Imagineer Zach Riddley said the ride will stay open during the overhaul of a few scenes, and this seems to be true as Trader Sam has been removed while the ride remains open to guests.
Guests of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World may notice an absent figure from the world famous Jungle Cruise. The Trader Sam animatronic has reportedly been removed from the ride.
Disney has not commented on this particular scene, but they have announced plans to change select scenes on the ride, most notably those that contain negative depictions of natives.
Last month, Attractions Magazine confirmed in an interview with Walt Disney Imagineers Susana Tubert and Kevin Lively that both of the Trader Sam’s bars would not be affected by these changes, at this time.
“As far as Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland Resort and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Walt Disney World Resort, no plans are on the way to update them currently,” Tubert said.
Disney recently announced details for some new backstory elements that will be added to the attraction. They will be centered around Alberta Falls, granddaughter of world-renowned Dr. Albert Falls, as the proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd.
Other announced changes include a re-imagining of the iconic rhino pole scene, featuring new characters, including the ride’s first animatronic skipper, and new scenes featuring chimpanzees, making their debut on the ride for the first time.
According to Imagineer Zach Riddley, the attraction will remain open during these phased updates, which appear to have begun this week. He posted the following on his Instagram just a couple days ago:
You may start to notice some monkey business along the river as work begins on Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom. The good news for all of you visiting Walt Disney World is the attraction will remain open to guests while our teams update scenes in a phased approach over the next several months.
The Jungle Cruise updates are planned for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, and are expected to be completed by the end of the year.