Sunday, October 03, 2004

Disneyland: Jungle Fever Edition.

Now that Paul Pressler's out and Matt Quimet is in, huge changes are happening at 'The Happiest Place on Earth,' just in time for the 50th Anniversary next year.

All throughout the summer many of the attractions and shops were under refurb, receiving new paint and much needed TLC. Even the long neglected Submarine Lagoon is finally seeing some action, where Imagineers are testing ride concepts for a new Finding Nemo attraction.

Now it's The Jungle Cruise's turn, and the latest edition of the cast member magazine 'Disneyland Line' has all the details:

'The classic Jungle Cruise experience will soon be restored with a thorough show refurbishment, a newly expanded spiel and the return of the simulated shots in the Hippo Pool.

“We want to get back into the vision and experience Walt Disney originally developed for the Jungle Cruise,” said Park Operations Director Jon Storbeck. “For the 50th anniversary of Disneyland®, many attractions are being refurbished to their original look, and we saw this as our opportunity to provide a classic experience for our Guests.”

Jon said the level of Guest interaction at the Jungle Cruise is what motivated the Attractions team to reevaluate the spiel.

“The spiel given by our Cast Members is an integral part of the show, and we have workshops planned to help them with their timing and delivery,” he said. “We added nearly 15 pages of material to give Cast Members options and ensure that our script would entertain a broad spectrum of age groups.”

In addition to the spiel already being used, Attractions Manager Jim Clegg said other classic elements will return including area-specific landscaping planned for early next year and the climactic end to the hippo scene returning Oct. 1.

“During the spring refurbishment, major show elements such as lighting, animation and landscaping will be improved,” Jim said. “The skippers will also resume firing warning shots to [chase away] the hippos. We perceived this as a classic part of the experience.”

Jim said he observed an increase in Guest compliments since the updated spiel training began.

“Guests have told us that it is the best experience they have had in years,” he said. “The enthusiasm of our Cast Members is what made these incredible results possible.”

Sharing in the enthusiasm is Jungle Cruise Lead Gerry York, who said the changes helped Cast Members find a renewed sense of pride in the attraction.

“All of the Jungle Cruise skippers are very excited about the changes and it shows in the experience we are providing for our Guests,” he said.


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