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  1. #1

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    Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Has the Jungle Cruise spiel always been the cynical, someone stale yuk fest it is today? Or was there a point where they were seriously pointing out the animals and plant life, etc. If the latter is, true, when did it become funny?
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  2. #2

    • Destroyer of Mallcore
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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    From what I have read , it wasn't funny in the beginning until a skipper or two started doing improv and it was such a hit, it sticked.

    Now, I'll turn that little mouse's dream into a nightmare Fantasmic!

  3. #3

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Opened 1955 and was serious... matter of fact style with one corny joke. You can hear the original spiel in the Main Street Music shop on the "Make a CD machine". It was based on The African Queen. Harper Geoff is the one who convinced Walt it would work and convey the sense of Walt's "True Life Adventure" series.

    The "official" story per the Walk in Walt's tour is that Walt was standing by the exit of the JC when he overheard a conversation. 2 women were walking past, one wanted to go on, the other said "It's boring and I been on it before..." That bothered Walt so much that he assigned Marc Davis to breathe new life into the ride. Major rehab in 63 added the Gorillas, the famous Rhino pole scene and the jokes, second rehab in 72 added the Elephant pool and again lightened the mood. (those were the dates given so please do not hold me 100% on them) In fact if you look you'll notice the elephants are smiling. Other additions like the attacking natives were actually an inspiration from Walt's grandkids. Again that is the official take.

    During the 50th I had the privilege to meet several of the original Skips... according to them it became funny in 56, because everyone got tired of the monotone script.

    As to the boat trip, sorry if it wasn't up to your standards. Jungle, and the park as a whole, have a huge turnover rate so there isn't a lot of experience there anymore. Upon request, or if the ride broke and I was stuck out there, I usually gave the original spiel as well as various facts. I took one of Walt's comments to heart. He believed that the Jungle should be real and it's Skippers the keepers of the animals... they should know everything they possibly could about every animal out there.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Couple quick facts to toss in. Harper Geoff loved the J.C. so much it was requested that his window of honor be across from us. Says Banjo lessons because he played it, on Main Street, I believe he was part of one of the original bands not 100%

    Rhino is the same Rhino that used to charge at the boats in 55. Sometimes it would get stuck and actually charge at the boat butt first!

    Opening Day JC had the longest line, mainly because of the Walt Disney Specials focusing public attention on the attraction. It was the most popular ride in 55 (actual statistic given by City Hall).

    The Eucalyptus trees you see in the Hippo Pool are the origional windbreak for the orange orchard, also the reason Adventureland is where it is today. It was supposed to be where Tomorrowland is but Walt didn't want to waste those trees.

    The giant palm tree at the end of the boathouse is known as the Dominguz Palm. Given to the Dominguz family as a gift. They had to shrink the boathouse so as not to disturb the tree. If you go upstairs you realize how big it is, and how close they built to it (6in). As part of the land sale Disney has to keep the tree on property. Also the old ranchouse is backstage being used as Circle D headquarters.

    Jungle Skip scored in the top 5 (#2 or #3 I think), tied with VIP host, as most wanted position in the park. O.C. Register poll for the 50th
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  5. #5

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Opened 1955 and was serious... matter of fact style with one corny joke. You can hear the original spiel in the Main Street Music shop on the "Make a CD machine". It was based on The African Queen. Harper Geoff is the one who convinced Walt it would work and convey the sense of Walt's "True Life Adventure" series.

    The "official" story per the Walk in Walt's tour is that Walt was standing by the exit of the JC when he overheard a conversation. 2 women were walking past, one wanted to go on, the other said "It's boring and I been on it before..." That bothered Walt so much that he assigned Marc Davis to breathe new life into the ride. Major rehab in 63 added the Gorillas, the famous Rhino pole scene and the jokes, second rehab in 72 added the Elephant pool and again lightened the mood. (those were the dates given so please do not hold me 100% on them) In fact if you look you'll notice the elephants are smiling. Other additions like the attacking natives were actually an inspiration from Walt's grandkids. Again that is the official take.

    During the 50th I had the privilege to meet several of the original Skips... according to them it became funny in 56, because everyone got tired of the monotone script.

    As to the boat trip, sorry if it wasn't up to your standards. Jungle, and the park as a whole, have a huge turnover rate so there isn't a lot of experience there anymore. Upon request, or if the ride broke and I was stuck out there, I usually gave the original spiel as well as various facts. I took one of Walt's comments to heart. He believed that the Jungle should be real and it's Skippers the keepers of the animals... they should know everything they possibly could about every animal out there.
    Thanks for the info. In response to the bolded comment, it isn't really the skips, though every once in a while I get a pretty bad one. It's how similar each skipper's spiel is to the next. It seems to me that up until recently there was more retention in the JC and thus people got to know their roles really well. Has that changed recently? If so, it's a shame, because it is one of my favorite attractions and one worthy of having experienced CMs. My friend was, a believe a five year veteran or more before he was terminated.
    The Right Honorable Count Boogie Bonz of Random, at your service.

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  6. #6

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    I love the JC but my kids say it is better in the daytime. I agree. Anyone else?

  7. #7

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Nighttime simply for Fantasmic! jokes at the backside of water.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Quote Originally Posted by lou_mom View Post
    I love the JC but my kids say it is better in the daytime. I agree. Anyone else?
    I prefer the nighttime version better.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    As previously stated, turnover is a huge problem. JC is a "beginner" ride so it has the new hires, and possibly a few old vets. Before it would have been at least 6 months before someone was cross trained... now it is more like 2 months... and because some attractions are higher on the priority list they pull the crew right out of Jungle. The "unique" spiel is something that is learned over time. Some of the older ones had several that we could switch to at will. Usually a pocket SOP one for managers and then variations for different crews. But that takes time, and new Skips don't have that exposure or luxary anymore.

    Now Day or Night... depends on the crew. If you are talking purely looks then I would say night because of the new lighting effects. Also if you have a savy Skip they can play with the ext lights and really show you just how dark it can get.

    As to your friend, PM me the name... I might have known him.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Opened 1955 and was serious... matter of fact style with one corny joke. You can hear the original spiel in the Main Street Music shop on the "Make a CD machine".
    Unfortunately, the make a cd machines are no longer there.

    The "serious" jungle cruise script (at least partially) was
    featured on one older Wonderful World of Disney tv show.
    (I'm not sure when it was originally broadcast). The script
    of the original Jungle Cruise was more boring than Mutual of
    Omaha's Wild Kingdom (tv show).

  11. #11

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Rhino is the same Rhino that used to charge at the boats in 55. Sometimes it would get stuck and actually charge at the boat butt first!

    The Eucalyptus trees you see in the Hippo Pool are the origional windbreak for the orange orchard, also the reason Adventureland is where it is today. It was supposed to be where Tomorrowland is but Walt didn't want to waste those trees.

    The giant palm tree at the end of the boathouse is known as the Dominguz Palm. Given to the Dominguz family as a gift. They had to shrink the boathouse so as not to disturb the tree. If you go upstairs you realize how big it is, and how close they built to it (6in). As part of the land sale Disney has to keep the tree on property. Also the old ranchouse is backstage being used as Circle D headquarters.
    The Rhino used to charge the boat? Where was that located at?

    The story I have heard (several times) is that trees that were to
    be removed from the future DL site were marked with a green x,
    and the trees to remain were marked with a red x. Unfortunately,
    the person who removed the trees was color blind, and removed
    the red x trees. So Walt had to change the location of Adventureland
    and the Jungle Cruise from the east side, to the west side.

    Oh, Steve Martin mentions the tree removal story in the 50th
    movie with Donald Duck, too.

  12. #12

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    The script of the original Jungle Cruise was more boring than Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (tv show).
    WHAT?!? How can you say that? I loved Wild Kingdom - that Marlin Perkins was great...

    (Usually he made his assistant Jim do the tough stuff, but you never saw anyone move so fast as the one time a rhino took two steps in Marlin's direction!)

    "You know folks, the Ring-Tailed Coatimundi doesn't need life insurance, but you and your family need the protection that Mutual of Omaha can provide..."

    My JC spiel was inspired by him (and every lame pun from the '70s and '80s).

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyQuest View Post
    WHAT?!? How can you say that? I loved Wild Kingdom - that Marlin Perkins was great...

    (Usually he made his assistant Jim do the tough stuff, but you never saw anyone move so fast as the one time a rhino took two steps in Marlin's direction!)

    "You know folks, the Ring-Tailed Coatimundi doesn't need life insurance, but you and your family need the protection that Mutual of Omaha can provide..."

    My JC spiel was inspired by him (and every lame pun from the '70s and '80s).

    - Johnny
    In today's world of so-called reality TV with it's cheap production values and in your-face 'humor', people just don't realize that Marlin Perkins was a comic genius.

  14. #14

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    The Rhino used to charge the boat? Where was that located at?

    The story I have heard (several times) is that trees that were to
    be removed from the future DL site were marked with a green x,
    and the trees to remain were marked with a red x. Unfortunately,
    the person who removed the trees was color blind, and removed
    the red x trees. So Walt had to change the location of Adventureland
    and the Jungle Cruise from the east side, to the west side.

    Oh, Steve Martin mentions the tree removal story in the 50th
    movie with Donald Duck, too.
    I am not sure of the specifics but when it first opened the Rhino would charge through the brush at you. I've never seen a picture or any footage but I was told it was pretty impressive. The tree removal story is true, but the windbreak was the determining factor in Adventureland's placement.

    Couple more facts
    Before the park opened they had to un-plant some of the Jungle. Without realizing it they planted the majority of the green stuff for THE PARK in THE JUNGLE... so there was a bit of a scramble. I do not remember the name of the lady in charge of landscape arch but I got to meet her once. She was right out of college (2 months I think she said) and Walt hired her. When she asked what to plant at Jungle he said "I really don' care... make it green"

    The actual man in charge of horticulture was a guy named "Bill" Evans. Starting in 54 he traveled around the world. Customs was a little more lax back then, he smuggled in seeds and cuttings. He actually sewed seeds inside the cuffs of his shirts and pants. So... that is how the Jungle became "exotic". (actually stated in Walk in Walt's)

    The "vines" everyone commented about on opening day were actually walnut trees planted up-side-down allowing their roots to spread out. There are still 2 left in the temple scene.

    When it opened the "hut" had real animals in cages. They were removed because people thought the real animals were fake and the fake animals were real.

    Back to the original point of this thread, there are multiple options for every scene on the river. Newbies tend to pick the most common/ easiest, and because the Jungle is constantly raided and most of the Skips are brand spanking new... all you hear are the same jokes. They started a joke submission program after the 50th rehab. Imagineering had always written the jokes, then watched in horror as Skips ripped them apart, re-assembled them, and made them twice as funny and nothing like the original written joke. Most of us saw it as a submission/ challenge the "think you can do better... prove it" mentality. They still had red line rights and it had to be run up the chain, with every link having a bigger red marker. Even with the censorship safety net we still DOUBLED the script. Average approval was 1 in 7 I believe. I wonder how thick the dust is on the bottom of that box these days.
    Last edited by techskip; 07-05-2007 at 08:41 PM.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Jungle Cruise Spiel

    O/T I see Animal Planet channel is bringing back the original "Mutual Of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" series.
    ---------------------------------------------


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