After the massive drop of news earlier this year about the upcoming Jungle Cruise refurbishment, Disney Parks have shared today additional news about the new layers of story being added to the classic attraction.
Meet Alberta Falls
One of the new additions to the attraction’s backstory is a brand new character, Alberta Falls, granddaughter of world-renowned Dr. Albert Falls (the proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd.) To help introduce fans to her new backstory, Disney shared a fun Imagineering graphic “from” 1938 issue of The Daily Gnus about her and the World-Famous Jungle Cruise.
If reading the JPG is a little daunting, we have the full text available for you below:
A Conversation with Alberta Falls
Can you tell us a little about you?
Certainly! My name is Alberta Falls and I am the owner, manager, bookkeeper, and head mechanic of the Jungle Navigation Company. You may have heard of our world-famous cruises through the jungle. I came to Adventureland when I was 8 years old. You see, my mother, Sneh Falls, is an amazing artist from India and my father, Albert Falls Jr., is an art historian from England. The two fell in love in what I consider to be the greatest romance story of all time. But that’s a tale for another time. Now, where was I?
Ah yes, at a young age I was often on the road with my parents as they traveled between museums and universities. You know, places like Cairo, New York, London. Well, one summer, they took me to Adventureland for the first time to visit my grandparents on my father’s side. I instantly fell in love with the place. I was able to climb, swim, and dig anywhere I wanted, which for some strange reason, museums and universities frowned upon! But my parents have always supported my free spirit, so they gave their blessing for me to spend the rest of the summer with my grandparents and the riverboat skippers. To make a long story short, it was a summer that never ended and I’m still here today. I’ve called Adventureland home ever since.
What led you to have a passion for these excursions?
As you may know, my grandfather, Dr. Albert Falls, was a member of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers. He and his colleagues were always off on wild expeditions to solve the world’s greatest mysteries. My grandmother, Victoria Marie Falls, was an adventuress in her own right, but usually opted to stay behind to look after me and keep the family shipping company on track. Naturally, I learned a lot from her. I also found myself amongst the skippers. These amazing men and women took me under their wing and taught me everything there is to know about driving a boat, spotting animals, and going over waterfalls. When I was old enough, my grandfather started taking me on some of his expeditions. I was able to use everything I had learned from the skippers while on these trips.
I inherited the company following my grandfather’s mysterious disappearance. While the search for him continues, we also knew we needed to keep the boats moving. The shipping business was down and we were looking for a new source of revenue. One of my skippers suggested we started offering “Jungle Cruises” to tourists visiting Adventureland and I saw this not only as a great business opportunity but also as a way to keep my beloved grandfather’s legacy alive. The rest is history.
What do you hope guests take away from your trips?
I hope every passenger experiences the beauty and grandeur of the jungle. It is what I fell in love with at such a young age and I’m excited to share it with people from all over the globe. Secondly, I am beyond lucky to have a crew of witty and knowledgeable tour guides that are always eager to share the jungle with everyone they meet. There’s no guarantee that you’ll spot even a single butterfly, let alone an elephant, on each cruise. But we do guarantee you’ll have a unique adventure that can only happen aboard a cruise down the tropical rivers of the world.
Lastly, I hope they take away all their personal belongings. Our Lost and Found is getting pretty full!
Do any particular excursions stick out as memorable to you?
There are so many to choose from! From my first trip to Mystic Point with my grandfather, or a particular trip to New Zealand in which I picked up my little travel companion, Kamaka the kakapo. When I was 16, I was able to take a solo cruise up the Ganga [Ganges] River to visit my other grandparents in India. I’ll never forget their faces as I docked the Molopo Marie all by myself!
But really, I’m always looking forward to the next trip! Actually, this week, I have some esteemed passengers joining me from around the world for a private tour down the river. I’ll be hosting a special cruise for a special friend of mine from Mexico, the renowned painter Rosa Soto Dominguez, as well as a noted botanist from Nova Scotia named Leonard Moss. I guess he is just trying to branch out with his studies. Also, I recently met Dr. Kon Chunosuke, an entomologist from Japan, who camped out alongside the river. Would you believe it, he is a member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers just like my grandfather? It really is a small world, after all. Who knows what other visitors from around the world may arrive between then and now? For instance, my cousin Siobhan “Puffin” Murphy from Ireland, may show up unannounced to take a birdwatching expedition! You just never know what to expect around here.
How does it feel keeping your grandfather’s legacy alive?
The Jungle Navigation Company is more than just a business, it’s my family. I’m honored to lead my crew of skippers as we embark on new adventures every day – just like my grandfather. But he would never want me to think that I had to fill his big shoes. He’d tell me to get my own shoes and to go get them dirty out in the jungle. After all, we all have our own amazingly unpredictable adventures to live and stories to tell.
Artist concept only ©2021 Disney
See it for Yourself
Jungle Cruise is being refurbished at both Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. An official date has not yet been announced for either refurbishment closure or grand reopening.