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.
Details on the overhaul have been sparse, though earlier this year, we learned that it would be opening in 2024. Disney promised even more information on the new attraction at its D23 event, and earlier during the actual event, we had our first real look at what the ride will look like, well, at least on the outside.
The picture above is a model representing what we can expect from the new ride, officially called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. So far, not much has changed except that the iconic tree has been removed from the top of the mountain. There is also a water tower on the right side of the attraction when looking at it, which reads “Tiana’s Foods.”
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.
However, as far as the ride’s story goes, we’re still in the dark. The original voices of Princess Naveen (Bruno Campos), Louis the Alligator (Michael Leon Wooley), Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis), and Princess Tiana (Noni Rose) will return for the attraction. But there was one character who was notably missing, that being the iconic Dr. Facilier played by the unmistakable Keith David.
Of course, when looking back at the original movie, Dr. Facilier died at the end of the story. Fans were aware of this but still secretly hoping this villainous character would somehow make a return in this upcoming attraction.
We are super sad that this character will not be present for the new experience, nor will any of his incredible songs (as far as we know). There was so much revealed at this year’s D2 expo, and the Splash Mountain news was just a small part of it. Click here for more of our coverage of the event!
Are you excited about this retheme?