Disney announced the nostalgic Splash Mountain attraction at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort would be dropping its Song of the South (1946) theme and making an adjustment to be more inclusive with The Princess and the Frog (2009) theme. While Br’er Rabbit vs. Princess Tiana has been among many Disney fan discussions, oddly enough, Disney has dropped the reimagining reference from its website.
Disney first made the announcement of the retheming back in June 2020. The shock of the announcement quickly spread through Disney fandom causing mixed views. Some Disney fans were excited that Princess Tiana and her New Orleans crew would finally be getting an attraction themed after them. On the flip-side, some Disney fans wanted Disney to keep the classic Splash Mountain boat ride as is with Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear.
Now, a year and a half later, we aren’t seeing any adjustments taking place to Splash Mountain just yet. Splash Mountain recently underwent its “routine maintenance” closure, but the reopening showed no signs of Princess Tiana. Not only did Splash Mountain resume as is after the refurbishment, but Disney dropped the reimagining reference of the upcoming The Princess and the Frog theme from its website.
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Previously, the Splash Mountain ride landing page noted, “An exciting new refresh is coming to this attraction.” The note included a “Read More” link which took Guests to details about The Princess and the Frog retheming. Now, that message is completely gone.
While Disney may have dropped the reference from its website, you can still find reimagining details on Disney Parks Blog which makes us believe all is still a go for the transformation.
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products shared reimagining of Splash Mountain has been expedited back in November 2020. In August 2021, Melissa Valiquette, the Vice president of Magic Kingdom, asked for patience with “Our Guests are going to have to put a little bit of trust into us for a bit because we promise not to let you down. We’re going to deliver a wonderful attraction that is inspiring and beautiful and worthy of this princess, Princess Tiana.”
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Disney’s description of the reimagining has noted, “As seen in this latest rendering of the attraction, the story will take place after the final kiss as Naveen and Louis join Princess 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!”
Are you hoping Splash Mountain remains as the “laughing place” with a “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” day, or are you ready for Princess Tiana to arrive? We’ll continue to keep you posted as we learn more as this reimagining unfolds.