As of Monday, Disney World‘s Splash Mountain is officially closed. The ride will now receive a makeover as it transitions into “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure” based on the 2009 Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog.”
Alongside Princess Tiana, Naveen and everyone’s favorite jazz-loving alligator Louis, those who ride will travel through the bayou as they prepare to host a Mardi Gras celebration and listen to the amazing music inspired by songs from the movie. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open in 2024.
Before the announcement that Splash Mountain would be closing and get remodeled into a new ride, many Disney fans petitioned the park to “re-theme” the ride due to its racist elements.
“Disney parks should be a home for all to enjoy regardless of race, age, whatever your background may be ,” the petition read. “While the ride is considered a beloved classic, its history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film ‘Song of the South’. There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need.”
The controversial Disney film in question has been criticized for its racist and stereotypical portrayal of the post-Civil War South. In 2020, Bob Iger confirmed that the movie wouldn’t be available to stream on Disney+ because it wasn’t “appropriate in today’s world.”
Basically, the movie is so racist it’s locked in the Disney vault forever. So yeah, it makes sense that they’d want to give the ride a re-do.
In the hours since the ride officially closed, dozens of Splash Mountain fans have tried selling the water from the last ride on sites like eBay.
Currently, Splash Mountain is still open and operating at the Disneyland location in Anaheim, California. Though it, too, will eventually be transformed into the bayou ride featuring Disney’s first Black princess.
“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,” Disneyland public relations director Michael Ramirez wrote in 2020.
We can’t wait to see how gorgeous the new ride will look next year!