Last night, Disney Parks fans watched as a classic ride shut its doors to Guests for the very last time. Splash Mountain, the iconic and long standing Walt Disney attraction came under fire for the 1946 animated film it’s based on Song of the South. This prompted Disney to shut down the ride and rebrand. The film has been criticized for its derogatory, racist portrayals.
Featuring Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear, Splash Mountain followed the characters on a log flume float towards a steep 56 foot drop. It concluded with the ear-worm “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Upon refurbishment and re-theming, the bones of the ride will be used for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Disney Parks & Theme Parks Content Creator Just Ask Danny shared this video of Splash Mountain Cast closing barn doors forever. Hoards of Guests film the moment at Disneyland Resort.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is expected to follow a very similar ride formula to the original Splash Mountain. Disney Parks Blog describes that the story will “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.”
Tokyo Disneyland, however, is not owned by Disney itself. It is owned by The Oriental Land Company. The Tokyo Disney Parks license intellectual property from The Walt Disney Company but are not owned and operated by them. This means they can make their own decisions about what goes and what stays. And in Tokyo Disneyland, Splash Mountain stays.
In fact, the Japanese Parks continued Drenched MAX! for a second year. This offering is a wetter Splash Mountain that totally soaks Guests from July to September. Even with the chance to update controversial parts of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride like the other Parks, Tokyo Disneyland opted out. Tokyo’s Splash Mountain opened October 1, 1992.
So, if Princess Tiana’s New Orleans version of Splash Mountain comes out and you’re really not feeling it – remember, there’s always Japan.
RIP US Disney Parks’ Splash Mountain:
Disneyland Resort California: July 17, 1989 – May 30, 2023
Walt Disney World Resort (Magic Kingdom): October 2, 1992 – January 23, 2023