Only Three Categories of Guests Will Be Among the First to Experience Magic Kingdom’s Newest Attraction Next Month. Are You Among Them?

in Featured, Movies, Walt Disney World

A grayscale illustration shows a group of guests smiling and standing together, wearing aprons labeled "Tiana's Foods." A large, stylized orange and red number 3 is centered over the image, partially obscuring the characters behind it. A crane in the background hints at Magic Kingdom's newest attraction.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Only three categories of Disney World guests will have the opportunity to experience Magic Kingdom’s newest attraction when it opens in June. Read on to learn whether you’ll be among those included.

A vibrant image of a fairytale castle with tall spires, blue roofs, and intricate gothic architecture, set against a bright blue sky with radiant sunbeams.
Credit: Becky Burkett

A Guest-Favorite Ride on the Chopping Block After 30 Years of Success & Popularity

Long ago–eons it seems–guests at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida celebrated the opening of a brand-new attraction–one whose claim to fame centered around a five-story drop (approximately 50 feet high).

And back in 1992, fans were also quick to offer bonus points to the new ride, as it not only counted among Disney World’s attractions that could be described as thrilling (at least during the final 60 seconds or so), but it was also a water ride–something many fans enjoyed, especially in the hotter-than-fried-heck summers notorious in the Sunshine State.

A construction wall at Magic Kingdom displays a colorful mural promoting Splash Mountain's opening in Fall 1992. The mural features cartoon scenes with anthropomorphic animals like a bear, rabbit, and fox, along with speech bubbles and a wooden sign showcasing the park's newest attraction.
Construction walls surround the site of the soon-to-open Splash Mountain ride at Magic Kingdom/Credit: Reddit/DouglasRather

No wonder they called it Splash Mountain.

For more than 30 years, fans flocked to the Central Florida Disney parks, naming Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain among their must-do attractions. For many guests, experiencing Splash Mountain during a Disney World visit was as paramount as riding Pirates of the Caribbean or Space Mountain was for many vintage Disney Parks fans.

Related: Johnny Depp Shocks Fans Inside Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction

A colorful and detailed rock formation resembling a mountain, with rugged terrain, patches of greenery, and a distinct peak. The sky is overcast, adding contrast to the vibrant hues of the rocks. At its base, a wooden structure with a peaked roof hints at the Magic Kingdom's newest attraction launching next month.
Credit: Disney Parks

Related: Young Boy Jumps Out of Splash Mountain Log Flume, Causing Panic and Mass Evacuation

Throughout its more than three decades at Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland, Splash Mountain was even given the esteemed honor of being counted among Disney World’s “mountains,” a group of rides that includes Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, Big Thunder Mountain, and, depending on the guest, even Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, though its inclusion among the famed “mountain” attractions is still up for debate in the minds of some fans.

But in June 2020, a single announcement by Disney Parks would change the course of Magic Kingdom Park history forever.

Disney World Announces a Massive Attraction Redo

That summer, Disney announced plans for the carefully executed demise of Splash Mountain, explaining that “change is rooted in a tradition set by Walt Disney, who encouraged new innovations, new ideas, new scenes, and current storytelling.”

The image shows what Tiana's Bayou Adventure will look like at Magic Kingdom after the Splash Mountain retheme is complete.
Credit: Disney Parks

Construction began at the site of the now-defunct Splash Mountain at Disney World in January 2023 as diehard fans lamented the ride’s disappearance. Some even attempted to monetize the event, attempting to sell various elements from the old ride via online marketplaces like eBay.

Perhaps the most interesting of those offerings came in the form of containers of water bottled at Splash Mountain before its final drop, and asking prices got steep. It didn’t take long for officials to issue a warning about the alleged Splash Mountain H2O, urging fans not to drink it or use it as it likely harbored millions of microbes.

Experience the Magic Kingdom's newest attraction: a theme park water ride where guests encounter animated characters in a lively river scene. Vibrant red rocks frame the background, while some whimsical characters appear to have crash-landed into a patch of vegetation, infusing chaos and fun into your journey.
Credit: Disney Parks

The trend even spawned copycat sellers–one of whom attempted to sell the supernatural from the Haunted Mansion attraction to fellow fans. Needless to say, that guest likely doesn’t have a big future in sales.

Only days ago, Disney World announced the opening date of the Splash Mountain replacement attraction. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which was inspired by Disney’s 2009 blockbuster, The Princess and the Frog, features state-of-the-art audio animatronics and lively music from the bayou and tells a new story about Tiana–but with lots of familiar faces from the film.

A whimsical nighttime scene in Magic Kingdom's newest attraction features riders in a log flume approaching a lively animal band playing on a wooden dock. A woman in explorer attire stands smiling by a tree, and two green frogs sit on a lily pad in the water dotted with pink flowers.
Credit: Disney Parks

Following the announcement of the opening date for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Disney World, Sarah Riles, Vice President of Magic Kingdom Park took the opportunity to tout the ride’s inclusion points, saying to guests in a press release:

You’ll join Princess Tiana on an adventure through the bayou as she prepares to host a one-of-a-kind celebration during Mardi Gras season where everyone is welcome.

Though Disney has all but refused to state in unmistakable terminology that the decision to destroy, dismantle, and dismember the wildly famous attraction was largely and initially based on its roots in a somewhat problematic 1947 Disney film, the proverbial writing has always been on the wall.

Sadly, at the time of the announcement, there were other attractions at Disney World for which the need for a reimagining was far more urgent. You can read all about one of those attractions and its insulting, offensive, and unforgivably insensitive element–an element that is still in place inside the attraction to this very day–by clicking here.

Three Types of Guests Will Get to Ride First

Disney has been touting the new attraction since its inception, providing more and more details about the ride as its debut draws near.

A vibrant, colorful illustration showing children watching in awe as a joyful, animated marshmallow character performs on stage, surrounded by glowing lights and a magical "Tiana's Bayou Adventure" ambiance.
Credit: Disney

But until now, you’ve likely not heard that only three categories of guests will be the first to experience the new Tiana-inspired ride when it opens in June, and if you are among those graced with such an opportunity, you’ll likely be able to spot guests who fall into each of these categories.

The “It’s About Time” Guest

The “It’s About Time” guest is one of three types of Disney World visitors who will be among the first to experience Tiana in all her reported glory at the new Bayou Adventure attraction.

This guest is one who was among those who led the initial charge to ditch Splash Mountain because of its association with Disney’s Song of the South (1947) several years ago. This guest might also be among those who decided to join the cause later on. Regardless of how the “It’s About Time” guest arrived at his or her anti-Splash Mountain mindset, one thing is true of many of them: They’ve never even seen Song of the South.

Uncle Remus and kids, Disney's Song of the South
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

This particular guest isn’t irritating because of his or her opinions. After all, we all have them, and we’re all entitled to them. Rather, this guest is often irritating because of his or her lack of research into the topic. Feel, think, believe, and act according to whatever you like, but if you want respect from others, you’ll need to be able to have an intelligible conversation about the topic, no matter what the topic is–Splash Mountain or otherwise.

Yes, it’s about time for people to be able to talk about topics that are surrounded by controversy–and to finally come to the realization that we don’t have to agree to live cohesively and peaceably.

The “This Will Be the End of Disney World” Guest

These guests are the ones who are sure that the reimagining of Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain attraction will single-handedly be responsible for the demise of the entire Walt Disney World Resort.

Whether they agree with the decision by Imagineering to completely overhaul the Splash Mountain or not, they are fairly secure in their beliefs that changing such an iconic piece of Disneyana (of sorts) will bring about the end of Disney World as we know it.

A road leading to the entrance of Walt Disney World is shown, with a large, colorful archway overhead. The arch features the Walt Disney World logo, the phrase "The Most Magical Place on Earth," and images of Mickey Mouse on the left and Minnie Mouse on the right. Tiana's Bayou Adventure awaits inside.
Credit: Becky Burkett

For reference, many of the “This Will Be the End of Disney World” guests who will ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure when it opens are akin to those guests who were certain the end of the Maelstrom at EPCOT’s World Showcase would do the same.

A charming, medieval-inspired building illuminated at night, featuring stone walls, arched windows, and a sign reading "Maelstrom." The scene evokes the magic of Tiana's Bayou Adventure with a small rocky stream in the foreground, framed by a metal railing and lush greenery.
Credit: Disney Parks

For further reference, it didn’t.

The “The Sky is Still Falling” Guest

The third type of guest who will be among the first to experience Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is the same type of guest that seems to show up every time Disney World debuts a new attraction, though many wish they wouldn’t.

The “The Sky is Still Falling” guests are those who find something about which to complain, regardless of the situation. In the case of the new Magic Kingdom attraction where Splash Mountain once stood, the “The Sky is Still Falling” guest might find something offensive–yes, even within a brand-new attraction that was literally created to cover over such an offense.

A composite image shows two scenes: on the left, a group of people smiling and enjoying Tiana's Bayou Adventure log ride, and on the right, a man gesturing with his hand while appearing to explain something, with a blurred background.
Credit: Inside the Magic

This guest might be the one who points out everything Imagineering could have/should have done differently in the new Tiana-inspired experience. Never mind the fact that they themselves likely don’t have the experience or expertise in a field of study that would lend itself to such superior knowledge.

This guest might be among your traveling party–or in another family visiting the parks. Either way, however, they have an unmistakable gift for putting a damper on everyone’s day at Disney World.

A black and white photo of a large, fairy tale-inspired castle with many spires and turrets, set against a dark, cloudy sky. In the foreground, bustling activity unfolds before Tiana's Bayou Adventure; people are visible, some blurred from motion. Gardens and lanterns adorn the area.
Credit: Becky Burkett

Again, guests can believe, think, and feel whatever they like–but that doesn’t give them the right to spew their complaints and frustrations so loudly that they sully the magic for others who–like them–also purchased a park ticket for that day.

It Just Is What It Is . . .

Regardless of your feelings about the many changes that have taken place–or are planned–at Walt Disney World, it’s likely that those opinions–however grounded–won’t have much bearing on a decision by Disney Parks officials–especially a decision that has already been made and is entering the beginning stages of execution.

If you need proof, just look back on Disney World’s decision to give Mr. Toad the boot in September 1998. The guest-favorite Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride attraction became the stuff of Disney Parks history just one year after rumors began to stir about the silly toad’s ensuing demise–regardless of the attempts by thousands of fans who ramped up all types of “Save Mr. Toad” campaigns, which included mailers, t-shirts, and other campaign collateral.

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