Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Early Days of The Jungle Cruise, Pt. 1

I am really digging the recent remodel of the Disneyland Hotel. Great attention has been paid in honoring the past of Disneyland while at the same time offering guests the modern conveniences that they expect. The team at Disney has done an excellent job of blending the old with the new. In the Adventure Tower, guests can view some of the original concept drawings of Adventureland and the Jungle Cruise attraction. The perspective of the first drawing is from the roof of the Plaza Pavillion and shows all of Adventureland. The structures are still very similar to what you would see today, even if some of their purposes have changed along the way.

A vintage shot to show what the finished product looked like:

The Ancient Shrine are Sunken City are depicted here:

A side view of the Amazon Belle, which is still in operation today. The original Jungle Cruise boats were a little more festive looking than this drawing would indicate. The boats of today were redesigned to cohabitate with the 1930's theming of the Indiana Jones attraction next door.

An actual May 1958 boat, complete with candy-cane striped awning:

The rustic-looking boats of today are more in line with the original concept art:

This view of the dock from the jungle side has a few interesting details:

Zooming in, you can see an animal and cart on the left and a horse-drawn carriage of some kind on the right side:

As much as Walt may have wanted live animals in Adventureland, they just were not meant to be.

A 1960 shot to show what a guest would have actually seen from a similar view:

Here the expressive looks depicted on the faces of the guests show the joy and wonder that they are facing on their Jungle Boat Cruise; the same looks can be seen today as the Skippers give their spiel each time.

See more vintage & current Disneyland Jungle Cruise photos on my Jungle Cruise web page.


JG said...

Exceptional information. Are these pictures )old ones) posted in the remodeled hotel?

Very cool indeed. I have said before that I think the Jungle Cruise and indiana are two things which are better than in my youth. The depth of theming (expense) is well worth it and needed to provide that almost "steampunk" look of that era.

Thank you.


Daveland said...

JG - The ones posted in the hotel are reproductions and can be seen in the lounge areas on the wall.

JG said...

Thank you Dave, I was pretty sure they weren't original-original, i just meant the concept versions.

We looked at some of these on the way past, we sort of short-cut through the one tower ground floor on the way back from breakfast at Tangaroa Terrace (recommend highly BTW). We were in a hurry and i never got back to look at the sketches. None of these jumps out as "I saw that!!" but they do look very familiar.

I did not remember the old original building having a second floor tower. Was that the control tower for the ride machinery, etc sim to Matterhorn?

Major Pepperidge said...

As great as the Jungle Cruise turned out, it's fun to imagine what Walt might have done if he'd had a lot more money!

Daveland said...

JG - Not sure about the purpose of the 2nd floor tower. David - i think it's a good thing he didn't have more money, otherwise he would have tried to find a way to have the live animals that he originally wanted, and the JC would have lost its kitsch factor.