“#Splash Mountain to be redone with ‘Princess and the Frog’ theme after racial backlash”
June 25, 2020 | 1:40pm
Disneyland and Disney World will change their popular ride Splash Mountain into one with a “The Princess and the Frog” theme, ditching the ride’s connection to the racist “Song of the South” movie.
Earlier this month, several petitions to have the Anaheim, California, and Orlando, Florida, parks update the ride have garnered thousands of signatures in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Song of the South” is a 1946 film from the Mickey Mouse studio and is largely considered to be the company’s most-racist work because of its stereotypical depiction of black people.
“Splash Mountain — at both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida — will soon be completely reimagined,” Disney announced Thursday in a blog post.
A timeline for the update has yet to be announced.
“Princess and the Frog” is a 2009 animated flick that focuses on Tiana, a waitress who hopes to open her own restaurant in 1926 New Orleans. She is the studio’s first black princess.
The refocused ride will pick up after Tiana and Prince Naveen share a kiss, at the end of the movie. She will be joined by Louis, the trumpet-playing alligator.
“[Splash Mountain will] join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure — featuring some of the powerful music from the film — as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance,” the Disney release said.
Actress Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana in the film, is happy to see her character recognized this way.
“It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized,” Rose said. “As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!”
Changing Splash Mountain isn’t the only petition Disney has to worry about right now. Some are also pushing the parks to delay the July 11 Orlando and July 17 California openings, as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
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