Back in 2020, Disney announced that it would be retheming one of its most iconic attractions — Splash Mountain. The new attraction will be themed after the hit Disney film, The Princess and the Frog. The retheme is going to take place at both Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort in California. People expected Disney Imagineers to quickly jump on the massive project and complete it as soon as possible, but years have passed, and no work has started at either Resort. However, we may have just learned when the ride retheme will be completed.
Anika Noni Rose voiced Princess Tiana in the original film and revealed during a recent interview that the Princess and the Frog Splash Mountain retheme will be complete, and the ride will be open by 2024. A lot of Princess and the Frog fans were thrilled to hear that the project was still happening, but just as many people were upset, as they love the original ride and don’t want to see it changed.
While Rose seemed confident in what she said, Disney would not confirm that the retheme would be complete in 2024. After Rose revealed the completion date in her interview, Disney released the following statement:
“We have already shared how we are bringing Tiana’s story to life at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. While timing has not been determined, we look forward to sharing more details during Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans in July.”
At this time, we don’t have a ton of details about the ride, we do know that it will take place after Tiana and Prince Naveen’s final kiss. Disney Parks Blog did share the few details we know, saying:
Tiana is an ambitious and resilient woman, who proves that success comes through a connection to her family and community and has learned to never lose sight of what’s really important – giving back to others through great food and inspiring them to achieve their full potential.
As seen in this latest rendering of the attraction, the story will take place after the final kiss as Naveen and Louis join Tiana on her latest adventure, hosting a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome – during which some original music inspired by songs from the film will bring guests into the story. Tiana is leading the way and fans will be able to encounter old friends and make new ones along the way as well!
The theme park attraction retheme has been a very controversial one that has brewed a massive debate between Disney purists and those Disney fans who like change. Those who are excited about the change say that when something is realized to be problematic — something Splash Mountain has been accused of — then you change it and acknowledge that changes are needed.
On the other side, Disney purists believe that classic attractions are classic for a reason and not everything needs to change simply because society is changing. Splash Mountain is based on the film Song of the South — which has been deemed racially insensitive. Many acknowledge that the film is insensitive, but feel that the ride is not.