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About the Column

Ashley Metz keeps a special book in her South Carolina chateau. It's called the Disney Book of Stinkin' Love. Into that book she pours her passion for the parks, her devotion to Disney World, and from that book, every week, she'll draw forth with characteristic exuberance a chapter exclusively for Disney Dispatch. Ashley welcomes questions, but no matter what you ask, the answer will always be the same, and it will always be correct: Because I Stinkin' Love Disney World!

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FROM: Because I Stinkin' Love Disney World Published Thursdays

Welcome to the Jungle (Cruise)

It's got fun and games; it's got everything you want, and Ashley knows their names. What's makes the Jungle Cruise so famous isn't the crusty animals or the outdated theme, it's the spiels, and the spiels are only as good as the skippers.

If the Jungle Cruise put out a personal ad, I think it might go a little something like this:

Enjoys short cruises through jungles. Witty and sharp. Corny and pun loving. Looking for someone to laugh along life's journey. Love for all things animal, self steering boats, and fake guns. A classic through and through. Seeking a boat load of love and support as we cruise through life.

Hey, that sounds pretty good, huh? I love the World famous Jungle Cruise. I have sat through many a cruise with a wide open, awe-filled expression spread across my face.

But let's be honest: this ride isn't exactly thrilling or adventurous.

The animals are animatronic. They're poses are predictable. It's not the scenery that makes the ride. What makes the cruise worth doing again and again are the amazing spiels from Cast Members serving as skipper on one of the most smile-inducing attractions at Disney World!


Look there's my friend, Tony.


Best skipper comment: "Here's the head waiter. He used to work at TGI Fridays. Disney let him keep the apron and the shirt is optional. He's been here for like 35 years."

Saw this while waiting to board the ship. I feel like chicken tonight!

I love to hear their take on the classic jokes and their own quirky, dry styles, and of course, their famous delivery of puns. I have taken many a cruise with fabulous skippers.

Next to being a Disney princess (no, seriously), being a Jungle Cruise skipper is one of my dream Disney jobs. It would be so much fun to let go, interact, and be creative.

If you have taken the Jungle Cruise, then you have probably heard some of the classic skipper spiels. For example:

"I'll be our skipper today, your snake charmer, your hula dancing instructor, and your swim instructor if you don't laugh at my jokes... so laugh."

"I don't see anyone, canoe?"

"This is the Nile River. It's called that because it goes on for Niles and Niles and Niles. If you don't realize that, then you are probably in deNile."

"It looks like he got the point in the end."

"Look out for Smiley's girlfriend Ginger. Be careful, Ginger snaps."

Although I love these old stand-bys, they're made so much better by a creative skipper. I look for ways the skippers make the cruise their own. I like to see their personality and sense of humor shine through the scripted parts. But I love even more to see them improvise with the guests, such as when a child is invited to 'steer' the boat only to find out that the boat actually does the steering, or when a grown woman takes her place at the doorway only to find out that she's serving as a barrier. The best is the unsuspecting kids donning yellow hats as the skipper eases the passengers' minds by saying "oh, don't worry, they only eat people wearing hats!"

When the puns, jokes, and laughts come together with genius comedic timing, it makes for jungle magic! I love the World Famous Jungle Cruise because you never know what you'll hear! Which is why I keep on coming back again and again.

I'll leave you in the capable hands of this awesome skipper:


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