Splash Mountain Drop Vanishes at Magic Kingdom Amid ‘Princess and the Frog’ Retheme

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A group of people descend rapidly in Splash Mountain ride amidst a rugged, rocky landscape, splashing water around as they enjoy the thrill.

Credit: Disney

As the Disney Experiences brand continues its retheme of Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom, new images have revealed that the iconic 52-foot drop at the end of the ride has vanished. The update sees comments from a Disney executive in 2022 come to fruition.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure, which replaced Splash Mountain, at Disney World.
Credit: Disney

Splash Mountain Closes at Walt Disney World Resort

In 1992, Splash Mountain opened in the Frontierland area of Magic Kingdom Park. For over 30 years, the attraction, conceived by Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter, welcomed guests to experience the story of the Br’er creatures in a water-based log-flume ride spanning over ten minutes.

With a classic soundtrack to boot, the Academy Award-winning “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah,” Splash Mountain was a fan-favorite throughout the duration of its run.

A vibrant scene of a rocky landscape with lush greenery, featuring a misty waterfall cascading down rugged red rocks. a twisted, dead tree perches atop the cliff, enhancing the wild nature of the exterior of Splash Mountain.
Credit: Disney

But, with a company as evolutionary as Disney and one that prides itself on remaining ahead of the curve through inventiveness and innovation, most things don’t last.

The closing of Splash Mountain, though, would be more about erasing the past and embodying its mission to be a company for everyone.

Colorful indoor amusement park ride featuring a pirate ship with cartoon-like characters, vibrant lights, and autumn leaves decoration, creating a whimsical, festive atmosphere at Magic Kingdom.
Credit: Disney

While Splash Mountain is based on the animated sequences of Song of the South (1946), it is still based on it nonetheless. The controversial 40s movie, based on Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus stories, received widespread criticism for its portrayal of African Americans and plantation life.

Song of the South has never been released on home video, nor is it included in Disney’s huge entertainment library on its streaming service, Disney+.

Briar Patch Sign
Credit: Disney

Despite the controversial nature of the film Splash Mountain is based on, petitions were quick to arise following Disney’s 2020 announcement that the Magic Kingdom ride would be transformed to feature the world of Disney’s 2009 animated movie The Princess and the Frog.

On January 23, 2023, Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort shuttered forever. The version of the ride in Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort closed a few months later, in May 2023. Tokyo Disneyland at Tokyo Disney Resort has the last-standing Splash Mountain attraction in the Disney Experiences brand.

Crowds on Main Street U.S.A. at Disney World with Cinderella Castle in the background
Credit: Forsaken Fotos, Flickr

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Opens in 2024

A year after the 2020 announcement, Disney shared the concept art of the upcoming retheme. Then, in 2022, Disney revealed that the Splash Mountain replacement would be called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at the ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans–the location where the animated film takes place.

While construction has been evident for a while at the former Splash Mountain area, including cast member testing of the ride and the reveal of the audio-animatronics set to inhabit the Bayou, it is unclear just how Disney will tell this sequel story to The Princess and the Frog.

The Princess and the Frog
Credit: Disney

In a new update to the ongoing discourse surrounding the imminent arrival of Tiana and Louis at Magic Kingdom, @caballero_ducky has shared footage of the attraction to X (formerly Twitter)–footage that reveals the iconic 52-foot drop at the climax of the ride has vanished.

The video reveals swirling mist at the top of the drop, meaning the end of the ride will not be visible to those riding the attraction. The mist element of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure was alluded to back in 2022 when project leader Charita Carter said it would be different from anything else at the parks.

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

“[The mists are] like a painter’s canvas to create this amazing sense of aura, which is going to be different from anything that you have seen in an attraction,” said Carter at the 2022 D23 Expo in Anaheim, Southern California.

The same account shared a series of images of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which show the mist and also other elements of the attraction:

GREAT night for tiana’s!!

There is no confirmed opening date for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom or Disneyland Park. After the ride at Disney World was bumped from late 2024 to the summer of 2024, many are expecting the ride to soft open around June.

Earlier this week, Disney World dropped information regarding its annual Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party–which is starting earlier than ever at Magic Kingdom this year–and also provided information on what attractions would be available during the hard-ticketed event.

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

Related: Disney’s New Tiana Expansion Defaced Before Opening, Fans Furious

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure was on this list, confirming, at the time, that the ride would be open by August 9, when the first night of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place. However, not long after, Disney removed the attraction, putting its dates of operation in limbo once again.

What is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure?

“Join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis on their journey through a shimmering bayou as they prepare for a spirited celebration during Mardi Gras season,” the official synopsis of the ride reads (via the Walt Disney World Resort website). “Along the way, you’ll see familiar faces and make new friends as you’re brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s inspiring story.”

Not only will Tiana’s Bayou Adventure feature the likes of Anika Noni Rose as Tiana, Jenifer Lewis as Mama Odie, and Michael-Leon Wooley as alligator Louis, but also a whole host of new musical critters to occupy the bayou.

Six animated critters: two bobcats, three bears, and a gray fox.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Related: Disney World Wants To Pay You $750 To Ride Its New Tiana Attraction

Concept Design Lead at Walt Disney Imagineering, Laura West, brought the new characters to life for the attraction. Going by the names Byhalia the Beaver, Gritty the Rabbit, Beau the Opossum, Apollo the Raccoon, Rufus the Turtle, and Timoléon the Otter, the sextet will be “playing a rendition of one of our favorite songs from The Princess and the Frog, ‘Gonna Take You There,'” via Disney Parks Blog.

What do you think Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will feature? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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