The Jungle Cruise is a classic boat ride located in Adventureland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Opened in 1955, it was one of the original attractions when the park first opened. The Jungle Cruise takes guests on a lighthearted riverboat cruise past animatronic animals and through the rivers of Asia, Africa, and South America. The ride is filled with corny jokes from the skipper guides and remains a beloved attraction after over 60 years of operation.
Wait Times: Wait times for the Jungle Cruise can vary throughout the day and depending on the season. On busier days, it’s not uncommon for the line to reach 30-60 minutes.
Height Requirements: The Jungle Cruise is a family-friendly attraction, and there are no height requirements. It’s suitable for all ages, making it a perfect choice for groups with children.
Single Rider: While the Jungle Cruise doesn’t offer an official single rider line, you can sometimes take advantage of shorter wait times by asking a Cast Member if they can accommodate you as a single rider when the boat isn’t fully occupied.
Ride Duration: Typically lasts around 7 to 10 minutes.
Rider Switch: Families with young children can utilize the Rider Switch service. If one parent wishes to ride while the other stays with the child, they can take turns without waiting in line twice. Ask a Cast Member for details on how to use this service.
DAS (Disability Access Service): For guests with disabilities, the DAS can be a helpful service. It allows individuals or groups to schedule return times for attractions, reducing the need to stand in line. Contact Guest Services for more information.
Best Times to Ride: The Jungle Cruise often has shorter wait times during the early morning or later in the evening. Be sure to check the Disneyland app or our crowd calendar for wait times.
The queue for the Jungle Cruise winds through tropical ruins and leafy jungle foliage. Ambient sounds of wildlife play over the speakers to set the mood. The line leads to an open-air boathouse where guests board one of the ride’s vintage riverboats. As the boat departs, the skipper guide delivers a humorous safety spiel warning of the dangers that lie ahead. The ride cruises past dense jungle scenery filled with animatronic elephants, lions, gorillas, rhinos, and more. The skipper cracks jokes about the wildlife and points out sights like Schweitzer Falls and the Amazon River. Highlights include:
A rhino chasing a safari group up a tree
A group of gorillas ransacking a campsite
Angry hippos threatening the boat
Indigenous people performing a ritual dance
A python draped overhead and a crocodile lurking in the water
The skipper guides keep the journey lively by interacting with passengers and delivering a constant stream of puns and one-liners. The cruise builds to an exciting climax as the boat narrowly escapes angry natives, dangerous rapids, and a headhunter camp. After surviving the adventure, the cruise concludes back at the boathouse where guests disembark. The Jungle Cruise lasts approximately 7-10 minutes depending on the skipper’s pacing and boat traffic. The ride is family-friendly with no height restrictions, though some scenes may be frightening for very young children. The combination of the skipper’s humor, classic animatronics, and immersive theming make it an enduring Disneyland favorite.
History and Design
The original Jungle Cruise opened on July 17, 1955 at Disneyland Park. Based on Disney’s award-winning True-Life Adventure films, the attraction had a more educational tone. In the early 1960s, Walt Disney introduced more drama and asked animator Marc Davis to sketch some humorous gags. Walt Disney pioneered the concept of family boat rides with the introduction of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. He envisioned the attraction as an exotic voyage showcasing the mystery and adventure of far-off jungles and wildlife. The ride was designed by Imagineer Harper Goff with lush tropical landscaping created by Bill Evans. Many of the jungle plants were exotic species that had never been used in theme park landscaping before. The animatronic animals were cutting-edge for the time period, bringing added realism to the scenes.
The original fleet of boats were surplus crafts from the jungles of Colombia. Their rugged design perfectly fit the theming of the attraction. The ride opened with eight boats named for past and present explorers of the Amazon. Over the years, more boats have been added as well as updates to the animatronics and effects. In 2021, the Jungle Cruise underwent refurbishments to enhance the storyline and make it more inclusive. Several scenes were added featuring a new tribe of indigenous people from around the world. These changes removed negative stereotypes while keeping the heart of the classic attraction. Over the years, more “wildlife”—and new wisecracks—were added. These updates, along with talented skippers, make for fun surprises on every trip down the river.
Best Times to Ride
The Jungle Cruise is incredibly popular, so visiting during peak crowds means long wait times. Here are some tips to experience shorter waits:
Arrive at rope drop and head straight for the Jungle Cruise. You can often walk right on the first few cruises of the day.
Go in the evening shortly before park closing. Wait times tend to be lower during the last hour.
Ride during a parade or fireworks show when crowds head to Main Street.
Avoid midday hours when most families visit the ride.
Check the Disneyland app for current wait times to find a slower period.
Tips for Riding
Request to ride up front for the best view and chance to interact with the skipper.
Sit on the left side for views of the elephant bathing pool and charging rhino scenes.
Bring a small waterproof bag to store your phone so you can take photos.
Listen for the skipper’s names and jokes – no two cruises are exactly alike.
Arrive 10-15 minutes before closing to catch one of the last boats with limited crowds.
If small children are frightened, have them sit on the outside aisle seat for an easier exit.
Ride multiple times and see how many different jokes you catch!
When all is said and done the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland is an enduring classic that offers an immersive and entertaining adventure for guests of all ages. Its rich history, captivating design, and clever architecture create an environment that fully transports visitors to a world of laughter and exploration. With no height restrictions, it’s an ideal choice for families. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or the hundredth, the Jungle Cruise remains a must-see attraction, promising a delightful journey through exotic lands and the perfect opportunity to make cherished memories.
With its classic scenes, corny jokes, and exotic setting, the Jungle Cruise remains one of the most iconic Disneyland attractions. It's a must-do for first time visitors and loyal fans alike. Brave the wild rivers and experience this beloved boat ride on your next Disneyland vacation.