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Weird Al and the Jungle Cruise

Walt Disney World: His new video is all about the skippers.

From Robert Niles
Posted July 14, 2009 at 8:34 AM
Weird Al describes a significant number of Disney MK West attractions cast members:

Thanks to everyone who sent this in. Reax?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From TH Creative
Posted July 14, 2009 at 8:51 AM
I saw that this morning. It sure seems to give a degree of signature and permanence to the Jungle Cruise's place in pop culture. Translation: Everyone knows about the back side of water.

From Eli Katzman
Posted July 14, 2009 at 9:02 AM
Yeah, I also saw it this morning. It's a parody off of the pork and beans song by weezer.

From David Graham
Posted July 14, 2009 at 9:26 AM
I can't see the videos at work they block them sadly, but I'm not surprised TH was the first to reply to this thread LOL

From Tony Duda
Posted July 14, 2009 at 12:19 PM
Eli, I know you are young so please believe me when I say that Weird Al has been making song parodies for over 30 years and any song parody you see today owes it's existence to Weird Al and never the other way around. Find his "The Saga Continues" if you want a really great viewing experience.

From Eli Katzman
Posted July 14, 2009 at 12:27 PM
tony, I've been a fan of his for a while, since I was... I'd say around age 7. (yes, that's 6 years, but a long time for a teenager.) I own his movie! I own about half of his CDs! Trust me, I know most of his stuff. I love the fat music video!

From steve lee
Posted July 14, 2009 at 3:34 PM
Wow, that's just depressing...

From Tony Duda
Posted July 14, 2009 at 3:36 PM
Eli likes theme parks and Weird Al. There is hope for the future!

From Eli Katzman
Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM
steve please expand on that.

From steve lee
Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:05 PM
Referring to the song, Eli. I know my post was right after yours, but I assure you it wasn't in response.

(my first or second album was Al's Dare to Be Stupid. I can't remember if that was before or after "Pac Man Fever.")

From TH Creative
Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:08 PM
Since he has not yet offered a post on this thread, I am assuming that Rao is rolling around the floor laughing so hard he can't get to his computer keyboard

From Bob Miller
Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:19 PM
Eli, I saw Al at Hershey a few years ago, crazy guy,I loved his show. TH, I thought James was archived?

From Eli Katzman
Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:52 PM
wow bob. a concert? He changed his hair around the beginning of the decade (I think) from a bug fluff ball hair, mustache, and glasses to Long (still curly) hair, clean face, and contacts.

From Wok Creative
Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:51 PM
I thought it was hilarious! I also loved the "Saga Begins" video. His 3-D experience "Al's Brain" seems to be the talk of the Orange County Fair and the biggest thing in all of the publicity for it.

From Joshua Counsil
Posted July 15, 2009 at 8:47 AM
Meh. Pretty weak for Weird Al.

Good concept, mediocre delivery.

From Dan Babbitt
Posted July 15, 2009 at 6:07 PM
That song was almost about me! If I took that job of course.

If only he could do a song about the Tower. Hmmmmm....

From James Rao
Posted July 15, 2009 at 6:19 PM
I thought I would leave it alone, but since you begged for it: this video is as lame as the ride. Both could use an influx of creative re-imagining.

It is actually sad to me that the world considers the current incarnation of the Jungle Cruise to be a big, fat joke. Once a cutting edge attraction, now it is the subject of ridicule. Perhaps this kind of infamy will get the Imagineers to finally take note and upgrade the experience once and for all.

From rick stevens
Posted July 15, 2009 at 9:21 PM
I have to disagree with you James. We always took the cruise as a joke from the first time I rode it back in the 60's. That was the charm of the ride, the ability of the driver to be as campy or sacastic as possible. That is why it is loved by young and old. When you are young, you halfway believe the stories. As you get older, you appreciate the sarcasm. I have had some really good CM's and some really bad CM's, but I still love the ride!

From James Rao
Posted July 16, 2009 at 5:18 AM
Rick, you may disagree all you want, but when the Imagineers first created the Jungle Cruise, it was not intended to be a bad joke fest. The attraction was supposed to provide a realistic, believable journey through the world's jungles and amaze people who were not used to seeing the environments and animals of distant lands. In fact, the original ride narration had no jokes at all and was more like a Discovery Channel documentary.

I am glad you like the lame humor and kitschy animatronics of Jungle Cruise, but the fact remains Walt would be horrified by today's version of the ride. He always wanted continuous improvements for his attractions and he never wanted them to become the butt of a joke or be the subject of ridicule.

But, I have said this all before and really don't want to get into it with TH Creative all over again. =) Almost everyone agrees the attraction requires an update, our opinions just differ on the amount of work that needs to be accomplished. Like it or hate it, the Jungle Snooze definitely needs some Imagineering love.

And Weird Al needs to fade into obscurity where he belongs. His 15 minutes of fame ended decades ago.

From TH Creative
Posted July 16, 2009 at 6:02 AM
GROUCHY RAO!

From James Rao
Posted July 16, 2009 at 6:07 AM
Hey, it is early and yet I am late for work. What do you expect!?

From Joshua Counsil
Posted July 16, 2009 at 8:02 AM
I think Walt would be horrified of Walt Disney World, in general. I'm glad the man sparked such a great legacy, but I have a feeling he wouldn't approve of edgy attractions like Tower of Terror, which could be WDW's greatest ride.

But I digress. The Jungle Cruise blows, and until they can provide jokes that are actually funny (and not Disney funny), it will continue to blow.

From James Rao
Posted July 16, 2009 at 8:20 AM
Wow! Strong words, Josh. I am not sure I agree about Walt not liking Tower of Terror, but you could be right. Let's face it, the man never wanted any rides with height restrictions.

Anyway, I have just passed the anti-Jungle Cruise torch to you! Keep the fire burnin', my friend!

From David Graham
Posted July 20, 2009 at 7:54 AM
I can see both RAO and TH side on the J.C. I agree on what it was suppose to be and what it has become. It is way past an update, and I do believe Walt would have had it redone a few times by now to keep it current, if not even completely removed after AK was built. SORRY TH ON THIS (but remove it and build an updated Indy there, since AK did accomplish what Walt wanted with real animals) But then again I really think the MK would be completely different looking even when it opened had Walt lived to see the park finished. Small World should be proof of this, why down grade such a great ride in CA when it's built here in FL? I think we all just need to take a trip with TH and RAO on the JC, if nothing else be more interesting to listen too than some of the jokes :o)

From Joshua Counsil
Posted July 20, 2009 at 11:21 AM
It's been said before, but I'll reiterate. Why have the JC when there is a real (and well done) just minutes away at AK?

From Albino Pygmy
Posted July 20, 2009 at 2:08 PM
First time poster, long time reader (how often have you heard that line before?)

Anyhoo, I'd like to start off my first post by adding my 2 cents to a couple posts on here, starting off with Walt not liking Jungle Cruise. Yes, he originally wanted a real life cruise through the jungles, but since that didn't happen, he still tried to bring that experience to life. Walt Disney was all about changing things for the better, and I'm sure he would have absolutely loved the added jokes to liven up the already boring spiel. As for Walt hating WDW, I couldn't agree more. WDW has lost Walt's vision for a long time, and I doubt they'll ever go back to the way how Walt would have wanted it.

As for those of you who hate Jungle Cruise because it's too boring, go see Hall of Presidents and then come back, we'll talk.

Paving over Jungle Cruise for Indy? Sounds like a good idea at first, but why bother when we have Dinosaur? Not saying that it's better than Indy, but it's almost identical, if not for the dinosaur theme attached to it. Besides, why do we really need clones of rides at all the parks? Why can't each park have different and unique attractions, therefore making you want to go visit that specific park? But if you guys really want your Indy ride, find another place to plop it down, not in my Jungle.

For those who hate the bad jokes and/or bad skippers, blame Disney on this one for having most of their staff (if not all of them) part of the College Program, where most of them would rather sweep trash than to say those corny jokes. The corny jokes get lamer when Disney decides to ban more jokes than ever, even some of their own jokes they've had in their script several years back. (I've been trained to skip over several lines, cross them out and told not to say them, even though every skipper has used them before anyways.) Disney seems like they could care less about Jungle Cruise, which is unfortunate, since it does need some TLC all over in order to make it an outstanding classic attraction.

From James Rao
Posted July 20, 2009 at 3:14 PM
^^Welcome!

If the original intent of the Jungle Cruise was to "provide a realistic, believable journey through the world's jungles and amaze people who were not used to seeing the environments and animals of distant lands", then why not make that happen? Get rid of the lame jokes few people like, update the attraction with state of the art animatronics and special effects, provide a few chills and spills, and presto, we have an attraction closer to Walt's original. It is not like WDI does not have the money or the imagination to bring such a ride to life.

Why this attraction has been allowed to stagnate, fester, and dry rot, is beyond me.

From Albino Pygmy
Posted July 21, 2009 at 8:45 AM
Thanks for the welcome :)

Well, if you want to go down that route as to why not stay true to Walt's original plans, then the Jungle Cruise probably wouldn't be around anymore. If Pirates stayed true to Walt's original plans, it wouldn't be a ride, just a walk through museum of wax figures. Walt's all about changing and creating new ideas and experiences, and I'm sure if he were still around, he'd appreciate the corny jokes of the jungle, probably add a few of his own. Or, he might even take it a step further and make it some interactive Jungle ride, where everyone has a gun and is able to shoot at everything that moves. Who knows what Walt would have really said or done, but I do know that he's the type of guy that loves to have fun, and that he wouldn't mind corny jokes down the rivers of adventure.

As for the attraction rotting away, blame the current Disney uppers for finding cheap ways to draw more people into buying DVC units, instead of focusing on the wellbeing of it's parks. Temporary shows and renamed parades with recycled parades are not what the parks need. I would rather see them put a lot of effort into a great attraction idea, rather than come out with a bunch of little measily shows just so they can say they have a dozen new things this year. But I'm going into another debate about Quality/quantity which is probably best suited for another thread.

Anyways, back on topic here, I absolutely loved this video! I wonder if Weird Al ever was a former skipper himself, he's definately got the part down right :)

From James Rao
Posted July 21, 2009 at 9:29 AM
Walt would not have wanted the Jungle Cruise to be the butt of a joke told by an outsider who's time came and went 15 years ago.

From David Graham
Posted July 21, 2009 at 10:33 AM
First Welcome A.P!! And maybe as EVERYONE has pointed out, time for a MUCH needed update, if not scrape it since we have AK. (I hope WDW brass reads this thread)
RAO, I don't think Walt would have minded the jokes, but like you said as long as the RIDE was not the joke. As for Indy, I really don't care what they would put there as long as it fits and since it's a big enough piece of land, figured the way Disney cookie cuts rides, it would be that.
Personally, I think Paris Disney has a Indy Coaster ride (correct me if wrong please) But I think a new E-ticket would fit nicely there. Just do something with this ride. And if it's a Indy copy, make it different, track layout, idea, ect... Let the imagineers run wild and put in a WOW and not a Oh look, a clone ride...

From rick stevens
Posted July 21, 2009 at 2:47 PM
I have a question, I have never ridden the WDW version of JC. Is the spiel different then DLs version. I still think Walt put in much of the humor that is on the ride. I agree that it has gone down hill, but part of that was the PC'ing of the ride. Remember back when they used to shoot at hippos and not just try and "scare" them away.

From James Rao
Posted July 21, 2009 at 3:17 PM
The original spiel had no jokes.

It can be argued by some that the current spiel is joke-free as well.

From rick stevens
Posted July 21, 2009 at 5:51 PM
I agree with that, the humor is taken by the rider. I think the original "jokes" would be the safari in the tree and the laughing hyenas, those are the Walt jokes.

From TH Creative
Posted July 21, 2009 at 7:32 PM
What Mr. Rao does not "get" is that (once launched) because of its very nature the Jungle Cruise began a life of its own -- beyond the vision of Mr. Disney. First, lets acknowledge that the gorillas invasion of the encampment and the guys run up the pole by the rhino are BOTH indications that humor was supposed to be a part of the attraction.

But beyond that, this was the FIRST condition where a CM was actually interacting with an audio animatronics character. Running the Jungle 25 times a day, human nature would clearly make one to begin improvising -- in the direction of humor.

And therein lays the art.

Al's video is an acknowledgement of that -- and the Jungle Cruise's indelible spot in the realm of pop culture.

From James Rao
Posted July 21, 2009 at 7:58 PM
Nothing wrong with a little bit of humor, TH, it's all the lousy puns (the lowest form of humor) and outdated animatronics that kill the ride.

And I never said to get rid of the Jungle Cruise...just make it better.

And funny.

From Albino Pygmy
Posted July 22, 2009 at 11:47 AM
Ok folks, it's my fault there are no good jokes at our Jungle, when I left I kinda, sorta, somehow . . . 'misplaced' the better jokes from the box 'o jokes and left behind all the tired worn out ones. This was a rather lame attempt at trying to bribe my way back into the Jungle after I was let go, sadly this never happened, and the 'good' jokes (if you really want to call them that) are still lost somewhere in the depths of the jungle.

WDW's jungle has similar scenes as the original in DL, but offers two unique experiences. For example: They both have their own Schweitzer Falls, Indian elephant pool, hippo pool, trapped safari (guys on pole with rhino), and many other similar scenes. DL's cruise passes through some temple ruins, whereas WDW's travels inside a dark temple. DL has some 'rapids' section that was replaced with pirhana attack that WDW's doesn't have. For the most part, the jokes are the same, just in a different order.

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