Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Disneyland - Jungle Cruise - Aladdin Hijack - An Addition To The Lore

There's a tale---true I tell you---of a Jungle skipper in the not too distant past whose last day came to pass (at least with respect to his Disney employment).

He left the employ of this great company in a style so uniquely "Jungle," that I felt obliged to share it with you.

His exit---quite literally by the way---involves the recently departed Aladdin show (whose back stage entrance shared the narrow "break area" where Jungle Skippers lounged and/or clocked in or out for their shifts).
In the show, the "Cave of Wonders" (depicted above) played a role, as did a certain old lamp.
From the lamp, of course, appeared the Genie, who added comic relief to the show. Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie had prominent roles in front of a small audience seated quite near the stage area. This photograph shows you what I mean. seems our Jungle Skipper hatched a plan for his final departure. He enlisted an accomplice to videotape his exploits and stationed the accomplice in the Aladdin show's audience.

I have not seen the tape, but the legend goes that, during the show, and to the complete shock and surprise of its leading stars, the Skipper burst from the mouth of the Cave of Wonders, grabbed the Genie's lamp, held it aloft and loudly announced to the audience:

"This piece belongs in a museum!" (ala Indiana Jones).

The Skipper then dashed toward the exit, holding high the lamp, and burst from the scene---to the continued shock of our Aladdin show cast members. [By the way, the cast apparently failed to ad lib or go along with this interruption and were later, according to legend, reprimanded by Disney for failing to play along].

Not sure where the Skipper went after that, but word is that the lamp he purloined from the Aladdin show was long kept as a prop (and trophy) in the Jungle office show scene located on the second-story of the Jungle Cruise queue. It wasn't there at last check, but something tells me it is still safely in the hands of our friends over at Jungle.

History will note that the Jungle Cruise has outlasted the Aladdin show (at least the one that took place at Aladdin's Oasis).

I will lay odds that Jungle will soon outlast Aladdin's Oasis, too.

So put that in your lamp and smoke it.


Renee said...

LOL! A monkey wrench from a member of the Jungle crew! How funny!

Yellows said...

What a way to go! Reminds me of one Outdoor Vending CM's last day. It happened during a closing balloon shift on Main Street during summer 1985. Guests go crazy when they realize that the Park is closing soon and they're running out of souvenir buying opportunities. When a new bunch of balloons appears from backstage, a crowd forms almost immediately, following the balloon room CM as he or she comes out of the stage door near the Mad Hatter over to the vendor's position in Town Square. Only the vendor can take cash, so the balloon room CM just leads the little throng of guests across Main Street.

Well, this particular balloon room CM had decided to make this particular night her last. She brought out a fresh new bunch of fifty balloons, picked up a line of guests, and led them along.

When she reached the vendor, they smiled at each other. She opened her hand. Fifty balloons went floating away.

Ah, memories.

Ryan P. Wilson said...

Poor Genie. It may have only been an itty-bitty living space, but now he's homeless!

Caroline said...

What I would have paid to be in the audience when this happened! I would have died laughing.

I really wish that the video could be found ... that would be priceless.

Cora said...

Brilliant!! :-)

I sooo wish I'd been there to see that! (Poor non-adlibbing Aladdin and Co. - slapped on the hand and everything. Aww)

If the tape ever surfaces (perhaps it's in a museum too?) please, please share it here. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Hey, Mike--
You trained in June '87, right? I'm pretty sure we knew each other.

Who trained you on BTMRR? If it was Paul Collier, I think we trained together.

Great blog. Drop a line sometime. You can get me through facebook.

Unknown said...

Actually, you'll reach me better simply by clicking on my name above and then e-mailing me from my blogger profile.


Unknown said...

I actually have seen the video. It was Indiana Jones that crashed the show and stole the lamp, not a Jungle Skip. Highly entertaining, tho!

SpenceMan01 said...

It was a Skipper dressed as Indy. The video was played for us during a private banquet in April 2010 for which the entertainment was Skipper Standup (I believe said skipper performed for us, too).

Probably the funniest part was how shocked the Aladdin cast was and the looks on their faces as they stood there in utter amazement that such a thing would happen.

Mike said...

Recall that, for a time, Jungle Skippers wore the Indy costume. It is an absolute fact that a Jungle Skipper claimed Aladdin's lamp as a "museum" piece. Also, in the new era of "cross-training," many folks who worked Jungle also worked Indy and had access to the Indy costume. Back in the 1980s, we were assigned to an area and were trained on several attractions. I worked Jungle, Tiki, Treehouse, Mark Twain, Big Thunder and the Shootin' Arcade, for example. Today, it is much more involved to get trained on so many attractions. Moreover, the Disneyland Railroad has become a cross-training position within Attractions/Operations that many cast members find worthwhile.

Thanks, SpenceMan01, for sharing your thoughts on the video!


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if anyone posted a link yet to the video. It's at the very end.