Splash Mountain Getting a New Look
In news that is somehow both unexpected and not surprising, Splash Mountain at both Disney World and Disneyland will be getting a makeover with a completely new theme. Princess Tiana and friends will soon have their very first ride as the iconic mountain will be re-themed to Princess and the Frog. Though no timeline has been given, the announcement was made official this afternoon in a Disney Parks Blog Post .This ride is a huge part of both parks and was designed by legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter. The ride is a log flume ride, but is extensively themed with animatronics, some of which go back to the old America Sings attraction in Walt Disney World.
The ride tells the story of Brer Fox and Brer Bear as they chase Brer Rabbit through numerous scenes featuring, small drops, indoor and outdoor components, and music that culminates in the Riverboat scene featuring Zip A Doo Dah. The ride is a fan favorite even prompting a series of Funko Pops featuring the ride’s characters. Those characters came from Disney’s Song of the South, and it is the rides origin that may have been its undoing.
Song of the South is a famous (infamous) Disney Movie featuring Uncle Remus. The movie has been often criticized for its overly positive view of the post war reconstruction South. In fact Disney has distanced itself from the movie for some time and has refused to release it in any form since 2000, when they did a VHS release in the UK. That means the movie has never been released on DVD or Blu Ray and it is absent from the new streaming service, Disney+.
In recent weeks in light of what is going on in our country in regards to race relations, several Disney fans and accounts began promoting the idea of re-theming the ride to Princess and the Frog. Doing so would accomplish 2 things: First it would remove characters and songs that though as featured in the ride have not traditionally been viewed as offensive, still have a connection to a very controversial movie. Second, it would give Princess Tiana, the first and only Black Disney Princess, her own ride and would greatly increase her prominence in the parks. While this idea of a re-theme was discussed online and a petition was circulated, no one had any sense Disney would move so quickly, if they moved at all.
One reason Disney was able to make such a huge announcement with such speed is that according to the release, Disney has been working on the idea of this re-theming since last year. Whether that means that someone simply had the idea last year or that they had already made the decision to move forward is up for debate. Personally I believe that this was likely an idea on the table as early as last year but was not in the immediate plans. I cannot foresee Disney planning on shutting down one of the Three Mountains for such a drastic refurbishment during what was supposed to be a huge celebration of Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Disney has not of yet announced when the refurbishment will take place, but has said that when the parks reopen this summer, Splash Mountain will operate in its current form. So if you want to ride again, there is still some time for you to make to the parks!
So what are your thoughts on this huge announcement? Leave a comment here to let us know but remember all comments are moderated so keep things respectful! And if you want to make sure you get to go ride Splash in its current form, contact us today to let us show you how we can help make your Disney Dreams come true! Use our contact page here https://www.magicalmemoriestoursandtravel.com/disney-world/