EW breaks down each new scene in the refurbished Disneyland ride.

By Joey Nolfi
July 13, 2021 at 12:36 PM EDT
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If you think Disneyland's Jungle Cruise revamp isn't a slam dunk, you're in denial.

Earlier this year, Disney Parks announced plans to alter various scenes in the classic attraction to remove select cultural depictions in an effort to better "reflect and value the diversity of the world around us." Now, the refurbished boat ride will welcome riders once again when it reopens this Friday (one day shy of the 1955 attraction's 65th birthday), with a new story line involving a band of explorers — including a birdwatcher, an entomologist, a wildlife painter, and a photographer — venturing into the ominous foliage as a pesky group of primates punctuates their journey with adorable hijinks.

Before the grand unveiling — and the July 30 release of the Dwayne Johnson-Emily Blunt movie based on the ride — take a look at EW's breakdown of all the changes you can expect to see while floating past the backside of water once again.

Glowing cobra orb

Things get off to a striking start as the new Jungle Cruise tour begins; The spot previously occupied by tribal ruins now contains a large cobra holding a glowing orb — complete with a new skipper joke: "A lot of people say it's pretty heavy; I say it's pretty light."

Jungle Cruise reopens
Disneyland adds a glowing cobra to the new Jungle Cruise ride.
| Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

Barrel of monkeys

Next on the journey, riders will notice a bright new paint job on a few floating barrels just outside a classic scene that shows a band of primates rummaging through an abandoned campsite. This time, however, a revolver in one of the gorilla's hands fires a few rounds, with sound effects and splashes of water simulating a bullet cutting through the surface.

Pole position

In one of many attempts to remove insensitive depictions from the classic ride, Disney Imagineers revamped a controversial scene that previously saw a group of men — all people of color — being driven up a tree. The set now includes animatronic figures representing a diverse collective of explorers, including two women and others of different cultural backgrounds.

Jungle Cruise reopens
The 'Jungle Cruise' rhinoceros scene has been revised to add a diverse group of explorers.
| Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

Hungry, hungry hippos

A placid scene where riders pass through a watery alcove populated by a family of hippos received a slightly more menacing makeover with the addition of wreckage from another Jungle Cruise boat. One of the mammals even lunges at the sinking vessel, suggesting a similar fate is in store for park guests.

Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride reopens
Hungry hippos sink a boat in Disneyland's new 'Jungle Cruise' refurbishment.
| Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Trimming the tribal ceremony

Another notable omission in the refurbished Jungle Cruise ride is a scene that shows a tribal ceremony involving a cultural dance. Instead of passing through a village populated by indigenous people, riders now float by a sinking boat overrun by curious chimps. Die-hard Disney fans will recognize the name of the ship, the Mekong Maiden, as the name of one of Jungle Cruise's original boats that was decommissioned in 1997.

Jungle Cruise reopens
New 'Jungle Cruise' opening date set for July 16 at Disneyland.
| Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

Attack of the butterflies

Immediately after the tribal dance scene, another segment saw travelers being attacked by tribal defenders. The action sequence now features another family of chimps ransacking items from the explorers' boats while swatting away a swarm of colorful butterflies.

Jungle Cruise reopens
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

Trader Sam's club transformation

The Jungle Cruise finale was as popular as it was problematic; riders exited the canal as a salesman, nicknamed Trader Sam, tempted them with memorabilia commemorating their visit to the exotic locale. Now, in his absence, primates have, once again, overrun a jungle gift shop in a fitting conclusion to the refurbished attraction's new story line.

Jungle Cruise reopens
Credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride officially reopens to the public on Friday, while the big-screen adaptation of the beloved attraction hits theaters and the Disney+ streaming service on July 30.

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