The slow-moving log ride at both Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney World in Orlando, Fla., will be replaced as the parks need to part ways with the controversial ride that features the "Song of the South" theme.
Disney (DIS) - Get Free Report needs to part ways with the controversial past of the ride's stereotypical racist undertones and Disney Imagineers have plenty of movies featuring water to be able to reinvent the beloved log ride.
Disney could have used several movies to reinvent the log ride, such as Moana or the Little Mermaid with both having opportunities to be a fun water ride. The fight with the lava monster between Moana and Maui could have easily been the next Splash Mountain.
The last day that the Song of the South-themed Splash Mountain will be in operation at Disney World before the remodel begins will be Jan. 22, 2023, as the ride will be closed starting Jan. 23. Disneyland has yet to announce official closure and remodel start dates.
The Adventure Begins
Disney has settled on bringing “The Princess and the Frog” to life at Splash Mountain. The movie debuted in 2009 and took in over $271 million. The movie is about a young woman Tiana, who has a dream to have her own restaurant. Tiana is faced with obstacles, but she overcomes them. The movie is about a young woman of color, that empowers other women and girls, to follow their dreams even when things get hard.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure was announced as the new theme for Splash Mountain in 2020 and now is set to be opened in 2024. No official opening date is set as so much can delay with such a massive overhaul of the log ride. Disney brought in renowned artist Sharika Mahdi, a visual artist in New Orleans to help bring to life the idea of Tiana’s adventure after the ending of the movie, “The Princess and the Frog.” Mahdi is an alumni of the Young Aspirations Young Artist Art Center.
Tiana is joined by her friend Louis the music loving alligator, who plays the trumpet. The adventure will feature some of the music from the film and new zydeco music created for this ride. Along for the adventure is Naveen, the prince of Maldonia, Tiana and her friends from the film and some new friends will take theme park guests on a water ride through the Bayou set during Mardi Gras.
Disney usually will close down rides and other attractions that need to be refurbished or need some maintenance done at the beginning of each year. The reason these closures happen then is because it is right after the big holiday rush of travelers, and its biggest down time for the theme parks follows the rush.
Its only appropriate that Disney World close down a water attraction during January and February as it is generally the coldest part of the year for Florida, and fewer people will want to get wet on a log ride.
Other current Disney temporary closures are Enchanted Tales with Belle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Railroad at Fantasyland, and The American Adventure at Epcot. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a temporary closure of Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple and For the First Time in Forever: A frozen Sing-Along Celebration.