Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom closed its doors for the last time on Sunday, January 22. Construction has already begun on Walt Disney World Resort’s Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, a Princess and the Frog (2009) retheme of the Song of the South (1946) ride set to open in late 2024 at both United States Disney Parks. (Disneyland Resort’s version of Splash Mountain has yet to close.)
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The Central Florida Disney Park greeted tens of thousands of Guests mourning their favorite log flume ride. But many cheered the closure, as the ride’s theme song and characters harken back to an inaccurate and stereotypical portrayal of post-Civil War life for Black Americans.
Fights broke out as Guests clamored to be the last to ride Splash Mountain. In the end, Disney Cast Members were the last on board.
One Guest in attendance shared a clip of one Splash Mountain Cast Member’s final announcement as they shut down for the last time. From @waltdisneyworldtom on TikTok:
Splash Mountain the final announcement as the ride closed for the final time at Walt Disney World #splashmountain #disneynews #disneyrides #magickingdom #foryourpage #distok #disneypov
“Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, Br’er Bear, and all critters of Chickapin Hill, thank you for the memories,” the Disney Cast Member said. “And Billy, have a good night. And be nice to Tiana.”
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According to Disney Cast Members in the comments, Billy is a ghost that they say good night and good morning to every day to ensure the ride’s smooth operation. This is a long-standing tradition at rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion.
This adds more context to the emotional tone as the Cast Member says good night to Billy for the final time, asking him to be kind to Princess Tiana as they prepare for the New Orleans retheme.
“So nice that they mentioned Billy, especially on its last announcement,” @anthony1920s wrote.
“I am in tears,” said @itsjana993. “Forever cherishing in my heart all the memories this ride gave me with loved ones – some not even here anymore.”
Are you excited about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure?