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In One Week, Disney’s Magic Kingdom Will Change Forever

If you plan to visit Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Park in the near future, take note, as the iconic Disney Park is about to change forever in just a few days.

Not only will the Park feel different, but the “mountain challenge” at Magic Kingdom Park, including a ride on Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland, and Splash Mountain in Frontierland, will soon be a thing of the past.

Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

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The nostalgic Splash Mountain attraction will close forever, with its last day of operation taking place this weekend on Sunday, January 22, 2023. Splash Mountain will permanently close on Monday, January 23, 2023. Disneyland Resort has yet to announce an official closing date for Splash Mountain at Disneyland Park.

The ride’s closure has been a long-awaited one, as The Walt Disney Company made it clear in June 2020 that Splash Mountain no longer has a place at Walt Disney World. Disney’s focus on “inclusion” has allowed the company to take a closer look at its current attractions that portray different cultures and ethnicities in potentially negative ways.

Not only have we seen changes to Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Tom Sawyer Island attractions, but Disney has taken a closer look at the Song of the South (1946) themed attraction, Splash Mountain, which has been noted as having racist connotations.

Splash Mountain
Credit: Disney

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Before Splash Mountain’s description gets removed from the Disney website forever, it shares the story of the log flume-style ride as “A Hare-Raising Ride” with:

Gently drift through a colorful Southern bayou along with happy-go-lucky Br’er Rabbit as he looks for his “laughing place.” But be warned: Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox are in hot pursuit of this wayward hare.

Glide by over 100 adorable Audio-Animatronics geese, frogs, raccoons, possums, bees, alligators and other down-home critters as they sing classic Disney ditties, including “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and “Ev’rybody’s Got a Laughing Place.”

Then hang on to your hats—this delightful musical cruise ends in an exciting 5-story splashdown into a thorny Briar Patch!

You Will Get Wet: This attraction includes 950,000 gallons of water, 3 dips and a 5-story drop. Where you’re seated will determine how wet you’ll get. Riders in the back may experience a sudden splash or spray; those who opt for the front can expect to get soaked.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure
Credit: Disney

With the Splash Mountain ride moving out, a new attraction called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, inspired by the Disney animated film, The Princess and the Frog (2009), is moving in. The Walt Disney Imagineering retheme from Splash Mountain to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is said to be complete in “late 2024.

Disney has shared, “In Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, you’ll join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis during Mardi Gras season as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans.” The tour of the bayou will likely be a stunning one as art renderings show the glow of fireflies both inside and outside of the attraction.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure
Credit: Disney

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A certain popular Disney villain will seemingly be left out of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure as reports show no sign of the villain of the story… Dr. Facilier. Disney fans are still hoping there is a nod to Dr. Facilier somewhere in the attraction that art rendering has yet to share. We can expect to see Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen, Louis, and Mama Odie.

Be sure to take one last ride on the iconic Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park before it is gone forever on January 23, 2023. We will be sure to keep Disney Dining readers updated as we learn more in the coming years of its replacement, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.