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Disneyland Article
Woman Of Color At Center Of Revamped Jungle Cruise Backstory
Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
Walt Disney Imagineering has made a woman of color the central character of the revamped Jungle Cruise rides at Disneyland and Walt Disney World set to undergo major makeovers to remove “negative depictions of native people.”

Alberta Falls is the free spirited adventuress and descendant of world explorers from India and England who will serve as the fictional heroine of the renovated Jungle Cruise attractions at the Anaheim and Florida theme parks.

The updated Jungle Cruise backstory was revealed through an interview with Alberta Falls in the Daily Gnus, a fictional newspaper created by Imagineering.

Imagineering announced plans in January to update Jungle Cruise scenes featuring shrunken head dealer Trader Sam and a rhino chasing a safari group up a tree as Disney continues to address diversity and inclusivity issues in its theme park attractions.

The updates to the Jungle Cruise rides follow changes to the Pirates of the Caribbean and an upcoming makeover of Splash Mountain intended to address outdated cultural depictions in Disney theme park attractions.

Alberta Falls is the owner, manager, bookkeeper and head mechanic of the Jungle Navigation Company, according to the fictional backstory developed by Imagineering for the Jungle Cruise makeover.

The new backstory for the Jungle Cruise hints at the romance, adventure and mystery that will be incorporated into the updated attractions. The expanding backstory also reinforces the link between the Jungle Cruise and the Society of Explorers and Adventurers — and by extension the new Magic Kingdom Universe coming to Disney+.

Imagineers created the Society of Explorers and Adventurers as a backstory for several attractions at Tokyo DisneySea. Since then, SEA storylines have been incorporated into the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland, the Skipper Canteen at Florida’s Magic Kingdom, the Tropical Hideaway eatery at Disneyland and Jungle Cruise and Big Thunder Mountain rides at Disney parks around the world.

The new Magic Kingdom Universe will stitch together characters from Disney theme parks and classic animated films with an expanding series of shows on the Disney+ streaming service.

The first Magic Kingdom Universe project in the works for Disney+ will be based on the Society of Explorers and Adventurers — an alternate reality where Disney characters exist in Disney theme park lands.

The new fictional heroine at the center of the revamped Jungle Cruise backstory is the daughter of Sneh Falls, an artist from India, and Albert Falls Jr., a historian from England.

“The two fell in love in what I consider to be the greatest romance story of all time,” Alberta Falls says in the Daily Gnus. “But that’s a tale for another time.”

Alberta is the granddaughter of Victoria Marie Falls, who ran the Jungle Navigation Company,and Dr. Albert Falls Sr., a member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.

She spent her wanderlust childhood globetrotting with her grandfather to Egypt, New Zealand, India and England. She came to Adventureland as an 8-year-old.

“To make a long story short, it was a summer that never ended and I’m still here today,” she said in the Daily Gnus. “I’ve called Adventureland home ever since.”

Alberta learned to navigate the rivers of the world from the Jungle Cruise skippers. She inherited the Jungle Navigation Company when her grandfather mysteriously disappeared, according to the backstory. The search for her grandfather continues to this day.

Her traveling companion is Kamaka the kakapo from New Zealand. Expect to see plush toys of the adorable owl parrot bird species pop up in Adventureland shops as soon as the Jungle Cruise renovations are complete.

Alberta skippers a boat called the Molopo Marie, named in honor of her grandmother.

The Daily Gnus article also offers insight into the culturally diverse group of boat passengers stuck up a tree by an angry rhino in concept art released by Imagineering for a renovated Jungle Cruise scene.

The four stranded boat passengers will include:

Rosa Soto Dominguez, a painter from Mexico

Leonardo Moss, a botanist from Canada

Kon Chunosuke, an entomologist from Japan

Siobhan “Puffin” Murphy, a birdwatcher from Ireland and Alberta’s cousin

Imagineering has not yet determined when work will begin on the Jungle Cruise attractions at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. The reimagined rides are expected to open later this year. Disneyland won’t begin work on the Jungle Cruise attraction until after the theme park reopens on April 30 following a yearlong closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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