Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Jungle Cruise at Hong Kong Disneyland

Every Magic Kingdom style Disney park has had the Jungle Cruise and Hong Kong was no exception. But this Jungle Cruise is completely different from any other for many reasons. This park had no Frontierland when it opened and hence no Rivers of America giving the Jungle Cruise and Adventureland a lot more room. The Jungle Cruise in Hong Kong is formatted much like the Rivers of America a large circular body of water. I was extremely excited about the Jungle Cruise having more room for new gags and animals. I was sorely disappointed, but we'll get there.
This sign got me really excited because one of the Jungle Cruise's classic gags involves an Elephant spraying water and then coming up as if it were going to spray again right when the boat goes by only to scare the passengers. I thought that on this ride there might be some meta joke for imagineers and visitors to different parks that here the elephant would actually spray you. It does not. Also an awesome sign directly above this one which I neglected to take a picture of shows the three lines and the three versions of the Jungle Cruise. Here in Hong Kong the Jungle Cruise is offered in Three Languages: English, Cantonese and Mandarin and hence has three lines. 

Say goodbye to the people at the dock, because you'll never see them again. 

At Hong Kong Disneyland in order to get to the Tarzan Treehouse you have to take a boat similar to the boats to Huck Finn island. We had to wait for this one to pass. 

Now the tricky matter of our skipper. I want to first say a few things. Out skipper whose name I didn't catch speaks english better or at least as well as I will ever speak another language and her superior gave her the job of Jungle Cruise skipper. She absolutely did her best. That being said, she was absolutely terrible. Speaking english as a second language makes it almost impossible to understand why or what makes the word play funny and hence our skipper memorized the content rather than the words. Although the silver lining is that this taught me I knew all of the Jungle Cruise jokes as I leaned over to my father and whispered the jokes in his ear. 


I thought we were going to get sprayed here, but we remained completely dry.

Here is the temple! Scary and mysterious. More flubbed jokes. Still the same as Walt Disney World's Jungle Cruise

Here we have Ganesh the indian god of beginnings and gateways, I believe that this is slightly different. 

Crocodiles! Aaahh

Apes destroying the camp!! AAHHH! Still nothing funny.

The scene with all the animals. 

The Africans getting the "point." In some versions these adventurers are white. 

I'm gonna take some time to talk about my general feelings about this ride now before we get to the one new scene. I mean the natives have abandon the place so it seems like a good time to talk. Because this Jungle Cruise area was so much larger I expected the experience of the ride to be larger, feature new scenes and new visual tableaux. It has one and we'll get to that next, but everything else is exactly the same. I was disappointed. Not only is the extra size not taken advantage of, it actively hurts the ride. It is not hard to believe you are in a new river in a new part of the world when you cannot see the stretch of river you were just on, but it is nearly impossible when your skipper yells, "now we're on the nile" and you can see the amazon directly behind you. It's ridiculous. While some of you may be thinking, but they still added an extra scene. Sure that's true, but they also took out the scene with the two jokes that never fail to make me laugh. The took out the water fall which is passed through twice thanks to the twists and turns of the jungle cruise. My favorite jokes are: "Here we have Schweitzer Falls named after Mr. Albert Falls" and "Ladies and Gentlemen the backside of water!!!!!" Classic. So essentially they destroyed a lot of what made the Jungle Cruise a semi-believable attraction, really what held it together. Let's hope this last scene is really great. 

Here is the Toad/Monster like face that we are stuck by. Previously the boat has attempted to go around the rock formation, but a huge water jet explodes about five feet in front of the boat. Oh this is what they were talking about when they said you might get wet. No one got wet. Then as we try the corridor between the rocks and the scary monster face another water cannon goes off directly in front of the boat (no one gets wet). After that . . . 

All of this fire is burning simultaneously and the groans are getting louder and louder excited for a serious fireball we get this:

A puffy cloud of smoke, albeit a rather large one. The idea is that the Water gods and the fire gods are fighting and our Jungle Cruise boat is stuck in the middle. While I understand that this situation is ripe for comedy absolutely none of it was conveyed by our skipper at all. Because this was the one new scene I had no idea what the jokes were supposed to be and took it completely seriously. Now stay tuned for my Japanese Jungle Cruise ride where I understood about 50% of what was being said and laughed more than almost any other time on the Jungle Cruise

One last straggling baby Elephant. 

I wanted to show a few pictures of the Jungle Cruise building because I believe they adequately show what the Jungle Cruise show building was like in 1955 Disneyland opened to the public. Also I just like it. 

Actually I take back what I said above, I'm almost 100% sure that the roof of the 1955 Jungle Cruise building was wood, although I do believe the overall structure is similar. 

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1 comment:

  1. My memory only recalled that the Jungle Cruise of my 1970s youth didn't have a queue building at all -- it was just the dock, with a thatch-covered queue area adjacent to it. But this photo from the 1950s disproves my inadequate memory: