Disney Fan Fiction Wiki

The Animals of the African Veldt are characters that have been featured in the Jungle Cruise attraction located at the Disney Parks. They are a group of animals representing African fauna as their names imply.



These animals in the Jungle Cruise attraction are used to represent African fauna to guests. Consisting of zebras, antelopes, wildebeests, and giraffes in the herd, next to them is a cave where a pride of lions roars inside. Outside the cave is a flock of vultures waiting for their prey and the other side is a scene where a rhino furiously attacks a group of explorers while a clan of hyenas laugh and watch it for entertainment. After passing through the African Veldt section, the boat passes through a pool filled with hippos in it.

Development History[]

Originally during the time Jungle Cruise was being developed for the Disneyland park, Walt Disney himself wanted to use real animals in this attraction. However, due to difficulties of using real animals, this idea was abandoned due to the fact that the animals Walt was thinking of would be reclusive and may not be visible for guests to see. As a change, the idea to use real animals was later changed into using animatronic animals instead where the animatronic animals were displayed during the attraction.

The African Veldt scene was added into the attraction in 1964 and originally featured zebras, giraffes, antelopes, vultures, lions, hyenas, jackals, and a rhino in it. In the scene, the jackals were seen stalking the lions with each other followed by additional lions eating meat. However, over the years, the other animatronic lions (not including the ones seen in the lions' den nowadays) were removed as part of the attraction's refurbishment alongside the jackals which were rivaling with the lions, removing them from the attraction entirely. Additionally, the lions' den was added into the attraction further years later as part of the attraction's refurbishment.

Due to the success of the attraction at Disneyland, the Jungle Cruise attraction was later constructed at Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland still featuring the animatronic animals representing Africa in it.


Two African bull elephants (Loxodonta africana) were featured as one of the first animals encountered at the African Veldt section of the park. They appear after the boat passes through the Asian elephant scene where the African elephants are hiding behind the bushes just before the boat arrives at the area where the guests encounter the herds of African animals.

Not to be confused with the Wildebeests from "The Lion King".
A herd of wildebeests (Connochaetes taurinus) is seen when the guests arrive at the African Veldt area of the Jungle Cruise along side a couple of giraffes, zebras, and antelopes.

Giraffes (presumably Giraffa reticula) are seen in the African Veldt area where they are seen alongside zebras, wildebeests, and antelopes.

A herd of zebras (Equus quagga) is seen alongside antelopes, wildebeests, and giraffes, followed by a motionless zebra lying down inside the lions' den.

A herd of antelopes (presumably implied to be gazelles or impalas) are one of the animals featured alongside the zebras, giraffes, and wildebeests.

A pride of lions (Panthera leo) is seen in a small cave where they are seen with a motionless zebra inside while a flock of vultures are seen watching trying to catch the zebra without getting caught. The lions in this group consist of an adult male, three adult females, and two cubs.

A flock of Old World vultures (specifically resembling the Rüppell's vulture, Gyps rueppelli) is seen sneaking outside the lion's den where they attempt to catch the zebra inside the lions' den to look for food.

A black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is seen cornering a group of explorers up onto a pole while a clan of hyenas laugh at it for entertainment. This rhino thought of humans as a threat in its territory.

A clan of hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) is seen laughing at the explorers who were trapped and cornered by an angry rhino while on a pole.

Main article: Hippos (Jungle Cruise)
A pool of hippos is encountered after the boat passes through the African Veldt area.

A flock of oxpeckers were added to the attraction in the American iterations as of 2021 as part of the attraction's 2021 refurbishment.


Jungle Cruise[]

In the original attraction at Disneyland, the animals of the African Veldt are seen after the boat passes through two adult African bull elephants in which upon arriving, guests see a large group of animals such as zebras, wildebeests, antelopes, and giraffes and passing by the herds is a cave where a pride of lions is seen with a motionless zebra lying down followed by a flock of vultures outside the cave. On the other side is a section where an angry rhinoceros attacks a group of unwelcomed explorers while a clan of hyenas find this scene entertaining. After that, the boat then passes through a pool filled with hippos.

In the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo versions of the attraction, the scene was replicated due to the success of the attraction at Disneyland. In the Magic Kingdom version, the scene is accessed after passing through two African elephants just before the boat passes through two crocodiles while in the Tokyo Disneyland version, it is accessed after the boat passes through a gorilla holding his grip on a fallen tree.

In the Hong Kong Disneyland version of the attraction, animatronic zebras and giraffes are used in this version of Jungle Cruise (albiet with African elephants displayed in the area), in addition to having an animatronic rhino and a couple of animatronic hyenas in this attraction. However, it excludes the animatronic wildebeests, antelopes, lions, and vultures in this version of the attraction.

Jingle Cruise[]

The African Veldt scene has the animals reprising the role as the original overlay only with Christmas decorations scattered around the attraction.

Other appearances[]

Virtual Magic Kingdom[]

In the discontinued video game, Virtual Magic Kingdom, lions, hyenas, zebras, and hippos occasionally appear as one of the animals the player must take a picture of throughout the mini-game while the boat sails across the Jungle Cruise attraction.

Kinect: Disneyland Adventures[]

Hippos and elephants resembling the ones from the African Veldt area are also obstacles featured in the Jungle Cruise mini-game. The player must spray an amount of water on the hippos to get them to submerge and the elephants to clean them, otherwise the hippos will bump and stun the boat and the elephants will spray water back at the player (both actions will decrease the coin score). Additionally, the scene where the rhino is attacking a group of explorers briefly appears in the Jungle Cruise mini-game where the player can spray water at the rhino to rescue the explorers. If the player sprays enough water on the rhino, it will retreat and a collectable secret will be rewarded.

Disneyland/Disney World Ticket Discount Commercial[]

In a 2010/2011 commercial for the Disneyland Resort/Walt Disney World Resort's ticket discount, the animals of the Jungle Cruise attraction engage in a private conversation where no humans are around, giving them a time to chat in which the lions and the zebra inside the cave react to one of the elephants' signal in the bathing pool area. During the conversation, the lioness explains to the animals that the humans are happy that the ticket special offer has returned. One of the wildebeests explains what this discount is to which the lioness explains that this offer is a discount that local Californian/Floridian residents receive to which one of the giraffes explains that they are local residents of California/Florida where Disneyland/Magic Kingdom is at to which the other animals agree. At the end of the commercial, the wildebeest explains that he "thought he arrived in the attraction for free" to which one of the zebras (not the one in the lions' cave) explains that the wildebeest (nicknamed "Stewart" by one of them) is part of the attraction, much to his surprise.


  • In the Tokyo Disneyland version of the attraction when the Jungle Cruise attraction was refurbished as "Jungle Cruise Wildlife Expeditions" in 2014, a brief fragment of "Circle of Life" from the 1994 Disney animated film, The Lion King is heard when the boat passes through the African Veldt scene. However, only the "Nants ingonyama bagithi baba" verse is heard.

External links[]