Disney Closing Final Splash Mountain This Year, Work to Be Done

in Tokyo Disneyland

Guests on boat in Splash Mountain

Credit: Disney

Disney will be shutting down its last-remaining Splash Mountain attraction at the end of the year.

Credit Disney

Changes at  Disney World

We can’t blame you for not keeping up with Disney theme park news, as there’s so much of it coming out 24/7. The Walt Disney World Resort has had a lot going on recently, with the addition of several new rides, attractions, and experiences for Guests to enjoy. For Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and the other international Disney Resorta, new additions are the “lifeblood” of the experience, giving Guests a reason to return year after year.

EPCOT, in particular, has had a lot of additions in recent times, opening its first-ever roller coaster last year in the form of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. This thrilling coaster takes Guests on a journey to “guard the galaxy” alongside the loveable crew of misfits such as Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper), and of course, Groot (Vin Diesel).

As we stated earlier, this marks the first roller coaster to open at EPCOT, and it’s been a big hit among Guests and fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

EPCOT is currently undergoing a major overhaul, with multiple lands, areas, and attractions closing to make way for a fresh take on the theme park. Soon, Guests will be able to experience Journey of Water inspired by Moana. This walkthrough attraction will feature Moana, of course, from Disney’s beloved Moana franchise.

Te Fiti at EPCOT's Journey of Water Inspired by 'Moana'
Credit: Walt Disney Imagineering

At Magic Kingdom, Guests will find a new roller coaster as well. TRON Lightcycle/Run is the most recent attraction to open in Walt Disney World and is just as exhilarating to ride as it is to look at.

This roller coaster can be found in Tomororlwan right next to Space Mountain and though we anticipate it will never overtake Space Mountain in terms of popularity, it does make the giant white space needled look outdated, to say the least.

TRON loading area lights up blue at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

This attraction is, of course, themed around Disney’s TRON franchise, specifically TRON: Legacy, which was released in theaters in 2010. It may seem range for Disney to construct a ride based on a 13-year-old film, but not to worry, as Disney is actively working on a sequel to this film, meaning we may see even more TRON stuff at the Parks in the future.

Disney has also been teasing big changes at Animal Kingdom, revealing that plans could be made to overhaul DinoLand U.S.A. At Disney’s D23 Expo, Disney hinted that the entirety of DinoLand could be a thing of the past very soon, revealing concept art of Zootopia and Moana-themed lands. While this may come as a surprise, it makes sense as Disney is actively working on new films in both of these franchises.

A waitress serves two female guests at The Diamond Horseshoe
Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

Splash Mountain Retheme

Even if you haven’t been keeping up with every bit of Disney news in the last few years, you’ve surely heard of the upcoming retheme of Splash Mountain. Few things have been talked about more than the permanent closure of one of Disney’s most beloved rides, Splash Mountain. This retheme was first announced a few years ago, and 2023 marks the year that both Disneyland’s and Walt Disney World’s versions of the attraction will close for good.

This new ride is called Tiana’s Batou Adventure and takes inspiration from Disney’s 2009 animated film The Princess and the Frog. Guests are invited to embark on a brand-new adventure alongside Princess Tiana and other fan-favorite characters from this classic Disney film.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open first at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World in 2024, with Disneyland’s following shortly after. Disney World’s Splash Mountain closed in January, with Disneyland’s closing this summer.

However, there is a problem, one that may confuse some Guests.

Credit: Disney

As you may know, Splash Mountain can be found at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. However, a third version exists in Tokyo Disneyland. This version is quite similar to Walt Disney World’s version, though the effects and animatronics are more impressive, as is standard in most international Disney theme parks.

The major difference now is that Tokyo’s version will not be closing for this retheme. That’s right, Tokyo Disneyland’s Splash Mountain will remain as is for the foreseeable future. This may be a comforting fact to those who feel sad about the erasure of Splash Mountain from the American Disney Parks.

Unfortunately, Splash Mountain is set to close for refurbishment later this year at the Tokyo Resort.

When taking a look at the official Tokyo Disneyland Resort calendar, we noticed that Splash Mountain had been added to the list of upcoming refurbishments. Splash Mountain will be closed starting on November 28 and will not reopen until December 28. This means Guests won’t be able to ride this attraction for around a month. However, the Tokyo Disneyland Resort is incredible an doffers so much in the way of fun, magic and interactivity.

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

History of Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain has a long and checkered past at the Disney Parks. The reason Disney decided to close the attraction for good stems from the animated film the ride is based on. In 1946, Disney released the animated film Song of the South, which involved a mixture of live-action and animation. The film features typical beautiful Disney animation, art direction, and catchy tunes. However, the film is undeniably problematic, taking place in the reconstruction-era South.

The main live-action character of the film is Uncle Remus, who many take issue with for being a caricature of African Americans during this troubling time in our history. The film was controversial since the day it was released, making us question why Disney decided to theme a ride around it in the first place.

Song of the South has since been forgotten, at least by Disney. The film has been virtually wiped from existence, with Disney not selling the film since 2001. Disney has also never allowed the film to be streamed on its Disney+ streaming service. Although, those seeking to watch the film can find it online through various sources.

The decision to close Splash Mountain was incredibly controversial, essentially splitting Disney Park Guests and fans into factions, with some agreeing that it needs to close and others saying it needs to stay. A petition was even started to “Save Splash Mountain,” though anyone could see this would never gain any serious traction.

Disney in Japan
Credit: Tokyo Disney

Tokyo Disney recently announced quite a few ride and attraction closures. Below is a list compiled of all rides and attractions at Tokyo Disneyland that will be closing through October 2023.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: September 5 to April 7
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant: September 5 to April 9
  • Cafe Orleans: December 1 to March 31
  • Alice’s Tea Party: April 3 to April 17
  • Swiss Family Treehouse: April 1 to Undetermined
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey: April 18 to May 1
  • Space Mountain: April 17 to June 21
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant: May 10 to May 25
  • Mark Twain Riverboat: May 10 to June 28
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters: May 11 to October 31
  • Castle Carrousel: June 12 to June 22
  • Snow White’s Adventures: June 19 to June 23
  • Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions: June 27 to July 28
  • Haunted Mansion: August 10 to September 13
  • Meet Mickey in front of Main Street House: July 3 to September 13
  • Sky Full of Colors: July 3 to September 6
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin: September 19 to October 6
  • Gadget’s Go-Coaster: September 4 to September 13
  • it’s a small world: September 15 to October 2
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: October 3 to October 27

While it may seem strange Tokyo Disneyland’s version of Splash Mountain is set to stay open, it makes sense when considering Japan’s vastly different history than America’s. Of course, there’s always the potential for Disney to announce the closure of this third and final version, but for now, Guests visiting Asia will be able to experience this beloved yet troubled adventure.

What do you think about Splash Mountain? Will you miss it? Stay tuned here at Inside the Magic!

in Tokyo Disneyland

View Comment (1)