Disney Parks prides itself on its ongoing mission to make the Theme Park experience evermore inclusive for all of its Guests, including the ways in which it can provide services to those with disabilities.
Most Disney fans probably think of features like the Disability Access Service or DAS Pass to help those who cannot wait in long lines still enjoy their favorite shows and rides, and occasional ASL translations of popular stage shows. But Cast Members have also found ways to provide ride-along disability assistance as well.
A recent video posted to Disneyland subreddit shows a Jungle Cruise Skipper paired with one of Disneyland’s American Sign Language (ASL) Translators!
The video was shared by u/Calm_Call_2732, who said,
“I caught the ASL (American Sign Language) cruise this past Saturday at 9:45am and it was amazing!!! The interpreter Valerie was just great. She chatted with us before the cruise about her experience with ASL and let me record her during the ride. It was so much fun. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!”
Jungle Cruise Sign Language Interpreter 1/28/23 from Disneyland
One look at the comments to this video and it is clear that Disneyland’s ASL-added Jungle Cruise has been around for a while, with Skippers even adapting their spiels to include their special crewmate.
One commenter said,
I used to be a skipper and having the ASL interpreters onboard was always fun.
When we loaded the rest of the guests, I’d introduce the ASL interpreter and go, “This is Valerie, she is really good at talking with her hands” (just so all the guests were onboard with what would happen next). Then I’d do all sorts of things to mess with the interpreter – say random hard-to-spell words like “kumquat” or “hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia” (and correct their spelling when they try to sign it), say made-up words and watch them frantically try to figure out what I said, move my lips and act like I was saying things without making any sounds, etc.
Disney’s adoption of ASL is most commonly seen in the heart-warming videos of character interactions, and stage shows at not just Disneyland, but also Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris. And it appears Disney’s Jungle Cruise appears to be just one of a select few extra-character experiences for which the Disneyland Resort offers ASL interpretation. These experiences are available on a rotating basis on Mondays and Saturdays at Disneyland Park, and on Sundays and Fridays at Disney California Adventure.
Related: What to Know About Vacationing at Disney World With a Disability
For any would-be Guests who would want to take advantage of these services, Disneyland states,
“To maximize the available Sign Language offerings, we encourage Guests to plan their visit on a designated day. If visiting our theme parks on a non-designated day, Sign Language interpretation for a limited number of regularly scheduled offerings may be available by request with at least 14 days advance notice… The Sign Language interpreter will meet you at the designated times and locations listed below. If you are unable to meet at the designated time, the interpreter will wait for you up to 10 minutes after that time.”
Disneyland makes it clear that this is not an offer for a guided tour from an ASL interpreter. Guests with hearing disabilities should consult Disneyland’s Guide for Guests with Disabilities, visit Guests relations, or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, for up-to-date information regarding ASL Interpreter performances, services, and more.
Related: Disney Surprises Deaf Family With Guided Vacation
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Parks news and stories as more developments come to light.