Tales from the Jungle Cruise

The Day O.J. Simpson Visited the Jungle Cruise The following is a true story that happened at Disney’s Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom in 1998 to Skipper Andrew. To set the story up, there are a few things you must know. First of all, it is forbidden for any Disney cast member to approach a celebrity, ask for an autograph, or treat them in any way other than any other park guest. ‘Everyone is a VIP at Disney,’ as the mantra goes. So for a Cast Member to accidentally recognize or acknowledge a celebrity is a potential point...
Read more»

Tales from the Disneyworld Jungle Cruise

Candid stories from a former Disneyworld Jungle Cruise skipper By R.C. Loveland When I was being trained on the Jungle Cruise I learned about a trick the trainers liked to play on their trainees. I was taking a “dead” (empty) trip with my trainer to practice my spiel. He was sitting in the back of the boat and I was, of course, up front. We entered the temple so I sat down and watched the scenery. As I got to the end of the temple I stood up and turned around to get ready to spiel again. When I...
Read more»

Working on the Jungle Cruise in the 1970’s

Terry Speicher: Theme park designer with ITEC Productions and a former Walt Disney World Jungle Cruise Skipper from the opening days of Walt Disney World. Interviewer: Tell us about how you got started at Jungle, and how long you were there. TS: OK. It was a very cold winter in Indiana, around December, 1972. Eastern Airlines was advertising on the Larry Lujack Show out of Chicago, with the slogan, “If You Had Wings,” and all kinds of hype about Disney, ending with clips about Disney World, Mickey Mouse, and warm Florida. I couldn’t resist. I’d had enough of gray...
Read more»

Working on the Jungle Cruise in the 1990’s

JGR: Nathan, welcome! Thanks for being with us! NN: Thanks. JGR: The first thing I have to ask is how did you become one of the few skippers to work two Jungles? NN: Well, the hardest part was getting hired into the college program at Disneyland, where only about 10% of applicants made it in. Actually, I didn’t even make it at first. I got a rejection letter. But I started a letter writing campaign to my recruiter. They offered me the job the day after I gave up hope. And lo and behold, the offer was for what...
Read more»