It’s time to say goodbye to a Disney park fan-favorite. Splash Mountain is now leaving Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida. In a move to bring more inclusivity to parks, Disney is retheming Splash Mountain to follow the 2009 film The Princess and the Frog.
The Princess and the Frog introduced Disney’s first Black princess, Tiana, and this change at the parks is “a project Imagineers have been working on since last year.” The reimagined ride will pick up “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.”
“The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today,” Disney’s press release explains. “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 Call to Change
The original Splash Mountain ride is based on Song of the South, an infamous 1946 Disney film that is heavily criticized for its racist stereotypes and depiction of the post-Civil War South. (The movie was excluded from Disney Plus, which boasts a catalog of both old and new Disney movies and shows.) The announcement comes after many online petitions called for a reimagined experience that severed the ride’s ties to Song of the South.
Fans rallied around one theme suggestion — The Princess and the Frog.
The Princess and the Frog‘s stars are now speaking out to celebrate the change. Michael-Leon Wooley, the voice of Louis, said, “I think this is great news, or as Louis would say — Hallelujah!”
Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana, also shared her excitement on the announcement.
“It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized!” She continued, “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!”