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"Look at the Sleeping Zebra"
The Jungle Cruise is an opening day attraction for both Disney World and Disneyland. There are only small variation type differences between Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. Both cruises are set in the 1930's at a British outpost. While in the que visitors see advertisements and supplies one would expect the "Jungle Navigation Co." to use. Guests here music and news from Albert Awol, as they wind there way through the queue.
Guests board Tramp Steamers and then with a cast member for their skipper the cruise sails through exotic, animal populated scences; a lions den, elephants playing in waterfalls, hippos with wiggly ears, rhinos chasing men up a totem pole. The skipper tells stories and corny jokes related to each scene.
Since Disneyland construction was completed in only 1 year, foliage for the Jungle cruise was the first thing to go in so it could have one growing season to mature. Walt would have loved to have live animals but this just wasn't possible, so as you travel through the rivers of Asia, Africa, and South America you instead see Audio-Animatronic animals (this is why some say the safari in Animal Kingdom goes right along with Walt's original Jungle Cruise idea). Skippers, by the way, do have a recommended script to follow, but do ad-lib in their own jokes.
Jungle Cruise boats at Walt Disney World have axles and wheels on the bottom that are in a guide trough, so no steering is required, but most skippers spin the wheel for show. Skippers control the speed and direction (forward and reverse) of the boat. The water is anywhere from 3 to 8 feet deep; and the water is died brown so Guests cannot see the bottom (which would of course ruin the illusion).
There are 15 steamers at the Magic Kingdom, but only 10 can be on the water at a time. Here are their adventurous names: Amazon Annie, Bomokandi Bertha, Congo Connie, Ganges Gertie, Irrawaddy Irma, Mongala Millie, Nile Nellie, Orinoco Ida, Rutshuru Ruby, Sankuru Sadie, Senegal Sal, Ucyali Lolly, Volta Val, Wamba Wanda, Zambesi Zelda.