Splash Mountain At Disneyland & Walt Disney World To Be Completely Re-Themed
Splash Mountain — one of Disney’s most popular rides since its creation in 1989, is being “completely re-imagined”. The log flume ride, based on the controversial 1946 film “Song of the South” — isn’t going anywhere as Imagineers have been hard at work for well over a year to completely re-imagine Splash Mountain at both Disneyland park in California, and Magic Kingdom in Florida.
The new theme is inspired by the 2009 animated feature film, “The Princess and the Frog.” — the first Disney movie to star a Black princess. Disney said that the new Splash Mountain will pick-up the story of “Princess and the Frog” after the film’s “final kiss – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.
As Disney described this morning, “Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of “The Princess and the Frog” to our parks”.
The voice of Princess Tiana and Tony Award-winning actress, Anika Noni Rose, shared:
“It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized! As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!”
The move comes amid fans urging Disney to retheme Splash Mountain because of the racial stereotypes from the film it is based upon. “Song of the South” — which is best known for the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” — has long been criticized for its stereotypical and offensive portrayals of African Americans as well as a romanticized view of the antebellum South. The film is so controversial that Disney has even kept it off the extensive library of its new streaming service, Disney+.
For Imagineers, change is rooted in a tradition set by Walt Disney who encouraged new innovations, new ideas, new scenes and current storytelling. And the experiences they create can be enjoyed by guests who visit from all over the world. Disney said, the new theme “speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.”.
Disney did not give an opening date or reveal a new name for “the new Splash Mountain”, but noted that conceptual design work is well underway. Imagineers will soon be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the transformation can start to take shape. When the ride is revamped, it will have a new name, but the company is not ready to share the new name just yet.
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