Today’s post shows the dock area, where the excitement builds as you board your boat; which will it be, the Amazon Belle? The Congo Queen? TECH SKIP: Please burn this picture. Seriously, burn it. While I am very proud that the J.C. turned 50 I would rather not have proof of that abomination! I loved the plaque by the ticket office "Class of 55", and the actual Congo sign... but that's it. I specifically remember how the canvas cover wasn't actual fabric. It was more like patio furniture, with lots of tiny holes. We had to pull it off every time it rained because the water would collect and then start dripping down on everyone. Best memory was when it stalled in the rainforest. Everyone was soaked by the time we got them out.USC TUBA: The USC contingent was pleased to see the Jungle Cruise had received its donation.
TECH SKIP: Way before my time... notice the small front light though and the bullhorn. Not sure if they had mics at first, come to think of it.USC TUBA: No one ever spoke of the dissapearing crew again.
Notice the back of City Hall in the upper right-hand corner:
In this closeup, you can see guests eating at the Plaza Pavillion and watching the JC:
TECH SKIP: Notice the fluorescent exterior light. Also they have the cushions in the rack. I started a short time after Indy opened so I never knew the old Candy Stripers. Oh and the gun is on the side... can’t do that these days. USC TUBA: Haven’t figured out if this is an actual costume or just the unfortunate result of a Jungle Cruise “Banana Ball” hangover.
Kevin Kidney sent some extremely cool shots, including this view of models from 1954 showing original boat designs:
Two from June 1955, one month before the park opened, showing the boat installations:
An ad from 1961 touting the new and improved JC:
And a May 1963 LA Times column showing an elephant being lowered into the river. Matterhorn1959 featured this photo in his blog the other day; I superimposed his photo (which is obviously better quality than the newspaper version) so that you could see more detail. Be sure to check out his blog, as he has all kinds of cool DLand stuff, too!
Last but not least, here is a pic of the skipper I owe a huge thanks to for sending me these photos, Kevin Kidney. And if you don’t know who he is, you must have slept through all the 50th Anniversary Merchandise releases (your bank account is probably a lot phatter, too).
Any other skippers that would like to contribute material can email me at email@example.com.See more vintage (and current) Jungle Cruise photos on my regular website.