Thursday, October 13, 2011

Disneyland - Jungle Cruise - Unload

If you work Jungle, you will work "Unload."
Sounds like a bad psychology textbook or potty euphemism.
Actually, it is more about hanging out on the end of the dock between boats, waiting for the next one to chug around Trader Sam.
You and a partner have either the front or rear unload position.
I preferred working unload at the rear position, because you could stand along the easternmost edge of the dock on one leg, balancing precariously over the murky Jungle river water.
Just for the heck of it.
You get to tease the incoming skipper and vice versa.
Face it, the skipper has a live microphone, a P.A. system and a captive audience who has just been forced to spend 9-12 minutes with him, puttering through the wild.
You are slightly outgunned.
Still, the banter is usually worth every moment --- with the proper Skipper/Unloader combination.
Both, for instance, must have a sense of humor.
Both must have impeccable timing.
At least one must have incredibly thick skin and/or little sense of personal dignity or outrage (usually, this is the Unloader's role).
Ah.  To be the butt of the joke.
The straight man.
The fall guy.
The one who stands ready to help each guest out...
by the rear...
Of the BOAT that is!
(One of the oldest Jungle lines in the spiel).
We had many routines of skipper-unload interplay:
  • "You'll be helped out of the boat today by the Lee brothers...Ug Lee and Home Lee!  (Ug is on the left)."
  • "And ahead there along the dock are two prime examples of why some animals in the jungle eat their young at birth.  Don't stare, folks!  They might become aggressive and start touching your elbows as you exit!"
  • "Assisting you from the boat today are two of the largest hairless African Albino pygmy gorillas in captivity --- they are on loan to us here from the Zambezi Zoo.  Aren't they adorable?"
  • "Ooh, LOOK!  Boat unloaders!  Two of the most feared animals in the jungle!  You know folks, each of them weighs over 800 pounds!  They can leap over 20 feet! (some of my favorite animals).
  • And ahead, on the dock to our right---two living and extreme examples of why it is SO important for you young folks to stay in school!

You get the picture.  I could go for some "dock abuse" right about now, actually.

Happy Thursday, 101-ers!



Jonathan said...

I loved the unload position! Man we used to have a blast with our Skipper banter. Good times Mike, good times. :-)

Ernest Marsh said...

I'm one of the "four" readers who regularly haunts the jungle here, hoping to catch a sighting of Jungle Mike and his unique brand of humor. Thanks for all you have shared, your posts always brighten my day.

I was wondering, have you come across the Anaheim Animatronic Hippo Conservation Society? If so, I was wondering if you could give your expert opinion on this important issue, and Trader Sam's too, since you know him so well (or at least, you seem to be able to get inside his head at times--hope that hasn't cost you too much, although I hear most people come out ahead in their dealings with him).

Well that's all I wanted to say. Keep posting when the world outside allows you to. Those of us who visit the jungle greatly appreciate it.

Now if you could help me out by the rear, of the boat that is, I'll leave and allow others to post their thoughts here.

Connie Moreno said...


Tim Kulinski said...


How about catching a skipper going back into boat storage when the terrace used to be there, Oh look folks a special treat, the allusive black footed Rock hopper, and it is a female! (when it was a guy!)

Once while I was working Unload I decided to hid in the big storage box at unload (used to store our backpacks and such in there). Well when a boat would come in my buddy would try to coax me out of the box like I was some sort of wild animal. Fun times, oh how I miss the Jungle!

Mike said...

Jonathan: You KNOW what I'm talking about here! Those were great times!

Ernest Marsh: Love your railroad! Thanks for the kind words and no, I had not bumped into anyone from the AAHCS, but their PSA on their website moved me almost to tears---almost. Thanks for being one of "the 4." It's kinda like being one of "the 99" over at Occupy Main Street (a grass-roots movement fostered by Jungle is 101 and dedicated to bringing attention to corporate greed, $7.00 corn dogs and out of control spending on plush toys).

Connie: Thanks for being one of "the 4." You know you are welcome in this boat anytime!


Blackfooted rockhoppers were amazing creatures. Sadly their numbers dropped precipitously when the path to the back area was revamped to take out those precious rocks and replace them with a paved trail the includes a safety railing. No more high-top Red Wing shoes either. Sigh.

Love all you guys!!

JG said...

Too funny.

On our last trip, I think we had the worst skipper ever. He couldn't stand up straight or evenspeak clearly. I remember thinking that he must have had no idea that he had the best job on earth right then, because he did not seem to care at all.

But the second ride, the young lady skipper (first ever for me) was great. My faith was restored.