The Disney franchise has come under fire quite a few times regarding racial depictions of its characters in its movies, rides, and other theme park attractions. In January this year, the corporation announced that they would rethink its Jungle Cruise ride after heavy criticism of the attraction’s racially insensitive stereotypes of Indigenous people.
A day before the ride’s 66th birthday, on July 16, the attraction reopened in Disneyland in California with an updated version and the removal of what Disney called “negative depictions of native people.” The original ride took visitors through jungle scenes with characters who were portrayed as primitive and threatening. Now in its place are figures such as chimpanzees swatting away butterflies and a safari group stuck in a tree.
The additions come as no surprise, the corporation has been under scrutiny regarding the ride for quite some time. The new version also coincides with the upcoming release of the movie Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt on July 28.
According to the press release from Disney, the attraction at Disney World in Florida will also be completed this summer. This is one step the parks in the US are taking towards making sure they remain not only relevant but also reflect diversity and culturally sensitivity.