At about 10:20 pm Saturday November 1st posts started showing up on Facebook with titles like, “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train On Fire!” Grumpy was skeptical at first but the reports kept coming in. Grumpy was skeptical because most of the posts used the same grainy picture showing something on fire. The main picture being passed around was very unclear as you can see below. Turns out this was not an internet hoax, however. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train really was on fire.
First, and most importantly, no guests were injured. The ride was quickly evacuated. The fire reportedly resulted from embers from the fireworks. Those embers caused some of the decorative grasses on the exterior of the ride to catch fire.
There was also no structural damage. The Reedy Creek Fire Department quickly had the fire subdued. In fact the ride reopened later that evening.
Certain areas of Fantasyland were also closed off to make room for the fire department. Here is a better picture of the fire.
Ever wanted to take a cruise on some of the worlds most famous and dangerous rivers? Then the Jungle Cruise might be for you. It is a ten minute expedition through four exotic rivers. There are plenty of dangerous animals and a few dangerous humans. Fortunately both the animals and the humans are the audio-animatronic variety.
The Jungle Cruise opened on October 1st, 1971, the same day the Magic Kingdom opened to the world. It was based on the Jungle Cruise attraction at Disneyland and the two are similar but not identical.
The Disneyland ride was inspired by the Walt Disney produced True Life Adventures and the movie The African Queen. Originally Walt had wanted to use live animals. That idea was scrapped when he realized the animals would not stay where he wanted them to be.
The Disneyland original also lacked the humor of both the current Magic Kingdom and Disneyland attractions. The Jungle Cruise was meant to be a realistic look at the jungles of the world. In 1962 the comedy was added to the spiel at Disneyland. When the ride opened in 1971 at the Magic Kingdom it mimicked the comedic Disneyland spiel.
This ride is set in the 1930’s at a British river outpost. The outpost is operated by the fictional Jungle Navigation Co. As guests enter the queue they can hear broadcasts by Albert Awol.
Guests are invited to take a cruise with the Jungle Navigation Co. The trip is made in one of fifteen boats (only a maximum of ten are in operation at any given time.)
The Jungle Cruise
Guests enter the Jungle Navigation Co outpost. The queue is filled with items that would be present in a typical outpost of the era. Some, however, have a humorous touch like the chalk board listing missing persons with names like Ilene Dover. The queue winds around a lot so sometimes the wait time can be deceptively long. The queue is covered but outside which means in the summer it can be a very hot wait.
Once the wait is over guests board tramp steamers for the actual cruise. The cruise features four rivers on four continents. While there is some great scenery and impressive animatronics it is the skipper (a real person) or your boat who can really make or break the trip. The skippers tell corny jokes throughout the ride and his or her enthusiasm (or lack thereof) really makes the difference.
The first river is the Amazon and is a very short section of the ride.
Next travelers enter the Congo. There are three scenes, the pygmies, a snake and the gorilla camp.
The Nile is next and is by the far the longest section of the ride. There are multiple scenes here but the best are the totem pole scene and the head hunters. Elephants and rhinos will threaten to boat from the river.
The final section features the Mekong River in Asia. There are three scenes. The scariest is the temple scene. The scariest part about the temple is it is dark but nothing too scary other than that. The Mekong also feature the elephant bathing pool. This is probably the cutest scene.
All in all the ride lasts about 10 minutes.
In 2013 the Jingle Cruise was introduced. The boats get a holiday makeover, really only Christmas lights and a new name. Seasonal items are also added to the queue area. Skippers don a Santa hat and there is a holiday tone added to the script. Very few of the scenes have any change and they are very minor.
There are not height or health restrictions for the Jungle Cruise. Guests in wheelchairs and ECVs do not have to transfer but they do have to wait for one of two specially equipped boats, Bomokandi Bertha and Wamba Wanda.
Did You Know
The jungle boats used to be kept looking pristine and new but now are painted to look old and used?
While the skipper can control the speed and direction of movement the boats are actually on tracks?
Special dyes are added to the water to give it the right color. The coloring not only makes the river look authentic it also hides the boat track as well as the underwater mechanics of the audio-animatronics?
In the head hunter scene the salesman is referred to as Trader Sam or Chief Name? (Pronounced like naa-may.) Legend has it when the ride was about to open the chief had not yet been given a name. A cast member rehearsing for the ride thought the place holder “Name” was an exotic native name and pronounced it Naa-May and it stuck. Since then most have taken to calling him Trader Sam like his Disneyland counterpart.
This is certainly a great ride. Grumpy will do it at least once every trip. While it might seem like a great idea to do it at night Grumpy has found it is not that exciting. Most scenes are hard to see.
The animatronics and the vegetation are great but if you don’t have a good skipper the ride is dated. A lively skipper (who might even vary off script) makes the ride a lot better.
What is too young for Disney? Opinions vary. Some people say wait till their older. Some people take their children as infants. Of course the answer that might be right for one family could be wrong for yours. Therefore there are no hard, fast rules but Grumpy has some things for you to consider…
If you love baseball and food that goes with it Casey’s Corner at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom might be the place for you. Casey’s Corner is located conveniently on Mainstreet where a road opens up to lead you to Adventureland. It is the last building on the left (if you are walking down Mainstreet towards Cinderella’s Castle.) There is a piano on the sidewalk next to the building. Continue reading Casey’s Corner→
With four theme parks to choose from maybe Walt Disney World has too many options. Each park is certainly worth visiting but if you have limited time Which Park Should You Visit?
This short quiz is NOT the way to decide where you will spend your vacation time and dollars but it might give you a better idea. And Grumpy hopes you have fun taking it! Be sure to share your results.
Disney World is not an amusement park. It is a theme park. Amusement parks have rides. Theme parks have rides but they also have stories to tell. Disney tells a story with every ride but they also use a lot of shows. This is Grumpy’s list of the Top Ten Disney World Shows. Continue reading Top Ten Disney World Shows→
After careful research (meaning I just completely made it all up) I have come to the scientific conclusion there are seven stages of Disney planning. Each stage can be characterized by one of the seven dwarfs from Disney’s classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. For that reason I call my approach the Disney Planning Seven Dwarfs Style.
Did you know there is a talking Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World? Of course you do. He’s in lots of the shows. Unfortunately if you get in line to meet him he suddenly clams up and does not say a word. Or he did. If you know the right place to go you will find Mickey has found his voice and will talk!
Face Characters Vs. Fur Characters
Meeting characters is part of the Disney World experience. In fact it is a very popular part of the visit to Disney World for children and even some adults. The performers who bring the magic Continue reading Talking Mickey Mouse→
There is just something about Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. There are no fancy rides or shows. There is salon and and a restaurant but most people do not take advantage of those. Still everyone is drawn to the Castle…just to see it.
Well I cannot take you to the Magic Kingdom but I can share some great photos of Cinderella’s Castle. These great shots were taken by the Disney Photo Snapper. Be sure to stop by his Facebook page and see some more great shots.