Few things are more talked about in the Disney community than the upcoming retheming of Splash Mountain. Announced back in the Summer of 2020, this retheme would turn the quite “problematic” Song of the South (1946) theme into a story based on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog from 2009.
This decision is quite controversial, however, with many fans not approving of the retheme.
A lot of Guests and fans were saddened and even angered by the decision, citing that Splash Mountain is an iconic and legendary attraction within the Disney Parks, and removing it is the wrong choice.
While Splash Mountain is a very iconic and beloved attraction and has become one of the most recognizable rides in the world, the basis for the ride does come from a film that Disney has done its best to hide. Disney’s Song of the South (1946) is a film that many have deemed racist for its depictions of the Reconstruction-era American South.
The film has been effectively erased from Disney’s ever-expanding catalog of animated films, though with enough digging, you are sure to find it online. While slightly sad, we at Inside the Magic couldn’t be more excited for the new ride, now called “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure,” which will be opening in 2024.
We can apparently expect a lot more information about this retheme at Disney’s upcoming D23 Expo, which takes place in September.
Disney D23 is “The largest Disney fan event in the world,” and this year’s expo will be no different. This year’s D23 Expo celebrates the wonderful worlds of The Walt Disney Company, including Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars across film, television, theme parks, and more!
The event starts on September 9, but we hope you have already bought your passes because, as of now, tickets are now completely sold out. While we don’t have any concrete information on what will be discussed, we have a few things to look forward to, especially when it comes to the Disney Parks. One of the major projects fans have been clamoring for ever since 2017’s D23 expo is the official opening of Magic Kingdom’s brand-new TRON roller coaster.
As stated on the official Disney Parks Blog, Guests will be able to explore all kinds of upcoming projects that Disney has planned, including the highly-anticipated Splash Mountain retheme:
“From the moment D23 Expo 2022 begins, attendees will be able to explore the Disney Parks Wonderful World of Dreams pavilion and step right into the new stories, attractions and adventures Disney Imagineers are bringing to life around the globe. There will be behind-the-scenes glimpses of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the transformation of EPCOT, new Frozen-themed experiences, Disney Cruise Line, live entertainment and more to explore at the pavilion.
Splash Mountain can be found at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland. More on the upcoming retheme below:
Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of “The Princess and the Frog” to our parks.
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!”
The approach to retheming or “plussing” attractions (as Walt Disney referred to it) begins with Imagineers asking the question, how can we build upon or elevate the experience and tell a fresh, relevant story? It’s a continuous process that Imagineers are deeply passionate about. And with this longstanding history of updating attractions and adding new magic, the retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. 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.
What do you think about the retheme?
Visit the official Disney World website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR the official Disneyland website to plan your trip to Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — and the Downtown Disney District!