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  1. #1

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    Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else?

    I do stand up comedy, and at some point I have considered moving to the L.A. area. i thought it'd be fun at some point to try and get a temp gig as a Jungle Cruise skipper. I know we have at least one former skipper on this board, was wondering what the process to work at one is, and if they look at aspiring entertainers in the role.
    "Have I gone mad?"
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  2. #2

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    Here's some ideas in case you want to take this job, if you every got bored: Jungle Cruise Pranks

    "You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to."

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  3. #3

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    I'm a former skip. Jungle is an attraction that you love or loath. Contrary to what people think, they want you to stick to the script. The Jungle is the show and the skipper enhances it.

    the JC is one of the attractions that new hires start in. If you want to be a skip, make it clear that you will follow the script and show they present to you in training.

    It's been almost 25 years since I was a skip and that script is still engrained in my head. Had to have taken at least 1,500 trips through the jungle.

    good luck!

  4. #4

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    You're not supposed to deviate from the script and if you're trying to be a stand up comedian you may not feel as fulfilled as you would in a job where you can change up the lines at your whim.

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyjustin View Post
    You're not supposed to deviate from the script and if you're trying to be a stand up comedian you may not feel as fulfilled as you would in a job where you can change up the lines at your whim.
    Well, that's what my stage act is for. I just feel like even if I'm following a script (hey, I can rationalize practicing acting), the skipper's personality still drives it. We all know there's quite a difference in how someone delivers the lines, etc. Feels like it'd be fun to do for a little while to say I got to do it.
    "Have I gone mad?"
    "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. "

  6. #6

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneySpaceAce View Post
    Well, that's what my stage act is for. I just feel like even if I'm following a script (hey, I can rationalize practicing acting), the skipper's personality still drives it. We all know there's quite a difference in how someone delivers the lines, etc. Feels like it'd be fun to do for a little while to say I got to do it.

    I agree that even with the same script, the CM makes all the difference. I hear the same jokes over and over, but depending on how they're delivered they can be funny or fall flat.

    I've also been stuck on a boat more than once where the CM had to kill time with some improv. Sometimes it's awkward silence... but with a good CM those can be the best rides!

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  7. #7

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    I too am a former Jungle Cruise Skipper. I started in 1996, and I just walked into Cast Scheduling at the time and asked to be trained there for my first attraction. In hindsight, I would have ended up at either Pirates, Mansion, or Hunchback, so I should have kept my mouth shut. Anyhoo...it is true that you have a script that you have to stick to, but that's because the jokes are supposed to be in the theme of 1938, which is the year Indy's temple expedition takes place. If you find great jokes that would still fit with the theme, you can present them to management for approval. For example, a friend and other former Skipper used to refer to the elephant bathing pool as the Republican National Convention. This was a pre-Wikipedia world, so the joke was vetoed before we learned the RNC was formed before 1938, so the joke would have fit.

    As an aspiring stand-up, the Jungle Cruise can help you get comfortable with a fickle audience, as there will be some boats you cannot please no matter what. You can learn how to develop a rhythm and timing that can make a stupid joke seem funny. And there have been many former Skippers who have gone on to perform stand-up. Every now and then they have shows around Orange County.

    If this is what you want, though, go for it. Some of the best people I have ever known are former Skippers, and some of my best memories of my time in the park were from night shifts on Jungle. I was young and immature at the time, which is why the Jungle and I did not always get along, but I own that.

    Good luck!

  8. #8

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    This is totally my dream job .

  9. #9

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    Very true that it's quite the fascination with many people, but not always the choice attraction for CMs. It's a new hire attraction, so there is really nothing special about it like some might think.
    When I worked at the park, Adventure/Frontierland was one area. There were not nearly the roles for women in the area as there were for men, so JC became a new hire training ground for a lot of the guys. And sometimes they got "stuck" there for some time.
    The women got trained on Tiki/Swiss Family Treehouse and eventually Thunder. Several worked the Shooting Gallery too.
    The guys had all of those + Jungle, Mark Twain/Columbia.
    JC was an attraction that a lot of guys liked, but a lot of others didn't (as mentioned above).

  10. #10

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    Another question I have is whether it's frowned upon or not to get into character. As the ride is supposed to take place in the 1930's, would management have a fit if I did an old timey newsreel sounding voice (i actually use this voice in my stage act for one bit), or is it generally better to not try out voices and characters?
    "Have I gone mad?"
    "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. "

  11. #11

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    Quote Originally Posted by CASurfer65 View Post
    Very true that it's quite the fascination with many people, but not always the choice attraction for CMs. It's a new hire attraction, so there is really nothing special about it like some might think.
    When I worked at the park, Adventure/Frontierland was one area. There were not nearly the roles for women in the area as there were for men, so JC became a new hire training ground for a lot of the guys. And sometimes they got "stuck" there for some time.
    The women got trained on Tiki/Swiss Family Treehouse and eventually Thunder. Several worked the Shooting Gallery too.
    The guys had all of those + Jungle, Mark Twain/Columbia.
    JC was an attraction that a lot of guys liked, but a lot of others didn't (as mentioned above).
    Years and years ago, Westside Attractions was one department, and it was almost all men. You started on the Jungle Cruise, worked your way around the area, and the ultimate attraction to work your way up to was Big Thunder Mountain. Then in the late 80s/early 90s, the department became more integrated, women started training on the West side, and individual units were born. Narrations included Jungle, Tiki, Storybook, Circlevision, and I think Lincoln. The River was its own unit (with Splash too I think), and Pirates/Mansion was another. Other than the Routes in Fantasyland (mini-groups of the small dark rides), I don't remember how the East side broke down. Parking Lot was its own department, and Main Street vehicles and trains were their own group.

    Anyway, when people talk about not liking Jungle Cruise, it may not be because it's a difficult attraction to work on. It may because of the mentality that they put in their time there and they have enough seniority to move on. When the departments shifted, Scheduling moved people as needed, and it didn't matter what your seniority was anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneySpaceAce View Post
    Another question I have is whether it's frowned upon or not to get into character. As the ride is supposed to take place in the 1930's, would management have a fit if I did an old timey newsreel sounding voice (i actually use this voice in my stage act for one bit), or is it generally better to not try out voices and characters?
    Absolutely you should do it! The Jungle Cruise skipper is in a unique role because he is in the front of the boat, and he is actually putting on the show. If you enhance that experience, you are going above and beyond, and the guests will love you!

    There was (is?) a Cast Member named Maynard Smith, and he was famous for getting into character on Jungle and Mansion. We as CMs used to have difficulty working with him at times (we needed him to stop being a cartoon character for 5 minutes and get serious about something, and he didn't always care to), but guests loved him. I believe he still holds the record for guest compliments at City Hall.

  12. #12

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    I hired into Tomorrowland Attractions in 1983. At the time it was divided into (a) Tomorrowland (excluding Monorail until later), (b) Fantasyland, (c ) Main St. Attractions/Parking Lot (excluding Steam Trains until later), (d) Adventure/Frontierland, (e) New Orleans Square/Bear Country.

    At the time, I remember hearing that NO/BC was a favorite area to work. Tomorrowland was considered good, too, and I actually liked working there a lot.

    People really liked the Parking Lot, which was included in the Main St. Attractions area. "Bs" often chose it as their summer schedule.

    Adventure/Frontierland was limited for women, but they were already working in the area, at least, in the early 80s when I hired in. They worked mostly Tiki/Swiss, Shooting Gallery and Thunder. The guys worked JC and Twain/Columbia, as well. A lot of guys would talk about getting "stuck" on JC for long periods of time, and I think working JC depended on the CM. Some really got into it, some did so because that was their job. Others didn't really like it all that much. For various reasons.

    Women were a presence on the Westside though fairly early on. Bear Band, Mansion, Pirates, Thunder….

    The "narrations" thing didn't come until after I left when they did a lot of shifting of areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by amyuilani View Post
    Years and years ago, Westside Attractions was one department, and it was almost all men. You started on the Jungle Cruise, worked your way around the area, and the ultimate attraction to work your way up to was Big Thunder Mountain. Then in the late 80s/early 90s, the department became more integrated, women started training on the West side, and individual units were born. Narrations included Jungle, Tiki, Storybook, Circlevision, and I think Lincoln. The River was its own unit (with Splash too I think), and Pirates/Mansion was another. Other than the Routes in Fantasyland (mini-groups of the small dark rides), I don't remember how the East side broke down. Parking Lot was its own department, and Main Street vehicles and trains were their own group.

    Anyway, when people talk about not liking Jungle Cruise, it may not be because it's a difficult attraction to work on. It may because of the mentality that they put in their time there and they have enough seniority to move on. When the departments shifted, Scheduling moved people as needed, and it didn't matter what your seniority was anymore.



    Absolutely you should do it! The Jungle Cruise skipper is in a unique role because he is in the front of the boat, and he is actually putting on the show. If you enhance that experience, you are going above and beyond, and the guests will love you!

    There was (is?) a Cast Member named Maynard Smith, and he was famous for getting into character on Jungle and Mansion. We as CMs used to have difficulty working with him at times (we needed him to stop being a cartoon character for 5 minutes and get serious about something, and he didn't always care to), but guests loved him. I believe he still holds the record for guest compliments at City Hall.

  13. #13

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    Quote Originally Posted by amyuilani View Post
    There was (is?) a Cast Member named Maynard Smith, and he was famous for getting into character on Jungle and Mansion. We as CMs used to have difficulty working with him at times (we needed him to stop being a cartoon character for 5 minutes and get serious about something, and he didn't always care to), but guests loved him. I believe he still holds the record for guest compliments at City Hall.
    Is. He was working the Tiki Room a few weeks back when I visited with my family.

  14. #14

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    Maynard gives a fabulous guest show. I don't know what he's like to work with, but he's absolutely a delight with the guests .

  15. #15

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    Re: Does Disney hire specifically to do Jungle Cruise, or do you start somewhere else

    I've met Maynard a few times, and he's always made the visit extra special.

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