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festival of fantasy parade
Credit: Disney Parks

Disney World removes potentially offensive song from Festival of Fantasy Parade music

Yet another reference to the “Song of the South” theme at Splash Mountain has been removed from Disney Parks. We have just learned that Disney World has removed the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” from its Festival of Fantasy parade soundtrack.

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

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Disney Parks announced it would be changing the theme at the Splash Mountain attractions at Disney World and Disneyland after growing unrest over the negative stereotypes found in Disney’s Song of the South film, which was originally released in 1946.

Guests cited topics like slavery and others in the Song of the South film, as the story follows the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris. According to the Disney Fandom Wiki, Song of the South follows the story of Uncle Remus and animated characters like Br’er Rabbit and his pals:

“The live actors provide a sentimental frame story, in which Uncle Remus relates the folk tales of the adventures of Br’er Rabbit and his friends. These anthropomorphic animal characters appear in animation. The hit song from the film was “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”, which won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Song and is frequently used as part of Disney’s montage themes, and which has become widely used in popular culture.”

Song of the South | Top 10 Disney Controversies | TIME.com

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

The Splash Mountain attractions at Disneyland and Disney World never featured Uncle Remus, but they do feature Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear, among other characters from Song of the South. Part of the experience is set to “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” in the background. The lyrics are as follows:

“Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh, my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!
Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s “actch’ll”
Everything is “satisfactch’ll”
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!
Yes, sir
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh, my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!
Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s “actch’ll”
Everything is “satisfactch’ll”
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, feeling this way!
Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It is the truth, it’s “actch’ll”, hm?
Where is that bluebird?
Everything is “satisfactch’ll”
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!”
Song of the South': Why the Controversial Disney Movie Is Not on Disney Plus

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

But Disney has announced that the song will no longer be featured in the Festival of Fantasy parade music. In August 2020, Disneyland Resort in California removed “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” from areas of the parks in which it was heard.

Both Splash Mountain attractions will be re-themed and will include characters and a storyline from Disney’s 2009 film The Princess and the Frog.

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About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!