Guest-Favorite Disney World Attraction Temporarily Closed at Park Opening

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splash mountain zip a dee doo dah riverboat

Credit: Disney

Splash Mountain — the popular log flume-style ride in the Disney Parks (Disneyland Park, Tokyo Disneyland, and Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World) — are Guest-favorites, and yet, amid controversy, Disney will be retheming its US iterations of the attraction to a The Princess and the Frog story.

splash mountain with rainbow
Credit: Disney

Today, however, Splash Mountain did not open with Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Per WDW Stats on Twitter:

It is not the first time that Splash Mountain hasn’t opened with the rest of the Disney Resort’s theme parks, in fact, the attraction seems to suffer a lot from delayed openings and technical difficulties throughout the day. Recently, the ride came to a halt when a Guest exited the attraction vehicle during its run.

Other rides across Disney property do also suffer from the occasional malfunction like Sven and Olaf glitching into a “staring contest”, Guests being evacuated from the “highest hill” on Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or even rides coming to an abrupt end because someone tried to steal a cucumber in EPCOT.

splash mountain drop
Credit: Disney

More on the future of Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain is based on the 1946 Song of the South. The Disney film was never released on home video nor has it been seen on the streaming service, Disney+, since its launch in November 2019 due to its controversial approaches to storytelling, which some audiences found racist and offensive.

splash mountain animatronics
Credit: Disney

Despite the controversy, Splash Mountain was conceived using elements of Song of the South‘s animated sections including characters like Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear, while the soundtrack to the water-based attraction is anchored by the Disney movie’s Academy Award-winning song, “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”.

Last summer, Disney announced it would retheme Splash Mountain to feature stories and characters from Disney’s animated classic, The Princess and the Frog. Disney Parks Blog said of the new ride:

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.

splash mountain tiana
Credit: Disney

Since then, news has trickled in regarding the update, and most recently a New Orleans-based artist, Sharika Mahdi, was commissioned to create Princess and the Frog artwork for Walt Disney Imagineering to use as inspiration for the attraction’s retheme and inevitable new animatronics. However, despite a lot of construction seemingly happening around the Splash Mountain attraction, Disney has recently stated that the retheme will take more time.

splash mountain construction
Credit: ITM Kelly C.

In their original statement, Disney alluded to the reason behind Splash Mountain’s retheme:

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 Disney Park attraction reopened after just under an hour of closure. It is not known why Disney’s Splash Moutain ride failed to open with Magic Kingdom Park at the time of publication.

Has your Disney plans ever been derailed due to ride closures? Let us know in the comments!

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