Splash Mountain ride will be reimagined completely, Disney says

A popular Disney ride based on the controversial film 'Song of the South' will be re-themed to tie in to 'Princess and the Frog.'

Disneyland has pushed back on opening as the coronavirus surges anew in California. But after it does reopen, the Splash Mountain ride will be completely different, the company says.

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Splash Mountain has been a popular ride at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Disneyland Toyko and at Disneyland since 1989. But the attraction is based on Disney’s controversial Song of the South a movie that Disney has kept in their vault for decades.

Released in 1946, Song of the South is both a live-action and animated film depicting happy, subservient Blacks on a plantation in the post-Civil War period, as well as other offensive stereotypes. It centers on a white child, Johnny, who is entertained by stories told by plantation worker Uncle Remus.

James Baskett, who played Uncle Remus, didn’t attend the film’s segregated premiere in Atlanta because he would have had to sit in the colored only balcony. He ultimately received an honorary Oscar for the role.

Disney does not offer the film on any home video formats and it is not available on Disney+.

Splash Mountain will be reconfigured to delete any element of the film and will instead be focused around the 2009 Disney movie The Princess and The Frog. That movie features Disney’s first Black princess, Princess Tiana, voiced by Anika Noni Rose and animated by The Proud Family creator, African American animator Bruce Smith. 

 

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Good morning, and some good, fun news! Lead by Imagineer, Charita Carter, Splash Mountain is going to be reimagined as a Princess and the Frog ride!! •👑• "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 & The Frog Mardi Gras celebration we've been waiting for, and I'm here for it!" ~Anika Noni Rose/ Princess Tiana👸🏽💚 •👑• 👸🏽💚🎢👸🏽💚🎢👸🏽💚🎢👸🏽💚🎢👸🏽💚 #PrincessTiana #DisneyPrincess #SplashMountain #DisneyParks #DisneyAnimation #WaltDisney #DisneyWorld #DisneyLand

A post shared by Anika Noni Rose (@anikaaroundtheworld) on

“The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today,” Disney said in a statement. “The new concept is inclusive — one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.

A Change.org petition to change the ride garnered over 20,000 signatures.

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Though it’s unclear exactly when the transition will happen, Disney has been working on the new ride since last year, according to KTLA.

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