It’s no secret among Disney fans that the Song of the South (1946) has been a blemish on the Company for several years (decades, even).
Splash Mountain vs. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
As such, we have seen Splash Mountain completely shut down at Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom Park to be replaced with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The re-imagined ride will open in 2024 at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom Park and use the same track layout as Splash Mountain. It will feature songs and characters themed to The Princess and the Frog (2009) and will feature 17 new audio-animatronics.
However, if fans of the classic Splash Mountain ride or its cast of characters were hoping that Disney would leave some semblance of them, they may be disappointed.
The Briar Patch
In Disneyland Park, The Briar Patch gift shop was once decorated with images and icons from Song of the South (and Splash Mountain). However, as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure begins to take over the old attraction, it seems Disney is intent on scrubbing all remnants of the property.
Once upon a time (about five minutes), artwork displaying Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear used to be present inside the Briar Patch gift shop. Regardless of the changing merchandise, the decor was still tied to Splash Mountain and its inhabitants.
Imagine if they had replaced the Brer carvings with carvings a generic bear, fox and rabbit. I would’ve been happy with that. pic.twitter.com/XbSVRvolXb
— Sammyland🏳️🌈 🐉 (@Sammyland6) August 28, 2023
But it appears recently that all images of the three characters have been removed from the store and replaced with generic woodland creatures. Many people had hoped that even as Splash Mountain transitioned to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, elements of the original ride would remain. Disney is famous for keeping callbacks in their parks to former attractions. However, this may be a rare situation in which Disney pretends Splash Mountain (and Song of the South) never existed.
Although there are some criticisms of Disney making these minor changes to the shop in Disneyland, it makes theme park guests wonder if Walt Disney World Resort will also try to remove any Splash Mountain references.