A Backyard Pool Jungle Cruise

Img 0030 Headshot
Sss 720 Aq Jungle Wf3 Feat

All photos courtesy Stuckey familyAll photos courtesy Stuckey family

A Disney-loving Texas family family decided to bring the fun and adventure of the beloved theme parks to their own backyard pool.

"The first few weeks of the stay-at-home order were super stressful because there was this unknown virus out there and so many things we couldn't do," says mom Linsey Stuckey. "I decided to redirect our focus to all the things we could do. We had so much more time to spend as a family, and I wanted to do something memorable."

Unable to take their yearly trip to Disney amid the pandemic, the Stuckeys (mom Linsey, dad Clint, and kids Hayley, 13, Colin, 11, Sydney, 8, and Keaton, 5) were inspired to recreate Disney's famous Jungle Cruise ride at their home in Katy, complete with a humorous video.

"We settled on the Jungle Cruise ride because we had a pool that, with a little creativity, could resemble part of a jungle," says Linsey. "Plus, I knew writing the script would be a lot of fun. When our daughter Hayley asked for an inflatable raft for her 13th birthday in April, we knew we had to do it."

The idea came from grandma (Linsey's mom), who called one day to talk about all the cute family quarantine videos she'd seen. She suggested to Linsey that their family create one of their own.

"[At first] I responded, 'Are you kidding me? We aren't that creative. I'm so overwhelmed as it is,'" Linsey said. "After a few weeks, the idea came back over and over, and I started thinking...my entire life I've always wanted to be a Disney Imagineer, but went to law school instead. Now I have my chance."

RELATED: Welcome to Dad's DIY Waterpark

She began working on a script in April, adopting the most famous parts of the Jungle Cruise ride and adding her own spin on it. The kids watched Disney's "Imagineering in a Box" for ideas. Then, the Stuckeys got to work.

"I loaded up our Amazon cart with everything jungle-related I could think of. Finally, we settled on about $300 worth of props and costumes," she said. "Plenty of our vacations had already been canceled, so it was well worth the money."

The Stuckeys shot the video on an iPhone with a gimbal over the course of about five days and faced many unexpected obstacles.

"It actually became quite comical," Linsey said. "Elephants kept falling over at the start of every scene. The fog from the fog machine kept blowing every which direction. There was a 20-minute honking car parade and noisy choppers overhead. And the crocodile and hippo kept floating off in the wrong direction. For most of the shoot, I was in a swimsuit sitting on a floatie in the middle of the pool pushing the raft with my left hand and filming with my right, all while directing lines. Clint manned the fog machine, held up the tangly carnivorous vines and kept our five year old from popping into each scene."

Dad Clint Stuckey was in charge of editing the video, which took about 10 hours from start to finish. He color-corrected and balanced the sound of each scene and added sound effects.

"Once we started editing, the magic came together for everyone," Linsey said. "Our pool no longer looked like a swimming pool. It looked like the Jungle Cruise. I think the kids were amazed by what they had created."

Page 1 of 107
Next Page
Buyer's Guide
Find manufacturers and suppliers in the most extensive searchable database in the industry.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide
Content Library
Dig through our best stories from the magazine, all sorted by category for easy surfing.
Read More
Content Library