Disney's Splash Mountain Is Getting a Magical Princess and the Frog-Themed Makeover
Disney's Splash Mountain ride is getting a long-awaited 2020 makeover that would make Princess Tiana proud. On June 25, Disney's Imagineering Team announced that plans are underway to replace Splash Mountain with a Princess and the Frog-themed ride at both the Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida. Plans to reimagine the classic theme park ride come following criticism from park-goers who have pointed out the ride's racist origins.
Disney fans even organised a petition that has been signed by over 20,000 people insisting that the park change the theme of the ride. "While the ride is considered a beloved classic, its history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes," the petition reads. "There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need."
"Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what's really important."
The ride was initially inspired by Disney's Song of the South, a 1946 film that has rightfully been criticized for its offencive portrayals of the Black community. Disney has kept the film locked away for decades and excluded it from the lineup of movies available on Disney+, making the decision to change Splash Mountain's theme long-awaited. "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," Disney's statement reads.
According to Disney, the new ride — which has been in the works since last year — will pick up right where the film left off, after Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen's final kiss. Riders will be encouraged to join Tiana and her trumpet-playing alligator Louis "on a musical adventure" inspired by Mardi Gras. "Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what's really important," Disney's statement reads. "It's a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou."
While no expected date has been given for the opening of the new ride, Disney is working on a phased reopening of its parks across North America and noted that "conceptual design work is well underway" for the Princess and the Frog ride. Take a closer look at what to expect from the upcoming ride, and see what a few of the voice actors from the 2009 film have to say about the exciting news ahead.