Last year, Disney announced that it would be retheming the popular Splash Mountain attraction at both its Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The attraction, which took Guests on a trip with Br’er Rabbit as he searched for his “laughing place” and ended with a heart-stopping drop into a briar patch, will get a Princess and the Frog-themed makeover.
In Disneyland, Splash Mountain is located in Critter Country. Critter Country also consists of the attractions The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes (which Guests take through the Rivers of America). Guests can also get food at the Hungry Bear Restaurant or Harbor Galley. Shopping locations include The Briar Patch (the Splash Mountain gift shop), and Pooh Corner, which sells adorable merchandise and delicious treats. There is also a small play area for children.
Critter Country sits next to the New Orleans Square area of Disneyland Park, which works perfectly for the Princess and the Frog retheme. Since most of Critter Country is taken up by the Splash Mountain attraction, that got us thinking, what should Disneyland do with Critter Country?
Here are some of my personal ideas for what Disneyland could do to reimagine the Critter Country area of the theme park.
One option that Disney has is to extend New Orleans Square and take over Critter Country. Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana in The Princess and the Frog, has said that she would love to see Tiana’s Place/Tiana’s Palace become a reality, so perhaps they could change Hungry Bear Restaurant to meet the theme. That would technically give Disneyland another Cajun-themed restaurant, which the theme park really doesn’t need because it already has several (I think it should really retheme one of those into Tiana’s Place), but the option is there.
Going further with the New Orleans Square expansion, this writer thinks that Ray and Louis are completely underrepresented characters from the film. Retheming the area could continue to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride as well as the play area and merchandise location that accompany it. If Disney wanted to make an attraction that was fun for children of all ages, imagine having Louis and Ray take you on a trip down the bayou!
The area where Pooh’s Corner is located could also be a perfect area to place a spot dedicated to one of Disney’s most animated villains, Doctor Facilier. Who wouldn’t love some sweets, treats, and merchandise from the other side?
Another option Disney has is to update the theme park area with a more popular ride, perhaps a Ratatouille-themed one. Originally only found in Disneyland Paris, Ratatouille: The Adventure was so popular that Disney decided to create a new version in Walt Disney World and call it Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
The Florida attraction is scheduled to open later this year in time for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration. Removing The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride and play area would possibly be able to make room for an attraction with Remy and his friends. Then, the area could still be known as Critter Country, perfect for a rat, like Remy!
Disney could also decide to make the area a princess area — more specifically, a Tangled area. Tangled is incredibly popular and seems to only be gaining steam. It is so popular that Disney has announced that a new Tangled area would be coming to Tokyo DisneySea.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction and play area could be removed and a Tangled-themed ride could take its place. Pooh’s Corner also makes a great spot for the Snuggly Duckling where everyone can sing about their dreams — except Flynn, his dream stinks.
While all of these options are simply the ideas of a wanna-be aspiring Imagineer, it will be interesting to see what happens to Critter Country when the Splash Mountain retheme finally happens.
What do you think should happen to Critter Country? Let us know in the comments below?
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.