‘The Princess and the Frog’ Plunges into Splash Mountain

On June 25, 2020, Disney announced their plans to retheme Splash Mountain – at both Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida – into a completely new experience. Based on the 2009 film The Princess and the Frog, the reimagined attraction will follow Tiana and Louis as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance down in New Orleans. According to Disney, development for this project began back in 2019, and with the events following the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd’s tragic killing, many urged Disney that a retheming of Splash Mountain was much needed.

For some, this is good news because the ride is outdated, and the movie it was based off on is racist. While others are upset because they don’t see the need for Splash Mountain to be changed, and it is a timeless classic.

Splash Mountain opened to the public on July 17, 1989, for Disneyland; and October 2, 1992, for Disney World. Tokyo Disneyland has the attraction too, and that will stay the same for now.

How do I feel about Disney retheming Splash Mountain? I mean, I love Splash Mountain; it’s my favorite attraction at Disneyland because of the music, the scenery, and that 52-foot drop is epic! It’s a classic, and it’s one of the few older attractions left at the parks. Like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain is one of those things that defines a Disney theme park. I’m not a big fan of change because I need comfort to be satisfied. Once they change Splash Mountain, Disney won’t stop! What’s next, they reimagine Peter Pan’s Flight?!?! 

It’s impossible to please everyone, so even if Disney rethemes Splash Mountain into a ride based on a non-controversial movie, there are going to be people who are upset, I guarantee you! There are countless issues regarding Disney films like the Native American stereotypes in Peter Pan and Pocahontas, the crows and animal cruelty in Dumbo, the offensive portrayals of Arabic people in Aladdin, and the list goes on and on. But many have to consider the times, what was appropriate back then, and that Disney is learning from their mistakes. It sucks that even the smallest controversies can set people off. But think about it, if Disney were to get rid of every ride that contained something offensive, the parks would be empty!

On a more positive note, Disney has made changes to beloved attractions in the past, and they turned out amazing for the most part. Disney World’s Epcot replaced Malestrom with Frozen Ever After, Disneyland replaced Tower of Terror with Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!, and they replaced California Screamin’ with the Incredicoaster. I love Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!, and I’ve been longing to ride the Incredicoaster after watching videos of it and people talking about how awesome it is. Change can be a good thing, and thankfully they’re keeping the 52-foot drop because it’s the best part of Splash Mountain. Also, those animatronics are a little bit creepy, so I’m not going to miss those frogs, birds, and foxes a whole lot.  

Walt Disney once said that “Disneyland will never be completed, as long as there is imagination left in the world.” So change is always in the works, and that’s something I’m going to have to accept. If they do end up getting rid of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s Flight, or the Jungle Cruise even, I may be more upset, but for now, I’ll manage!

I’m sad to see Splash Mountain go, and I’m going to miss singing along to “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” but part of me is excited about the retheme because the soundtrack to The Princess and the Frog is incredible; it’s a great movie too! We’re saying goodbye to a classic, but we’re also gaining a new ride for a princess who truly deserves the spotlight!  

What are your thoughts on Disney reimagining Splash Mountain based on The Princess and the Frog? Are you excited or indifferent about it? Let me know in the comments below! 

Take care and see ya real soon!

Lana

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