Splash Mountain, the classic log flume-style attraction located in Disneyland Park, the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland, is set to be rethemed to The Princess and the Frog (2009). While some fans are thrilled to see more of Princess Tiana and iconic locales from her story featured in Disney Parks, others are mixed, and some are very vocal in their opposition to the ride’s retheme.
Disney plans to open Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in 2024, with the current version of the attraction at Walt Disney World closing permanently in January 2023. The retheme was announced back in 2019 as an effort to feature a popular character in a new way in the theme parks. The re-do also supports Disney’s promise of inclusivity with the first Black Disney Princess having her own ride, and will remove a theme that comes with controversial source material from Song of the South (1946).
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Disney is moving right along with work on retheming the attraction, as the company continues to share updates on what the new version of the log flume ride will be like while confirming Splash Mountain’s last day of operation. Still, a petition from a “Save Splash Mountain” movement continues to circulate, reaching nearly 95,000 signatures as of this writing.
The petition states:
Splash Mountain is an iconic ride at Magic Kingdom, loved by millions of fans all over the world for over 30 years. Re-theming such an iconic ride would erode the nostalgia that lives in Disney World and take away a little bit of the magic….
It is absurd to pander to a small group of “Disney haters” that dont understand the story, and re-theme such a nostalgic ride. The characters in Splash Mountain do not specifically generalize any race or group of people, they are nothing more than caricatures based on the turn-of-the-century America. Modifying Splash Mountain will not change history and will only encourage the “easily offended” to continue making desperate attempts at finding offence in additional attractions.To change them would be to remove a bit of our art history from the world and to be ashamed of it.
Amazing, #SaveSplashMountain keeps growing. It’s crossed over to 94,003 while re-theme petition has only 21,335. That goes to show how out of touch @Disney has become.@WDWGuestService @Disneyland @WaltDisneyCo @WaltDisneyWorld @DisneyParks @RobertIger https://t.co/4lVvbivlIW
— Michael Tardi (@MTARDI32) December 4, 2022
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Fans who continue to hope that Splash Mountain will be spared from its upcoming retheme continue to spread their message on social media through their own accounts and posts, and often unprovoked on others’. The nature of the movement, especially in response to a retheme that the opposing viewpoint sees as a step toward further inclusivity in the Parks, has sparked further outrage (or excitement) by fans on both sides of the debate on social media.
Goodbye Splash Mountain, welcome in Tiana! I can’t wait! The animatronics, the merch, it’s going to be amazing! LETS GET TO WORK DISNEY! pic.twitter.com/2f0Rt0FY4J
— KingdaKharistmas ??? (@Kingdakha92) December 2, 2022
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Presently The Princess and the Frog is featured in select meet and greets and parades, along with dining locations at Disney Parks (and on Disney Cruise Line) but Princess Tiana has yet to be featured in an attraction entirely dedicated to her own story.
Disney’s official description of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure reads:
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome. Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.
Disney has not yet revealed a more specific opening timeframe for the new attraction outside of “2024,” so we will continue to monitor progress on the retheme and will report back with additional information as we have it. As for Splash Mountain, if you are hoping to ride the attraction in its current form, you’ll want to visit Magic Kingdom Park by January 22, 2023.