Social distancing seating measures are in place as people wearing facemasks ride Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic in Orlando on July 23, 2020. – The United States on July 23 recorded 76,570 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, Johns Hopkins University reported, after the nation’s total number of infections topped four million earlier in the day. There has been a surge in coronavirus cases across the US, especially in western and southern states. Texas, California and Idaho all reported record-breaking one-day deaths. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, Calif.–Disneyland’s classic Splash Mountain will be known as “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure” when it reopens, officials announced during the ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans on July 1.
The revamped attraction was named after Disney’s animated film “The Princess and the Frog,” which was also set in New Orleans and takes place in the year 1926.
The ride will reopen at both Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland in California in late 2024, according to Disney Parks Blogs.
“Guests will be joining Princess Tiana and Naveen, along with Louis, a jazz-loving alligator, for an excursion through the bayou. They prepare to host a unique Mardi Gras party where everyone is invited,” Carmen Smith, Senior Vice President of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering on Disney Parks blog .
The Splash Mountain ride opened in Disneyland in 1989 and was themed after the 1946 film “Song of the South.” It features singing animatronics as log riders follow Br’er Rabbit on an adventure with Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox in pursuit.
In recent years, Disney has received complaints from some activists and academics about the theme of the ride and the way the movie “Song of the South” depicts black people. The ride will now be based on the popular 2009 film about Tiana, the first black princess featured in a Disney animated movie.
During the ESSENCE festival, Disney Imagineering team members talked with the fans about the process for designing the new ride. They also conducted extensive research on the historical period during which Tiana was set to appear to ensure that Tiana looked authentic and accurate.
While many were happy with the new design, some Disneyland enthusiasts resisted the idea of altering an iconic ride. They suggested that Disney build a new Tiana-themed ride.
“The Br’er Rabbit stories are an important part of Black culture. This ride’s re-theming is a way to condone the destruction of Black culture. It is possible to have more diversity without dismantling an iconic attraction like Splash Mountain,” Caroline, a Disneyland fan commented below.
When Crystal, another Splash Mountain fan asked Crystal, “So sad…why must everything be taken away?” What if Splash Mountain could just be left and add another Tiana ride ?