The Tokyo Disney Resort just announced a US$16 million reboot of Tokyo Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride, for a fall 2014 debut.From the press release:
The revamped version of the attraction will have new lighting effects and other special show effects. In addition, a specially written musical sound track will be heard throughout the attraction for the first time in any Jungle Cruise. Also, an after-dark only “night cruise” will provide a unique take on the jungle adventure.The new Jungle Cruise will offer Guests an adventure that is even more thrilling than before. From on board the attraction’s boats, Guests will explore jungle landscapes full of wild animals with the help of their daring and comical skipper who guides them through the beauty and dangers of this exotic world. The adventure includes a startling encounter with one of the animal spirit guardians in the ruins of a lost jungle temple.The "night cruise" option reminds me of the wildly popular "Night Safari" at the Singapore Zoo, an attraction that's been copied throughout Asia. But a musical soundtrack? As the press release stated, that is a first for a Jungle Cruise. Tokyo Disney's got a pretty good track record with musical revamps, though. Tokyo DisneySea's 2007 revamp of its Sindbad ride added Alan Menken's "The Compass of Your Heart," which has proven itself one of the top theme park songs in the world.
Of course, this announcement should fuel speculation on whether similar reboots will come to Disney's other Jungle Cruises around the world. The Oriental Land Company — not Disney — might be paying the bills in Tokyo, but they're hiring the same Imagineers who could bring these same plans to Disney's U.S. parks for the (not unsubstantial) cost of installation.
The current version of Jungle Cruise will close in Tokyo on January 6, 2014.