Jungle River Cruise: Hong Kong Disneyland
This is a spec project I completed while at WDI with another Imagineer to explore possible refresh concepts for the Jungle River Cruise in Hong Kong Disneyland.
1. Jungle Book Cruise. A sail through the Jungle Book, following Bagheera and Baloo around Kaa's tree and Louie's temple, culminating in a chase from Shere-Kan and returning to Mowgli's village.
2. The Society of Adventurers and Explorers. An S.E.A. expedition to prove the existence of the mythical adarna bird. The exciting adventure reveals the bird's elusive hiding place, but we, the explorers, decide to keep its secret.
3. Jungle Cruise, Explorer's Voyage. A self-guided journey to explore and solve the mysteries of the jungle, like cracking codes and finding treasure, using clues left behind by other explorers.
Jungle Book Cruise
Set sail from Mowgli's village into the jungle and watch the timeless adventure unfold. Bagheera prowls just ahead of the boat, guiding guests along the placid river, past Kaa's tree, through King Louie's temple, and alongside the happily drifting Baloo. The mood becomes ominous as the fierce jungle predator, Shere-Khan, stalks the boat through the reeds, eventually setting off in a full-on chase. Finally, guests watch Mowgli scare off the tiger and return to the Man-village, coming full circle, before disembarking back out into Adventureland.
The Society of Explorers and Adventurers
No one ever imagined there might be an undiscovered creature in the jungles of Adventureland. But now, a sighting of the mythical adarna bird has sparked a surge of commotion and media publicity in the jungle. The Society of Explorers and Adventurers, never ones to miss something so exciting, are determined to discover the truth. Taking volunteers for their expedition, they guide boats of guests through the jungle over a crackly old intercom, venturing through the innermost tangles of the rainforest. Guests see incredible sights, but no adarna bird, until...a falling tree nearly crashes into the boat, forcing them off the course and down a rocky, dangerous offshoot. The boat careens through an opening in a rock wall and into a cave and then suddenly...the boat emerges into a secret sanctuary: a sparkling pool draped with emerald trees, dappled sunlight, and absolutely filled with hundreds of the mythical adarna birds! As the boat glides through the spectacular scene, an awestruck voice from a member of the S.E.A. comes over the intercom: "You know...I think there are some secrets that are meant to stay secret."
The boat pulls back into the dock amid the flurry of anxious reporters, all clamoring to know whether the bird has been found. "Not this time," says the S.E.A. Explorer over the intercom, with a smile in their voice. "We'll just have to keep adventuring."
Jungle Cruise: Explorer's Voyage
In the spirit of the classic Jungle Cruise voyage, it's time to set out into the wild. But this is an adventure like you've never seen before.
There are mysteries lurking in the undiscovered places of the jungle, unsolved mysteries and forgotten legends, blank spots on the map...and it's up to guests to fill them in. A base camp has been established in Adventureland for willing explorers to gear up and set out on a river cruise to uncover the jungle’s secrets. Brave souls queuing up can gather supplies while they wait in line, like compasses, maps and binoculars.
In this new twist, playing on the framework of Adventureland Trading Company with the self-led discovery aspect of Tom Sawyer’s Island, the river boats stop at various drop-off points throughout the jungle, allowing guests to disembark and explore on their own! Each stop is a different destination with unique adventures: the jungle canopy, the hippo pool, forest floor, waterfall, hidden temple, and many more.
Once guests disembark from the boat at one of the drop-off locations, everything is brand new and undiscovered. With an engaging set periodically refreshed by cast members, guests can find new lookouts to climb or hidden tunnels to explore. There might be secret symbols carved into the trees or parrots squawking coded messages. Puzzles to solve and scavenger hunts to search. Who has been here before? What did they find? What did they hide? And what will you leave behind? All these are mysteries for brave guests to solve along the way.
After guests have explored as much as they want, they come back to the drop-off point and wait to hop on the next boat (almost like you would a bus loop), either to sail peacefully through the rest of the scenery or head off to the next destination drop-off point.
When they return to the base camp, guests share their findings, showcasing found relics and telling tales of the wonders they’ve found in a fun and visual way. Each returning explorer feels a belonging to a kind of community of other adventurers. With their accumulated knowledge and discoveries, connections are bound to be forged, questions answered and new ones asked. There will always be reason to return, new lands to discover, and more adventures to find!