The attraction previously included racially and culturally insensitive features like Indigenous peoples being depicted as tourist attractions

By Gabrielle Chung
July 09, 2021 11:02 PM
Advertisement
Disney Jungle Cruise ride
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

Disneyland's Jungle Cruise is ready to sail out the past and into today.

The long-running ride is slated to reopen at Disneyland on July 16 after undergoing a makeover, and the California theme park gave fans a first look at the new changes to the attraction on Friday.

Jungle Cruise follows the captain of a ship, called a skipper, who gives tours along rivers in Asia, Africa, and South America that sometimes go awry.

The ride was changed in a bid to remove culturally and racially insensitive depictions — like Indigenous peoples being portrayed as tourist attractions.

The Jungle Cruise has now been updated with new scenes that guests can tour, including one depicting explorers from around the world and another with chimpanzees taking over a wrecked boat.

Disney Jungle Cruise ride
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort
Disney Jungle Cruise ride
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

The skipper, who is played by a live Disney cast member, remains an integral part of the experience, though the ride itself will now have an expanded backstory centering around Alberta Fallsthe granddaughter of the proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd.

"We're excited to be building on the story of the Jungle Cruise to include new adventures that stay true to the experience we know and love, while adding more humor, more wildlife, and an interconnected story," Chris Beatty, creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, said in a statement. "As part of creative development, we've also introduced characters from around the world and took a thoughtful approach to ensure accurate representation of cultures in our story."

Disney Jungle Cruise ride
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort
Disney Jungle Cruise ride
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

Changes to the Jungle Cruise ride in Walt Disney World in Florida are still underway and should be completed later this summer, according to the company.

Jungle Cruise was first unveiled at Disneyland in 1955. Though the ride initially had a more serious tone, it was changed throughout the years with a more playful, tongue-in-cheek storyline with additions like an elephant bathing pool and piranhas in the river.

Other versions of the attraction have since been built in Florida's Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland.

A film adaption of the ride starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt is slated to premiere on July 30.

Disney Jungle Cruise ride
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort
Disney Jungle Cruise ride
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

Disney first announced plans to revamp Jungle Cruise in January, saying at the time that its Imagineers have "created a storyline that builds upon what people love the most while addressing negative depictions simultaneously."

The announcement came a year after the company said it was designing Splash Mountain at both the California and Florida parks to depict scenes from The Princess and the Frog rather than the problematic 1946 film Song of the South.