Disney’s been hitting us left and right with major changes. If their overpriced tickets weren’t enough to enrage visitors, they’ve officially set a date for one of their most beloved rides to take its final plunge. Inside the Magic reports that Disney has revealed that their flume attraction Splash Mountain will be closing on January 23, 2023 – but it’s really not as bad as it sounds.
While the fan-favorite ride will be calling it quits, that’s only because Disney will be revamping Splash Mountain, changing its theme from their extremely problematic 1946 animated/live-action hybrid film, Song of the South to 2009’s animated feature, The Princess and the Frog. News surrounding the change-up first began circulating during the summer of 2020 when it was decided that a major overhaul needed to be made due to the original theme’s extremely racist subject material.
For those who may not know, Song of the South told the story of the American South’s reconstruction following the Civil War. The film’s talent was stacked with Academy Award-winners James Franklin Baskett and Hattie McDaniel starring, but several parts were more than a little bit problematic. Now that Disney has been moving towards a more inclusive route for their guests and fans, it was a no-brainer decision to ax the old Splash Mountain and create something shiny and new in its place.
While there’s no ride in Disney’s parks that carries as recognized a title as Splash Mountain – other than perhaps It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean – the amusement park will also be bidding adieu to the name. Rebranded as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the ride is still expected to be a log flume, with guests thoroughly soaked by the end. If you’re hoping to be one of the first folks in line at Walt Disney World to enjoy the revamped version, you can plan to visit the theme park in 2024 when Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is opening.
If you want to catch that final wave of nostalgia and enjoy Disney’s Splash Mountain as it is, but can’t make it to Florida’s Walt Disney World ahead of the January 23, 2023 shutdown, there’s hope for you yet. Unlike its U.S. sister park, California’s Disneyland has yet to confirm a date for its revamp of Splash Mountain, but we’d guess the announcement is just around the corner. While the film that it’s based on has certainly not aged well, there’s just something about the dozens of animatronic critters greeting guests on the ride that brings up warm feelings.
As of right now, Disney hasn’t released further details on what the new Splash Mountain, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will entail. The animated flick took place in New Orleans during the 1920s and followed the story of Tiana (Anika Noni Rose), a young woman who has the goals of opening a fine dining establishment in her beloved city. After crossing paths with Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), who has been cursed and turned into a frog, the Prince kisses Tiana, which in turn gives her the same fate. The two then set out on a quest to find a voodoo priestess who can reverse the spell.
Going out on a limb, we think it’s pretty safe to say that the vibrant ride will see audiences hopping alongside Tiana and Prince Naveen, with spooky dangers at every drop. If you’re still hoping to catch it before it’s gone, get your hands on some Disney passes and get to the park for one last run with Br’er Rabbit on Splash Mountain.