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Controversial Splash Mountain Song Lives on at Walt Disney World

br're fox br'er bear br'er rabbit splash mountain
Credit: Disney

When guests head to the Walt Disney World Resort this summer, they will be greeted by a new attraction in the Magic Kingdom. Despite the impending opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, fans will always long for the Laughing Place and Splash Mountain.

Fans were perplexed when Disney announced that Splash Mountain would be removed from Disney Parks worldwide, except for some reason, Tokyo Disneyland. There were protests and petitions on social media; some even took to drinking and selling Splash Mountain ride water.

The image shows what Tiana's Bayou Adventure will look like at Magic Kingdom after the Splash Mountain retheme is complete.

Credit: Disney

But when Disney World and Disneyland introduced the animatronics from the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the online fury seemed to die as fans realized they were getting something much better. But fear not, Splash Mountain fans—Brer Rabbit and his friends are returning at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Ride Controversy

The original Splash Mountain is based on the Walt Disney film Song of the South (1946). During its 100th Anniversary, the Walt Disney Company tried to highlight many of its achievements in the film industry; however, Song of the South was notably absent from that celebration.

The "Tar Baby" scene in Song of the South

Credit: Disney

Song of the South is accused of using racial stereotypes, especially in the character of Uncle Remus. However, Walt Disney knew that the film would cause controversy when it was in production.

During the filming, Disney hired African-American writer Clarence Muse as a screenplay consultant, hoping he could tamper down some of the racial issues in the writing. But Muse quit after his suggestions to portray African Americans with dignity and not to feed into racial stereotypes were ignored.

Song of the South is Disney’s most racist film, and it would make sense that the company would try to bury it. The movie cannot be found on Disney+, nor was it released as a part of Disney’s box set.

Return of Splash Mountain

Despite the controversy surrounding the ride at Walt Disney World, at least one part of Splash Mountain has remained in the parks. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure stripped away most of what was Splash Mountain, but Disney found a way to keep part of the ride alive.

Disney has included the Academy Award-winning song, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, on its resort transportation system. Guests report hearing the song on the buses from Disney’s All-Star Music Resort to the Magic Kingdom.

So, if you happen to be on that bus and feel nostalgic for Splash Mountain and the Laughing Place, Disney has you covered. For now, it’s the best you can do to find at least some part of Splash Mountain in the parks.

What do you think of Disney’s decision to keep the famous song from Splash Mountain in the parks? 

This post originally appeared on Inside the Magic

About Rick Lye

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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