Disney is sharing more information about the Jungle Cruise update – including when the new storyline will debut and more information about the new characters.
Jungle Cruise Update
Both Disney World and Disneyland will receive some “gnu” updates to this classic attraction. As part of the update, Guests will be able to follow a skipper and his passengers as their journey goes awry. Don’t worry though – we will still have live skippers! They will just add a show figure within the attraction itself.
We will also encounter a trapped safari party that finds itself up a tree after their journey goes awry (more on that below!). There are sure to be more surprises and antics in store for us.
Disney confirmed with D23 that elements of the movie adaptation of the attraction will not be part of the changes. The company is also aiming to remove some of the more outdated elements of the ride that do no celebrate the diversity of our world.
The new storyline will debut later in 2021.
Disney has already shared that we would see these changes debut in 2021, and the My Disney Experience app now explains these characters will debut later in 2021 at both Disney World and Disneyland. I am predicting we will see them sometime around the start of the 50th anniversary celebrations for Disney World.
Since the original announcement, we have learned a little bit more about some of the characters – including Alberta Falls, proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd.
Now, we have new information about Albert Falls and some of the other characters will be introduced to as part of the update.
Alberta Falls – Proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company
Alberta was born in 1911. Her mother, Sneh, was a world-renowned artist from India and her British father, Albert Falls Jr., was an art scholar.
Young Alberta was always considered a rambunctious “free spirt” who was most at home during the family’s summer visits to grandma and grandpa Falls in Adventureland. She climbed trees, swam in the river, and enjoyed a special bond with her explorer grandfather and her “adopted family” of skippers who enjoyed the fearless little girl’s adventurous nature.
She began to accompany her grandfather on his trips around the world where she was introduced to renowned botanist Dr. Moss in Nova Scotia and then-budding artist Rosa Soto Dominguez in Mexico City. On one of their wild adventures in New Zealand, Alberta picked up a new travel companion, a kakapo flightless parrot.
When Dr. Albert Falls vanished in 1930, Alberta took control of the company and vowed to preserve the reputation of the Jungle Navigation Company. Moreover, to ensure that her grandfather’s legacy would be remembered by people all over the world, she began to promote the guided tours that we know today as the Jungle Cruise.
And now, the five unfortunate folks run up a familiar rhino pole…
Felix Pechman XIII
Closest to the rhino is Felix Pechman XIII who recently left his home in Silver Springs, Florida, and landed a position as a skipper with the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd. In an unexpected turn of events, Alberta had no choice but to ask him to lead his very first boat tour with her VIP guests. Unfortunately, Pechman’s trademark bad luck has followed him to the jungle.
Dr. Leonard Moss
Above Skipper Felix is Dr. Leonard Moss, an acclaimed Canadian botanist. Having successfully photographed and cataloged every plant in the frigid Nova Scotia peninsula, Dr. Moss decided that his next photo excursion should be to a warmer climate.
Rosa Soto Dominguez
Above him is the celebrated Mexican artist, Rosa Soto Dominguez. Known in the art world as La Rosa, she was on her way back to Mexico City from her latest gallery opening in Paris when she received a special invitation from her very close friend, Alberta.
Rosa looked forward to their reunion in Adventureland when she would also get to paint some of the exotic wildlife, especially given her fascination with rhinos. As luck would have it, she ended up a little too close and personal with one.
Dr. Ken Chunosuke
Next is Japan’s preeminent entomologist and a member of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers, Dr. Kon Chunosuke. He traveled to the jungle on a mission to find new specimens for his world-class collection of insects.
As an admirer of Dr. Falls’ legacy, Chunosuke was hopeful that this younger Falls would be able to lead the way to the legendary Myrmecoleon, also referred to as the “lion of ants.” Unfortunately, he has only been able to find butterflies, mosquitos, and a rhino.
Siobhan “Puffin” Murphy
Up top is Siobhan “Puffin” Murphy, who traveled all the way from the small island of Dingle, Ireland, to pay a surprise visit to her distant cousin twice removed on her father’s side, Alberta.
Siobahn was nicknamed “Puffin” because of her love for the puffin birds that nest in the rocks of her seaside hometown. Many believe that it was Puffin’s love of exotic birds that drove Skipper Felix to get a little too close to an oxpecker perched on a particularly grumpy hippo.
Are you excited to see the new Jungle Cruise later this year? What do you think of these new characters?