It has been a dramatic week for the theme park world after one of the industry’s most recognizable and divisive attractions finally shuttered.
Emotions were high for many, actions were questionable for some, and for Walt Disney World’s rival, it was the perfect opportunity to roast the fans.
January 27, 2023, will be a day for the history books; the classic, 30-year-old Walt Disney World Resort attraction, Splash Mountain, closed down. No longer will Guests partake in a log-flume adventure with Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear, and Br’er Fox complete with “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” soundtrack as The Walt Disney Company made the decision to retheme the water ride in response to a changing cultural landscape.
It was back in 2020 that Disney Parks announced that Splash Mountain would be changed to a Princess Tiana theme based on events after the 2009 movie, The Princess and the Frog. Of course, the news caused an immense backlash that continued over the last three years to its closure and still continues to this day.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will debut at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom — no word on the closure of Disneyland Resort’s just yet — sometime in late 2024. Just a day after closing, walls were erected around the Frontierland attraction as Walt Disney Imagineering got underway with the retheme much to the chagrin of some diehard Splash Mountain fans.
Disney fans are some of the most loyal fans in the world and the closure of Splash Mountain pulled many back to The Most Magical Place On Earth. Queues stayed long throughout the day and wait times soared up to a new record of close to four hours during the ride’s final day of operation. Guests sang, wore Splash Mountain-themed attire, and bottled the water…
Yes, a flurry of Splash Mountain water listings have made their way onto eBay, with some prices heading into the thousands. The behavior is, surprisingly, not that unusual for theme parkgoers as Disney Park water — Splash Mountain, “it’s a small world”, and Pirates of the Caribbean included — is often a coveted souvenir for some.
The selling of the attraction’s water caught the attention of Walt Disney World Resort’s rival, Universal Orlando Resort, which in turn, dug through their archives to roast Disney fans.
Universal Orlando Resort’s Twitter account is often humorous with the social media team commenting on people, events, and other theme parks, offering a funny commentary on the recent news in the theme park world — oh, and churros. The surge in eBay listings for Splash Mountain water caused Universal to call out these very specific Disney fans. They wrote:
Also, not for selling.
Also, not for selling. https://t.co/2fAQMiS37W
— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) January 24, 2023
Universal specifically picked through their older content in order to make a dig at those Disney fans selling jars of theme park water. The original tweet, published in May 2021, came after a TikToker went viral for showing himself going around various Universal Studios Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventure locations drinking water from fountains. The addition of “not for selling” is a direct reference to the Splash Mountain water making its way to the internet.
Universal has always put out tweets that directly reference goings on at other theme parks, primarily Walt Disney World Resort. The light-hearted, playful manner in which the Comcast-owned theme park Resort does so is more often than not received well by Guests and fans of the Central Florida Parks, giving personality to the sprawling business.
And that business will sprawl some more in the next few years as Universal Parks & Resorts recently announced a new theme park concept coming to Frisco, Texas (joining Universal’s Epic Universe that is already being built) and a year-round horror experience, akin to their defining Halloween Horror Nights seasonal events at both Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood, in Las Vegas, Nevada. When the announcement dropped, fans rejoiced over this move away from the east and west coast model, stating that Universal was seemingly going through a Disney Parks in 90s moment — something Disney is being urged to do also.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens at Walt Disney World Resort sometime in late 2024.
Do you enjoy Universal calling out Disney fans? Let us know in the comments down below!