Disney’s famous Splash Mountain makes way for new Tiana ride

DISNEYLAND Resort’s Splash Mountain ride, criticised for racial stereotyping, will close next month after almost 34 years to be remade as a new attraction dedicated to Disney’s first African American princess.

Opened in 1989, Splash Mountain is one of the park’s best-known rides – a log flume themed on the 1946 film Song Of The South, set on a plantation where Uncle Remus tells African American folk tales to white children being cared for by Black servants.

Set in the post-Civil War South, and famous for its Br’er Rabbit hero, the ride includes more than 100 talking, singing and storytelling animatronics, set to a soundtrack of classic Disney songs including Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.

But concerns had been raised about the outdated portrayal of Black characters, leading to a radical rethink. Plans for a replacement ride were first announced three years ago and details have been trickling out in recent months.

Now, Disney has confirmed that Splash Mountain will close for good on May 31 to be replaced by Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, based on the princess introduced in 2009 Disney Animation film The Princess and the Frog, the first to feature an African American heroine.

Set to open at the California theme park late next year, the new attraction is designed as a sequel to the movie, and will relate the new adventures of Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis.

Riders will travel with them through the bayou as as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome. Familiar faces will appear alongside new characters and a new original soundtrack inspired by songs from the film.

Disney this week confirmed that characters will also include Mama Odie, Louis, Eudora, Charlotte, “Big Daddy,” the King and Queen of Maldonia and Prince Ralphie, with the film’s voice actors reprising many of the roles.

Disney says Imagineers have conducted extensive research in Louisiana,  exploring the French Market and the bayou, and consulting with academics, chefs, musicians and cultural institutions to get the ride right.

Costume Designer Ida Muldrow from Disney Live Entertainment says: “Our efforts are a tribute to the beauty and dignity of all the proud Black women who came before us.”

The new ride will open at both Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in 2024. For updates check in from time to time at the official Disney Parks Blog.

Categories:Disney, USATags: , , , ,

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