Disneyland, Disney World announce another change to classic Jungle Cruise attraction

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An artist’s rendering shows an update planned for the Jungle Cruise at both Disney World and Disneyland. On Monday, the Disney Parks Blog revealed that Trader Sam will be recast as the manager of a Lost & Found location along the river. (Photo from the Nexstar Media Wire)

(NEXSTAR) — One of the characters along Disney’s Jungle Cruise has gotten himself a new gig.

Disney World and Disneyland have revealed plans for yet another update to their Jungle Cruise attractions, this time concerning the character of Trader Sam, who was previously depicted as a shrunken-head dealer offering to trade “two of his heads for just one of yours.”

On Monday, the official blog of the Disney Parks revealed that Trader Sam will be re-cast as the manager of a riverside Lost & Found location, which Sam has (underhandedly) rebranded as his own “Trader Sam’s Gift Shop.”

“Word on the stream is that Alberta Falls, proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd., has entrusted her longtime friend, Trader Sam, to manage the new Lost & Found location,” reads a description of the new scene at the Disney Parks Blog. “But, with Trader Sam being Trader Sam, there’s always an opportunity to make some extra money. After all, all the best rides end with a gift shop, right?”

A rendering of the new scene also shows the unattended “gift shop” overrun with animals while Trader Sam — who is noticeably absent — is away collecting “new inventory.”

News of the latest Jungle Cruise update was announced three months after the Disney Parks first revealed plans to redesign its Jungle Cruise attractions and remove “negative depictions” of indigenous people. One such change concerned a scene at Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise, which depicted a safari group being chased up a tree by a rhinoceros, with a “white traveler” at the top of the tree and his “native safari guides… in a more perilous position,” the Los Angeles Times reported in January.

It was announced that the scene would be updated to instead show an entire expedition of Jungle Cruise explorers trying to evade the rhinoceros.

“In fact, the expedition will be up a tree (literally!) after their sunken boat splits apart and chimps board the wreckage, with monkey business ensuing,” explained Disney Imagineer Kevin Lively in a video released in January.

At the time, Disney Imagineering executive Chris Beatty explained to D23 that Disney is “constantly evaluating ways to enhance attractions and experiences and make sure that guests “know that we have done our homework.”

“When you look at the Jungle Cruise, as it is today, there are just a couple of scenes that don’t do that and needed a refresh,” he said.

The Jungle Cruise’s redesigned scenes are scheduled to debut “later this year,” according to the Disney Parks Blog.

(Information from the Nexstar Media Wire)

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