In this current climate, Disney is making an unprecedented move to retheme Splash Mountain in California and Florida.
The ride themed after “Song of the South” will be remodeled after “Princess and the Frog” and will pick up after the movie’s final kiss and follow the beloved characters as they prepare for the Mardis Gras performance.
According to the Disney Parks Blog:
“The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. The new concept is inclusive — one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.”
A date has not been set for the debut of the Splash Mountain ride makeovers.
Imagineering will soon begin preliminary reviews of the Splash Mountain attractions at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom and conduct digital scans of the individual ride layouts.
The Splash Mountain makeover will be led by Imagineering senior creative producer Charita Carter, who is also working on the new Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway dark ride set to debut at Disneyland in 2022.
“Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures,” Carter said in a statement. “I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests.”
Childhood memories of watching “Song of the South” inspired Imagineer Tony Baxter’s initial idea for Splash Mountain that opened at Disneyland in 1989, according to Disney’s D23 fan club.
Three decades later, Baxter will serve as a creative adviser on the planning and design for the “Princess and the Frog” makeover of Splash Mountain.
“The attraction will be one to be proud of,” Baxter said in a statement. “I look forward to being a part of a new adventure in Disney magic and fun.”
The move by Disney follows a flurry of social media buzz to update Splash Mountain’s controversial backstory amid social justice protests across the United States sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.