LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Splash Mountain will have a new name — and a completely new look — at Disney Parks in 2024.
The Disney Parks Blog on Friday revealed new details of the “reimagined” ride, which will be themed after Disney’s animated film “The Princess and the Frog.” The revamped attraction, scheduled to open at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland in late 2024, will be known as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
The announcement was made at Essence Fest in New Orleans on Friday, though Disney had initially announced intentions to re-theme the ride after 2009’s “The Princess and the Frog” back in June 2020.
The decision came following an outcry on social media to change the ride, which originally contained elements from Disney’s controversial 1946 film “Song of the South.” The movie, which had been heavily criticized for its depiction of Black people, came into the spotlight once again amid civil unrest in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
“The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today,” a representative for Disney Parks wrote in a blog post in June 2020. “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.”
As revealed in Friday’s blog post, the new ride will take visitors on a trip with Tiana and other “Princess and the Frog” characters as they navigate the bayou toward a Mardi Gras celebration.
Riders will also be treated to new music inspired by the film.
According to the blog, Disney Imagineers traveled to Louisiana multiple times in order to bring more authenticity to the ride.
“Walt Disney Imagineers have been frequent travelers to Louisiana while conducting extensive research to ensure Tiana’s Bayou Adventure preserves the heart and soul of the city that inspired Princess Tiana’s story,” the blog post said. “From exploring the French Market and the bayou, to consulting with academics, chefs, musicians and cultural institutions, Imagineers have received inspiration from all over the region and learned from local experts along the way.”
Disneyland’s Splash Mountain opened at Disneyland in 1989, and at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in 1992.