Disney is retheming its Splash Mountain ride in the Magic
Kingdom and Disneyland parks, replacing “Song of the South” with “The Princess
and the Frog.”
Since the attractions opened in 1992, Splash Mountain has featured characters in the 1946 animated/live-action film “Song of the South,” which is based on Joel Chandler Harris’ collection of Uncle Remus stories. For
years, critics have called the portrayal of African Americans in the film as
Splash Mountain will instead be themed to Disney’s 2009
animated film “The Princess and the Frog,” picking up the story after the movie
ends. The film’s protagonist, Tiana, was Disney’s first Black princess.
In a post on the Disney Parks Blog, Disney said its
Imagineers approach retheming an attraction by asking the question, “How can we
build upon or elevate the experience and tell a fresh, relevant story?”
“And with this longstanding history of updating attractions
and adding new magic, the retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular
importance today,” Disney said. “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.”
Imagineer Charita Carter, who recently worked on the new
attraction Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Disney’s Hollywood Studios,
is the creative producer leading the Splash Mountain retheming.
Disney said conceptual work is underway. Soon, Imagineers
will develop a timeline.