Disney is set to retool its popular log flume ride Splash Mountain which will see the removal of its themes from 1946’s Song of the South.
Opening first at Disneyland on July 17, 1989, Splash Mountain has been a popular attraction, but as time has gone on, the theme has raised some concerns. Based on Disney’s 1946 film Song of the South that combined live-action and animation, the film is currently locked in the company’s vault. Based on the stories of Uncle Remus, it has been deemed to racist to be released again due to the slavery storyline.
While Splash Mountain doesn’t use Uncle Remus himself, it does use music from the film as well as the characters of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear.
The ride has progressively drawn more attention due to the use of these elements. In light of the protest following the death of George Floyd, the topic has been raised again. Following calls for the change, Disney finally revealed this week that it has been in the planning stages for a year to convert the ride to a theme based on the 2009 film, Princess and the Frog.
The voice of Princess Tiana and Tony Award-winning actress, Anika Noni Rose, said in a statement, “It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized! As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!”
Charita Carter, the senior creative producer leading the project at Walt Disney Imagineering added, “Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests.”
There is currently no timeline on when the changes will be made, but they will take place both at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.