Disney Just Shut Down Its Most Famous Ride

Splash Mountain in Disneyland has been shut down for a long-awaited re-branding.

By Robert Scucci | Published

splash mountain

We’re seeing the end of an era at Disneyland as they prepare to tear down Splash Mountain to replace it with a more timely (and less racist) attraction, according to Deadline. This closure has been a long time coming, and patrons could take one last log ride yesterday before the gates closed so the ride could be renovated with an entirely new theme based on The Princess and the Frog rather than Song of the South. This revamp was originally announced in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, calling attention to systemic racism in our country, including Splash Mountain’s celebration of the Antebellum South.

The Disney World theme park in Orlando, Florida, similarly shut down its version of Splash Mountain for a remodeling back on January 22, 2023, and the turnout boasted record wait times of 220 minutes. Disneyland saw a final turnout that had park guests standing in line for 200 minutes as they prepared for one final voyage on the legendary but problematic ride. Three and a half hours seems like an insanely long time to wait in line for a ride that’s about to get shut down for celebrating racial stereotypes, but considering how much money it costs to go to Disneyland these days, it makes sense that guests want to get their money’s worth.

Though the current version of Splash Mountain has seen its final days, it comes with the exciting news that Disney will be remodeling the ride in a way that’s more inclusive for park guests. The ride at both parks will be re-themed as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which will lean heavily into imagery found in 2009’s The Princess and the Frog. In fact, voice actors from the animated film (Anika Noni Rose, Jenifer Lewis) will be contributing their vocal talents to the re-imagined attraction.

The Princess and the Frog

Set in 1920’s New Orleans, The Princess and the Frog tells the story of Tiana, an independent and hard-working young woman who aspires to be a restaurateur. Tiana is Disney’s first black princess, and many celebrate her determination and selflessness as she navigates through young adulthood in her efforts to make something more of herself in the face of adversity. In the film, Tiana befriends an alligator named Louis who hopes to one day become human so he can pursue his dreams of being a jazz trumpet player, and we can hope that this new iteration of Splash Mountain will have a killer jazz soundtrack in place of “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

It’s about time Splash Mountain gets re-imagined in a way that allows park guests to experience an attraction that’s based on a less-dated Disney property. Considering that Song of the South has not left the Disney vaults or ever been released on video is a strong indication that it’s time for a drastic change at their theme parks. But at least Disney is standing behind their decision to make a more welcoming experience for all of their guests, even though construction will take over a year to be finished.