In recent weeks, fans have petitioned Disney to retheme its popular Splash Mountain ride because it is based on Song of the South, the company’s most controversial movie. The ride first opened at Disneyland in 1989, shortly after the film’s 40th anniversary and around the same time Disney stopped making the movie available because of its stereotypical and racist depictions of African Americans. (If you’ve never watched Song of the South — which Disney has kept out of circulation for decades — everything you want to know about the movie is right here.)

Two more Splash Mountains opened at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland in 1992, where they have remained amongst the most popular attractions ever since. No wonder; it’s an entertaining log flume ride with impressive animatronics and great songs like the famous “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” But even if Disney has kept Song of the South out of public view, it’s still the movie that birthed the attraction, which is why many have wanted it changed.

Finally, this week, Disney announced they will “reimagine” Splash Mountain with a new concept is based on The Princess and the Frog that will be “one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by.”

More details, via Disney Parks Blog:

The theme is inspired by an all-time favorite animated Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog.” We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance

This will be the first attraction based on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, which came out in 2009 as the first Disney movie featuring an African American princess. Those who’ve argued in favor of a rethemed Splash Mountain have often cited The Princess and the Frog as a perfect replacement, since the story’s aquatic setting — much of the action takes place in the bayou — would work perfectly with the ride’s log flume concept. To me, it makes total sense. (In the blog post, Disney says it has been working on the ride “since last year.”)

There is no announced date for the reimagined Splash Mountain’s reopening but Disney did say “conceptual design work is well underway.”

Gallery — Cool Movie Theme Park Rides That Were Never Finished:


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