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Your Racist Disney Memorabilia Could Be Worth Thousands

Two hands exchanging a dollar bill over a fantastical miniature landscape featuring Splash Mountain merchandise, a small house, and vibrant, detailed greenery under a clear blue sky.
Credit: Disney, Canva

Over its decades of existence, Disney has had numerous films and offerings that have faced public scrutiny. As the world evolves and public opinions change, certain topics and concepts can be deemed no longer palatable by modern audiences. While many of Disney’s intellectual properties have faced this fate over the years, none has raised the amount of public uproar as the downfall of the Splash Mountain theme park attraction.

The Splash Mountain controversy sparked widespread discussions and debates regarding the ride’s origin film, Song of the South, and its portrayal of African American characters. Many have raised concerns about the ride’s connection to the controversial movie, which has been criticized for its racially insensitive depictions and themes. As a result, Disney called for a retheme of Splash Mountain to be more inclusive and respectful towards all cultures.

Despite the rethemed attraction, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, being weeks away from completion, the fandom of Splash Mountain is far from dying. In fact, some memorabilia for the ride is more profitable than ever. One fan’s recent discovery of Splash Mountain memorabilia has opened even more eyes to the profits that “racist” merchandise can draw in.

Related: Disney Park Sticks to Tradition: Splash Mountain Retains Classic Theme Despite Criticism

Animated display of a lion character with a shaggy mane and an owl companion in Tiana's Bayou Adventure setting with vibrant lighting, accentuating the whimsical and cartoonish theme.

Credit: Disney

Splash Mountain’s Insensitivity Does Not Affect Profitability

When the Splash Mountain controversy first ignited, it brought to light the importance of critically examining the cultural representations in theme park attractions and acknowledging the need for diversity and sensitivity in these experiences. Disney fans and advocacy groups have been vocal about their desire for change, highlighting the significance of cultural awareness and representation in popular entertainment venues like Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

The conversation surrounding Splash Mountain delved into a broader discussion about race, representation, and the impact of historical narratives on modern-day entertainment. It also was a reflection of the evolving standards and expectations for cultural sensitivity and diversity in the entertainment industry, prompting important conversations about the responsibility of companies like Disney to uphold respectful and inclusive representations.

While many stood by Disney’s decision and quickly labeled Splash Mountain a racist and problematic attraction, many others saw though the problematic themes and fought to preserve the more wholesome elements of the theme park ride. To many, this ride was a legitimate piece of theme park history that deserved protection, even after its permanent closure at both United States theme park locations.

A vibrant diorama featuring a waterfall cascading from a rocky peak into Tiana's Bayou Adventure, where animated figures in tribal attire are rowing canoes. A wooden hut sits by the waterfall

Credit: Disney Parks

The Price of Disney Nostalgia

While the ride is no longer in existence, the attraction has found a second life through the resale market of Disney collectors. Resellers like Lakeland Antique Mall have begun selling old artifacts from the attraction, and from its appearance, this kind of memorabilia is incredibly profitable. Photos shared to a Splash Mountain FaceBook group show items worth hundreds to thousands of dollars. Compared to what these items cost when sold, these margins are quite staggering.

For Disney fans who may have some old Slash Mountain artifacts lying around, now may be the opportune time to cash in. With all eyes on Disney’s Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ahead of its opening at Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park, plenty of people will be reminiscing and comparing it to Splash Mountain. Now more than ever, it could be the opportune moment to cash in on Disney Park nostalgia.

An animated character in a green jacket and pink blouse, smiling and waving in front of a backdrop featuring rocky landscapes and rustic wooden structures at Tiana's Bayou Adventure.

Images Credit: Disney, Canva

Regardless of how you feel about Splash Mountain’s racist origins, it is truly fascinating to see how Disney fans commodify and treasure old Disney attractions. The lore of Disney continues to remain a money-maker for Disney merchandise resellers due to fans wanting their own piece of Disney theme park history.

What do you think about Disney’s resale market?

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.

2 comments

  1. I remember when Splash Mountain first opened. We drove twenty four hours to try it. We loved it. I had never heard of Song of the South and of course never connected it to anything wrong. We loved it for the fun music and characters. I am an adult and I would wager not everyone who loved the ride knew anything about the movie. But even though it was a much loved ride it is gone now which makes me sad

  2. I think Disney needs to stop trying to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy and leave the original creativity as was! Never seen “Tenia” or whatever and don’t plan to. WDW, leave it as it was and keep a wonderfully sentimental story for future viewers to see.

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