Over the last 6+ decades, The Jungle Cruise has become one of Disney’s most popular and enduring attractions.
However, unlike other classics like Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, or the Tower of Terror, Jungle Cruise isn’t known for adventure or thrills. Rather, the attraction is most famous for being funny, from its humorous tableaus to — yes — its dad jokes.
We’re taking a look at some of the best known, and funniest, jokes the Jungle Cruise has to offer.
Before we delve into the attraction’s best jokes however, it’s important to note that this trademark humor wasn’t originally part of The Jungle Cruise, at all. In fact, when The Jungle Cruise first opened along with the rest of Disneyland in July of 1955, it was played entirely straight.
The boat ride was set as a serious, straight-laced wildlife adventure, taking many of its cues from Walt Disney’s True Life Adventures series of nature documentaries, as well as classic Hollywood films like The African Queen, and featuring serious Skippers reciting a quite serious spiel. In fact, it would take the intervention of a Disney icon to make The Jungle Cruise funny.
In the early 1960s, Walt Disney brought in one of his most acclaimed animators – Marc Davis, of the famous “Nine Old Men of Disney Animation” – into Imagineering to plus up several of Disneyland’s attractions. Davis began with the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland, to which he added several funny animal gags and other visual jokes, turning what had been a somewhat dry attraction into a whimsical favorite. From there, Walt moved Davis over to The Jungle Cruise.
Davis would spearhead the transformation of The Jungle Cruise from the original adventurous concept to the comedic classic we know today by introducing several iconic scenes, including the elephant pool and trapped safari sequences, both of which injected heavy doses of humor into the attraction. This new comedic influence expanded to the Skipper’s spiel, which became less serious and more comedic.
The new version of The Jungle Cruise was a massive hit with Disneyland guests, leading to the the attraction — and it’s Skipper’s spiel — becoming more and more comedic over the years.
As the attraction developed, certain jokes became massive fan favorites, surviving duplications at Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and Honk Kong Disneyland, each and every refurbishment and even the occasional modifications from certain Skippers. Some of the most famous include:
“Wave goodbye to all those people standing on the dock, you aren’t going to see them for 2 and half weeks. Just kidding you are never going to see them again.”
This joke, and several other similar puns, introduce the comedic skipper concept to guests just as their pulling out of the dock.
“I’d like to point out some of my favorite plants here in the jungle.”
One of the ride’s earliest puns, this joke — which sees the Skipper deliver the above line then proceed to silently point at several plants — sets the tone of the attraction to follow, just in case the more comedic elements of the queue line flew over some guests heads.
“Does anyone know what kind of snake that is? Begins with P… not Python good guess though, Plastic!”
This joke, one of several told as the boat encounters a massive python animatronic, is one of the biggest examples of the attraction breaking the fourth wall and acknowledging that guests are on a theme park attraction.
“This formation on the right is actually sandstone, most people take it for granite. It’s one of our boulder attractions here in the park.”
A fine use of dad joke-level play on words puns, this joke makes light of the “fake rocks” that can be found on many Disney attractions.
“Everyone watch out for Ginger. Ginger snaps. That’s right, she’s one TOUGH cookie. I know, I know…it’s a crumby joke, but I milk it for all I can!”
This hat-on-a-hat-on-a-hat joke about one of the animatronic gators often gets big laughs, especially in the Florida version of the attraction.
“Do you know why it’s so hard to eat zebra? You keep getting white meat – dark meat – white meat – dark meat.”
One of the darker jokes in the spiel, told when the ride vehicle comes across a pride of lions feasting on a zebra. The segment also sometimes include a riff on the zebra simply taking a nap.
“Of course, Schweitzer Falls is named after World famous Dr. Albert Falls. If you are not familiar with the doctor don’t worry about it we are going over Falls later” and “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. I proudly present the backside of water.”
Arguably the most famous Jungle Cruise jokes, especially outside the theme park fandom bubble. In fact, references to both made it into the Dwayne Johnson-starring live action Jungle Cruise film.
“Tigers can jump over 20 feet but don’t worry we are only 15 feet away, he would just jump right over us.”
Taking place once guest’s boat encounters the massive, red-eyed animatronic tiger in the ruined temple, this joke is perhaps the clearest example of the changeover from a serious/adventurous Jungle Cruise to its more comedic incarnation.
“It’s okay to take pictures folks, they all have their trunks on.”
Told near the Marc Davis-created elephant pool, this might be the purest pun on our list.
“Well folks, I hope you all enjoyed your trip around the jungle! I had such a good time that I’m going to do it again…and again…and again…every 15 minutes for the next 8 hours.”
One of many jokes told by Skippers as guests disembark from The Jungle Cruise, many of which revolve around meta references to their true role as a Disney Cast Member.
Of course, there have also been some Jungle Cruise jokes that haven’t stood the test of time, including many related to the culturally insensitive Trader Sam, who was removed from the attraction in the early 2020s.
Did we cover your favorite Jungle Cruise joke, or do you think we missed out on the ride’s most glorious puns? Let us know in the comments below.