- Disney has announced it will retheme Splash Mountain with 'The Princess and the Frog' in Disneyland and Disney World.
In a surprising move, Disney has announced that Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be rethemed to a new experience inspired by The Princess and the Frog.
The move comes after debate and petitions calling out Splash Mountains racial undertones as the ride’s backstory was based on the controversial 1940s Disney movie Song of the South. Many fans pushed for the ride to be rethemed for Tiana and The Princess and the Frog. However, according to the Disney Parks Blog, it has been a change they have been planning since last year.
The reimagined story 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,” according to a statement posted to the Disney Parks Blog. “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.”
Charita Carter, the senior creative producer leading the project at Walt Disney Imagineering shared, “Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests.”
The voice of Princess Tiana and Tony Award-winning actress, Anika Noni Rose, shared, “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!”
As of now there is no date when the transformation will begin. When Magic Kingdom reopens on July 11, the existing version will continue to be open. With Disneyland’s reopening delayed, it could be possible work can begin but it is unknown yet.
Disney has begun thr “development process, conceptual design work is well underway and Imagineers will soon be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the transformation can start to take shape.”
Splash Mountain opened in 1989 from the initial idea by Imagineer Tony Baxter. He will serve as a creative advisor on the planning and design on the new makeover.
“The attraction will be one to be proud of,” Baxter said in a statement. “I look forward to being a part of a new adventure in Disney magic and fun.”
Disneyland and Disney World have been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.