Well, looks like it is time to say “Zip-a-Dee-Buh-Bye” to Splash Mountain as you know it.
The Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday that for the past year, they have been working to reimagine the super popular – and super problematic – Splash Mountain ride at California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Walt Disney World, as reported by CNN. Instead, it will be remade into an attraction fashioned after one of our favorites, The Princess and The Frog!
Now, in case you don’t know why the original Splash Mountain was so problematic, the original theme was based off of Disney’s 1946 feature, Song of the South. The film, best known for the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” was long criticized and slammed for its outdated & offensive usage of racial stereotypes against African Americans, as well as their romanticization of the Antebellum South. As a result, the movie is rarely shown or distributed. Disney even kept it off of its Disney+ streaming service.
The new Splash Mountain will be based on the hit 2009 Disney film, The Princess and The Frog, which featured Disney’s first Black princess. As the Disney Parks blog reports:
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 should come as a relief to many, including the more than 20,000 people that signed a petition on Change.org to convince the parks to reconsider the theme. Sharing in the excitement is Tony Award-winning singer/actress Anika Noni Rose, who provided the voice of Princess Tiana in the film.
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!