Jungle Cruise Skippers Will Stop Telling Jokes

Jungle Cruise Skippers Banned from Telling Jokes

The Jungle Cruise is famous for being, well… world famous. The combination of witty and dry jokes with the fun of animatronic Animals cannot be beaten. In fact, the ride is so popular, Disney just released The Jungle Cruise movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. However, we just got some sad news that Jungle Cruise Skippers will stop telling jokes during the ride.

Jungle Cruise Skippers Banned from Telling Jokes
Jungle Cruise skippers banned from telling jokes

Initially, when The Jungle Cruise opened in Disneyland on July 17, 1955, the skippers didn’t tell jokes. It was a straightforward attraction. However, over time, jokes slowly trickled into the ride from the skippers. Now, the ride is filled with puns around every corner. These jokes are what make The Jungle Cruise so popular. So it comes as a huge surprise that Disney is banning jokes on the ride.

According to reports, The Jungle Cruise will still feature the same scenic routes and animatronics. However, the skippers will now provide informative and educational commentary about the different animals and cultures represented on the ride. This is a more informative approach, which apparently will enhance the guest’s experience and education.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is the real Jungle Cruise
Kilimanjaro Safaris is the real-life Jungle Cruise. Photo via Disney

If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. This is the exact plot of Kilimanjaro Safaris, except that ride has real animals. Kilimanjaro Safaris takes you on a safari where you get to see some amazing and exotic animals from Africa. Meanwhile, The Jungle Cruise animals are animatronics. We apologize if you thought the hippos were real on The Jungle Cruise, they’re not.

Why is Disney removing Jokes from The Jungle Cruise?

According to Disney, they are removing the jokes from The Jungle Cruise for the mental health of the skippers. The Jungle Cruise has experienced a lot of turmoil recently. It started with one of their most famous employees being caught in a cannibalism scandal. We reported on that story here. Since that report came out, things have been going downhill for The Jungle Cruise.

Disney wants to ensure the mental health of their employees remains high. During a normal Jungle Cruise ride, a skipper will tell anywhere from 30-60 jokes. Typically only about 2-5% of the jokes yield laughs from the guests. Even some of the best jokes about Schweitzer Falls, famously named after Dr. Albert Falls, don’t get laughs. If you’re confused, we’ll go over it later. Apparently, this can be extremely traumatizing for a Jungle Cruise skipper. They do ride after ride and don’t get laughs.

Schweitzer Falls, the most famous part of the Jungle Cruise
The world-famous Schweitzer Falls, named after Albert Falls. Photo via yesterland.com

Weird Al does an amazing job capturing the sentiment of Jungle Cruise skippers in his song “Skipper Dan”. Check out some of the lyrics. “And I’m doin’ 34 shows every day and every time it’s the same.” Weird Al goes on to say “Look at those hippos, they’re wigglin’ their ears just like they’ve done for the last 50 years. Now I’m laughin’ at my own jokes but I’m cryin’ inside cause I’m workin’ on The Jungle Cruise ride.” We recommend you listen to the entire song, it tells a great story.

Clearly Weird Al touches on the pain a skipper can experience on The Jungle Cruise. They tell the same jokes all day long, every day. This can be extremely exhausting, especially when the jokes don’t generate any laughs. However, despite this, the skippers don’t want the ride changed.

Skipper Dan by Weird Al
Skipper Dan by Weird Al. Photo via alyankovic YouTube

After interviewing many skippers, it has become clear that they don’t mind telling jokes that don’t get laughs. In fact, most skippers expect guests not to laugh or applaud during the ride. Some skippers mentioned that even just one laugh on the ride can make their day. But if they don’t get a laugh, they don’t take it personally. It was fascinating to hear the opinions of many skippers on this issue.

If the skipper’s mental health isn’t impacted, why is this change being made? According to an internal source, Disney management is forcing this change. They are apparently doing this proactively to protect their skippers. With that being said, there have so far not been any claims from skippers that their mental health is being impacted by guests not laughing at jokes.

Disney skippers banned from telling jokes
Disney skippers are saddened that they can no longer tell jokes. Photo via Disney

This is an example of Disney’s management being overbearing. In fact, we asked the skippers about the new change to a more educational ride. From the skippers we talked to, they’re not looking forward to the change. They would prefer to tell jokes to no laughs versus giving guests an educational experience.

What do you think of Disney removing all jokes from The Jungle Cruise? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 
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Lance C Liebl
Lance C Liebl
1 year ago

People come to Disney to get away from the tedious every day life and enjoy the frivolous make believe. If people wanted an educational lecture, they’d go to a museum or school.
LEAVE THE JOKES ALONE. we moan insidecat the corny jokes but we keep coming back.

Scott b Myer
Scott b Myer
1 year ago

The Absolutely ONLY reason I drag my son on that ride every time we go is for the laughs. He is already bored of the ride but I love it. I guess thats that