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Disney retheming Splash Mountain at WDW & Disneyland to The Princess & The Frog

bugmonster1

New Member
I imagine the Black Lives Matter movement has something to do with this. I am by no means racist and don't support any kind of discrimination whatsoever, but this movement is getting beyond a joke, as ALL lives matter, no matter your culture.

I wouldn't have minded if just one of the Splash Mountains (preferably the California version as it would suit the park better) was converted, rather than both. Or even if they converted the Chinese version, and keep the Magic Kingdom one as is, which is what I think they should do. Don't feel like going all the was to China tor ride the original once more.
I think that everyone is equal until you touch my wittle wog flwuume!! 🤬🤬🤬 get over yourself. (Also learn where Tokyo is)

I think its something you just gotta get over... sure it is a classic, but it needed a fair share of TLC. This new theme will hopefully give the ride that TLC it needs while also bringing in a great new story line for a great movie! The potential they have for this is insane, but people will always pay it dust just because they can't let go of their childhood.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Cry about it.

All lives cannot and will not matter until black lives matter. Of course every person's life is important, but black people are being killed and targeted at an unfair rate to white people and saying all lives matter does nothing but invalidate this and try to shift the issue. If your neighbor's house was on fire and people were trying to put it out would you say that they should try to help your house too even if it isn't on fire because all houses matter?
If my house was also on fire then it would be a team effort? Not really the best analogy.

No matter how much we hate it, the fact is that there will always be some discrimination in the world.

(Also learn where Tokyo is)
I thought it was at Hong Kong Disneyland. My bad.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Learn how to read while also learning where Tokyo is please
Number one, why would I say to my neighbour that they should help me when my house isn't on fire, even if all houses mattered? There is nothing to help with... That doesn't make any sense. Anyone with any respect would help anyone who's house was on fire, so all houses do matter really.

And number 2, it's not that I don't know where Tokyo is, its that I thought Splash Mountain was at Hong Kong Disneyland, not Tokyo. That was just my bad.
 

Rupert

New Member
To agree with what Pear is saying - BLM doesn’t mean that all other lives don’t matter, of course not. I’ve attached an image that goes with the house on fire analogy, but the video below summarises it as well as possible:


Finally for everyone saying that they haven’t noticed that Splash Mountain has racist undertones so it shouldn’t be changed - a lot of us are in a lucky position not to notice things like this or be the subject of them. But for every black person that is aware of the historical context, it’s yet another reminder in an everyday setting of the awful history they have endured, that shouldn’t have to be seen or linked to a fun activity.
 

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Littlebrotoby

New Member
Just bringing this back about the ride, I imagine Disney made this decision quite recently (with all of the current events) which makes me wonder how much of this is planned already, and when they will begin the refurb

Have they announced a date yet for the refurb to start yet?
 

Pear

Active Member
Just bringing this back about the ride, I imagine Disney made this decision quite recently (with all of the current events) which makes me wonder how much of this is planned already, and when they will begin the refurb

Have they announced a date yet for the refurb to start yet?
The article states that this has been in development since last year so it's definitely not a recent decision, however, I imagine COVID has made them push back the plans a bit.
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
I was so surprised to see Disney officially come out to say this was happening, but also really proud.

Growing up (as an ignorant white kid from the UK), Song of the South was one of my favourite movies. Brer Rabbit was my favourite Disney character and of course by default Splash Mountain was my favourite Disney ride. So I can understand where a lot of the 'oh, but my childhood memories' crowd are coming from for sure. But there's no denying that the pressure for Disney to do something about such a HUGE elephant in the room such that Splash Mountain had become and I'm really glad it's happening. It's been a long time coming and Disney have a long history of going back and making changes to things in the parks that just don't reflect what's appropriate anymore. It's how parks like this survive and continue to offer something new, exciting and relevant for modern audiences. Walt himself said the parks will never be finished and the refreshing of attractions is reflective of that mantra.

I don't believe this is a knee-jerk reaction to the BLM movement like many others believe - it's long been on the rumour-mill that something of this nature was on the cards. I believe the timing of the press release and announcement is brilliantly tactical to look like Disney are listening and adapting to mounting public pressure for change but the reality is things like this take months, even years of planning and consideration so it's pretty much certain that this has been chugging along in the background for a while in terms of development.

To the 'but a Bayou theme won't fit in Frontierland' crowd I say - Song of the SOUTH, upon which Splash Mountain is themed, is set on a plantation in Georgia - geographically it's Deep South much the same as PatF. The American frontier upon which Frontierland is based doesn't necessarily just refer to the old/wild west as many would believe (fairly enough seeing as that was a HUGE part of the frontier dream and the part that's mot romanticised in media). The frontier was basically the whole of the US following the first settlements on the East Coast, including the Deep South, so it very much has a place in Frontierland. Also issathemepark so it's not that deep.

Personally I adore PatF and think it's a really underrated Disney classic animated movie. The songs are great, the characters are great, the setting is great, the entire movie is full of colour and energy and is perfect to be adapted into a fun, family thrill ride. I think it's going to really be something.

The part where I get a bit conflicted is that, although I am a fan of the movie, the subject matter of PatF itself can be seen as problematic. You have the fantasticisation of Voodoo into general spooky Disney villain stuff when it's actually a sacred religion for many people. It's also set in the Deep South in the 1920s but paints a picture that everything is fine and dandy and Black and White people get along, no racism here! Of course, we don't expect a Disney movie to be gritty and realistic but if part of the issue with the Song of the South subject matter for Splash Mountain was that the movie portrayed an idealised version of post-Civil War plantation life then I fail to see what the difference is with basing this updated version of PatF which also portrays an idealised version of Deep South America, just from a few decades later (if it's something really obvious I'm missing please somebody explain because I am drawing blanks!)

Any theme or Disney story that has some grounding in real world locations and politics obviously is going to come a little loaded with context and underlying meanings, which is partly why I'm so surprised they're giving it such a starring role. ALSO what does this mean for other Disney attractions based on IPs that also contain problematic scenes that Disney themselves have acknowledged (Dumbo/Peter Pan) or classic Disney attractions that contain culturally insensitive scenes/subject matter borne of their time period (looking at YOU Jungle Cruise and It's A Small World!)

I guess what I'm trying to say is yay for Disney making a step towards positive change but how can we continue to move forwards and away from this when the very idea of Disneyland was created by a white guy in a pre-Civil Rights movement America and will therefore always come with an underlying subtext of internalised racism? I feel like it's the impossible task but honestly kudos to Disney for trying.
 
Genuine question - how are they going to handle the Voodoo theme contained in the PATF film? hasn't theming surrounding that come under fire in the past due to Voodoo being a very serious religion for some? i remember voodoo mansion at Oakwood falling fowl of that controversy?

Also it would be great if they themed the WDW and the DL one differently!.. Pocahontas for WDW!!
One way they could do it as a family friendly way is play the instrumental version of Friends On the Other Side and do some lovely multi colour lighting package with some magic projection mapping in an indoor scene
 
I never knew Splash Mountain had anything to do with a movie even. Only ridden Splash Mountain in Disneyland once and that was in the 90s. The impression I got from Disneyland in those days was that most big rides / areas were more generic "Matterhorn Bobsleds", "Space Mountain" "Big Thunder Mountain" "Frontierland", "Tomorrowland" etc and finally "Splash Mountain" (obviously I made a mistake with that one) with Star Tours, Indiana Jones and the fantasy rides being sort of exceptions to the rule.

If there is a negative issue with Splash Mountain I can understand the reasoning for the re-theme (especially right now) and as pointed out the location in the Anaheim park where SM is not too far from the New Orleans square probably makes it quite suitable so I am sort of coming round to the idea. Having said all that, I actually liked The Princess and the Frog movie a lot but think it deserves its own new ride. Not just a re-theme of an old one just to be politically correct.

I think if The Princess and the Frog were released today it probably would do a hell of a lot better (Even if it were still hand drawn) than it did when I saw it in the cinema. Tiana was definitely a great addition to the Disney princesses and I can't say anything negative about that.

Hopefully the final re-theme will be more impressive than the likes of Hyperspace Mountain (Disney Paris), Star Tours 2 (Disney Paris) and what I've seen of the Incredicoaster (only basing that one on POVs). Really disappointed with those updates/re-themes to be honest. I think Star Tours 2 isn't fun at all compared to the original and should have just been closed like what happened with the Back To The Future ride. They should never have touched Space Mountain. A Jules Verne themed coaster in Discoveryland in Paris and then it gets re-themed to bloody Star Wars? Insanity if you ask me. I admit hearing the Star Wars music play when the coaster rolls around to launch is epic (even the scroll text effect) but it is just desperately sad not to have a big Jules Verne inspired ride anymore amongst all that nice steam punk theming which seems to also have come back in fashion now. An indoor Star Wars coaster could have been plonked anywhere in the studios park.

So I guess my main points are no not every ride in Disney's parks needs to be IP, specific movie related I reckon but at the same time The Princess and The Frog definitely needed its own ride as it is a significant film, even if the ride is coming a bit late (same sort of thing happened with Ratatouille which is perfect the way the ride is done). 👍
 
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LiveForTheLaunch

Well-Known Member
I might come under fire for my opinions regarding this whole movement, and I first want to start off by saying that yes, black lives do matter and it is important that they are heard. I also understand why Song of the South is considered a troublesome theme and why they have made the decision to replace it with another, perhaps more relevant theme (despite being riddled with its own issues as people have already pointed out). I just believe this is also a knee-jerk reaction, and if it's not a knee-jerk reaction it's certainly convenient timing to be announcing it. I also think that erasing every possible thing related to the negative aspect of black history or any race's history is a mistake in itself. It's awful that racism has existed in the past, but by trying to eradicate traces of the bad stuff it kind of dampens the progress that black people have made (despite racism still obviously existing) from the past to the present day. It's not only this, but things like erasing Chase the police dog from Paw Patrol because of what happened to George Floyd, erasing Aunt Jemima off pancake syrup, Uncle Ben and Mrs. Buttersworth being taken off of their respective food items, etc. It's one thing to care about black lives, but I just feel like everything is being taken to the extreme and it's really ****ing annoying me now. Black lives matter to me, but I don't scoff at my maple syrup or think of police brutality when my son watches Paw Patrol.

As Jordan kind of already pointed out, what does this mean for other things? On top of Dumbo and Peter Pan, I guess they better take away the Thanksgiving themed stuff at Holiday World as well because of the darker history that revolves around Thanksgiving. Better forget Fantasia ever existed because that has some pretty crappy undertones as well, for racism as well as gender issues. Some songs in Jungle Book are also thought to hold racist undertones too, so I guess we better change all that. And then they choose a film with voodoo in it which, as people have said, could introduce another issue.

I am on a rant here, but not everything should change and not everything needs to change. Fine, they are changing the theme to Princess and the Frog, but to me all these little changes everywhere are bandaids and do nothing to solve the real problem (because I don't believe this was coincidentally announced during this movement). Education about black history and what is going on in the present regarding racism and police brutality is more important than slapping on a new theme or removing a face from my pancake mix. Why don't places do something useful, like donate a small percentage of admission sales or food sales or something to helping poverty stricken black kids or something like that? Something along those lines would make me far more proud of corporations and parks than just changing the theme on a ride.

Also, how many of you would honestly say that you wouldn't ride Splash Mountain because it's too racist?

I am annoyed, as you can see.
 
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I Totally agree with Jordan - the issue is a LOT more nuanced than either ' YES get rid of it no questions asked' or 'NO keep it! - its Nostalgia'

Disney is fully of problematic issues when you start looking (and yes people have now started looking) - is it a case of getting rid of the 'worst' offenders or the 'ones people will notice/ speaking about'

Like people have mentioned Splash mountain isn't directly offensive in the fact I doubt any black child riding it nowadays would feel unsafe or find anything within the ride that they even relate to themselves or even there parents wouldn't!
It's essentially a cartoon fantasyland filled with singing animals - I mean in Tokyo, that's literally what it is! it's related closer to fantasyland than it is to frontierland - it's so far removed from their culture - i.e. Fronteirland is seen as 'fantasy' unlike America which sees it as 'nostalgia'.

But one can't deny the existence of the film - and that shadow will really never go away, the main problem being that it portrays the 'good old days' of the deep sound - basically a 'fictionalised' good-old-days which never really existed and in which black people still experienced unprecedented hardships!

And Jordan's right - PATF has that exact same issue - 1920 New Orleans would not have been the marvellous integrated time insinuated in the film!

But maybe if we look at other classic Disney films based in Europe and other parts of the world - they were fantasy REPRESENTATIONS of European villages, kingdoms etc -e.g. Arundell isn't even a real place!
So maybe if he view the new Orleans in PATF as a FANTASY 'representation' of era and place! i.e. it's not actually new Orleans but a new Orleans that exists in a parallel universe!

then we could loop back and say the song of the south was based in fantasy Americana not actuall the real world .....and that's why these discussions aren't simple!

Also I mentioned before and Jordon brought up - the representation of Voodoo! And the problem is - the whole film is anchored around that aspect - and includes some of the more magical and dramatic elements - so PATF without the Voodoo aesthetic would be nothing!
The problem is that voodoo is a very sacred religion to some, I know Oakwood park came unstuck in the early 2000's with their new ghost train 'Voodoo Mansion' which was quickly changed to 'Spooky 3D' due to questions being raised about the subject matter! How true that is and how true people are offended by it I'm not sure! i mean the entertainment industry - Horror movies, Scare mazes, HHN etc still dine out on it etc.

other Issues I see in Disney parks include:-

Frontierland - Glorifying the days of stealing land off the native people and glossing over genoside and abuses!

Adventureland - Cultural appropriation of Africa, Asia, Polynesia and south America - lumping them together as 'exotic' - also '1 or 2' questionable moments of Jungle cruise' !!!

Dumbo:- glossing over the exploitation of circus animals

Hall of Presidents:- a lot going on there! slavery and other human rights violations happened under many of those glorified presidents!

Alice in Wonderland: - the author had dodgy relationship with an 11 y/o

Peter pan - similar controversy as the author to Alice - as well as depictions of 'Indians'

'its a small world' - is full of cultural stereotypes, thing is...... is an African child depicted in national dress anymore offensive than a white child in 'Swiss' international dress i.e. the stereotypes aren't 'negative' as such, and wouldn't it be more offensive to remove the black figures and therefore 'whitewash' the ride - Its complex! Maybe Disney should consult each country and research how they'd be happy to be depicted i.e. if certain represented 'dance moves' are correct etc etc.

Basically with the above issues I'm not saying I agree with them or saying they necessarily need to change - but highlighting how you could start finding issue and tackling them without 'starting Disney all over again' - and the fact that there will ALWAYS be issues with things - it's how we choose which ones to deal with and how to move forward!
 

LiveForTheLaunch

Well-Known Member
'its a small world' - is full of cultural stereotypes, thing is...... is an African child depicted in national dress anymore offensive than a white child in 'Swiss' international dress i.e. the stereotypes aren't 'negative' as such, and wouldn't it be more offensive to remove the black figures and therefore 'whitewash' the ride - Its complex! Maybe Disney should consult each country and research how they'd be happy to be depicted i.e. if certain represented 'dance moves' are correct etc etc.

Basically with the above issues I'm not saying I agree with them or saying they necessarily need to change - but highlighting how you could start finding issue and tackling them without 'starting Disney all over again' - and the fact that there will ALWAYS be issues with things - it's how we choose which ones to deal with and how to move forward!
I was actually going to bring up It's a Small World. The ride's very premise is basically to stereotype.

But yes, you are right. If you delve deep enough into ANYTHING, you can basically find some kind of issue. Even as far as the gender equality issue is concerned, I had an actual assignment in university where I basically had to grasp at any straw I could in about 20 songs that weren't offensive in the least and write about why they were problematic. Same can be done for most things at Disney when it comes to race.
 

Gazza

Active Member
If my house was also on fire then it would be a team effort? Not really the best analogy.

No matter how much we hate it, the fact is that there will always be some discrimination in the world.


I thought it was at Hong Kong Disneyland. My bad.
When someone says "Save the Whales" it doesnt mean fu****ck all other mammals.

So when someone says BLM, it doesn't mean they are saying other lives dont matter.

They're just trying to highlight a specific issue right now,
 
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Crazycoaster

Active Member
I imagine the Black Lives Matter movement has something to do with this. I am by no means racist and don't support any kind of discrimination whatsoever, but this movement is getting beyond a joke, as ALL lives matter, no matter your culture
This is horrendously ignorant, please take some time to realise by saying “Black Lives Matter”, it is not in any way saying other lives don’t. Do some research and please never ever say “all lives matter” again, thanks!



Honestly, the ride is still going to be the exact same ride as before. They aren’t getting rid of the drops, or the mountain. It will still be Splash Mountain, it’ll still have cute cartoony characters, it’ll still have songs. I only know the main song from an old sing a long VHS, never had any interest in watching the actual movie, and brer rabbit isn’t exactly a noteworthy character.


I’m hoping they don’t stop there, if they really want to get rid of racism in the parks, they need to bin off the Trump animatronic :p
 

TPSou

Member
Who cares if a bunch of white people don't have a problem with possible racism in an old film that a ride is based on? Clearly at least some black people do have a problem with it and maybe you should listen to them rather than explaining that they're wrong and actually the treatment of Dumbo is just as bad.

It's a ride based on an old film I'd say the majority of visitors don't even know about; an update to refresh the ride and link it to a much more popular film (and an important one as it has the only black princess and representation is a massive deal for kids at Disney) then it's a win-win.

Trying to preserve the link to Songs of the South seems like such a weird hill to die on to me.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 

Hutch

Well-Known Member
@CrashCoaster, I know others have been responding to you with similar statements, but it's pretty clear you don't understand the bigger issue here, especially when you go call this powerful movement "beyond a joke." Happy to continue this discussion elsewhere, whether it's in a new thread or a PM.

I'm just confused on why some people are really upset with the idea of a retheme? Is it because Splash Mountain is such an iconic ride? Rethemes have been happening all the time now. I mean, look at Incredicoaster or the Guardians Tower of Terror (or whatever it's called): haven't done them myself but the rethemes look pretty solid! And it makes sense for the older rides to be connected with a more relevant IP. That's how you attract guests.
 

Edward M

Well-Known Member
I've ridden all the versions of Splash Mountain, and it has a special place in my heart. Splash Mountain, the Disney World version at least, is actually one of my favorite rides. I have such great memories of riding it at night. The songs and atmosphere made me so happy, and I will be sad when I'm not able to ride it on a revisit. But I feel far more joy in seeing it go than anything else. I disagree with the statements saying the ride isn't explicitly racist. Though the ride itself may not be explicitly about Song of the South, many guests are well aware of where this story came from. Everything about it, the story and music and characters, is rooted in a story that is, at its core, about how slavery "really wasn't that bad." Even if that isn't apparent during the ride itself, the ride's existence as an adaptation of Song of the South gives it power. It allows the legacy of that horrible film to actively live on. I may well love the songs and characters, but that doesn't change what they are. By allowing the ride to carry on as it is, it's passively letting its source material be reinforced and validated. Ultimately, I care much more about a black child being able to see a representation of themselves in an E-Ticket thrill ride than I do about me trying to recapture some sense of nostalgia from my childhood. And I hope many of you feel the same.

As for those pointing out how problematic Disney is, and "what are we gonna change EVERY ride now," to that I say, YES! Why would you not want the racist and problematic things to leave this theme park meant for children? Get those racist stereotypes off of Jungle Cruise and Peter Pan and please tear down Hall of Presidents (and burn that T***p animatronic). I can see the argument about how getting rid of stereotypical depictions of black people is "erasing history," but, honestly, to that I say, bulls**t. Just because we stop actively shoving those stereotypes into people's faces doesn't mean they will be forgotten. These things live on in history books, museums and, sadly, in everyday life. But the presence of those stereotypes reinforces and validates them. I think their removal at least shows a step toward something better and the slightest willingness to change. I certainly would rather a company like Disney actually give money to movements and charities that matter, but any step toward progress I do appreciate.

I imagine the Black Lives Matter movement has something to do with this. I am by no means racist and don't support any kind of discrimination whatsoever, but this movement is getting beyond a joke, as ALL lives matter, no matter your culture.
If you truly believed all lives mattered, then you would be just angry at the systematic robbery of black lives that has been happening in this country (and around the world) for centuries. I understand the need to have one's opinions expressed, but really consider what you're saying. By shutting down such a powerful and blunt statement as "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter," you are ignoring why the statement is being chanted in the first place. Not only through the murders happening every day by police and white supremacists, but through a system that enslaved black lives from its inception, then refused to give them any of the land they worked or the property they were promised, and now enslaves them either within a prison, making them work labor for pennies an hour in order to even receive basic necessities and often over some petty crime you or me (i.e., white lives) would get a slap on the wrist for, or within a workforce that discriminates and works against them at every turn. I don't want to go off on any more of a rant than I already have, so I'll stop here. If you want to learn more, study up on Sociology it's a fascinating and enlightening subject. But I won't stay silent, not on this forum.
 

Ethan

Well-Known Member
I imagine the Black Lives Matter movement has something to do with this. I am by no means racist and don't support any kind of discrimination whatsoever, but this movement is getting beyond a joke, as ALL lives matter, no matter your culture.
White lives have mattered since they existed. White people have never been killed or jailed unfairly for being white.
The BLM movement isn't saying "only black lives matter", it's saying that black lives matter, just as much as white lives.

I suggest anyone getting pissy at either the BLM movement, or a silly log ride, takes a step back to think and educate themselves.
 
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