‘The Daily Show’ Weighs In on Splash Mountain, Suggests Disney World Teach Kids About Racism

in Entertainment, Television, Walt Disney World

Two stills from the Daily show featuring Roy Wood, Jr. and Wanda Sykes. A sign from Splash Mountain featuring Br'er Rabbit that reads "You may get wet."

Splash Mountain closed at Walt Disney World Resort on January 23 to make way for Princess and the Frog (2009) themed Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Princess Tiana and her friends from New Orleans will take over the same track as the Song of the South (1946) themed ride at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park (Disneyland Resort), which has caused viral controversy online in the last few months.

The ride’s iconic characters hail from a film overwhelmingly considered racist for its inaccurate depictions of life as a Black American post-slavery and a scene featuring a “tar baby.” Its theme song, “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” is allegedly based on a racist Civil War anthem.

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

This week, the political comedy television program The Daily Show got in on the Splash Mountain debate. Correspondent Roy Wood, Jr., spoke with temporary host Wanda Sykes about the ride and Governor Ron DeSantis’s efforts to remove discussions about racism from Florida’s public schools. The Daily Show shared a clip of the monologue on their official TikTok page, @thedailyshow:


Disney World might be the only place left in Florida where kids can learn about racism @roywoodjr #DailyShow #foryoupage #fyp #wandasykes #wandasykescomedy #roywoodjr #florida #disneyworld #splashmountain #desantis

♬ original sound – The Daily Show

“Disney World might be the only place left in Florida where kids can learn about racism,” Wood opened, green-screened in front of the former Splash Mountain. “…You see what DeSantis is doing down here? DeSantis taking Black history out of the schools, cracking down on AP classes. Pretty soon, he’s gonna ban the word ‘Black.’ We’re gonna have to start saying ‘super gray’ or ‘dark white’ or something.”

Related: Tokyo Disneyland Begins Nearly $400 Million Space Mountain Overhaul

Sykes suggested that kids could come to Walt Disney World Resort for fun, and then the Central Florida Disney Park could “sneak in education.”

Splash Mountain statue of Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox outside the ride
Credit: Disney

“That’s what we do, sneak it in,” Wood responded. “Like you know those bumper cars they got in Tomorrowland?… Add some cops in there pulling Black people over to teach the kids about traffic stops. ‘What you mean I was driving recklessly, sir? This is a bumper car.'”

He then mimicked being put in handcuffs. (Wood was referring to Tomorrowland Speedway, a mini-driving range, not bumper cars. Bumping the vehicle in front of you is strictly prohibited.)

A red and a blue car drive on the Tomorrowland Speedway.
Credit: D23

“You might be onto something, Roy,” Sykes said.

“I’m telling you, Wanda. We put a little racism into these rides; the kids are gonna learn,” Wood joked. “And you know… they do that parade down at Disney?… Set the parade in Selma! Walk Mickey Mouse and them across that Edmund Pettus Bridge with Buzz Lightyear on the other side waiting to beat their *sses to Infinity and Beyond.”

What do you think of the Splash Mountain monologue on The Daily Show

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