Friday, March 16, 2012

TPE: The Jungle Cruise

Today's vintage journey on The Jungle Cruise will attempt to take you on this beloved attraction from start to finish, using photos that are mainly from 1955. Originally, the cast members wore attire that was more festive and colorful, providing a stark contrast to what is worn today.

What would a ride on the Congo Queen be without the infamous bad puns?

Those of you adventurers entering the world-famous Jungle Cruise, please notice there are two lines, one on the right, and the other on the left. If you’d like to keep your family together, please stay in the same line. However, if there is someone in your family you’d like to get rid of, just put them in the opposite line and you’ll never see them again.

Ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please. Would the party that lost the roll of 50 $20 bills, wrapped in a red rubber band, please report to the shipping office…we have good news for you. We found your red rubber band.

Entering The Ancient Shrine, guests see monkeys and crocodiles:

As you can see, those crocodiles provide the Temple with a very effective security system. They are completely reliable and they never ask for a dime.

Since there was no Elephant Wading Pool in 1955, I'll toss in a few miscellaneous views:

The African Bull Elephants are very symbolic of The Jungle Cruise, especially since they are predominantly featured on the attraction poster:

On the left bank–the enormous ears and huge tusks tell us that’s an African Bush Elephant, the world’s largest land animal, and for those of you with short memories–there on the right bank–the enormous ears and huge tusks tell us that’s an African Bush Elephant, the world’s largest land animal.

But wait...what's this? This undated guest shot which (based on the other images in the batch) is Summer 1955. Could it be that the Jungle Cruise began with only one elephant? Or was one removed and replaced early on due to repairs? Either way, seeing this at the Frontierland Train Depot is a funky sight to behold!

I BELIEVE this shot is from 1957 or 1958; not much in the area that would grow into the African Veldt. Can you imagine a Jungle Cruise without the trapped safari?

The Hippo Pool seems very sedate in this shot:

But this elderly guests seems to be getting a chuckle out of them:

There’s the natives arts and crafts. I guess you could call that ‘skull-putre.’ Quiet everyone. I speak a little of their language. Let me try to translate…you put your left foot in…you put your left foot out…your put your left foot in and you shake it all about…

The Jungle Cruise Natives have the body of Woody Strode, the man that fought Kirk Douglas in “Spartacus.” He was called down to Disneyland by Harper Goff and they made a mold of his body for all the natives, as well as the Indians on the Rivers of America in Frontireland.

Zooming in, it appears that a skull was added here to the scenery:

Approaching Schweitzer Falls & The Back Side of Water:

You can see the silhouette of the skipper, pointing out the sights to guests:

There it is folks, the back side of water. Now I wouldn’t suggest trying this at home, kids. You could very easily hit your head on the faucet.

A few more miscellaneous views:

including a 1956 Gorilla shot:

All good things must come to an end, and it appears our boat is pulling back into the dock area:

I hope you've enjoyed our vintage visit to The Jungle Cruise!

As an extra bonus today, you can download this Kermit the Frog St. Patrick's Day E-Card Image:

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


Thufer said...

What a wonderful Friday morning cruise. Thank you skipper, that was excellent.

Darryl said...

I wonder if the spiel was always corny...or did it start out trying to be serious, true and not obviously fake?

Daveland said...

I don't believe the corny spiels started until after the Marc Davis gags were inserted. I can't imagine it without them!

Anonymous said...

Great post Dave,

In some of the photos I've seen, it appears the queue area for the JC is actually just to the west of the main JC building. Can you confirm if this is true or not?

Was the main building a shopping and viewing area?

P.T. said...

This is my favorite ride! Thanks for posting these fun pictures. It's amazing to see how small the trees were knowing how big they are now!

Daveland said...

Sketchup - Not sure if there was shopping in the main building or about the queue area; all my JC dock pics are on this page: