As far as I’m concerned, the Jungle Cruise is absolutely as much of a show as an attraction to ride! The “spiel” is basically a short comedy routine and just like any form of comedy, it can rise or fall based on the performer.
With multiple Jungle Cruise skippers leading adventures on a daily basis at both Disneyland Park and the Magic Kingdom, you never know who you’re going to get. And I’ve had both great entertaining experiences and poor ones based simply on who’s guiding the boat!
Generally, it’s a combination of good or bad (or really bad!) jokes, the timing of the performer and their engagement with the guests.
There is also the still ongoing preference of male vs. female skippers. Traditionally, for decades, Jungle Cruise skippers were exclusively male. But in recent years, many female skippers have joined their ranks.
While I’m going to fall into the traditional mode of generally preferring male skippers to female skippers (sorry, ladies – it just seems more historically accurate to the era), I’ve had terrific skippers and unsuccessful skippers of either gender.
So ultimately, it still comes down to skill set. Are you funny enough to keep a boat filled with both new and returning guests laughing for the whole cruise or not?
And can you find a good mix of both the classic jokes, the more modern ones and still add something original or uniquely you to the experience? If so, you’re probably a successful skipper, whether a guy or a gal.
By contrast, I’ve actually had a skipper who DID NOT DO THE BACKSIDE OF WATER JOKE. Blasphemy!
I’m sorry, but some things are sacred when it comes to the Jungle Cruise!
Having had a pretty equal mix of good skippers, poor skippers, and those whose sound systems were so muddied I couldn’t tell if they were funny or not so I would just recite some of the most familiar jokes in my own head as we proceeded – the Jungle Cruise is still a very repeatable attraction for me. I always hope to find that one more skipper who will catch me off-guard with a new joke or a variation of a joke I haven’t heard that will keep me chuckling for a while as I make my way through the rest of Adventureland!
Have you had an extremely good skipper aboard the Jungle Cruise? What was the best joke they told?