Jungle Cruise

The Jungle Cruise is a classic favorite at Walt Disney World. Guests board canopied steamer boats for a leisurely cruise down the river, complete with corny jokes from the skippers. During your trip you’ll encounter animals, landscapes, and cultural references to four different regions of the globe. While the friendly skippers and their groaners are a big part of the fun, there are real facts mixed into their banter. Believe them when they tell you how long the Nile River is and how you can tell Indian elephants from African elephants.


In fact, the original concept for the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland was a much more serious, educational experience based on Walt Disney’s True-Life Adventure films. Walt famously wanted to have real animals in the attraction, but this proved to be a logistical nightmare. So the Imagineers created animatronic animals and a storyline that took guests down four of the world’s rivers: the Amazon, the Congo, the Nile, and the Mekong.

The Jungle Cruise is one of the longest rides at Magic Kingdom, so it’s a perfect opportunity to rest your feet as you take in some fun facts (along with those silly skipper antics). You may be surprised how much you can learn from the Cruise!


FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.K.L.14.3, SC.2.L.17.2, SC.5.L.17.1
FL Sunshine State Social Studies Standards:
SS.K.G.3.2, SS.912.G.2.1

Rainforest Café – Marketplace

The Marketplace is a great place for shopping and dining with the whole family.  But you may not know there are some hidden learning opportunities here, too!

The Rainforest Café is a fun place to eat with the wild décor and animals throughout the dining rooms.  But if you head into the merchandise location, you’ll find Tracy Tree.  She may be snoozing when you first see her, but every couple of minutes she awakes to offer facts about the rainforest.  With so much activity and so many sounds in the shop, it can be a little hard to hear her sometimes, but you may just catch a fun fact you didn’t know before.

The Rainforest Café also hosts a bird show daily from noon to 2pm just outside the restaurant entrance.  (Ask a host or hostess to be sure the show will go on that day.)  A company of parrots demonstrate tricks and mimicry while their handlers give information about the birds and answer questions.  It’s a fun treat for animal lovers old and young.


FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.K.L.14.2, SC.K.L.14.3, SC.2.L.17.2, SC.3.L.15.1, SC.4.L.16.3