Disney is overhauling the classic ride Splash Mountain to the theme of the 2009 animated film, The Princess And The Frog.
Splash Mountain is a log flume ride at both U.S. Disney parks, which opened at Disneyland in 1989 and Walt Disney World in 1992. While the ride may be a classic, it has long been surrounded in controversy. Splash Mountain, since its inception, has been based on the controversial 1946 film, Song Of The South.
Song Of The South has been criticized due to the racist stereotypes and inaccurate, damaging portrayal of slavery. Because of this, Song Of The South has never been released on home video and will not be available on Disney+.
Following the nationwide protests that began after George Floyd’s death, the announcement of this change could not have come at a better time. Despite the timing and petitions that have been circling about updating the ride with this new theme, Disney states that this has been in the works since last year.
Disney’s Statement On New Splash Mountain
The approach to retheming or “plussing” attractions (as Walt Disney referred to it) begins with Imagineers asking the question, how can we build upon or elevate the experience and tell a fresh, relevant story? It’s a continuous process that Imagineers are deeply passionate about. And with this longstanding history of updating attractions and adding new magic, the retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. 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.
The animated film The Princess And The Frog is loosely based on the E.D. Baker novel, The Frog Princess. The Princess And The Frog is written and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. The film has been praised for its return to the animation and Broadway musical style that Disney was known for during the “Disney Renaissance”.
The Princess And The Frog follows Tiana, a hard-working waitress, in 1926 New Orleans, who has big dreams of opening her own restaurant. After kissing Prince Naveen who was turned into a frog by the villainous Dr. Facilier, Tiana becomes a frog as well. The two humans turned frogs, must adventure into the bayou to try and find a way to become human again.
The ride will take place after the film and will feature Princess Tiana and Louis, the trumpet playing alligator, on a musical adventure as they prepare for their first Mardi Gras performance. The ride will feature some of the powerful music from the beloved Oscar nominated film.
Many of the actors from the film are excited about the news regarding the update to the log flume 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 and the Frog’ Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose voice of Princess Tiana
I think this is great news or as Louis would say HALLELUJIAH! .Michael-Leon Wooley voice of Louis
Voicing Mama Odie was a joyful creative experience. Recording Mama Odie’s song ‘Dig a Little Deeper,’ by Randy Newman must have taken a hundred takes, because I wanted it to be perfect. The image of Mama Odie, in the fairy godmother role, truly reflected the New Orleans Black bayou tradition of the revered wise woman. I am thrilled that the The Princess and The Frog is being honored for the joy it has brought to millions of Disney fans.Jenifer Lewis voice of Mama Odie
It should be exciting to see Splash Mountain with a new story for Tiana and the amazing music of The Princess and the Frog. No dates have been announced for when the ride will be re-themed at this time.
Are you excited for the new The Princess and the Frog themed Splash Mountain? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.
Source: Disney Parks Blog