Friday, February 26, 2010

Disneyland - Jungle Cruise - 1980s - "Last Day Dip"

It is a tradition lost to the ravages of time: launching a Skipper into the river on his last day on Jungle.

Our thanks to Ed Cunningham, fearless skipper of the early 80s---and (thankfully) someone who bothered to document the antics (and keep the photos). Ed originally posted these pics of what was no doubt his last day on Jungle (even then, Management was not keen on Cast Members swimming in attractions during Park hours).


The initial push into the river by a fellow cast member was clearly quite effective, as the victim made it all the way across to the catwalk!

Alas, this grand tradition is no longer in favor at modern Disneyland (ahem, "The Disneyland Resort"). This is probably for the best. We've heard tell that Ed suffered from the dreaded "Jungle River Slimepox" on and off for over 27 years after hitting the river. Yeeewwww.

By the way, I do not think I will ever tire of seeing photos of the Jungle boats with their striped canopies or the Skipper costumes with the leopard print hat bands.

These photographs also help to answer the time honored guest question: "How deep is the water?"

In the middle photograph, our victim has resurfaced and is standing on the mucky bottom, with his head and shoulders out of the water.

It's that deep.

For now, my friends, stay well, keep dry and remember, as Trader Sam used to tell me often: "There's no known cure for Slimepox."

So when next you cruise the Jungle, STAY IN THE BOAT!

---Mike

1 comment:

James Sirks said...

There were actually quite a few different antics that might be played on a cast member's last day. They couldn't hardly fire you, as Disney's policy was to first give you a verbal warning, then a written warning, and then the boot. I saw guys riding bull elephants, dancing with the natives, petting lions, riding various animals in the veldt, taking showers in Schweitzer's Falls, and even jumping out of the boat in the hippo pool to wrestle a hippo with a rubber knife! Of course, the prank that takes the cake is the legend (I can't confirm it, but it was passed on from skipper to skipper as gospel truth!) of the skipper who blew away two fiberglass hippos with real ammo on his last day. After that episode, the .38 cal Smith & Wesson M & P's (yes, real pistols) were fitted with sleeves in their chambers so that only custom made blank bullets would fit. While I can't confirm that real ammo was ever used on the Jungle Cruise, the guns that we used WERE modified with sleeves in the chamber so that live ammo couldn't be loaded.