Racist Disney Ride Left in Terrible State, “Just Close It”

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brer bear brer rabbit splash mountain

Credit: Disney

An iconic Disneyland Park attraction is in a dire state, with a Guest sharing photos of the shocking lack of upkeep.

Credit: ABC

Related: Beloved Disneyland Attraction Reopening Imminently

The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California is home to some of the most beloved and infamous theme park attractions in the entire world. Here, Guests will find rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, Matterhorn Bobsleds,

Splash Mountain is one of the most beloved attractions in all of Disney Park history, though this history has admittedly become quite muddled.

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

A Brief History

Splash Moutain first opened at the Disneyland Resort in 1989, with two more versions opening at Walt Disney World as well as Tokyo Disneyland shortly after. Legendary Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter set out to entice more Guests to visit Disneyland, Specicaly the Critter Country area of the theme park. A log-flume ride was initially suggested but wasn’t meant with much enthusiasm. Imagineers were worried due to the fact that most, if not all, theme parks had a log-flume ride, and Disney needed to be set apart, or so they thought.

Baxter, along with other Disney Imagineers, started toying with Zip-a-Dee River Run. Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear had been walk-around characters at Disneyland for decades, so the story wasn’t entirely out of place. The attraction is based on the film Song of the Southwhich is extremely controversial, with many deeming it racist.

Song of the South is a film that utilizes a mix of live-action as well as traditional 2d animation. The film features an older African-American plantation laborer named Uncle Remus, who tells stories to a young white boy. Groups like the NAACP protested the film’s initial release. Within Splash Mountain, you can spot many of the characters from Song of the South, including Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear. At the end of the ride, Guests plummet down a 50-foot drop straight into a briar patch.

Interior of Splash Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland
Credit: Disney

Calls for the ride to be closed have been heard for decades, but more on this later.

The ride opened to rave reviews, and queue wait times skyrocketed as guests came to experience the park’s fourth mountain prompting the announcement of Splash Mountain being introduced to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland in Japan. Both parks opened within a day of each other in October 1992.

Since its original opening at Disneyland, Splash Mountain has become synonymous with Disney and is often regarded as one of Disney Imaginering’s best works. Of course, this attraction wouldn’t last forever, as we already mentioned.

Br'er Fox and Br'er Rabbit
Credit: Disney

Retheme of Splash Mountain

Because of how controversial the film Splash Mountain was base don is, a retheme was announced for the attraction back in 2020. This would see the Splash Mountain we knew and love get rethemed completely, with Disney bringing in a franchise we were during to see make a splash at the Disney Parks. This decision sent shockwaves throughout the Disney Parks community, dividing fans into two groups, those who loved the idea and those who didn’t.

Although it’s valid for Guests to be sad about one of their favorite attraction closing, this decision brought out the worst in a lot of people, with some going as far as creating petitions to “Save Splash mountain.”

The new ride would be themed to Disney’s animated film The Princess and the Frog (2009) and feature Princess Tiana as she takes Guests on a brand new adventure.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take Guests into the next chapter of Princess Tiana’s story, showing them where Tiana’s life has taken her after the success of Tiana’s Palace, a restaurant she had dreamed of owning and worked so hard to make come true — and which is coming to life in Disneyland Resort soon!

Per Disney Parks Blog, “Within the attraction queue, Guests will discover that she continues to grow her business with Tiana’s Foods – an employee-owned cooperative. Combining her talents with those of the local community, Tiana has transformed an aging salt mine and built a beloved brand.”

Logo for Tiana's Foods original hot sauce, brand for the upcoming Disney ride Tiana's Bayou Adventure
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

In this upcoming story, Princess Tiana revives the old salt mine and surrounding lands, growing a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and spices for her recipes with the help of her mother, Eudora, Prince Naveen, Louis, and fellow owners of the cooperative. Tiana’s Foods is completed with a boutique farm and a working and teaching kitchen, where Tiana and her colleagues create all sorts of new products they are bringing to the world, including a line of original hot sauces.

There were rising complaints about the state of Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, with Guests shocked at how bad things got at the end of the ride’s lifespan. For a while, one of the Br’er Rabbit animatronics was missing an ear.

The Guest who took this picture says that this is a “terrible show” for Guests riding the iconic attraction. In Disney terms, a good or bad “show” refers to how immersive and successful the theming is on a certain ride or attraction.

expedition everest yeti
Credit: Disney

Related: Rude Guest Returns to Disney, Allegedly Blocks Others From Watching Show

Current State

An example of a “good show” within the Disney Parks community could be the moment on Expedition Everest where the Yeti rips apart the tracks, resulting in you barreling down the huge drop. This moment is a fantastic example of great Imagineering, as it propels the story forward both figuratively and literally while also giving the attraction enough time for a track switch.

However, Expedition Everest also features perhaps the worst example of a “bad show” at Disney. As Guests actually encounter the Yeti toward the end of the ride, they will surely notice that the humongous animatronic has been left in a sad state. Shortly after Expedition Everest opened, something went wrong with the Yeti. It’s believed that the animatronic itself broke or proved to be too heavy and cracked part of the ride’s foundation.

Instead of moving, the impressive Yeti animatronic remains motionless and lifeless, acting more as a statue than an animatronic. Disney attempted to solve this by adding strobe and wind effects to the scene, which do help some. But this new version of the Yeti, often called “disco Yeti” is no match for the original.

It appears the Disneyland version of the ride has been left in a desperate state as well ahead of its eventual closure, with one Guest sharing a few pictures of how unkempt the attraction is:

Actual photos from prior to the drop on splash. Just close it, good lord

Related: Disney Quickly Removes ‘Star Wars’ Characters From Park

As you can see, or not see, several lighting elements are not working at all, including on the main lift hill at the end of the ride. This serves as the attraction’s finale, so to see it in such a bad state is really disappointing, even when considering the ride is closing permanently very soon.

Many Guests may be traveling to Disneyland to take one last spin on this iconic experience. Others may be enjoying it for the very first time.

As we stated earlier, Disney has not yet revealed when it will be shutting down Splash Mountain at the Disneyland Park. We can expect the closure to come soon, though, with work moving quickly on the version found in Orlando, Florida. Since closing in January, crews have been hard at work on the remodel, with tarps, scrims, and scaffolding surrounding the once-iconic exterior.

Disney recently confirmed that a major element of this overhaul would show itself very soon, with the new water tower installation being completed sometime this summer at the Magic Kingdom.

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Introduces Gender-Neutral Bathrooms at Park

The largest new addition coming to the outside of the ride is a new water tower advertising “Tiana’s Foods.” This will be found at the base of the attraction and to the right of the drop. In a rather unexpected reveal, Disney has announced this water tower will be added as soon as this summer.

Not much is known about what the experience will offer, but the exterior of the ride will be getting quite a “touch-up.”The iconic tree trunk at the top of the mountain will be removed, with new foliage being added throughout the exterior of the attraction.

Only time will tell what becomes of the rest of the attraction, but we have to say we are super excited to see how it all turns out.

Are you excited about the Splash Model retheme? Will you be visiting Walt Disney World in 2024?

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