Why Walt Disney World’s Splash Mountain Should Remain Unchanged

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Splash Mountain at walt disney world

Credit: Disney

It was recently announced that Disney’s iconic Splash Mountain will be saying goodbye to Brer Rabbit and his friends from the Briar Patch in favor of a Princess and the Frog retheme with Tiana’s Bayou adventure.

An official poster announcing Tiana's Bayou Adventure, opening late 2024.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

While this might garner the attention of a large number of fans, there are still plenty on the other side of the fence who would object to seeing the cast of the original attraction cast aside and locked in some Disney warehouse somewhere. A retheme for the attraction isn’t the worst idea in the world, but it doesn’t have to come at the cost of a piece of Disney Park history. As one of the oldest attractions in both U.S. parks, the iconic log flume ride has become permanently ingrained in theme park culture.

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Granted, there is the issue of the problematic origins of the ride’s anthropomorphic cast. Song of the South wasn’t exactly Disney’s finest moment, and it’s permanently been locked away in the proverbial Disney vault. However, the argument could be made that Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and all the rest in the original attraction have found a much more memorable career as a theme park fixture than they ever did as members of the 1946 film.

That all being said, Walt did commit to the idea that the Parks would be in a state of constant evolution. Phasing out the characters from a semi-forgotten and very controversial Disney film certainly wouldn’t be out of the question. A ride based on one of Disney’s last traditionally-animated features would be an excellent addition to any of the Parks, especially since they both share similar settings and styles. At the end of the day, however, it’s impossible to please everybody. Although, there just might be a way to satisfy both camps and make both Disney and its fans very happy.

splash mountain zip a dee doo dah riverboat
Credit: Disney

What Disney needs to do is build Tiana’s adventure, but only in the Anaheim Park. Why? Because it has the better theming to match it. Disneyland is home to New Orleans Square, famous for being the location of the original Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, and it just so happens to sit right next door to Splash Mountain in Critter Country. If the ride is going to be updated by utilizing a movie literally set in New Orleans, why not take advantage of that and leave the other one as is?

Related: Is Disney Losing Its Magic at Paradise Pier Hotel?

Br’er Rabbit is easily more at home in the everglades of Florida than in California, and having the same ride in different themes would give Guests the best of both worlds. It would be no different than what Disney has done with Tower of Terror in Walt Disney World and Mission Breakout in Disneyland. By doing this, Disney can sate both fans of both rides and give potential Guests options on their preferences.

Credit: Disney

And for those individuals that will undoubtedly condone the use of characters from such a scandalous film, it should be noted that “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” and other elements associated with Song of the South are much more associated with Splash Mountain than they are with any controversial Disney film. After all is said and done, there’s no reason Br’er Rabbit and his pals can’t be preserved. The ship might have already sailed, but it’s still a concept worth discussing.

Do you think Splash Mountain should change? Tell us in the comments. 


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