be during the "tourist season" but I think the trade show is scheduled during the "off season" to save money on hotel rooms.

My opinion and my family's reaction to the overlay is valid. You can have a different opinion, but you should know that people who don't get to go to Disneyland very often can be incredibly disappointed to see that their favorite attraction has an overlay over it. For the last 13 years, the one attraction of the park that is perfectly themed for Halloween has been absent because Nightmare characters have been shoe-horned in there instead. That's sad to me.

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