Disney announced today that its Splash Mountain ride at both California’s Disneyland and Orlando’s Walt Disney World parks will soon pay tribute to Princess Tiana.
Currently based on Song of the South, a 1946 Disney live-action/animated musical, the ride will be “reimagined” based on the 2009 animated movie The Princess and the Frog.
The movie is set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the ride will pick up after the movie’s final kiss scene, and take Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure as they prepare for their first Mardi Gras performance. The new theme fits in well with Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, but Disney-related social media groups are also buzzing about how it will blend into Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland.
Disney says the change has been in the works since last year, though Splash Mountain has been trending on social media recently. The current inspiration, Song of the South, has been criticized for portraying stereotypes of black men and the antebellum South. In its announcement Thursday, Disney said: “The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.”
A timeline for the ride’s change has not yet been announced. Walt Disney World is currently slated to open mid-July, though Disneyland just postponed similar plans in light of the coronavirus pandemic.