Magic Memories: Jammin Jungle Parade

CIMG7820I’m a big Disney World Fan. I can safely say that I’ve been there more than most people and my estimate is somewhere around 500 times and counting. The highlight of my Disney Adventure has been the time we were having lunch at Flame Tree BBQ and a cast member holding a clip-board came up to us and politely asked if we knew about the “Jammin’ Jungle Parade” and if we wanted to be part of the 23 temporary cast members to ride the floats. Of course we said “Yes”. Jammin Jungle ExpeditionWere at the parks with 2 of my nephews from New York and they were at that age where anything unusual was fun. Let me tell you  that it was pure magic to be selected. I was totally invested in the parade.

CIMG7811We were instructed to meet in front of the big wooden gate by the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. We were sure to get there early and we met our host who  provided us with colorful hats, vests and a camera for us to take photos. We jammed our stuff into a locker and were told the plan. We were not to take any photos behind the scenes except for the few we took while getting prepared for the show. We were escorted to a float with the Tiger (pictured) Mickey's_Jammin'_Jungle_Parade_2006-05_21 and were told to have fun. The parade started and we were greeted by a large crowd of guests. We sure did feel important and we wanted to make it fun for everyone.  We danced, laughed and got the audience to do the “Macarena” while the song “Iko, Iko” played over the speakers. It was the best 20 minutes of my Disney life. After the parade was over we were thanked by everyone in the parade and took a photo with our host, TJ.

Sadly the parade was shut down last year to make way for the new “Avatar” land. The parade ran from  October 1, 2001 thru May 31st, 2014 and  include five character-based safari vehicles, four drum sculptures, three rickshaw taxis, eight animal puppets, 16 Disney characters, 10 Party Animal stiltwalkers and 10 Party Patrols. The eight abstract animal puppets were designed by Michael Curry Designs in Portland, Ore., which created the puppets for “The Lion King” on Broadway. It was pure Disney Magic to get picked to participate in the parade. I guess the cast member who scouted us out could feel my loyalty to Disney seeping through my bones!

Here’s the short video we took while riding the float: 2007-04-14 Animal Kingdom “Jammin Jungle Expedition” CIMG7815

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Donald McCloskey

I’m currently retired! Yay! I worked 30 years as a Product Manager and Vice President for a major Securities Clearing Bank. I was Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, New York and moved to Downtown Orlando with my partner on July 4th of 2004. I love to travel and have been to many places in Asia and Europe as well as exotic places like Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Australia. I’m a computer geek, avid photographer, artist and I play guitar. I’ve been to every Disney Them Park in the world and have been to Disney World an estimate of 250 times, but more time than I can remember. Living in Orlando gives me the opportunity to visit as often as I want.

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